Tonight the Pens played a fantastic road game. The action was end to end for much of the time, and the Pens played it just right. Fleury was solid in net and the Pens were able to get some timely offense. It was a fun game to watch.
There were a few absolutely critical times of the game, when the Pens came up smelling like roses.
Late in the second period, with the score 2-2, Ryan Whitney took a penalty (it was at 17:08). The Sabres had just scored on their last power play and went on the attack. The Pens came through with a critical penalty kill and then drew a hooking penalty on the Sabres. With 2.3 seconds left on the clock, Malkin went top shelf on Miller, giving the Pens their second power play goal of the night at putting the Pens on top to stay.
The Pens took another penalty with just under 8 minutes remaining in the game, but successfully killed it off. That was also HUGE. I couldn't help but think that this was about the time of the game when the team would have folded last year, or even during one of their losing streaks this year, leaving us to say things like "at least they earned a point". Not tonight!!
Whitney, Malkin and Staal each had a goal and an assist. Assists are quite rare for Staal this year, but he setup Armstrong early on quite nicely (Colby fired the puck over the net) and gave the puck to Moore for his empty net goal at the end of the game.
Speaking of the empty netter... according to Steigy and Errey, this was the first EN goal the Pens have scored since BEFORE THE LOCKOUT!! Are you kidding me? Nice to see them actually salt the game away for once, eh?
Next up: a home and home with Tampa Bay, beginning on Sunday at the Igloo.