Somebody finally woke up the Pittsburgh Penguins as they played their best game to date this season in defeating the red hot Ottawa Senators 2-0.
Evgeni Malkin opened the scoring for the Penguins with a beautiful snap shot from the off wing. The play was made possible by Patric Hornqvist's hard work along the wall in the defensive zone. Malkin hedged his bets and cheated on the offensive side of the puck and it paid off.
That was Evgeni Malkin's first goal since March 6 of the 2014-15 season against the Anaheim Ducks.
Evgeni Malkin's left winger had one of his better games of the season. David Perron led the team with seven shots on goal and led all forwards in possession with CF% of 60.71.
Earlier in the day Pittsburgh released some bad news regarding Beau Bennett. He has an undisclosed injury and would not play in last night's matchup. The glass half full approach was that Daniel Sprong would potentially have the opportunity to play more minutes. Daniel Sprong played a career high 13:07.
With a little help from Kevin Porter and Matt Cullen through the neutral zone the youngest player in the NHL was able to do this:
The first of many as they say.
Something under the radar that was encouraging was the partnership of Brian Dumoulin and Ben Lovejoy. Their play against Ottawa's very talented top line.
Not too bad.
More good news
Those are the time on ice figures for the power play yesterday. No other players had more than 45 seconds. The coaching staff has finally decided to load up and over time that is going to pay dividends as well as being fun to watch.
Marc-Andre Fleury bounced back from his outing against Montreal (where I think he should have had both short side goals) to earn his 39th career shutout.
Sidney Crosby was held without a point for his fourth consecutive game. This has not happened in six years, but when it did...
Through four games played the Pittsburgh Penguins lead the Metropolitan Division in only allowing eight goals on the season. Only the New York Rangers have played in more games (5) and they have allowed 13 goals.
The Penguins sat Rob Scuderi as a healthy scratch. You read that correctly. Don't expect this to be an all the time thing just yet but consider the seal broken. We now know it can really happen and that the coaching staff is willing to do it. Adam Clendening wasn't great but you can see that he can make plays that Scuderi just cannot.
The Toronto Blue Jays have advanced to the ALCS and I don't think anybody is happier than Phil Kessel about it. Pittsburgh will play Toronto for the first time since the blockbuster trade in the summer and perhaps many of the journalists will be distracted by baseball. Ha, who am I kidding get some earplugs, Phil.
For the third consecutive game the Penguins will be rested while their opponent will be playing the night before. And just like the Ottawa game it will be Columbus who takes on Pittsburgh's opponent the night before. Columbus is still winless and will more than likely be rather ornery.
Thanks for reading!