The two road games in Florida sucked, but then, HE came back and the Pens went 3-0-1 in HIS first four games back. Let's recap the last week and a half.
11/17: Lightning 4 PENS 1
- This game just blew. Tampa Bay did the trap-trap-trap, Pens got shots but very few quality chances.
- The penalty kill gave up 2 big power play goals.
- TK scored the lone Penguin goal to spoil the shutout late in the third. Staal picked up an assist.
- Neal led with 6 shots.
- Cooke led all forwards with 2 hits.
11/19: Panthers 3 PENS 2
- 1:09 into the game the Pens take the lead. Kunitz deflected a Dupuis shot, got his own rebound and buried it. 1-0 Pens.
- Panthers scored in the first and second period to take a 2-1 lead.
- Late in the second period, Staal grabbed a loose puck in the paint and slid it home to tie the game at 2. Dupuis picked up his second assist of the game.
- Late in the third period, the Pens took a too many men penalty and the Panthers capitalized to take a 3-2 lead and the game.
- Malkin led with 6 shots.
- Joe Vitale led all forwards with 3 hits.
11/21: PENS 5 Islanders 0
- I've been waiting to type these great words...Sidney Crosby returns to the lineup.
- Sid was flying at the start, almost picked up an assist on his first shift when Kunitz hit a post.
- Only five minutes in, Sid takes a pass from Dupuis and flys up the center of the ice past 3 Islanders and buries a beautiful backhand. His elated scream afterwards was echoed by Penguins fans everywhere. Sidney Crosby is BACK.
- Later in the first, Crosby slides a sweet backhand pass to Orpik who fires a slapper home. Dupuis also picks up an assist. 2 points for Sid. 2-0 Pens.
- In the second, Malkin blows a wrister into the net on the power play. Another assist for Sid. 3 points. 3-0 Pens.
- Steve Sullivan finishes a nice tic-tac-toe passing play by Neal and Malkin to make it 4-0.
- In the third period, Sid does some spin-o-ramas and fires a backhand at the net. Somehow it goes in. Dupuis picks up another helper. 5-0 Pens. 2 goals, 2 assists for 4 points by Sid on a truly magical night.
- Crosby led with EIGHT shots. He was 14-7 on faceoffs too. And a +3.
- Asham led with 3 hits.
11/23: Blues 3 PENS 2 (overtime)
- St.Louis did a great job of stifling the Pens and Crosby and the Pens looked flat in the first two periods after Monday's emotional game.
- The Blues scored 5 minutes into the first period and that held until the third period.
- Steve Sullivan scores on a slapshot from the point on the power play to tie it 1-1. Malkin and Kennedy with assists.
- The Blues took the lead back 7 minutes later, 2-1.
- With 6 minutes left, James Neal comes through again as he buries his 13th to tie it at 2. Malkin picks up an assist.
- With 53 seconds left in overtime, the Blues score on a nice play to win the game. The Pens get a point at least thanks to a hard fought third period after sleeping through the first two.
- Crosby held without a point.
- Neal led with 6 shots.
- Kunitz led all forwards with 4 hits.
11/25: PENS 6 Senators 3
- Ottawa took a 1-0 lead early in the first but the Pens quickly responded.
- 25 seconds later, Crosby faked a shot, then sent a beautiful cross ice pass to Kunitz, who buried it. 1-1.
- Kennedy comes down the wing, fires a shot, then collects his own rebound and fires another shot from a bad angle that goes in. 2-1 Pens.
- Sullivan buries another one on the power play. Malkin and Crosby with helpers. 3-1 Pens.
- Malkin picks up a loose puck and sends Anderson to the showers with a sweet wrister. Another assist for Sid. 4-1 Pens. 4 goals by the Pens in 7 mins, 25 seconds.
- Dupuis fires a slapper 4 minutes into the second past Auld. Asham and Kennedy with helpers. 5-1 Pens.
- Some dude scores for the Sens. 5-2.
- Staal pours in on in the third with his 11th of the season. TK with an assist. 6-2.
- Some dude for the Sens makes it 6-3.
- Dupuis, TK, Neal, and Malkin all had 5 shots.
- Cooke led with 4 hits.
11/26: PENS 4 Canadians 3 (overtime)
- 21 seconds into the game, Malkin pokes home a loose puck for a 1-0 lead. Sid and Kunitz with assists.
- Montreal quickly responded and took a 2-1 lead with a couple goals on some bad turnovers.
- Montreal took a 3-1 lead halfway through the second and things looked bleak...
- But Dupuis slaps one home in front of Price to cut it to 3-2. Cooke picks up an assist.
- Four and a half minutes left in the game, Malkin finds Staal coming off the bench and Staal forehands, backhands, then forehands a beauty past Price. Tie game 3-3.
- Pens win in overtime on Letang's Justice Goal. Neal gets an assist on it.
- Malkin led with 6 shots.
- Kunitz led forwards with 3 hits.
FOURwards of the week:
1: Sidney Crosby- Ladies and Gentlemen, the best player in the world is back. 2 goals and 6 assists and +7 in 4 games this week. Monday night against the Islanders was something special. And I've got the feeling there's a lot more special nights coming from him.
2: Evgeni Malkin- Starting to heat up and play scary good hockey. 3 goals and 5 assists in 6 games this week. Big things are coming from Geno as well.
3: Jordan Staal- Scoring some big goals this year, already has 12 on the season. 3 goals and an assist this week. Where are all the Staal Haters now?
4: Pascal Dupuis- Continues to put up points. A goal and 7 assists this week give him 19 points on the season to go along with a nice +12.
Honorable Mention: Steve Sullivan ( 3 goals) and Tyler Kennedy (2 goals, 3 assists)
It's great to FINALLY have a healthy roster and it's gonna be really exciting to see what the Pens can do. This team has a TON of potential and have to be one of the top Stanley Cup contenders. There's still a lot of season left, but I, along with Pens Nation, are really excited for what is to come. Bring it on NHL.
LETS GO PENS!!!!!!!