Thursday, February 19, 2015

Time to hang up the Blue Jackets!

By: MF, 

It's another hockey night in the city of Pittsburgh! The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Columbus Blue Jackets at Consol Energy Center tonight. The Penguins are coming off yet another hard fought loss and want to turn the tables around with a win tonight. If any team can accomplish this, it would be the Penguins. Here is what the numbers look like going into this game tonight.

They go into this game with six wins in their last seven games against the Blue Jackets, dating back to February 26, 2012. They only have one regulation loss in the last 13 games when facing the Blue Jackets, going back to October 21, 2006. These kind of numbers usually means the offense is clicking and the Penguins continue to have great offensive numbers against the Blue Jackets. Our Captain, Sidney Crosby is currently riding a 10 game point streak versus the Blue Jackets. He has racked up five goals and 12 assists during the streak. The team is 9-0-1 during that stretch, so Crosby getting on the scoreboard is key. That is no secret, if Crosby gets on the board the Penguins are usually on the winning side of the battle. The other head of the two-headed monster is Evgeni Malkin and he likes to put points up against the Blue Jackets. Malkin has 10 points (three goals and seven assists) in his eight career regular-season games versus the Blue Jackets. This includes racking up six points (three goals and three assists) in five games held at Consol. During this span, the Penguins are 6-0-2 in those eight games. Getting the two-headed monster on the score sheet will help lead the Penguins to victory tonight.

In addition, the Penguins have been showing their depth in their lineup this season. To keep a lead and get the win, the team will have to rely on the rest of the guys and not just the superstars. Don't get me wrong, Malkin and Crosby are key factors in getting wins, but not just them alone. Steve Downie became scored his 10th goal Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals. He became the ninth player on the Penguins to have 10 or more goals. The only team with more 10-plus goal scorers is the Tampa Bay Lightning at ten. The depth of the Penguins will bring them more wins and help when it's time to make a push to the Stanley Cup.

Now games aren't just won by the offense, but the defense has to be on point as well. The Penguins have some of the most talented and underrated defensemen, not to mention a goaltender having a magnificent season. Kris Letang is one of those talented defenders and should be a Norris Trophy candidate after this season ends. Letang has led the Penguins in ice time in 11 consecutive games, which shows how much Letang does along with defensive partner Paul Martin. Letang goes into this contest with points in five of his last six games (one goal and 10 assists). He also has a .88 point-per-game average, which ranks him first in the National Hockey League (NHL) among defensemen. I think the other defensive pairings are great, but when Letang and Martin step onto the ice, I feel much better. Watch for them to come out and shut down the top line of the Blue Jackets.

Let's move on to the magnificent season Marc-Andre Fleury has been having. He may be coming off a loss to the Capitals, but he was phenomenal in the net and kept the Penguins in the game. Fleury is 3-1-1 in his last five starts with a 0.79 goals-against-average and  .969 save percentage. The Penguins will have to step up offensively and get shots on the net. Fleury has been upholding his part of the deal in the net, but now the Penguins need to help him out.

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Comeau, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Bennett
Adams, Lapierre, Downie

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Bortuzzo
Scuderi, Despres

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
Pens 1 Blue Jackets 2

3rd Period
0:00- The Pens blow another game with a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets. Fleury was outstanding and kept them in the game. They better snap out of this funk and soon.

0:16- Blue Jackets ice the puck.

1:22- The Pens have an empty net.

1:50- The Pens power play comes to an end.

2:17- Dubinsky Scores shorthanded. Comeau goes crashing into Fleury and Dubinsky takes advantage to put in the loose puck. 2-1 Blue Jackets.

3:50- Pens power play time as Connauton goes for tripping on Sutter.

5:45- Fleury comes out to challenge and make another amazing save. He has been the star in this game.

9:04- Second one killed and thank you Mr. Fleury!

9:26- Pens kill the first one! Fleury was huge in the net!

11:04- Lapierre for highsticking now. The Pens will be have to kill off a Blue Jackets 5 on 3 power play for 1:38.

11:26- Bennett with a slashing penalty and the Blue Jackets with a huge power play opportunity.

13:58- McElhinney and Fleury are having solid games. It's another battle of the goalies game.

16:08- Crosby with a backhanded chance, McElhinney with the save.

19:26- The Pens power play comes to an end.

20:00- Time for the third period and the Pens have a power play for 34 seconds to start! They have capitalize and take over! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and this game is tied up at one a piece.

1:26- The Pens will get a power play as Foligno sits for roughing.

2:08- Well I hope everyone is over the shock and awe of the Crosby fight. The Pens seem to have more life in them now, but how could they not?!

5:38- CROSBY IS IN A FIGHT! YES I SAID CROSBY! Crosby has had it with Dubinsky and drops them! Crowd is fired up and so should the team!

6:17- Downie and Boll are set free and things are back to full strength.

8:17- Time for some four-on-four hockey as Downie and Boll both sit for roughing.

11:02- MALKIN SCORES! Martin goes flying down the wing and puts the puck on net! Malkin snipes one home! 1-1 tie game!

13:51- The Pens have six shots this period, but need better breakouts and zone entrances.

18:35- Crosby is robbed by the glove of McElhinney!

20:00- Second period starts and the Pens have to step their game up! Fleury is doing his job, now it's time to help him out! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and the Pens are down 1-0 to the Blue Jackets.

2:17- Hartnell Scores. Hartnell gets alone in front and gets it past the outstretched leg of Fleury. 1-0 Blue Jackets.

2:52- Shots are 10-5 in favor of the Blue Jackets.

5:44- Another successful kill by the Penguins and Fleury held strong.

7:44- Adams off for interference and Blue Jackets with second power play.

9:13- The Pens have to get more shots on net. The Blue Jackets have the edge on the forecheck. Fleury coming up big in this one.

12:42- Calvert denied by the blocker of Fleury on a 2 on 1 chance by the Blue Jackets! #29 is holding down the fort.

14:41- Nice shot by Bortuzzo at the point, which is saved by McElhinney. The Pens are skating well.

16:57- The Pens kill the Blue Jackets power play and Fleury was amazing. Quick reactions and making huge saves early.

17:11- Fleury with a lightning quick glove save!

18:57- Perron takes a seat for high sticking and the Blue Jackets get the first power play of the game.

20:00- It's game time! The Pens have to come out with speed, fire, and pepper the net with shots! Lets Go Pens!

No comments:

Post a Comment