by Tony on 01/18/09 at 06:30 PM ET
Maybe, just maybe, we’re seeing the Pittsburgh Penguins start to pull out of this prolonged slump.
Tuesday night, we saw the Penguins play their best defensive game of the year in a 4-2 win over the Flyers.
Today, on a Sunday matinee in hyped-up Pittsburgh awaiting the AFC Championship game in a few hours, the Penguins perhaps played their best offensive game in recent times. Combine that with an excellent performance from Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped all 33 shots for his 2nd shutout of the year, and the Penguins downed the New York Rangers, 3-0.
The win was the 3rd in the last 4 games for the Pens, who climbed back into playoff contention with the win.
The Pens had outstanding puck movement on both sides of the ice against the Rangers, who looked a bit flat and tired to be honest. Even in the third period, with the Rangers down 3-0, they really didn’t put any extra pressure on the Penguins’ defense.
But arguably, the biggest key to the game was the contribution on the scoresheet by the Pens’ secondary scorers. For the first time in a long time, neither Sidney Crosby nor Evgeni Malkin had a point, and they still scored three goals.
The Penguins started the scoring about seven minutes into the game when Petr Sykora made a nice centering to Chris Minard in the slot, who one-timed it past Henrik Lundqvist to give the Pens a 1-0 lead.
They doubled their lead minutes later when Tyler Kennedy skated into the Rangers’ zone and fired a slapper from the right slot past Lundqvist to make it 2-0 Pens.
On the powerplay in the second period, the Pens extended their lead when Ryan Whitney made a great pass behind the Rangers’ defense to Sykora, who skated in on Lundqvist and fired a wrister past him to give the Pens a 3-0 lead.
Actually, the score could have been worse. Lundqvist made big saves on breakaways from Jordan Staal and Malkin, not to mention on a penalty shot by Crosby.
- Paul Bissonnette had the hit of the game, planting former Penguins Michal Rozsival into the glass, temporarily taking him out of the game.
- Alex Goligoski was scratched due to the flu.
- Ryan Whitney led the Pens in ice time with 26:50.
- Sykora’s goal was the lone one scored on the powerplay, the Pens went 1 for 5.
The Penguins will now face the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
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Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
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