The Panthers needed this one. Coming in four points out of a playoff spot and mustering only two wins in their last ten games, you’d think they’d be a little desperate. You’d think wrong. Florida put 21 shots on Marc-Andre Fleury, and more or less looked like a team that would have rather been watching March Madness. Thanks for showing up?
The pace wasn’t as bad as you’d expect for the beginning of a Sunday afternoon game. The Pens were getting the better of the chances but James Reimer was finding the loose pucks just a hair ahead of the Pens.
Halfway through the period, the Pens paid tribute to Double J:
A monumental moment provided by a franchise that basically pretended Jagr didn’t exist for over a decade. The next step should be retiring #68, assuming #68 ever retires. He deserves his own banner hanging from the rafters at PPG. Can’t wait to see how many he gets from Washington.
Later on in the period, the Pens got on the board when Phil Kessel tried a play that works maybe once out of a hundred or so tries, going with the alley-oop pass from behind the net to Patric Hornqvist, who was able to bat it out of midair in front for the goal.
Can’t wait to see how long it takes for them to try this again, and how long it takes for it to actually work again. This happens probably only works because James Reimer is in net for the Panthers. Reimer alternates between making the most exceptional saves, flailing all over the ice to allowing goals on plays most guys wouldn’t try in practice.
The period would end with the Pens up 1-0.
There wasn’t a lot going on. Shown Thornton played a shift, which reminded me Shawn Thornton is somehow still in the NHL. Why doesn’t he play for Buffalo? Just seems like a match made in heaven there. Anyway, boring period until Sidney Crosby decided to take over the rest of the way…
Crosby now has five goals in his past two games without Malkin, and six goals in his past four games overall. Guentzel has 14 points in his last 12 games, Sheary 22 points in his last 16. Jesse is putting out an article this week on the line, but man, oh man, do the Pens have something here. As big as the HBK Line was last season, Sid and the Kids may be even more important this season. The Pens health is their biggest question mark right now. If this line can keep producing this way, it may not matter.
The third period happened and the Pens would win this one going away, 4-0. Florida never really posed a threat at any point, and if they weren’t planning on doing anything after the trade deadline, it makes you wonder why they didn’t free Jagr for another run somewhere. Missed opportunity for everyone.
- Fleury since the trade deadline: 3-1-1, 1.67 GAA, .946 save%. Big shutout for him here, which surely won’t cause any controversy at all if Matt Murray continues to play average hockey.
- Derrick Pouliot still sucks.
- Trip to the Buffalo Country Club Tuesday.