Sunday, January 18, 2009

Penguins 3, Rangers 0

Suddenly, when you look at the recent results for the Pens, they've won three of their past four games and have a chance to go into the All Star break on a strong note with a win on Tuesday.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The game today was excellent. If you had said prior to the game that
  • The Pens would face King Henrik
  • Neither Crosby nor Malkin would record a point
  • Sykora would get less ice time at even strength than anyone on the team
I would have told you that the Pens would be in trouble.

Instead, it was another great team effort with everyone doing their part and the team relying on each other.

Minard scored his first of the season. I think he has the chance to hang around on this team if he starts putting the puck in the net. He's a good goal scorer, and the Pens could certainly use that on their lower lines.

Kennedy and Sykora both scored as well, Petr on the power play on a great pass from Ryan Whitney. The replay showed pretty clearly how Sykora got behind the D and pointed / motioned to Whit for the stretch pass. It worked to perfection, and Sykora beat Lundqvist to the short side.

As Whitney said after the game, the team just put the 1-2-2 trap in place before the Philly game, and it has paid immediate dividends. I think having the Wilkes-Barre guys here, essentially filling two lines, has helped that adjustment. They're used to playing the system down on the farm.

Next up: The aforementioned huge game on Tuesday against the Hurricanes.

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