Back to back wins over the division rival New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers ain’t bad. It is even more impressive when you consider the games were on back-to-back days. They did get a few extra hours due to the 12:30 start yesterday, but still….. The Pens played a pretty darn good defensive game tonight. For much of the game, the Pens prevented the Rangers from having any sustained offensive pressure. Of the two goals that the Rangers scored, one was a nice play coming off of an unfortunate bounce and the other was a fluky goal at best.
The Rangers did get 30 shots on goal, but for the most part the shots were harmless. Fleury did play well in his first game back and first game with the new glove. In the other zone, the Pens controlled the action. It was a combination of the Pens not finishing on a couple of chances they probably should have and Henrik Lundqvist keeping the Rangers in the game. When the action picked up in the third, the Pens took advantage and pulled away for the victory.
The Pens game showed signs of the type of game they were playing in the beginning of the season. They showed some very spirited fore-checking, they had good puck possession in the Rangers zone and they moved the puck quickly out of their own end. There was a lot of good physical play in the game. The Pens were credited with 40 hits while the Rangers were awarded 38 hits. Overall, I thought the Penguins played with more intensity than we have seen for quite a while.
The Pens called Chris Conner up for this game. He scored two goals. I know that it is only one game, but I say let’s give this kid a look. If not now (because of his emergency call-up status), then later at some point. He showed great hustle and didn’t look out of place playing on a wing with Crosby. Many folks thought he should be the guy that got a chance to start the season with the Pens. (Instead, someone thought Chris Bourque was the right choice)
- The Pens have now beaten the Rangers in 7 straight games. This is the longest such streak the Pens have against New York.
- Kris Letang needs to get involved physically, early in a game to bring out his best. He mixed it up early with Avery and played very well tonight.
- It is good to see Malkin continuing to put up some numbers. He had two points tonight, and seems to be getting back to his form.
- The Penguins special teams were good again. The power play was 1 for 2, and the penalty kill wiped out all 4 shorthanded situations. This included what amounts to 6 strait minutes at one point.
Good win boys! Let’s keep it up.