UPDATE: Incorrect stat given in the title. Changed to 20-0-2.
Seems like ol' times for us Pens fans as we witnessed yet another notch up in the win column. Now tied the most points in the NHL (14) with the Rangers the Pens are showing no signs of letting up. Talk of a mini-home-hangover after coming home off a 4-0 road record seemed likely. Yet despite wearing the Carolina blue throwbacks this was simply not the case.
First period coverage by Nicole T.
The Sesame Street line takes the opening face off. Steve Downie was the first to grab some Free Candy on the blue line, Willy Wonka style. Hit so hard Orpik lost a contact.
Drew Miller ended up taking a high sticking penalty at 16:20 to put the Pens on their first pp of the night. Guerin-T-it then gets the Pens on the board first cleans up a rebound off a Malkin SOG. [1-0] Geno and Gogo with the assists.
Talk about Niittymaki being out of position.
The Lightning finally record their first shot of the night at 14:26, the Pens had the first seven, including six on their powerplay. Tremendous movement on the first power play shift.
Goligoski goes to the sin bin for tripping at 6:30.
The Pens get a 3 on 2 short handed break but the pass from Kennedy jumps over Staal’s stick. No dice.
TB comes back on their high horse but Sarge makes a great play to break up a centering pass in front of Flower. The Lightning go 0-1 on PP. At this point the Pens have now killed off 12 consecutive penalties.
Good ol’ Bugsy Malone gets a decent wrap around chance on Flower but he denies and shuts the door. After which Flower also gets a couple great saves on Paul Ranger. Strong first period from our beloved netminder. The Lightning played decent neutral zone defense in the first regardless. The Pens get a nice set–up going in the offensive zone, great puck control from Malkin, Letang, Kennedy and Feds.
Gonch makes something out of the great face off win by Crosby, he takes one of his famous laser shots from the point and the puck screams by Niittymaki .Crosby and Orpik are awarded the assists. Time of the goal was 17:10 [2-0]
TK almost makes it 3-0 Pens but misses on a backhand opportunity. Not known for his backhanded prowess.
Right out of the gates Crosby gets nabbed for holding another players stick. The Pens killed it.. Though after 4 minutes and 4 shots Dupuis finds himself rear ended for slashing. Interestingly enough it was by the slash of the stick that Stamkos got the Bolts one and only powerplay goal at the 6:18 mark. [2-1]
Give the guy his due. He chipped it out the air with MAF out of position.
Anytime a game gets 2-1 you get concerned. More times than not the next goal changes everything. And just under two minutes later Gonch gets a nice dish from Fedotenko to the top of the key. He tosses it on net, Dupuis [apparently deflects], Malkin
Not too much more to report on for the rest of the period. Malkin did try and replicate that goal you see on the right hand column with a wrap-around backhander, though he barely had anything on it. Nearly 4 times the penalties were taken in this period from the previous.
Mustache. There has to be more to this.
This is all I'm going to say about the 3rd period. Mike Rupp has goals in back to back games. A nice feed from Crosby leads to our 4th goal of the night, sealing the deal. [4-1]
The Pens 4th line center has goals in back to back games. If I'm the only one out there that is excited about this then somethings wrong. When a team (our team) shows they have as much depth as this where a guy like Mike Rupp can find the back of the net two games in a row, that shows me one thing...DEPTH. As great as Geno and Sid are, you don't win the Cup without depth. I'm already convinced that we have the best 3rd line in the game, but dare I go as far as saying we have the best 4th line? Craig Adams is also on this line you know? Okay, so Crosby made this play happen. But when 4th line guys can (possibly) finish regularly, that's something.
Pens 4 - Bolts 1.
- Pens outshot the Bolts 32 to 15. A combo of offense and defense here.
- Crosby triples his assist totals for the year with 2 making 3 total.
- Jay "The Key" McKee blocked 23 of the Bolts 15 shots on goal.
- Seems to me with the talent of the Bolts they should be better. Maybe in 2-3 years again.
- Malone clearly has regrets despite the $.
- Most important stat. Bylsma is 20-0-2 when scoring the first goal on home ice. Unreal.