Thursday, March 26, 2009

Defensemen strike for Pens


The Pens beat the Flames last night 2-0 with both goals coming from defensemen. You expect Kris Letang to score goals but not Hal Gill, who had his second goal of the season off of a drop pass from Evgeni Malkin. This was a physical, up and down game that was a lot of fun to watch. The man who really stole the show though was Marc-Andre Fleury who had his fourth shutout of the season turning away 31 shots.

The game started out with a Flames power play, not exactly the best way to start out a game but the Pens were up to the task and killed it. With over 13 minutes left in the first period the Pens would get their first power play out of only two chances and would cash in. Letang had the goal with assists from Crosby and Kunitz. Crosby used his skate to kick a loose puck to his stick to pass it across the crease to Letang who put it into the empty net. Good dirty power play goal for the Pens. The Flames would have two more power plays in the first but were denied.

The second period was full of big saves from Fleury who would keep the Pens in the lead and in the game. The Pens had a flurry of chances this period that was crazy to watch but nothing would go in. The Flames would get a four minute power play with 3:16 left to play in the second in which Dupuis had a shorthanded chance with his speed but he was denied. Fleury would make a big save and Jordan Staal had a good shorthanded chance with a pretty open net but he just couldn't put it home. The Pens would go to the third short-handed for another 30 seconds.

The Pens would kill the rest of the Flames' power play and get one of their own this period but would fail to cash in. With just over 13 minutes left in the game, Hal Gill would score the Pens' second goal, as well as his second goal of the season, to give the Pens a cushion. Geno made a nice play and left a drop pass for Gill who took full advantage of the opportunity and shot a really nice wrister into the net. He looked like he scored goals all the time. The Pens would end the game not being able to hit the empty net. They missed the net about four or five times, including Matt Cooke missing it twice. Even Fleury gave it a shot. Oh well, nothing to complain about, Pens win 2-0.

- We're a fan of Geno's celebrations. He looks like a kid in a candy store whether he scores or not, he's just happy for his team. After Letang's goal he grabbed Letang and a teammate in a huge hug. Classy Geno, classy.

- How many times was Fleury going to get interfered with by his own teammates? You usually don't see that but he got ran into at least twice. After losing his stick, Brooks Orpik gave him his to use and it was a good thing he did because Fleury made a play with it to keep a puck out of the net.

- Hal Gill wore a Snuggie before the game and then scored only his second goal of the season. He's obviously going to have to wear that before every game now. He said that Sid would probably be after him to wear it again since he's superstitious. We really wish we got a look at that.

- Quote of the day: Fleury's comments on his teammates missing the empty netter, "I think tomorrow we will have a little discussion about how to put the puck in the net with no goalies I guess." Good idea Fleury.

The Pens next game is a big one on Saturday at 1:00 against the Rangers.

Go Pens!

P.S. Pitt will play Xavier tonight at 7:27 for a chance to move on to the Elite Eight. Pitt hasn't made it past the Sweet Sixteen in the last several years after making it to the tournament. If you're not a basketball fan, you should tune in anyway, watching DeJuan Blair and Sam Young is more than worth it. Go Pitt!

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