Daymond Langkow scored twice in less than two minutes early in the third period and the Flames, helped by an apparent phantom goal by Marcus Nilson, won in Pittsburgh for the first time in nearly 17 years by beating the struggling Penguins 3-2 Saturday night.
Huselius, a left wing acquired Friday from Florida in a three-player deal, set up all three goals in Calgary’s 12th win in 15 games, including Langkow’s goals on successive shifts. Calgary moved past idle Vancouver into first place in the Northwest Division.
“It’s fun to be here, it’s only one game but it’s a good start. I want to keep it up and get better every day,” said Huselius, who matched his season total for assists in one night.
Pittsburgh, despite owning one of the NHL’s most proven collection of scorers, has scored only nine goals during a five-game losing streak. The Penguins fell to 3-7-3 at home despite getting Sidney Crosby’s 13th goal, and their 7-14-6 overall record trails only St. Louis, Columbus and Washington among the league’s bottom teams.
Calgary, 0-10-2 in Pittsburgh since last winning there on Feb. 12, 1989, took a 1-0 lead midway through the first on a shot by Nilson the Penguins didn’t think went in.
Nilson got up after being leveled by a check along the boards and, after getting the puck, spun around and put a 20-foot wrist shot on net that hit the crossbar, deflected off the near post and hit the goal line but did not appear to cross it.
“After the period, we all came in and looked at it, and it wasn’t even close,” Penguins owner-player Mario Lemieux said. “It was a one-goal game and they got a freebie. But we had enough time to come back.”
Video replay judge Dale Ruth apparently took only a quick look at the replay before play resumed. Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations, said the standard procedure on such goals is for the video replay judge to call the league office in Toronto to get advice.
“It was unfortunate,” Murphy said in a telephone interview with a pool reporter. “This play happened quickly and the video replay judge did not call us. We did call them but, by that time, the puck had been dropped so we weren’t able to have a discussion on it. That’s unfortunate because there was a need for a review on this play, for sure.”
Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk could be seen yelling at the officials, but a goal can’t be reviewed once play has resumed.
“Obviously, it wasn’t a goal,” Penguins forward Ryan Malone said. “Obviously, it hurts.”
Langkow gave Calgary a 2-1 lead by taking Huselius’ pass from behind the net on a power play and wristing it past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at 1:51 of the third.
Pittsburgh defenseman Dick Tarnstrom’s holding call negated the final 1:08 of what would have been a four-minute Penguins power play resulting from Rhett Warrener’s high-sticking major. Langkow scored not long after Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who hasn’t had a goal in eight games, missed an open net on a short breakaway.
Huselius and Langkow hooked up again slightly less than two minutes later, with Huselius taking Robyn Regehr’s drop pass in the left circle and steering it across the slot to Langkow for his seventh goal.
“The first one was right on my tape, and I had a guy on me so anywhere else I probably wouldn’t have been able to get to it,” Langkow said. “The second one he kind of sucked everybody over to his side, including Fleury, and threw a nice, hard pass—it was perfect, and an easy goal.”
Crosby’s goal near the midpoint of the second period was his first in four games since badly bruising his left foot blocking a shot Sunday in Tampa. Lemieux got the second assist, halting a four-game streak without a point that was the longest of an oft-interrupted career that began in 1984.
Pittsburgh was 1-of-9 on the power play and is 2-of-31 during its losing streak. … Penguins forwards Ziggy Palffy (groin) and John LeClair (groin) missed the game. … Pittsburgh F Mark Recchi became the 60th NHL player to appear in 1,200 games. … Iginla’s streak is his longest since an eight-game drought Nov. 12-29, 2003. … Pittsburgh has outscored Calgary 76-68 but has allowed 109 goals to Calgary’s 68.