The Penguins gained at least a point for the 14th consecutive game – they are 12-0-2 during that stretch – for the first time since they won 12 times and tied twice from Dec. 19, 1996, through Jan. 21, 1997. They also won their fourth consecutive shootout decision after losing five of their first six.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made a game-saving left skate save on Martin Havlat only seconds into overtime, then stopped both Havlat and Bryan Smolinski with glove saves in the shootout. Christensen began the shootout by beating Nikolai Khabibulin with a shot under the crossbar, and Malkin also got the puck past Khabibulin by faking a shot to the short side only to pull it back and score inside the far post.
Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, the NHL scoring leader with 88 points, got an assist but failed to score a goal for an eighth consecutive game – the longest streak of his two-season career.
Tuomo Ruutu completed Chicago’s comeback from a 3-1 deficit by scoring with about seven minutes remaining in regulation off Martin Lapointe’s pass, putting the Blackhawks up 4-3. Ruutu appeared to come off the Chicago bench and score without a player going off – six skaters went back to the bench after the goal – but the Penguins couldn’t convince referees Dean Warren and Ian Walsh to reverse the goal.
The Penguins, clearly unhappy with the call, came back to tie it at four about a minute later on Malkin’s 28th goal. Khabibulin turned aside Crosby’s shot, but Malkin gathered the rebound and pushed it inside the near post on his second attempt.