The shot total tells almost the whole story. The Pens outshot the Minnesota Wild 35-15. That is a very lopsided shot comparison. It was a direct reflection of how the whole game went………except for the final score. The Pens dominated the play, especially in the first two periods. Alas, the one stat that matters was in Minnesota’s favor as the Wild won the game 2-1.
Right from the start of the first period, the Pens came out strong. They kept the Wild pinned in their own end for much of the period. The Pens limited the Wild to only 4 shots on goal in the first frame. Unfortunately, the Wild capitalized on two of their 4 shots to leave the period with a 2-1 advantage.
After that the Wild leaned on Niklas Backstrom to keep the Pens off the scoresheet. He did that in admirable fashion. The Penguins continued to keep pressure on the Wild. The Pens used their aggressive forecheck to keep Minnesota boxed up in their own zone for much of the game. Regrettably, the Pens could not find the back of the net for the balance of the night.
- Crosby, who was visibly frustrated with the officiating, decided to take out some aggression by engaging a fight with Marek Zidlicky. This was only Crosby’s third fight in the NHL. He did get a couple of good shots in before the official broke up the bout.
- Pascal Dupuis, who scored the lone goal, continues to show very good hustle and determination.
- Goligoski is a force. This kid is going to be amazing.
- Overall, a darn good showing without the likes of Gonchar, Malkin, Kennedy and Talbot.
- Chris Connor really brings some speed and hustle to the line-up.
Looking forward to a big bounce-back game Tuesday. Hopefully, this West Coast swing in a productive one.