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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins can play dazzling hockey at times. They can also occasionally flirt with disaster. They managed to do both in a 7-6 victory over New Jersey on Tuesday that started as a blowout before stunningly turning into something far more harrowing.

Nearly becoming the first NHL team to blow a six-goal, third-period lead will do that.

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“Well I’ve never been through an experience like that,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It’s not an easy one to react.”

Or explain. Pittsburgh led 6-0 entering the third before the Devils put together a furious rally. Andreas Johnsson pulled New Jersey within one with 41 seconds remaining but the Devils couldn’t generate another shot with the goaltender pulled.

By finding a way to hang on the Penguins became the first NHL club to win despite being outscored by five goals or more in the third, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It’s not the kind of history a team with designs on reaching the Stanley Cup planned on making.

“My hope is that it’s an outlier,” Sullivan said.

Pittsburgh chased New Jersey starting goaltender Scott Wedgewood by beating him four times in the first period and added two more on replacement Aaron Dell in the second. The final 20 minutes were supposed to be the hockey equivalent of bleeding the clock.

They weren’t. The Penguins started, as forward Evan Rodrigues put it, to “run and gun.” The Devils were only too happy to join them.

Johnsson, Nico Hischier, Yegor Sharangovich, Nathan Bastian, Jack Hughes and Nolan Foote all beat Tristan Jarry in the third, though it wasn’t quite enough to prevent New Jersey from dropping its seventh straight.

“Was there any quit in them? No. They stayed with it,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “They didn’t quit. They weren’t afraid to make plays. … They still wanted to make plays. … If we could’ve executed early in the game on some of those chances, it was a game we could’ve scored nine or 10 really.”

It only seemed like they did in the third as New Jersey hardly looked like a team that is 1-9-2 in its last 12 games, with three of the losses coming at the hands of the Penguins. Pittsburgh pulled within a point of Washington and the New York Islanders for first place in the East Division with the win.

The teams meet again on Thursday and Saturday. The Devils hope their third period was a sign of things to come.

“It’s easier to play when you’re losing 6-0, so we chipped away,” Hughes said. “It’s embarrassing to be losing 6-0 in the NHL. Like I said, it’s impossible to win a game when you give up seven goals.”

CARTER FINDS THE NET

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Jeff Carter, acquired from Los Angeles at last week’s trade deadline to give the Penguins depth, speed and a dash of grit as the playoffs loom, beat Wedgewood with a blast from between the circles late in the first period to pick up his first goal since joining the team.

The goal was the 391st of Carter’s career and first for a team other than the Kings since Feb. 21, 2012, when he played for Columbus.

“It was great for Jeff, I thought his line had another good game tonight,” Sullivan said. “For him to score that first goal as a Pittsburgh Penguin means a lot to him. I’m sure he can just relax and play now.”

SPREADING IT AROUND

Fifteen of Pittsburgh’s 21 skaters — including Jarry — had at least one point.

Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust and Evan Rodrigues each had a goal and an assist. Jake Guentzel had two assists. So did Jared McCann, who now has 15 points in his last 14 games.

Mike Matheson, Teddy Blueger and Brian Dumoulin also scored for the Penguins. Dumolin’s third goal of the season began with an innocent flip from center ice that knuckled after hitting the ice and somehow found its way by Wedgewood.

“When it left my stick I felt like it had some bounce and some roll, could see the ice was pretty bouncy to begin with,” Dumoulin said. “I’ll take that bounce and take that luck.”

GOALTENDING ISSUES

Wedgewood’s 13th start of the season was also his most forgettable. He stopped just nine of the 13 shots he faced before being pulled in favor Dell to start the second period. Dell didn’t fare much better, surrendering a goal on the first shot he faced as Pittsburgh posted its highest goal total since March 3, 2020, against Ottawa.

The Devils, as they did in losses to the Rangers over the weekend, made it interesting after falling woefully behind. Yet just as they did in New York, a late burst wasn’t enough.

“Here’s what we need: To start it off, we need better goaltending,” Ruff said. “Flat out, need better goaltending. We’ve made some mistakes. Every team makes some mistakes. You’ve seen some of the goals that went in. Those are saves that need to be made.”

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Tags: new jersey devils nhl pittsburgh penguins pittsburgh penguins they weren’t in the first period as they did the first nhl the season to make plays some mistakes the penguins third period the penguins in the third

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Owl masters art of deception in stunning images where he disappears into a tree – leaving Instagram users baffled

THIS owl has mastered the art of deception as he is caught blending seamlessly into a tree.

The snaps, captured in Canada, show a Great Grey as he momentarily turns his head to break his prefect camouflage disguise.

5Owl about this for camouflage?Credit: Jam Press 5The crafty camouflaged owl was spotted by a photographer in CanadaCredit: Jam Press

Edsel James S. Batuigas, 45, from Burnaby, Canada, took the snaps while he was out in his favourite wildlife spot in British Columbia.

The eagle eyed photographer had travelled by car for five hours to get to the location where he spotted the owl and it was by chance that he saw the bird.

Edsel said: “I was planning to look for the great grey owl that day.

“I was driving on a forest road searching for the great grey owls, scanning every tree hoping to find one during noon time, where they’re usually resting.

“Then suddenly in the corner of my eye I noticed something moving in the tree trunk, that’s when I realised it was the owl cunningly blended with the bark of the tree.

“If the owl didn't look at me, I would have missed it.”

5The photographer only noticed the owl when it turned its head towards himCredit: Jam Press 5The optical illusion seen in the stunning images have baffled people on InstagramCredit: Jam Press

Edsel, who has been practising photography as a hobby for 11 years, originally took the photos in March but later shared the set on Instagram – stunning social media users.

The post has so far racked up more than 90,000 likes as people were left baffled as tried their best to solve the optical illusion.

“This is why we can't see them," wrote one person.

Another person said: “You can’t see it…but it can see you.”

“Wow that is camouflage,” someone else commented.

One fan described it as having “amazing stealth”.

“Bro his is why we can’t see them,” another person said.

Someone else wrote: “That’s crazy how well it blends in.”

“This is why we never see goddamn owls,” said someone else.

Other viewers said they needed prescription sunglasses or ultraviolet vision to spot the sneaky creature.

“Amazing,” an impressed fan added.

“Wow what a picture," wrote someone else.

5Some user said they needed prescription sunglasses or ultraviolet vision to spot the sneaky creatureCredit: Jam Press

The great grey owl can be found scattered across North America, Europe and Asia.

They often camouflage themselves against a near-identical backdrop as it allows the predators to secretly scan the scene for prey.

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Edsel added: “I usually post my owl pictures on Facebook groups and my page and rarely on Instagram, but a friend messaged me that he saw my great grey owl picture shared on some accounts on Instagram.

“I was really surprised by the response it had.”

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