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Penguins thump Blues 5-1:  Gonchar reportedly out with broken wrist

UPDATE:  Per the Penguins’ Bob Grove, Gonchar’s injury might be a shoulder injury rather than a wrist injury.  There won’t be any Pens’ announcement until Wednesday.

Thank Goodness for the Internets.

Tonight’s game vs. the Blues was the first of eight Penguin games this season on the Versus network.  You know what that meant for my DirecTV butt.  Well, thanks to a couple of those “other” streams online (thanks guys !), I was able to watch the game.

And because of that, I was able to watch a dominating Pens performance at the Igloo tonight in a 5-1 Penguins win.

The win was not without some potentially bad news.  Pens’ defenseman Sergei Gonchar left the game after two periods with an undisclosed injury.  Unofficially, there are reports that Gonchar has suffered a broken wrist.

The Penguins were the clear aggressors from the start, outshooting the Blues 20-3 in the first period.

The Pens’ third line got the scoring started midway through the first period after a nice series of cycling down low, which eventually led to Tyler Kennedy getting wide open in the left slot.  Kennedy had time to wind up for a big slapper that Blues’ goalie Chris Mason didn’t have a chance on to give the Pens a 1-0 lead at the 11:19 mark.

A high-sticking penalty soon followed on the Blues, which allowed the Penguins to get more time with powerplay units that had gotten one powerplay goal in their last 18 attempts.  That changed soon thereafter, as Evgeni Malkin not only was able to fire a slapper on net, but was also able to get a couple of wristers on net after gathering in rebounds.  The third attempt was the charm past Mason only 69 seconds after Kennedy’s goal, giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

The Penguins kept it going on the powerplay, this time from the 2nd unit, about seven minutes into the second period when Ruslan Fedotenko fired a hard wrister from the right slot that beat Mason to make it 3-0 Pens.

Only 36 seconds later, Kris Letang’s slapper from the left point was deflected past Mason to give the Pens a 4-0 lead.  Letang was originally credited with the goal, but later correctly awarded by Matt Cooke who got the tip.

The Blues finally got on the board later in the period when Paul Kariya deflected an Erik Johnson slapper from the left point past Marc-Andre Fleury to cut the Penguins’ lead to 4-1.  Heading into the third period, the Penguins were outshooting the Blues 35-11.

The Penguins poured it on in the third period when Chris Kunitz was able to win a battle along the boards after an Eric Godard dump-in.  Kunitz was then able to pass the puck behind the Blues’ net to Sidney Crosby, who quickly fed it to Alex Goligoski in the slot for the a one-timer past Mason and a 5-1 Penguins lead.

Notes:
- Obviously, if the broken wrist report is true for Gonchar, huge huge loss.  Not the best circumstances for Martin Skoula’s debut.  Might be a callup in the future for Ben Lovejoy as well.
- Penguins’ powerplay ended up 2-for-4.
- Matt Cooke led the Penguins with six blocked shots.
- 9-for-15 for Sidney Crosby on faceoffs.

The Penguins now continue on their homestand on Friday night against the Florida Panthers.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins, st.+louis+blues

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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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