PITTSBURGH (AP) – Gabriel Landeskog redirected a shot by Nathan MacKinnon past Marc-Andre Fleury 22 seconds into overtime to lift the Colorado Avalanche by the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Monday night.
Landeskog tied the game with 6:32 left in regulation with a power-play goal and his second of the night handed the defending Stanley Cup champions their first loss of the season.
Jarome Iginla and Patrick Wiercioch also scored for the Avalanche, who never led until Landeskog’s game-winner. MacKinnon had two assists and Calvin Pickard stopped 28 shots for Colorado.
Matt Cullen had a goal and an assist for the Penguins while Phil Kessel and Trevor Daley also scored. Fleury made 27 saves but the Penguins failed to become the first reigning Cup winner since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings to start a season 3-0.
The Penguins have still picked up a point in each of their first three games and are surviving just fine without captain Sidney Crosby, who remains out indefinitely while recovering from a concussion. Pittsburgh edged Washington and Anaheim to open the season behind sharp play from Fleury and Kessel, who hasn’t missed a beat from his strong play during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Still, the Avalanche remained perfect since first-year head coach Jared Bednar took over in August following Patrick Roy’s abrupt departure.
Colorado won all six of its exhibition games and slipped by Dallas 6-5 in its season opener on Saturday night behind Joe Colborne’s hat trick. Bednar’s own personal winning streak stretches back to the AHL playoffs. He won the last nine games he coached for Lake Erie Monsters while leading the organization to the Calder Cup before the Avalanche job abruptly came open.
It didn’t take long for the Penguins to put Bednar’s run in serious jeopardy. Kessel threaded a shot from the left circle between Pickard’s legs for a power-play goal 8:57 into the game and Cullen slipped a rebound of his own shot by Pickard 37 seconds later to make it 2-0.
The Avalanche responded with their own flurry late in the period. Iginla ripped a 5-on-3 power-play goal by Fleury 16:27 into the first and Wiercioch’s shot from just inside the blue line 83 seconds later tied it.
Daley’s blast from the point put Pittsburgh back in from 9:12 into the third period but Landeskog buried a shot by Fleury less than four minutes later to send it to overtime.
NOTES: Crosby skated on his own Monday morning and there remains no timetable for his return. “He had a good workout (this morning),” coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’ll see how he responds. He’s making progress, but those injuries are day-to-day.” … The Penguins went 2 for 5 on the power play. The Avalanche 2 for 6. … Iginla’s goal was his 191st on the power play, moving him into sole possession of 21st on the all-time list ahead of Pierre Turgeon. … Pittsburgh scratched D Derrick Pouliot. … The Avalanche scratched D Eric Gelinas and Fs John Mitchell and Cody McLeod.
Avalanche: Continue a four-game road trip with a visit to Washington on Tuesday night.
Penguins: Hit the road for the first time when they play at Montreal on Tuesday.
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