Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Western Canada welcomes the Pittsburgh Penguins

By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are on their Western Canada trip and it starts tonight in Edmonton as the Penguins take on the Edmonton Oilers. The Penguins have had success this season North of the United States border and they need a big win tonight. They have had some trouble lately putting multiple wins in a row and this trip could be the key to getting some wins on the board. Their last two Western Canada trips have been a success. In 2011-12 and 2013-14 season, they have gone 2-0-1.

While the each team (Penguins and Oilers) have enjoyed a win against one another, this season. Though the Penguins have won nine of their last 13 games when they face the Oilers. During that stretch, the Penguins only have lost twice in regulation to the Oilers, which most recently was January 6, 2006.

As for the Western Conference, the Penguins are 9-3-1. Their power play against Canadian teams is 24.3%, but their penalty kill is firing on all cylinders at 92.7%. Special teams will be key and the Penguins have to take advantage when they can. Also, the Penguins have three skaters averaging a point-per-game against all Canadian based teams. Those skaters are Kris Letang with a 1.33 points-per-game, Sidney Crosby with a 1.30, and Evgeni Malkin with a 1.11.

In addition, the Penguins offense has been putting up good numbers. The face-off circle is a big deal and could mean a goal or not in some situations. Maxim Lapierre has a 54.8% face-off percentage and is the best on the team. Also, Crosby has one goal, four assist, and five points in his two games against the Oilers this season. David Perron will be facing his old team tonight. Perron has been putting up unreal numbers and already surpasses his Oiler numbers. He has only played 12 games for the Penguins and is on track to blow his 38 Oiler game numbers away in no time. Perron and Crosby have been clicking and only getting better. Offense even comes from the defense, like Letang. He has assisted on the Penguins' last seven goals, so look for him to impact the game tonight.

Huge news for the Penguins, who have been looking for some offense! Malkin will return tonight after suffering a groin injury last month. Malkin is the team's leading scorer and he is a huge asset for the team. It will be great to have him back and he will bring up the power play, which has been struggling as of late.

This is the turning point for the Penguins tonight. They can get some wins together on this trip and having the services of Malkin back will come into play. Time to get things going! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Arcobello, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Downie
Sill, Lapierre, Adams

Martin, Letang
Scuderi, Despres
Pouliot, Bortuzzo

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 2 Oilers 0

3rd Period

1:23- 6 on 5 now as the two guys are released!

2:47- Oilers have an empty net. 5 on 4 now.

3:23- Bortuzzo and Hendricks get into at the front of the Oilers bench. Scrum ensues between the two teams. Bortuzzo and Hendricks sit in the box and some 4 on 4 hockey.

5:24- Hornqvist was on every Oiler looking to create a turnover during his shift. Unreal.

7:01- Oilers had some momentum as the Pens turned over the puck three times and had a hard time exiting their own zone.

7:57- Fleury is still awake as he come out to cut down an angle and make a pad save.

9:42- This is a very calm game and not physical. Not much to update on.

12:25- Crosby gets the first shot for the Pens in this period.

12:47- Eberle takes a puck right in the face and skates to the locker room.

16:21- The Pens are rotating through their four lines. With this two goal lead, they can use all the lines and keep from playing certain guys too much.

20:00- 60 more minutes left of regulation! The Pens just need to keep up the hard work and keep the momentum in their favor! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and the #Pens are able to break the scoreless barrier! They lead 2-0 over the Oilers!

0:01-PERRON SCORES!! Letang fires from the blue line and Perron drives to the net! It goes off Perron into the net with .4 left in the second period! 2-0 Pens!

2:29- There was a invisible wall in front of the Oilers net! The Pens were crashing and whacking the puck to the net every chance they could!

3:51- The Pens successfully kill it! Fleury was excellent and the goal post also saved the Pens.

4:46- Fleury has to come up with some solid saves on the penalty kill.

5:51- Perron hooks up Klinkhammer and the Oilers get the first power play of the game. Pens bring out their penalty kill unit!

7:45- There was a scoring chance as Hornqvist gets the assist instead of Letang. So his streak ends at seven.

11:28- Not the most interesting game, but the Pens are dominating the puck control and winning battles.

14:17- Letang has assisted on eight consecutive Penguin goals, so far. He is tied second with a few players (all-time) and the only one ahead of him is Wayne Gretzy with 10 in 1986.

19:03- Perron collides with Fasth. Fasth gets the worse of it, but looks to be ok.

19:36- MALKIN SCORES! Letang dumps in the puck and Acrobello battles behind the net! The puck pops out in front and Fasth is unable to cover it! Malkin finds the loose puck and bangs it home! 1-0 Pens!

20:00- Time for the second period and some Pens goals! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and this game is scoreless. Not much going on in that period as the Pens just needed a finishing touch.

2:22- With the way the Pens have been playing this period, they could easily been up a few goals.

4:01- The Pens are getting great chances on net. It's only a matter of time for them, but they need to make sure they stay focused defensively.

5:10- Malkin's line starts crashing the net. Fasth has to make some quality saves. Just need that finishing touch.

8:52- Lapierre with a great chance, but the glove of Fasth stops him.

12:17- Crosby whips a shot from center, but Fasth makes a pad save!

13:38- Spaling slaps a shot through the goal mouth and wide!

14:04- Crosby and Malkin are flying on the ice. Only a matter of time for those guys to get on the scoreboard tonight!

20:00- Puck drop in Edmonton! Time for the Pens to take it to the Oilers! Lets Go Pens!

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