The exhausted Penguins had every reason to fold.

Instead, they produced the moment of their young season.

With Minnesota mounting a comeback in the third period at Consol Energy Center against a fatiguing group, the Penguins killed a two-man advantage for almost two minutes — and even produced a dramatic goal of their own — in a 5-2 victory over the Wild for their sixth straight win.

Looking comfortably ahead with a 4-0 advantage in the second period, the Penguins allowed the Wild to slide back into the game, and early in the third period at 4-2.

Then defenseman Olli Maatta and right wing Craig Adams were called for penalties within 14 seconds of each other, giving the Wild a two-man advantage for 1:46.

“That was a big deal,” said defenseman Matt Niskanen, who continued his strong play by producing a goal and an assist in 23:23 of action. “If they score there, it's a different game. Things get hairy.”

With two of their best penalty killers in the penalty box, the Penguins went to work. Robert Bortuzzo was the only defenseman on the ice for more than a minute, but he protected goaltender Jeff Zatkoff in front of the net.

“It felt like Borts was out there forever,” Zatkoff said. “The guys in front of me were unbelievable.”

Zach Sill and Pascal Dupuis also made significant plays to protect their goaltender.

Zatkoff did his share of fine work, too.

In the first minute of the kill, Zatkoff stoned Minnesota star Zach Parise twice. Parise also missed the net on another opportunity.

“It was a big point in the game,” coach Dan Bylsma said.

When the Penguins finally had killed the first penalty, much of the Consol Energy Center crowd was on its feet. That didn't change when Maatta stepped out of the penalty box and found himself on a breakaway, where he was pulled down and given a penalty shot.