The Colorado Avalanche looked unstoppably good through their first five games of the NHL season, going 5-0-0 against their early competition. But too bad for them tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins knew their weakness: Gabriel Landeskog can’t defend shorthanded overtime goals when he’s in the crease.
Armed with this knowledge, the Penguins expertly maneuvered themselves into a situation where the game finished 2-2 at the end of regulation. Then, to put the Avs right where they wanted them, Pittsburgh had Brian Dumoulin take a slashing penalty halfway through the extra period so Colorado would get a 4-on-3. With all the pieces in place, Brandon Tanev took the puck from his own blue line and brilliantly skated into scoring position before striking the Avs’ Achilles heel. By sending a shot right at Landeskog in the crease, all Tanev had to do was watch as the Colorado captain hopelessly bumbled the puck into his own net. Just like he clearly knew Landeskog would.
This is a real tough loss for the Avalanche, and now that every team in the NHL knows exactly how to beat them, you’ve got to wonder how they’ll manage to respond after getting exposed.