In what's been a common occurrence...
- The Penguins win
- The Penguins get heavily outshot
- The Penguins lose more faceoffs than they win
- Sergei Gonchar gets a powerplay point
- Evgeni Malkin has a multipoint game
- Jarkko Ruutu scores a goal
Ok, so only the last bullet point hasn't been that common of a happening, but it was important for Pittsburgh to win tonight, lest this become their third loss in a row in what starts a 7 game stretch in 12 games.
Also some notes:
- We'll give Coach Therrien credit for shuffling lines a little. The unit of Malone-Malkin-Sykora hadn't generated an even strength goal in 2 games and the whole team struggled. Therrien was smart enough to keep his two most skilled guys together and add Maxime Talbot to the mix. Talbot brought his usual energy and determination and I thought he did well to generate chances (including Malkin's back-breaker of a goal).
- Speaking of Geno, he's now just one point behind Alex Ovechkin, with a game in hand. Perhaps the trophy engravers should wait a minute or two; a lot of the awards that most conceded to Ovechkin a couple weeks ago are very much up for grabs.....Just imagine what Malkin's going to do on the powerplay in a couple of weeks when Sidney Crosby does get back.
- Due to EC and Kris Beech's injuries some new faces got in the lineup and particularly Connor James made a better impression than his last stint.
- What a tribute to the Pens organizational depth to be missing so many regulars for so long and have players young and old to step up from the AHL and contribute. This year's regular season success is starting to match last season's remarkable turnaround but there's no doubt that this has to be more satisying; there's been tons more adversity to deal with and the core has kept getting favorable results despite the key injuries.
- Ty Conklin is now 15-4-3. 15-4-3. Sorry, just had to type that again.
- Ryan Malone handled his demotion well, generating two assists, the first one a perfect two-line breakout pass to Ruutu who had just exited the penalty box.
- Nice to see Ruutu and Colby Armstrong get goals. Obviously these guys aren't going to--or are supposed to--contribute at top tier rates, but as we know depth and secondary supporting is necessary and has to come from somewhere. Can't be Malkin and Sykora shouldering all the burden every single night.