Penguins vs. Avalanche: Brandon Tanev nets game-winner in OT, hands Avs first loss

Crosby and MacKinnon faced off in an exciting early season showdown

Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports

The NHL's marquee matchup on the slate Wednesday night featured two Cole Harbour studs (and close friends) in Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon. Each of the two superstar centers delivered in the primetime matchup, but it was Crosby's Penguins who came out on the winning end.

Both Crosby and MacKinnon scored in the contest, with the Penguins' captain getting his team on the board with an incredible highlight reel goal in the first period before later adding an assist. MacKinnon scored a big game-tying goal in the third period to force overtime.

But, ultimately, it was Brandon Tanev who played hero in the contest, scoring the OT game-winner while on the penalty kill. Tanev wheeled into the zone and threw a shot on net, only to watch it glance off the goaltender and then get accidentally knocked into the back of the net by Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog for a gut-wrenching own goal.

That means the NHL's last unbeaten team is perfect no more, as the Avs now sit atop the league at a slightly blemished 5-0-1. It's the fourth straight win for the Penguins, who have managed to find success despite having their forward group depleted by injury.

The first period saw the Avalanche strike first on a goal from Matt Calvert -- somewhat of an unlikely candidate given the plethora of star power on the ice in this matchup. But Calvert's first goal of the season gave Colorado an early lead on the road. The Penguins answered by making a strong push -- helped along by a few power play opportunities -- but were held off the board until the end of the opening frame, when Crosby scored one of the best goals we've seen this season.

Colorado controlled a good portion of the second period, limiting the chances that Pittsburgh was able to get. But, in the end, it was the Penguins who recorded the lone tally of the period when Jake Guentzel found the back of the net on a great shot to the top corner.

MacKinnon pulled the Avs even a few minutes into the third period when a turnover from Brian Dumoulin and bad coverage from Kris Letang allowed him to walk in all alone on Matt Murray. Not surprisingly, such a sequence ended with the puck in the back of the net. 

The 2-2 scoreline would hold until the final buzzer of regulation, sending the game to overtime for Tanev to come through in the clutch.

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Oh no! Penguins win after Brandon Tanev throws it on net, it bounces off Grubauer and Landeskog knocks it into his own net. PIT was shorthanded, too.

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Oh boy, 3-on-3 overtime remains the best

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