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Nothing says hockey for Penguins fans like the first battle for Pennsylvania of the year. The days of physical face punchers may be waning (though Philly decided it totally needed Chris Stewart), but Pitt vs Philly is still always a physical match. Pittsburgh got some good news as Alex Galchenyuk and Brian Dumoulin returned to the lineup – only Geno Malkin is still missing, and he is on pace to possibly play this weekend. The Penguins rolled out some great spooky content to start the game.
Dumo, Galchenyuk in – Riikola, Lafferty out. The Pens finally looking healthy. The game started with a few traded chances – Nick Bjugstad fired a shot just over the left corner while Michael Raffl hit Matt Murray in the right arm. Shortly after, Bryan Rust turned on the jets to push past Philly D Travis Sanheim and get a scoring chance. Moments later, Justin Schultz fired a laser that goalie Brian Elliott wasn’t ready for to put the Pens up 1-0.
Good start. Schultz still possess a very nice shot and this is what he needs to do to help this team: fire that puck. Kahun added a helper and he’s been turning it on more lately. Jared McCann decided it was his turn next, with an excellent net front sequence between Kahun and Bryan Rust to set up McCann.
Just excellent puck work from the Pens offensive line. Not to be outdone, the first line decided to get in on the action. Another goal, from Sid or Jake proba…wait. Nope. DOMINIK SIMON! Simon came down the middle, receiving a Crosby pass and nailed the shot right over Elliott’s shoulder.
Pens up 3-0. But wait, there’s more! Simon – kind as can be – decided to return the favor and dish a pass to Captain Crosby.
LIke seriously, Dom may never pot 40. But that man can pass a damn puck. And when you have a Hall of Fame center and a 40 goal scorer on your line, I’ll be just fine with a RW who can move the puck like Simon. 4-0 Pens going into intermission. Pens had 16 shots, Flyers had 6 shots – wonder how many Philly fans had?
The Flyers managed to slow the Pens scoring down for a bit in the 2nd. The Penguins got 2 power play chances while the Flyers got one. Former Penguin Matt Niskanen rocked Crosby with a big hit. And then – feeling like he was left out, the final member of the top line Mr. Jake Guentzel decided to put a goal in with the help of Sid and Dom and it was 5-0.
For those math nerds at home, that’s 7 points between the three top line forwards. Very cool, Penguins top line! With only 3 minutes left, Jack Johnson ripped a shot at Elliott and it went in. ZAR ended up getting a tip on it, but way to get involved Jack. We’ll take it!
I was beginning to think this game wouldn’t have some fireworks, but then Dom Simon and Travis Konecny decided to push each other around. Nothing major happened, but Travis was upset to be pushed around by such an elite player and it showed.
Philly scored, boo! Oscar Lindblom made it 6-1 with a goal in the first 2 minutes. I should mention that after a 6-0 night and an apparent scuffle, Elliott took a seat and Carter Hart took the crease. After the Lindblom goal, the game went on pretty back and forth. Neither team really got too many more big chances.
ZAR would push Braun in a scuffle, getting into a scuffle with him and Voracek. Fine by me. It wouldn’t be a complete night though until Hart let up a goal, so Dominik Kahun decided to give us one – his 2nd goal in as many games. 7-1, Pens with the touchdown and extra point.
- Dominik Simon had 3 points and 1 goal. Maybe it is time for the last few people clutching their pearls and letting the Pens social media person how bad he is to come around. Sid also had 3 points as well as Dominik Kahun.
- I’m excited for Geno to return, but it’ll be hard to determine who to take out. Kahun is starting to play good hockey and get results, ZAR is a good PK forward and adds some push back and Blueger has done well centering ZAR/Tanev.
- Galchenyuk only played 11 minutes. I’m hoping he can stay healthy and we can get him rolling with Geno.