by Tony on 04/02/09 at 12:47 AM ET
For as great as Marty Brodeur has been in his NHL career, the Pittsburgh Penguins have chased him more times than any other team.
Tonight at the Igloo could have easily been the latest occasion, probably should have, but instead the veteran Brodeur played out the string, giving up six goals in a 6-1 pummelling at the hands of the red-hot Penguins.
The win gave the Pens a 6-1-1 homestand, gives the Penguins 92 points and ties them with the Flyers for 4th in the East (Philly still has one game in hand). They are now 15-2-3 under IHCDB.
Conversely, the Devils have now lost six in a row.
Marc-Andre Fleury was solid again for the Penguins, stopping all but one of the 25 shots on goal. The only goal he gave up came as a result of a scrum in front of the net.
The Penguins got started quickly against the Devils. With a makeshift line after a Pens’ penalty kill, Max Talbot shot a puck behind the Devils’ net, where Matt Cooke corralled it and put it towards the net. Talbot couldn’t get possession of the puck, but Cooke was there for a backhander past Brodeur to give the Pens a 1-0 lead at the 5:55 mark of the first period.
While the fans were still on their feet, the Pens struck again. Chris Kunitz brought the puck into the Devils’ zone and made a nice saucer pass to Bill Guerin, who quickly fired a wrister past Brodeur to make it 2-0 Pens only 36 seconds later.
The Devils got their lone marker midway through the period when Dainius Zubrus made a toe drag to get open for a wrister from the left slot that Fleury stopped, but Brian Gionta was there to bat the rebound past him on his backhand to cut the Pens’ lead to 2-1.
The Penguins regained their two goal lead late in the period on the powerplay as Evgeni Malkin stickhandled away from the Devils’ penalty killers then fired a quick wrister past Brodeur to widen their lead to 3-1.
Midway through the second period, the Pens put the game away, first on a powerplay goal by Sidney Crosby, as Kris Letang’s wrister deflected off Crosby’s skate and into the net, making it 4-1. Then only 13 seconds later Ruslan Fedotenko simply put a wrister on net that Brodeur stopped, but Jordan Staal was right there for the rebound and banged it home making it 5-1 at the 9:48 mark.
Chris Kunitz closed out the scoring for the Pens about seven minutes into the third period as Crosby fired a slapper from the right point that Brodeur stopped, but Kunitz grabbed the rebound and threw a backhander past Brodeur to make it 6-1.
- Penguins went 2-for-5 on the powerplay. The Devils were really collapsing on Malkin, creating wide open chances for Letang.
- Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi were both a team-high +4.
- Malkin was a defensive beast, with three clean takeaways.
The Penguins now embark on a crucial three-game road trip, starting Saturday night in Carolina, followed by Sunday in Florida and Tuesday in Tampa Bay.
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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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