The Pittsburgh Penguins suffered an embarrassing 5-2 defeat to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night, ending an 11-game losing streak against the desert dogs. A bizarre own goal in the third period put the final nail in the coffin for the reeling Penguins.
With Pittsburgh on the power play, defensemen Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin attempted to set up a controlled breakout.
However, Malkin mishandled the puck near the blueline, leading to a turnover. As Malkin scrambled to regain control, he accidentally backhanded the puck into his own empty net while goaltender Tristan Jarry had vacated the crease.
A stunned Jarry could only watch as the puck slid slowly over the goal line for one of the most bizarre own goals of the season. Forward Lawson Crouse was credited with the goal, despite not even being near the play.
Check out the brutal Penguins own goal below:
“That was obviously tough to give up that goal for our group,” said captain Sidney Crosby. “It’s deflating, but we have to be better as a team and limit those kinds of mistakes.”
The blunder gave Arizona a 4-2 lead which they would not relinquish. Nick Bjugstad added another late in the third period to hand the Coyotes their first win over Pittsburgh since 2012. Goaltender Connor Ingram was stellar for Arizona, stopping 25 shots in the victory.
It was a forgettable night for the Penguins, who also surrendered a first period marker to former Penguin Jason Zucker. Sloppy play and untimely penalties ultimately doomed Pittsburgh, who dropped their fourth straight game.
“Our attention to detail was not good enough tonight,” said coach Mike Sullivan. “We have to learn from this experience because we can’t continue down this path and expect different results.”
The loss dropped the Penguins to 21-17-6 on the season. They will look to bounce back on Friday night when they host the Florida Panthers at PPG Paints Arena.
But the team knows it must clean up performances like last night to get back in the playoff hunt in the hotly-contested Metropolitan division.