Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thiessen shines in first NHL appearance

It didn't take long for former men's hockey standout Brad Thiessen to make an impact in the NHL. In his first game in a Penguins' uniform, Thiessen stopped eight of nine shots and earned the win between the pipes in a 5-4 OT victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the preseason opener.

Trailing 3-0 heading into the third period, Penguins' head coach Dan Bylsma pulled starter Marc-Andre Fleury in favor of the rookie Thiessen. The Hobey Hat Trick finalist answered the call, stopping six of seven shots in the frame and giving his team a chance to get back into the game. And get back into the game they would.

Two quick goals by Sidney Crosby cut the Columbus advantage to 3-2, before Chris Conner tied the score with 6:16 remaining in regulation. Alexandre Picard put Columbus back in front late in the period, but Chris Kunitz re-tied the score only seconds later. 

Thiessen stood strong in overtime, denying both shots he faced. Just 44 seconds into sudden death, Kunitz scored again, awarding Thiessen the win in his first NHL game.

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