by Tony on 11/02/08 at 12:11 AM ET
Perhaps it was simply a matter of time. I would say rather it was a complete effort, finally.
The Penguins played one of their best games of the season to date, erasing two one-goal deficits in defeating the Blues tonight, 6-3.
It was certainly a wacky game in terms of the times of the goals. On three separate occasions, two goals were scored by either team under 37 seconds apart.
The Penguins’ penalty kill were outstanding tonight, keeping the NHL’s top-ranked powerplay off the board. In fact, on two of the three powerplays the Blues didn’t even record a shot.
The Blues set the tone early on, clearly targeting the sore Sidney Crosby with several good checks. The Penguins, for the most part, weathered the storm, however it was the Blues who drew first blood. Barrett Jackman launched a wrister from the left point that really appeared to me that may have deflected off Rob Scuderi’s stick slightly and got past Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 1-0 Blues midway through the first quarter.
It stayed that way until about two minutes remained in the first period when Miro Satan attempted to make a backhanded pass to Max Talbot on a 3 on 2 break, but it deflected back to him off a Blues defender. Satan grabbed the loose puck and fired a hard wrister to the top right corner of the net past Blues goalie Chris Mason to tie the game at one.
However, the Penguins’ glee didn’t last long, as this was the first quick set of goals. On a Blues’ dump-in, Pens defenseman overskated on David Perron, who then fired a nice centering cross-ice pass in front of the net to T.J. Oshie, who one-timed the puck easily past Fleury only 17 seconds after Satan’s goal to make it 2-1 Blues as the first period ended.
The second period clearly belonged to the Penguins, as their forechecking and defense took over. The Penguins tied the game up at two about six minutes into the second period when Alex Goligoski, on the right point, made a nice fake pass move on the Blues defender then fired a quick wrister that beat Mason. On the replay, once again it seemed that as the puck passed Satan’s stick the direction of the puck changed, but Goligoski retained credit for the goal.
The Penguins’ powerplay gave the Pens their first lead of the night with about eight minutes remaining in the second. Crosby made an excellent no-look backhanded cross-ice pass. Petr Sykora was there to slow the puck down just enough to a waiting Evgeni Malkin, who fired an absolute laser beam shot between the legs of the Blues defenseman and past Mason to make it 3-2 Pens.
The second quick set of goals happened on the next shift, as the Penguins’ forecheck gave the Pens a two-goal lead. Tyler Kennedy took control of the puck behind the Blues’ net and attempted to make a backhanded wraparound on Mason, but was stopped. However, there were no Blues defender there, so Kennedy grabbed the rebound and poked it off Mason’s left skate and into the net only 37 seconds after Malkin’s goal to make it 4-2 Penguins.
The Blues made it interesting with about four minutes left in the game when Patrik Berglund got a fortunate bounce of the puck off Matt Cooke’s stick to give him a point-blank opportunity on Fleury. Fleury stopped Berglund’s wrister, but the rebound went right back to Berglund, and he poked it home easily to make it 4-3 Penguins.
However, that merely set up the final quick set of goals, as 40 seconds later, Satan too control of the puck after a Fleury save, skated into the Blues’ zone and left if for Max Talbot. Talbot skated into the slot and fired a low wrister that Mason couldn’t stop, and that made it 5-3 Pens.
The final tally happened as the Blues pulled Mason, when Jordan Staal FINALLY got himself a goal, albeit an empty netter with 20 seconds remaining.
- Both Kris Letang and Rob Scuderi suffered nasty two-hand slashes on their wrists, with no penalty called on either play.
- Janne Pesonen made his NHL debut, intially starting on Malkin’s line in the first period, but was moved to the fourth line for the remainder of the game.
- Although he had his first goal tonight, Staal continues to have some terrible accuracy this year. He had two more occasions on breaks where he didn’t even put the puck on net.
- Mike Zigomanis continued his strong faceoff play, going 8 for 11.
- Pascal Dupuis was placed on the injured list to make room for Pesonen’s callup.
The Penguins return home with a short break now. The Penguins won’t play until Thursday night at the Igloo against the Edmonton Oilers.
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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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