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The Confluence

Penguins’ peppering not enough, lose to Wild 2-1

I think we Penguins fans better get used to these wacky games while they have a chunk of their lineup out.

Like tonight, where the Pens are awarded with 35 shots on goal, compared to only 15 for the visiting Minnesota Wild, but lose 2-1.

Kyle Brodziak and Eric Belanger scored for the Wild, while Pascal Dupuis had the only tally for the Penguins.

Niklas Backstrom stopped all but one of those 35 shots, so tip your hat.  However, while the Pens certainly got plenty of pucks to the net, it really didn’t seem that Backstrom had to make that many quality saves.  That is, unless you listened to Paul Steigerwald all night long, who made Backstrom out to be the next coming of Patrick Roy throughout the telecast.

The play of the game that most will talk about from this game will be the 4th career fighting major for Sidney Crosby at 16:38 of the second period.  This time, Crosby squared off with Marek Zidlicky after both of them tussled and slashed each other for a while.  What that fight did, though was get Crosby off the ice for not five, but seven minutes of the game, after the officials gave he and Zidlicky slashing penalties as well as fighting.

The Wild got on the board in the first period when Brent Burns fired a wrister from the right point that Chuck Kobesew barely deflected.  Marc-Andre Fleury made the stop, but left a rebound right to the stick of Brodziak all alone to his right for easy tap-in and a 1-0 Wild lead at 12:11 of the first.

The Penguins were able to tie it up a few minutes later after a faceoff win in the Wild zone by Craig Adams.  The puck went back to Martin Skoula along the left boards, then quickly passed to Dupuis in the slot for a hard one-timer that Backstrom never had a chance on to tie the game at 1-1.

Minnesota got the eventual game-winner in the last second of the first period.  The Wild were applying pressure in the waning seconds of the period, including a shot off the post by Greg Zanon from the left point.  Eventually, Martin Havlat gathered the puck on the end boards and made a centering pass to Belanger, who wristed it past Fleury with only .06 seconds remaining in the first period for the 2-1 Wild lead.

Notes:
- The Penguins are now only 5-3 at home, while being 6-0 on the road.
- With a win, the Penguins would have set the NHL record for most wins in October with 12, but that’s out the window now.
- Pens’ powerplay went 0-for-3.  Don’t know about anyone else, but I’d like to see Jordan Staal replacing Chris Kunitz on the 1st PP unit
- Alex Goligoski was a -1, first time this season he has been a minus player.
- Eight hits tonight for Brooks Orpik.
- Three hits apiece for Dupuis, Skoula and Jay McKee.
- Nice effort in the faceoff circle for Adams, winning 6-for-9.

The Pens now hit the Left Coast for games in Anaheim on Tuesday, Los Angeles on Thursday and San Jose on Saturday.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: minnesota+wild, 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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