Can you feel it?
The wind is starting to shift, just ever so slightly.
The dark malaise that crept over the Pittsburgh hockey landscape has begun to pull back.
There is more daylight with each passing week.
The Pens were on the beneficial side of a few bounces for once, and they used those bounces to earn a 1-0 victory over the Devils.
Fleury was great, but his blue line teammates were even better, with Mark Eaton especially noted for kicking a puck out of the net at the last possible second before it crossed the goal line.
Whoever hexed Langenbrunner also did a great job.
The Devils badly out shot the Pens, and also had the far better chances, but when it mattered most, Mighty Mouse turned into Goofy. The Devils were the beneficiaries of Ryan Whitney not realizing his stick was broken and playing the puck with it, earning a penalty with just 1:04 remaining (as a side note, you almost never see Playing with a Broken Stick called). That put them up to a 6 on 4 advantage, with a great shot to tie the game. Gionta (Mighty Mouse / Goofy) turned momentarily STUPID and used a completely obvious two handed whack down on Orpik's stick with the puck nowhere nearby. It was unneeded, unnecessary, and completely awesome. My favorite moment of the game, no doubt.
This was a surprisingly exciting game. See what happens when the Devils don't get the first goal? You get exciting and intense hockey. New mandate from Commish Bettman - the Devils start every game with a 1-0 defecit.
So the Pens were able to earn a few bounces, get a timely goal on a great pass from Malkin to Fedotenko, and steal two points in Jersey.
Things are looking up.
Next up: Off to Montreal, where the fans may be leaping from the upper deck if their beloved Habs aren't able to win the game. Start time tomorrow night is 7:00.