Forward Progress: 11/11- 11/15

After a long 5 day break, the Pens continued their winning ways, taking 2 out of 3 games this week. They beat 2 Western Conference teams playing well and lost to a desperate and highly motivated to improve Carolina team. All in all, a pretty good week.

11/11: PENS 3 Dallas 1

  • Stars took a 1-0 lead in the first, but that's all the offense they would really muster.

  • Looked like the Pens tied it on a power play in the second when Kunitz deflected a Malkin shot in, but it was disallowed due to a high stick.

  • 24 seconds later though, Neal fired a shot that just trickled through the pads of Lehtonen. Tie game. Kunitz and Sullivan pick up assists.

  • In the third, the Pens had another power play goal disallowed when Neal's shot went in, but Kunitz was said to have interfered with the goalie and it was waved off.

  • However! 23 seconds later, Neal fires the puck, it hits a skate and goes in. 2-1 Pens lead. Malkin picks up a helper.

  • About 2 minutes later, Cooke gets a breakaway but gets hauled down. PENALTY SHOT! And Cooke shows us some moves we never knew he had. Buried it. 3-1 Pens.

  • Geno led with 6 shots.

  • Asham led all forwards with 4 hits.

11/12: Carolina 5 PENS 3

  • The Hurricanes were playing terrible before this game and came in desperate for a win and it showed. Cam Ward stood on his head and the rest of the team played hard. They took a 3-0 lead into the third period against the Pens.

  • Staal got the Pens on the board early in the third to cut it to 3-1. Assists from Geno and Neal.

  • Staal gets a breakaway shorthanded and beats Ward like a rented mule for a sweet goal. 3-2. Cooke picks up his 5th assist of the season.

  • Kunitz buries one with over 7 minutes left to bring the Pens all the way back. Tie game, 3-3. Dupuis picks up a helper.

  • Give the Hurricanes credit though, they didn't give up and battled for 2 more goals.

  • Geno led with TWELVE shots.

  • Neal and Adams led with 3 hits each.

11/15: Pens 6 Colorado 3

  • Tyler Kennedy returned to the lineup.

  • Pens did not play well early and found themselves in a 2-0 hole in the first.

  • Staal got the Pens on the board late in the first when TK found him in a soft spot in front of the net. 2-1.

  • With only 16 seconds left though, Colorado took back the 2 goal advantage and led 3-1 at the end of the first period.

  • Halfway through the second the Pens began to find their game and it took their muckers, grinders, and bashers to do it. Asham fired a puck on net and Adams, looking for the rebound, crashed the net taking 2 defenders with him. Dupuis found the loose puck and rolled it home. Nice dirty goal. 3-2. Dupuis from Adams and Asham.

  • In the third period, the Pens completely took over the game.

  • 1:12 in, Orpik fired a shot that hit some stuff and bounced into the net. Tie game, 3-3. Neal and Malkin pick up helpers.

  • A couple minutes later, Malkin scored a highlight reel goal when he passed the puck to himself through Landeskog's legs, then deked Varlamov out of his jock. 4-3 Pens. Assist from Neal.

  • And a few minutes later, the Pens go on the power play. Sullivan makes a beautiful pass across ice to Neal all alone beside Varlamov and Neal buries it. 5-3 Pens. Sullivan gets a much deserved assist.

  • Staal and Vitale picked up assists on the 6th goal by Letang.

  • Dupuis led with 5 shots.

  • Asham and Cooke led all forwards with 2 hits each.

FOURwards of the Week:

1: James Neal- How can it not be him? 3 goals and 3 assists this week. 2 of his goals were against his former team, Dallas. Has at least a goal in all 8 home games so far this season. Continues to just fire the puck, take the body, and find the right spots on the ice.

2: Jordan Staal- 3 goals and an assist this week. Really playing some strong two-way hockey. Second on the team with 9 goals.

3: Evgeni Malkin- A dazzling highlight reel goal and 3 assists this week. Starting to heat up, can't wait to see him start taking over games...it's coming.

4: Arron Asham- Only had an assist this week, but I am really loving what a team player this guy is. It's rumored he was one of the guys that stepped up in the locker room during the dreadful first half of the Colorado game. Solid guy all around.

Honorable mention to Steve Sullivan and Pascal Dupuis.

Road trip to Florida this week against the Lightning and Panthers.



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