The Pens are frightening. This team is the team to beat. They were the team to beat in October. Now that the team is almost at full health (Hey we are down to just two players that are injured not including Brian Strait!) this team is just not even fair to play against.
Sidney Crosby has added a new element to his game: Don’t mess with me and don’t mess with my team. Sid spent some additional time in the penalty box last night for elbowing. He and Matt Cooke each have 8 penalty minutes this season. Sid has only played three games. He is quickly kissing his chance at winning the Lady Byng goodbye, but it’s no matter. He put up 3 more points last night giving him 7 total since he return on Monday. It’s safe to say he will be in contention this season for some other hardware.
Zbynek Michalek and his brother Milan were both on the ice for the opening face off. New drinking game. Usually we’re playing “Staals.”
The game started off with a goal by Kaspars Daugavins on the backhand just a little over a minute into the game. The Pens have given up the first goal now in 6 of their 10 games played this month. This goal was unacceptable, because the Pens started scoring 27 seconds later and didn’t stop for 7 minutes.
The Pens rushed into the attack zone. Deryk Engelland passed the puck to Crosby at center ice. Sid took it up the boards and put a sick pass across ice to Chris Kunitz as Pascal Dupuis cleared out the front of the net. Kuni flicked his wrist and put the puck passed Craig Anderson. Tied game.
Shortly after Arron Asham and Zenon Konopka scrapped for what felt like for freaking ever. Not the most interesting fight I’ve seen. Refs eventually broke it up. Both players to the box for a 5 minute fighting major.
Tyler Kennedy went on to score a goal from an incredibly awkward angle. TK carried the puck down the ice solo, ripped one at the net. Anderson blocked the shot with his left pad and sent the puck sailing behind him to the boards. TK grabbed the rebound and flung the puck into the net. I have no idea how this puck went in. Pens up by one. Best part of this goal: Marc-Andre Fleury with an assist on it. So did Paul Martin. +1 on the Paul Mart tracker.
The flood gates opened for two events: Penalties for the Senators and goals for Steve Sullivan.
The Sens took two penalties, a tripping call and too many men on the ice, giving the Pens about 30 seconds of a 5-3 advantage. The Pens really need to work on their 5-3. Tonight was the perfect night. Sully went to the far circle and put one in off of Chris Phillip’s stick. Thank you Phillips. That is a goal for Sully in each of the last 3 games.
Scoring doesn’t stop there for the period.
Kris Letang broke his stick receiving a pass from Sid. Geno gathered the puck and carried it across the slot toward the near side, took a shot and scored. Saw this tweet from one of the lovely ladies from The PensNation:
The Sens pulled Anderson and put Alex Auld between the pipes. He won’t go unscathed for long.
In the second period the scoring continued. Dupuis and Asham took the puck in. Asham shot and the puck found Duper in front of the net. He snapped it in. Pens up 5-1. Jared Cowen scored to cut the deficit but it won’t be enough.
For the third period, Bylsma changed up the lines, putting Kuni-Sid-Neal together on the top line. Why not?
Jordan Staal picked up his 11th goal of the season on a 4-on-4 with Joe Vitale and Sergei Gonchar in the box. Then Erik Condra cut the Pens lead in half with 3:26 left in regulation. Too little too late. Pens win.
- James Neal didn’t get a point. He obviously sucks. *Eye Roll* But #18 has 18 penalty minutes.
- Sid had 3 points in the first period. No goal since Monday, but 3 assists and his pass to Kunitz are pretty huge contributions.
- Sid is playing with some serious grit. I don’t know if he is trying to scare people away from hitting him or what, but he is getting in people’s faces and chirping at players. Has he been hanging out with Matt Niskanen?
- Flower is amazing. His glove saves the past few games have been jaw dropping.
- Staal is chasing Neal for top scorer on the team.
- Last night was Paul Martin’s 500th career game. He had 2 assists. +2 for Paulie, bringing him to -8 for the season. Trying real hard to come back from that -16. Yeesh.
- Last night was equipment manager Dana Heinze’s 1,500th career game.
- I love Joe Vitale. Italian spitfire. Love his physical game.
- Senators take a ton of penalties. I’m okay with this.
Pens play in Montreal tonight. Most. Annoying. Fanbase. EVER.
Let’s Go Pens!
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