Pens went 3-1 this week and bounced back nicely from 3 straight losses to Washington, Buffalo, and Winnepeg. James Neal continues to be red hot and the Pens other forwards continue to provide depth scoring. Lets recap the week.
10/17: Jets 2 PENS 1
- Winnepeg got off to a fast start in front of a packed and crazed home crowd, scoring just 8 seconds in. The Jets rode that momentum the rest of the game and the Pens never recovered after a flat start.
- Down another man...Tyler Kennedy missed the game due to concussion like symptoms.
- Cooke assisted on the only goal for the Pens, by Michalek.
- Pens put 29 shots on Pavelec, but he stood on his head for the fans.
- Neal led all forwards with 4 shots
- Kunitz led with 5 hits
10/18: PENS 4 Wild 2
- After a scoreless first period, Kunitz got his first goal of the season 46 seconds into the second, with an assist from Dupuis.
- Staal cashed in on the power play, knocking home a loose puck with a nice spin move. Cooke picked up a helper.
- After the Wild cut the lead to 2-1 in the second, James Neal does his thang and puts the Pens back up by 2 in the third period.
- Dupuis gets loose shorthanded and Buries It. Cooke with another assist.
- Nice win on the second of back to back games against a team the Pens have had trouble with in the past.
- Dupuis led with 6 shots
- Cooke, Neal, and Kunitz led with 3 hits.
10/20: PENS 3 Montreal 1
- Dustin Jeffrey made his return to the lineup.
- Neal continues his scorching October by burying his 7th of the season to put the Pens up 1-0. Sullivan and Park with the helpers.
- Joe Vitale deflects a shot and gives the Pens a 2 goal cushion with his first of the season.
- In his 700th game, against his former team, Asham swats a shot from the slot into the net. After review, its a good goal for his first of the season.
- Sullivan and Dupuis led with 4 shots each.
- Adams led all forwards with 4 hits.
10/22: PENS 4 Devils 1
- Staal slapped home a one-timer on the power play to give the Pens a 1-0 lead in the first. Park and Cooke each picked up assists.
- The one goal lead held up until the third period when the Devils got a shorthanded goal from Elias, who should have been in the box. The Pens got mad.
- Just over a minute later, Kunitz blasts a one-timer home on the power play to regain the lead.
- A minute after that, Staal swoops in and buries a backhand for a 3-1 lead and the 1ooth goal of his career.
- James Neal wants in on the action and digs the puck out of the corner and fires it into the net for his 8th goal of the season. Park picks up another assist.
- Neal and Staal led with 5 shots each.
- Cooke and Staal led all forwards with 3 hits each.
FOURwards of the week:
1: James Neal- He's in Beast Mode right now. 3 goals in 4 games this week, 7 goals in his last 7 games. He is shooting the puck and regularly hitting the net. He forechecks and works hard for the puck battles in the corner. And he's not playing with a superstar center right now.
2: Matt Cooke- Picked up 4 assists this week. Continues to be strong on the penalty kill and getting some quality power play time now too. Staying out of trouble and on the scoresheet.
3: Jordan Staal- 3 goals this week, including 2 in a beastly game against the Devils. Kid takes a lot of criticism ("Trade Staal"), but he's off to a good start this season. He looks more confident with the puck and is skating well. He will never put up any kind of Sid/Geno numbers, but he's a solid part of the nucleus here.
4: Richard Park- 3 assists this week. Mainly centering a line of Sullivan and Neal and proving up to the task. Much like Dupuis, he is a valued player who can play up and down the lines.
The week ahead sees a little less action with a home and home against the Islanders (lets hope no stupid antics this time) and a Saturday night in Toronto.
LETS GO PENS!
“We are completely content with the guys that we have in this dressing room every night, and we feel like we can go out there and be competitors and win the game,” Bylsma said.