Penguins defeat Colorado Avalanche, 6-3

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The Penguins surged from behind to beat the Colorado Avalanche, 6-3, tonight at Consol Energy Center.

Winger James Neal had a goal and two assists, extending his points streak to seven games, as the Penguins won their fifth home game in a row by overcoming 2-0 and 3-1 deficits..

The teams combined for four goals in a span of less than five minutes late in the first period.

Colorado took a 1-0 lead at 14:51 when Jay McClement shoveled a rebound past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the right side of the crease.

Matt Duchene pushed the Avalanche's lead to 2-0 at 17:24 with a highlight goal.

After Paul Stastny dug the puck out of the right corner, Duchene, skating away from Stastny across the slot, got the puck behind him, pulled it forward between his skates and whipped a backhand shot by Fleury.

Jordan Staal picked up his ninth goal to pull the Penguins to within 2-1 at 18:33. He scored from the inner edge of the right circle on a feed from Tyler Kennedy, who returned to the lineup after missing 11 games because of a concussion.

Colorado squeezed in one more before the end of the intermission, with David Jones scoring off of a two-on-two with 15.5 seconds remaining in the period.

The Penguins got the only goal of the second period to close to within 3-2.

Arron Asham sent a rocket to the net from the right half-wall. Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped that, but the rebound became a loose puck just outside the crease. Craig Adams made contact with the puck when he crashed the net, and Pascal Dupuis joined the party and slid the puck under Varlamov at 11:01.

The Penguins tied it, 3-3, 1:12 into the third period. Brooks Orpik took a short, backward pass from Evgeni Malkin and blasted it from the left point. The puck skipped in off the skate of McClement.

The Penguins took the lead, 4-3, on another beauty of a goal, this one by Malkin.

He first wrestled the puck from Colorado's Kyle Quincey behind the Avalanche net. Neal got the puck in the right corner and sent it back to Malkin on a drop pass.

Malkin spun past Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog while putting the puck between Landeskog's legs, carried it to the far side of the crease and put it past a frozen Varlamov into an open half of the net at 4:45 of the third period.

The Penguins struck again at 7:17 with a power-play goal for a 5-3 lead. James Neal whisked the puck in from the right corner of the crease off of a pass from Steve Sullivan at the far boards.

Kris Letang scored the Penguins' fifth unanswered goal to make it 6-3 at 10:30 of the third period. He carried the puck down the left side and beat Varlamov with a backhander.

The Penguins next play Thursday at Tampa.


Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com , 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly


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