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Penguins nip Thrashers;  Whitney returns to practice

Sorry for the tardiness in gettng this out.  It happens.

The Penguins just kept on truckin’ on Thursday night at a sparse Philips Arena, getting a late third period powerplay goal from Petr Sykora, extending the Pens’ point streak to eight games with a 3-2 win.

Gotta give the Thrashers props right off the bat, they played quite the inspired game and frankly had numerous great scoring opportunities to steal one from the Penguins, but Dany Sabourin once again was outstanding.

Sabourin raised his record to 4-1-1 in relief of Marc-Andre Fleury, who not only didn’t play versus the Thrashers, but is already nearly certain to sit out against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night at the Igloo.

The Thrashers had nine odd-man breaks during the game, including a short-handed breakaway by Marty Reasoner that Sabourin stopped, aided by some persistent backchecking from Sidney Crosby.

Atlanta started the scoring about five minutes into the game on a Victor Kozlov rebound of a Ilya Kovalchuk slapper from the point, but the Pens tied it midway through the first when Miro Satan scored after a nice cross-ice centering pass from Pascal Dupuis.

The Penguins took the lead about twelve minutes into the second period on another ho-hum spectacular goal by Crosby.  Tyler Kennedy started the play with a forecheck on the Thrashers’ defenseman that caused him to fall, Kennedy then centered the puck to Crosby in the slot.  Crosby was on the way down to the ice, but was somehow able to lift the puck to the top shelf and past Thrashers’ goalie Ondrej Pavelec to make it 2-1 Penguins.

That lead didn’t last long, though, as only about a minute later Jim Slater came around the Pens’ goal and fired a wild slingshot-ish shot that got past Sabourin to tie the game at two with about six minutes left in the second period.

It remained that way until there was 3:40 remaining in the game, when on the powerplay Crosby fired a slapper from the right point towards the stick of Sykora and into the net to give the Pens the 3-2 win.

Other notes:
- LOTS of empty seats there.  Of course, I wasn’t there, but on the TV feed many empty seats in the lower bowl.  The paid attendance was 13,391, but that was definitely not the actual attendance.
- Both Matt Cooke and Kris Letang had huge hits last night.  Big hits are nothing new for Cooke, but nice to see Letang use his underrated strength.
- Crosby, Alex Goligoski and Philippe Boucher all were a game high +2.
- Speaking of nothing new, Mike Zigomanis was a beast again in the faceoff circle, going 11 for 15.


Ryan Whitney practiced for the first time today with the Penguins.  It wasn’t a full practice for Whitney, but pretty close as he was able to complete most of the drills.  Still no timetable for his return, as he still needs to strengthen the foot.  But starting practice on November 21st, and most likely having him return in the 1st or 2nd week of December is great news for the Penguins.  It clutters up the defensive corps some more, but that’s a problem that HCMT I’m sure doesn’t mind having.

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  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins


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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

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.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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