Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Habs Not!

By: MF, 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back on the road, for a brief time, to take on the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The Penguins are coming off of two back to back wins along with winning nine of their last ten games. They are coming off a huge shootout win against the New York Rangers at Consol Energy Center on Saturday night.

Their record in the last ten games against the Canadiens, they are 7-1-2, dating back to October 20, 2011. During the month of November, the Penguins have played seven games and won six of them. They rank in the top ten in many areas throughout the NHL. Firstly, they are ranked number one in the league with 13 goals against. They rank second in wins (six), winning percentage (.857), and goal differential (+9). As for their penalty kill (93.1%) they are ranked third, which is a huge improvement from the start of the season. Lastly, they are ranked fifth in goals per game (3.14) and power-play goals (six). The Penguins have had an amazing November and are looking to grow on that success.

As for the Penguins individually, Marc-Andre Fleury is only two wins away from recording 300 wins in his NHL career. In his last eight starts, Fleury is 7-1 with a 1.71 goals against average and .937 save percentage. Craig Adams is set to appear in his 400th career game with the Penguins! In the face-off circle, Marcel Goc has the team best at 57.4%. On the score sheet, Evgeni Malkin has racked up ten points in his last six games against the Canadiens.

On the injury front, Pascal Dupuis didn't make the trip to Montreal. Mike Johnston said, "He went to the doctor. He wasn't feeling well, as I mentioned yesterday...We should have an update soon." I hope Dupuis is just feeling under the weather and it's nothing serious.

Now on to some good news, Olli Maatta will be back in the lineup tonight! The Penguins confirmed his return during the morning skate! It's been two weeks since he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his thyroid gland. It's great to have him back on defense. He has been missed!

Maatta commented on his return saying, "I didn't think it would be this quick, but I have to thank the doctors and team staff for doing their best. I'm just excited to be back. I wanted to come back as quickly as I could. I just want to get it over with, now I can focus on hockey again."

On a side note, the NHL announced today they will be eliminating the dry scrape off the ice before overtime. This will start with Saturday's games. The general managers decided this after their November meeting, coming to the conclusion it was taking too long to get overtime underway. The ice will be cleaned by hand shoveling the snow, on the ice, just like they do during television timeouts. The ice will not be clean before a shootout.

Now lets get back to the Penguins taking on the Canadiens! The Penguins will have to come out with speed and take it to the Canadiens! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kuni, Sid, Comeau
Spaling, Geno, Hornqvist
Bennett, Sutter, Downie
Sill, Goc, Adams

Martin, Tanger
Maatta, Ehrhoff
Scuderi, Despres

Play By Play
PENS 4 Canadiens 0

3rd Period

1:36- Fleury once again with a big save. He has been there every time.

4:58- This period hasn't been the best for the Pens, but Fleury has been outstanding. Pretty much doing everything even standing on his head to make saves!

8:24- Fleury makes an unreal save to keep the Habs at bay! Wow!

11:41- Some offensive zone time for the Pens, but they need to play smart against the Canadiens. They will capitalize on any little mistake, the Pens make.

15:41- The Canadiens have been bringing it to the Pens during this period. The Pens may lead by four, but it has been a battle. Fleury and the defense have been coming up huge.

17:38- The Pens PK are three for three tonight! Martin is set free!

19:38- Martin is called for tripping and the Habs will get their third PP of the game.

20:00- Third period time! The Pens need to keep attacking and play smart! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- The second period ends and the Pens have extend their lead to 4-0!

0:30- SID SCORES ON THE PP!!!! Malkin puts the puck on net and Price makes the save! The Pens and Canadiens crash the net! Sid waits and jams in the loose puck! 4-0 Pens!

0:58- Power play time for the Pens! Galchenyuk off for slashing.

1:10- The Pens make it a second great PK!

3:10- Malkin is found guilty of hooking and the Habs will get a second crack at the PP.

3:13- Maatta is having a solid first game back. He is playing smart and stepping in to help when a mistake happens.

3:57- Sid snaps one, which hits the goal post! Price is able to cover behind anyone gets to the rebound!

6:13- This game is back to the fast pace with the puck going up and down the ice. Both teams are getting time and battling on the boards.

9:56- Fleury makes two incredible saves to keep the door shut on the Canadiens! Spaling gets a chance, after being released from the box! He gets a shot off with one hand, but Price makes the save.

11:56- Now it's time for the Pens to bring out their PK as the Canadiens get the first PP of the game. Spaling is called for holding.

13:53- Letang comes into the Canadiens zone and draws two defensemen. Sid picks up the pass and slaps, a hard shot, which Price makes the save on!

14:52- Spaling sends a shot ringing off the post!

19:02- SUTTER SCORES!!! Bennett comes flying down the win and makes a no look pass to Sutter. Sutter, in the slot, snipes a shot to the left corner! 3-0 Pens!

20:00- The second period is underway! The Pens need to keep coming at the Canadiens with speed and keep up with the smart defensive plays! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- The first period horn sounds and the Pens have a 2-0 lead over the Canadiens!

1:41- Sid bats at the puck, beside the net, but it goes over the net!

2:46- Bennett catches the Canadiens changing and sneaks in the zone! Price is barley able to get a piece of the puck, with his glove, to redirect it wide.

4:41- Fleury has been strong in the net to start. The Canadiens have had quality chances, but he keeps shutting the door!

7:46- The Pens are playing a smart defensive game of hockey. Any mistake could give either team the edge, as the Pens took advantage to get the opening goal.

10:17- DOWNIE SCORES!! Bennett finds Letang above the circles! Letang is able to bait Price into going down and passes to Downie for the tip in! 2-0 Pens!

12:00- BENNETT SCORES! Bennett rockets a shot over the glove shoulder of Price into the net! What a sniper shot! 1-0 Pens!

13:58- The puck ends up at the left goal post and Malkin is able to get a few whacks in, but Price is able to hold strong to cover the puck.

15:28- That will be the first whistle of the game. Great tempo to start this game. A fast, hitting game.

18:15- Fleury comes up with a huge pad save on Plekanec! He was right on Fleury's doorstep!

20:00- The puck has dropped in Montreal! Time for the Pens to take it to the Canadiens! Lets Go Pens!  

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