Friday, December 19, 2008

The Flower is back, Pens win 6-3


Check out that new mask.

The Pens beat the Thrashers last night 6-3. Marc-Andre Fleury played his first game after what was believed to be a groin injury and debuted a new mask. The picture we have above is the best one we could find for now. We haven't found any mention of the new mask or the story behind it yet but, we like it. The Thrashers came out to play and had some great chances to start off the game, but Fleury said no repeatedly. If you hadn't known he had an injury and hasn't been playing, you wouldn't have guessed it from his performance last night. He was sharp all game and at least one of those goals he had no chance on. He had quite a few great saves, but the toe save reminiscent of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, was the best all night. (We'll try to find video later, no YouTubes yet.)

We saw tonight that Malkin's stick says Gino, which we'd heard before but wanted badly to ignore, and we're trying to get ourselves to type Gino, but it's hard. Geno just looks right and there's no I in Eugene (if you don't know why that's Malkin's nickname, it's because Evgeni is Russian for Eugene). It just doesn't make sense to us. Yeah, okay, so it's kind of stupid to be stuck on a spelling but it's just too hard. Maybe it's the cold, we are rather dizzy. Nah, we'll still have a hard time.

But moving on, Gino/Geno had a great game tonight, scoring two goals and getting two assists. We thought it should be three and a hat trick. We didn't see the Jordan Staal deflection, even on that nice reply FSN showed from behind Malkin. Either way, great game on both ends of the ice. Malkin looks more like Crosby every game in terms of his stick handling and defense. Malkin's set-up of Boucher was quite the show.

Speaking of Crosby, he was himself as usual in terms of his stick handling and always-going-at-full-speedness (did that make sense? no.). He even decided to get into a little scrum around the net after a Thrasher's goal. Brooks Orpik was on top of someone in front of the net and Crosby tried to step in and help and ended up on the ice. After getting up he threw a few punches toward said person. What a competitor. I'm sure he had a few words to add to that. The other note-worthy Crosby event of the night was his giving up an empty-netter goal to Geno (we can't do it!). Crosby hadn't scored a goal in seven games and could have easily made a play to get that empty-netter for himself, but decided to give it up to his teammate, and competitor in the scoring race, for the sure goal. He's a true teammate.

Overall the Pens weren't playing spectacular hockey, but Marc-Andre Fleury kept them in the game and they played well enough to win. They also took advantage of the Thrashers poor penalty kill, scoring on two power plays. There may be some other note-worthy things from the game, like Tim Wallace's first NHL point, but we're too dizzy to look at this screen anymore.

Fleury sharp in return. -Recap from PG

Penguins notebook. Whitney to return soon, Fleury to start against Toronto tomorrow.

Pens play Toronto Saturday at 7:08 in Mellon Arena.

Sidenote: The Steelers "D", represented by LaMarr Woodley, is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week with a story inside. The defense also had an ESPN the Magazine photo shoot, possibly for a cover. When we find the article about that on ESPN, we'll post it. More Steelers soon.

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