Sometimes over the course of a season the team you follow pulls out a game that was not something you thought was probable. Last night the Penguins found that lightning in a bottle and defeated Tampa Bay in what was a surprising victory.
Why surprising? The Penguins had a skeleton lineup and that would be the case even if Sidney Crosby had played.
For the Lightning this loss means nothing, they are still a great team. However, the potential injury to their #1 goaltender Ben Bishop, now that is a legitimate concern. Evgeni Nabokov isn't going to be able to handle the load of a #1 guy.
The Penguins were fortunate to get offensive contributions from two of their youngsters. Bryan Rust scored his first career goal to put the Penguins up 2-1.
Brian Dumoulin also scored his first career NHL goal to put the game out of reach at 4-1.
The Penguins almost had three players score their first NHL goal but Tampa Bay wasn’t having any of it
Marc-Andre Fleury has been chasing his first career goal for quite some time. I think he had that one going right down Main Street he just didn’t have the elevation.
The Penguins did score four goals in the victory but the game would have followed a completely different path had Fleury not made some really athletic saves in the first period. Tampa Bay dominated the first period and had little to show for it. Those saves bought time for the other Penguins skaters to shake off the cobwebs and get to business.
Brandon Sutter continues to show why he is a better fit for an offensive role and not a defensive role (at even strength). He has noticeable speed and a great shot and is finding a way to utilize both successfully this year. The Penguins would be making a big mistake trying to shoehorn him into a shutdown 3rd line center role. You won’t get the most out of him in that kind of role, that has been proven in the past. When Sid is back they should consider using the Sutter/Malkin combo again.
Steve Downie has 33 PIM’s in the past four games but more importantly with the Penguins struggling with forward depth he also has two goals and three assists. He is on pace for 14 goals and 41 points. Not bad for the cost.
Evgeni Malkin is one point behind the league lead in points with 37. Tyler Seguin has 23 goals and 38 points. He is going to be a formidable opponent for the Art Ross Trophy as well as the Rocket Richard Trophy.
Anybody miss Zach Sill?
Brian Dumoulin did score his first career goal which is an obvious highlight but he also showed that his poor showing last game against the Blue Jackets was closer to the exception than the rule. He is a bigger guy (not overly physical) that can move and make plays with the puck. He can play on both the power play and the penalty kill. Ray Shero did a pretty good job in the Jordan Staal trade
Patric Hornqvist had gone 5 games without a point before registering an assist on the power play last night.
Sid should be cleared to play in the Penguins next game on Thursday against Colorado.
Over/under on how many times the broadcast mentions Sid and Nate MacKinnon are from the same area?
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