As we noted in the preview, Michael Leighton's been on his game as of late and it certainly showed for the
- Evgeni Malkin looked like a man against boys out there, circling the entire defense with the puck at points, firing five shots on goal. He was rewarded by the hockey gods at the end of the game to get his goal back to that was "stolen".
- Speaking of that, Sidney Crosby wasn't sure where his stick was in relation to the cross-bar, so he played it coy to the refs, not taking credit for the puck he clearly deflected. Savvy move there.
- Crosby is on a four game point streak in which he's scored 9 points...Not to be outdone, Malkin is also on a four game point streak which has seen him score 10 points...Anything you can do..
- Another typical Brooks Orpik statline: 22:40 icetime, +1, 5 hits, 5 blocked shots, 1 takeaway and 1 giveaway...Not too bad, eh?
- Too bad that lone innocent looking giveaway was a hideous misfire by Orpik on a pass that 18 year old Brandon Sutter took in for Carolina's lone goal.
- By the way, some intrepid person (won't be us) should compile a list of players who have scored their first career goal against the Pens over the past 2-3 years. It would be staggering. This sounds like something Seth would be good at..
- It was nice to see the much maligned second line of Ruslan Fedotenko-Jordan Staal-Petr Sykora all combine for some tic-tac-toe passing to slam the GWG home. Everytime you write Staal off as not a playmaker he'll pull a pass like that out of his hat.
- Michel Therrien better be careful....People could fall in love with the "3rd" line of Tyler Kennedy-Max Talbot-Miroslav Satan. They had a shift for the ages in the dying moments of the second, taking ownership of the puck down low. Could any 3rd line in the league boast the sheer speed, skill and determination of this trio? We doubt it.
- Marc-Andre Fleury was stellar again in net and was thisclose to scoring an empty net goal for himself. We have no problem with him shooting for the moon, so long as it's a 2 goal game.
So who thought the Pens would be 5-2-1 after eight games while missing Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney? Not many.
This neatly wraps up one segment of the season, the "Post-Stockholm Recovery" of having five of six at home...Now a new segment, a trip to New York to face the 6-2-1 Rangers and then three games out west. Tall challenges on the horizon for sure, but for now it's ok to sit back and enjoy the satisfaction of a two point night.