Put A Beau On It - Penguins Defeat Crunch in Overtime

Sunday, November 9, 2014
Penguins fought their way to two points tonight against Syracuse. Photo credit: @PensFans4Ever
Usually when a game goes to overtime, you put the goal-scorers name in the headline. Jean-Sebastien Dea scored another big overtime game-winner to get the Penguins two points tonight, but it was the Beau Bennett show tonight at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Bennett, in his second game since returning from injury, had a hand in setting up all four Penguins goals in regulation and it was quickly apparent that he doesn't belong in this league. His vision in how he sees the ice and passes to guys in good scoring positions is few and far between in the AHL. I don't think you'll see Bennett in a AHL Penguins uniform much longer.

The Penguins had a 4-2 lead in the third period, but credit the Crunch for not packing it in at the tail end of a three-game weekend and battling back to force overtime to earn a point in the standings.

Jayson Megna tallied two goals in the win for the Penguins, while Tanner Richard and Dalton Smith two goals each for the Crunch in a losing effort. Eric Hartzell stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced to pick up his 2nd win of the season. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 of 35 for the Crunch.

The Penguins have a week of practice ahead of themselves before hosting the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday night.

After a scoreless first period, which saw the Penguins go 0-for-5 on the power play, it was the Crunch opening up the scoring early in the 2nd period.

Dalton Smith tallied his 5th of the season 2:06 into the 2nd period to put the Crunch up 1-0 in what was a bit of a sluggish start to the period by the Pens. J-P Cote and Dylan Blujus were credited with assists on the game's first goal.

From there, the Penguins got to their game and tied it a little over two minutes later after a pass from behind the net from Andrew Ebbett got to Jayson Megna, who was parked on the side of the crease. Megna fired a quick shot that bounced off Vasilevskiy's shoulder and into the top shelf to tie the game at 4:25 of the middle frame. Bennett also added a secondary assist on the play.

Three seconds after the Penguins killed off a Philip Samuelsson minor penalty halfway through regulation, the Crunch re-gained the one goal lead on a nice play from Tanner Richard. Yanni Gourde fed a pass across the top of the crease with the Penguins scrambling their coverage post-penalty kill and Richard kicked the puck out from his skates and roofed one past Hartzell 12:24 into the 2nd period.

After a Joel Vermin interference gave the Penguins their 6th man advantage of the game with 5:16 left in the 2nd period, Bennett again showed why he's an NHL-caliber forward. Bennett flew up the ice at the tail end of the power play on a 2-on-2 rush with Tom Kostopoulos, stopped on the left-wing by the top of the face-off circle and fed a perfect pass to the point to Taylor Chorney. Chorney made no mistake and blasted one past Vasilevskiy to even the game at 2-2 with 3:49 left before the 2nd intermission.

The Penguins looked like they took control of the game early in the third period, cashing in on some carry over power play time from the 2nd period 57 seconds into the final frame. It was Bennett again setting things up for the Pens, feeding Derrick Pouliot on the point for the goal. Pouliot's shot through traffic appeared to change directions before it found its way past Vasilevskiy.

Bennett and Megna teamed up about four minutes later on a turnover in the Crunch's defensive zone. The two came in 2-on-0 on Vasilevskiy and a series of tic-tac-toe passes from Megna to Bennett and back to Megna gave the Pens a 4-2 lead. It was Megna's 2nd of the game and Bennett's fourth assist of the night. The two teamed up for a goal in Friday's game against Hershey as well.

The Crunch didn't fade away into the night, though. Richard made it a one-goal game after a bouncing puck found its way through Hartzell and across the goal line with 7:53 left and Smith tallied his second of the game as well with 2:19 left to tie the game and force overtime.


1st Period

1:26: SYR - (PP) Corrente, minor (high-sticking)
3:11: WBS - (PP) Dea, bench minor (too many men)
8:05: SYR - (PP) Koekkoek, minor (hooking)
12:07: SYR - (PP) Blunden, minor (delay of game)
13:30: SYR - (PP) Angelidis, minor (holding)
14:06: WBS - (PP) Pouliot, minor (interference)
17:09: SYR - (PP) Angelidis, minor (elbowing)

2nd Period

2:06: SYR - Smith (5) - Cote, Blujus
4:25: WBS - Megna (5) - Ebbett, Bennett
10:21: WBS - (PP) Samuelsson, minor (interference)
12:24: SYR - Richard (2) - Gourde, Blujus
14:44: SYR - (PP) Vermin, minor (interference)
16:11: WBS - PPG Chorney (2) - Bennett, Rust
16:26: SYR - Corrente, major (fighting)
16:26: WBS - Payerl, major (fighting)
16:26: SYR - Smith, minor (roughing)
16:26: SYR - (PP) Smith, minor (roughing)
16:26: WBS - Samuelsson, minor (roughing)
19:10: SYR - Paradis, minor (roughing)
19:10: SYR - (PP) Richard, minor (roughing)
19:10: WBS - McNeill, minor (roughing)

3rd Period

0:57: WBS - PPG Pouliot (2) - Bennett, Ebbett
5:04: WBS - Megna (6) - Bennett 
6:02: WBS - (PP) Payerl, minor (tripping)
8:25: WBS - (PP) Payerl, minor (interference)
12:07: SYR - Richard (3) - Gourde, Nesterov
13:07: SYR - (PP) Koekkoek, minor (tripping)
16:09: WBS - (PP) Samuelsson, minor (interference)
17:41: SYR - PPG Smith (6) - Nesterov, Marchessault


3:21: WBS - Dea (4) - Dumoulin, Hartzell


Eric Hartzell (24 saves - 28 shots) got the start in net today for the Penguins, with rookie Matt Murray getting the night off after Murray started both Friday and Saturday's games for the Pens.

Recently re-assigned defenseman Scott Harrington was in the lineup today. To make room on the blue line, the Pens scratched Alex Boak.

Two changes up front for the Penguins as Beau Bennett and Adam Payerl were in for Dominik Uher and Tom Kuhnhackl. Bennett's absence last night was a scheduled one as the Pens were in the midst of a three-in-three and wanted to ease Bennett back into lineup.


Beau Bennett - Andrew Ebbett - Jayson Megna
Scott Wilson - J-S Dea - Tom Kostopoulos
Conor Sheary - Carter Rowney - Bryan Rust
Bobby Farnham - Adam Payerl - Josh Archibald

Brian Dumoulin - Taylor Chorney
Scott Harrington - Philip Samuelsson
Derrick Pouliot - Reid McNeill

Eric Hartzell - Matt Murray

Scratches: Jeff Zatkoff (lower body), Alex Boak, Nick Drazenovic (lower body), Tom Kuhnhackl, Anton Zlobin (lower body), Nick D'Agostino, Dominik Uher, Pierre-Luc Leblond and Barry Goers (upper body)


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