Thursday, March 12, 2015

Back for some home cooking!

By: MF,

Welcome back to Pittsburgh! The Penguins are finally back from their four game road trip out West. They went 2-1-1 and earned five out of eight points during the trip. Not a complete success, but they had some solid games. The Penguins played some close checking games and even got back-to-back wins. Now the Penguins will host the Edmonton Oilers at Consol Energy Center tonight. The last time these teams met was on February 4th, where the Penguins shutout the Oilers. A major point in their wins is when they get on the board early and have an early lead. The Penguins have only entered the third period trailing 16 times this season. That ties them with the Washington Capitals for the fewest in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Getting a win tonight starts with the offense. Though the Penguins have had trouble with their offense, but most of the problems dealt with injuries. They are starting to find the groove again, like they had at the beginning of the season. Of course, the first line has been unreal. That line is centered by Sidney Crosby with David Perron and Patric Hornqvist. All these guys are getting on the scoreboard and making a huge impact. Crosby comes into this game with four assists in his last two games. Not only that, our Captain has one goal, five assists and six points in his last three games against the Oilers. Another key piece in the first line is Perron, who was traded to the Penguins from the Oilers. Perron has 18 points (10 goals and eight assists) in 28 games with the Penguins. In his 38 games with the Oilers, prior, he had 19 points (five goals and 14 assists).

However, the Penguins defense is the shining star in all this. The Penguins have a 2.36 goals-against average (GAA), which places him fourth in the NHL. The last time they came in fourth was 1997-98 with a 2.29 GAA. Since 1997-98, they haven't cracked the top ten except once in 2010-11, when the ranked seventh with a 2.39 GAA. The Penguins are only 0.4 behind the New York Rangers in this category. This all due to the amazing defenders they have. Defenders like Kris Letang, who leads all NHL defenseman with 51 points. Letang has been able to step into plays thanks to having confidence in his defensive partner and goaltender. Paul Martin and Letang have become an elite pairing. Another player showing confidence on defense is Derrick Pouliot. Pouliot is a young defenseman and has been gaining more and more confidence with every game. It's showing how his defensive work is improving along with his offensive ability.

None of this is possible without having Marc-Andre Fleury in the net. In his last two games, Fleury is 1-0-1 with a 0.47 GAA, .984 save percentage and one shutout. His nine shutouts are the most by any goalie since 2011-12. He has been the team's MVP as he is having a career high season. Fleury is in the top ten of each goalie category. Statistics don't lie and all one has to do is watch Fleury in his natural habitat, to see what a phenomenal goalie he is. I am proud to+ have been as a goaltender and would argue with anyone who doubts him.

At the morning skate and everyone was accounted for, even Christian Ehrhoff. Mike Johnston said he has been cleared to play, but Johnston wants to get him into a full practice with contact before putting him back in the lineup. Also, tonight's game will be the first home game for Ben Lovejoy and Ian Cole since the Penguins acquired him.

The Penguins have to come out with speed and get on the scoreboard early! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

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

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Lovejoy
Scuderi, Cole

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 6 Oilers 4

3rd Period

0:24- Power-play ends.

2:24- Geno is tripped up by Lander. The Pens get a late power-play.

2:30- Oilers have an empty net.

4:16- HORNQVIST SCORES! Crosby stops on a dime and feeds a perfect pass to Hornqvist! Hornqvist snaps it on net and Bachman has no chance! 6-4 Pens!

5:22- DOWNIE SCORES! Downie drives down the center as Lapierre crosses the middle! Lapierre fires one and Downie jams home the rebound! 5-4 Pens!

9:56- Roy Scores. Pouliot turns over the puck in front of Fleury. Lovejoy and Pouliot are unable to clear the loose puck and Roy makes them pay. 4-4 tie game.

15:09- B.Pouliot Scores on the power-play. Fleury is without a stick and Lovejoy decides to retrieve the stick. Oilers take advantage and B.Pouliot pulls the Oilers within one. 4-3 Pens.

16:20- Hooking penalty for Downie and Oilers get the power-play.

20:00- Time to start the third period! The Pens have to push the Oilers back during this period! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period comes to a close and the Pens have the 4-2 lead over the Oilers!

1:22- Letang and Nugent-Hopkins exchange shoves. Letang goes for cross-checking while Nugent-Hopkins sits for high-sticking. 4 on 4 hockey.

2:16- Crosby and Perron are a thing of beauty...and then Hornqvist is aggravating the goalie. Just an awesome line combination.

4:47- Eberle Scores. The Oilers get a four on two chance. Fleury makes the initial save, but the puck is loose in front. Four white jerseys collapse on the net and Eberle puts it in. 4-2 Pens.

5:39- Crosby finds himself all alone on the wing, but is shot is whacked high and wide. Such a hard shot by the Captain.

7:53- Lander Scores on the power-play. The Pens are slow to get to the loose puck. Fleury seemed to have it, but Lander is able to jam it in. 4-1 Pens

8:58- Oilers will bring out their power-play unit.

9:22- Even with the lead, the Pens are still applying pressure and Fleury is coming up big when he is called upon.

15:48- Letang with a glorious chance on the doorstep. Bachman lays down to make the save.

18:54- Scrivens is chased out of the goal and the Oilers replace him with Bachman.

18:55- CROSBY SCORES ON THE POWER-PLAY! The Pens cycle and Crosby slaps a rocket shot, glove side past Scrivens! Just a beautiful slap shot by the Captain! Letang and Malkin each record an assist! 4-0 Pens!

19:31- An early power-play for the Pens. Roy sits for tripping up Kunitz.

20:00- The guys are back for some more hockey! Second period is underway! The Pens can't let up! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends with the Pens taking the 3-0 lead over the Oilers!

1:05- DING! DING! Cole and Hendricks drop the gloves and scrap it out! Cole in his first Pens home game and first fight in a Pens uniform! He got solid punches in the beginning.

1:20- Fleury makes a solid save. The first quality chance for the Oilers.

2:13- When the Oilers do get the puck in the offensive zone, they are unable to keep it in the zone for an extended period of time. The Pens are doing a good job of clearing them out.

3:39- A successful Pens penalty kill. They are now two for two.

5:39- Some more penalty kill time for the Pens. Kunitz takes a seat for slashing.

6:17- PERRON SCORES! Crosby assess his options behind the net and outlets to Perron in front with Hornqvist! Perron snaps a quick shot into the net, glove side! 3-0 Pens!

7:03- The first period has been controlled by the Pens.

10:21- SUTTER SCORES AGAIN! Downie's shot is saved by the pads of Scrivens, but Sutter gets his stick on the puck first! He nets the rebound! 2-0 Pens!

11:47- The power-play is killed off by the Oilers. The Pens had some good tires, but the Oilers were able to block most of their attempts.

13:47- Now the Pens will get a power-play. Klinkhammer makes his way to the box for cross-checking.

14:39- The Pens come up with a very successful penalty kill!

15:44- SUTTER SCORES A SHORTY! Lovejoy and Winnik battle on the side boards! Sutter joins in and creates a turnover! Sutter gets a breakaway, he freezes Scrivens and goes to the backhand! 1-0 Pens!

16:39- The Oilers will get the first power-play of the game as Spaling is called for interference. The Pens bring out their penalty kill unit.

17:52- Sutter comes flying to the side of the net, but his shot hits the crossbar.

19:15- Crosby breaks down the wing and fires one up high. 

20:00- We are back in Pittsburgh! The Pens have to get on the scoreboard early and keep the Oilers on their toes! Lets Go Pens!

No comments:

Post a Comment