The Pens now have first place in the Atlantic, which is a position they'll need to stay in if they want to be sure to get home ice advantage. Given how well they've played at home of late, I'd say that's critical.
Here's the recap:
First two periods:
The Pens strike quickly, just 1:30 into the game, when Ruutu puts a shot on the net that
The Devils take the first two penalties, but the Pens can't do anything with them. Worse yet, the Devils score short-handed. This goal, however, was completely insane. John Madden came swooping down the right wing and threw a saucer pass to Mighty Mouse that floated a bit more than Madden wanted it to. Gionta knocked the puck out of midair, across the grain and over the left shoulder of Fleury.
There were several missed opportunities by both clubs, with the Pens hitting several posts and the Devils having a puck roll parallel to the goal line.
For those of you keeping score at home, Steigy broke out three "little" remarks in a row in reference to Tyler Kennedy. Three distinct littles means three drinks!
The Pens turned the game in their favor in the second period when Malone scored short-handed on a great cross-ice pass from Pascal Dupuis.
The zebras woke up and decided they were calling way too many penalties on the Devils and made sure things were a bit more even. Ruutu did his part to make sure the minutes were even by earning two minor penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the second. He tried to get Clarkson to bite by faking that he was dropping his gloves. Vintage Ruutu - but it will hurt the Pens in the playoffs if it happens there...
Jordan Staal made a great play to pick off the puck just outside the Devils' zone. The defense of the Devils fell on the ice and Staal was in ahead of the defense. He was hooked from behind while getting the shot on net. Brodeur made the save but was knocked into the net by his own man, taking the puck in with him. Somehow this was both not a goal and not a penalty shot. This can only make me think that the Zebras are complete idiots.
Of course, justice prevailed, as the Pens scored just eight seconds into the penalty, on a great deflection by Ryan Malone on a shot from the point by Gonchar.
Less than two minutes later, Hossa kept the puck in the zone and got it to Dupuis. Pascal was standing to the left of Brodeur. He whipped the puck off of Martin's legs as hard as he could and it trickled in.
Brodeur then trickled out of the game.
The Pens got a power play and Malkin got point #100 on a nice low shot on the far side of Kevin Weekes. 5-1 Penguins.
Malkin added another goal on sheer effort to stay with the puck off of the faceoff. The Pens are starting to embarrass the Devils, which is a good precedent given that the Pens need to win on Tuesday in regulation. 6-1 Penguins.
Zajac hit Gonchar from behind. To his credit, Travis did let up a little bit on Sarge, but it was still a bad hit. He was immediately jumped by Staal and Orpik. Dupuis also wound up dancing with Langenbrunner. The Pens ended up with a power play as Zajac earned a major penalty for boarding.
Sykora added one more goal that was significant because it gave Geno another point in his pursuit of O-Face.
- John Madden was a +1 for the game. The Pens won despite the fact that he shut down Malkin at even strength until the game was out of reach.
- Fleury played well while the game was still in doubt by making the saves he was supposed to make.
- Chris Minard - one shift - 49 seconds. Couldn't Therrien get him into the game a few times when it was out of reach?