The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks gave 20,150 fans at United Center a show Thursday night.
Beau Bennett's shootout goal was the winner when the Penguins defeated the Blackhawks 4-3 in their last appearance in Chicago before the teams meet at Soldier Field on March 1 in the fourth and final game of the NHL's Coors Light Stadium Series.
Bennett scored the only goal in the tiebreaker after the Blackhawks rallied from a 3-1 deficit. Sidney Crosby's goal 4:19 into the second period put the Penguins up by two, but Ben Smith scored a shorthanded goal at 12:17 to get the Blackhawks within a goal, and Brandon Bollig beat Tomas Vokoun with 6:53 left in regulation to force the overtime.
"I thought physically they were more dominating in that area, but we got ourselves back in the game and did what we had to do," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.
Derrick Pouliot and Joe Vitale also scored for the Penguins. Patrick Sharp had the other goal for the Blackhawks. Vokoun stopped 33 shots through overtime and denied all three Chicago shooters in the tiebreaker.
The Penguins got a scare when Crosby was struck by the stick of Chicago defenseman Adam Clendening in the final minute of overtime and dropped to the ice. Crosby got up slowly then skated to the bench on his own. He was stopped on his shootout attempt.
"It's good to see him get up, good to see him pop up and keep playing," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "It's good to see him get up after the play and just get right back to playing the way Sidney Crosby can play."
The game was Crosby's first at United Center since 2006.
"I think people thought I had the 'Chicago Flu' a bit, I hadn't played here in so long," he said. "But [it's] obviously a great building, a lot of tradition here, good team they have. It's an exciting place to play, so I'm happy I got a chance to be here. Would like to do it in regular season a little bit more."
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