Can you think of a better way to begin the second half of the season?
The Pens weren't exactly dominant, and King Henrik certainly wasn't great, but the two points went to the guys in black.
Right off the opening whistle, Godard obliged Colton Orr with that fight he was begging for. Orr took the worse of it too when Godard pulled a Fedotenko and knocked Orr down a well placed punch to the chin. Fortunately, Eric didn't complete the full Fedotenko by keeping his hand from breaking.
This was a tight game until the third period, when the Rangers finally took some penalties and the Pens suddenly found their offense. There were 5 goals notched by the Pens in the third, which I'm pretty sure is the high water mark for one period this season.
The Pens managed a power play goal from Sykora, two from Letang, one from Staal and a sick backhand shot from Crosby. If you've been wondering why Sid tries those backhanders all the time, you saw the reason tonight. He completely caught Lundqvist by surprise and picked the top corner with his back turned to the net. Just an amazing shot.
Lundqvist didn't look very good in parts of the All Star weekend, and that continued tonight. He made a few big saves, but he wasn't able to make the few that mattered.
It feels like the team is finally getting healthy. The third and fourth lines weren't all Wilkes-Barre players tonight, and that figures to move a bit more in that direction when Cooke returns on Saturday.
Gonchar is skating again and could be cleared to practice soon. Given that the team already has 8 NHL defensemen prior to Gonchar's return, what do you suppose they'll do? I think they keep them all, and maybe send Goligoski down (even though I think he deserves to be here). They need the depth given the injuries that have stung them this year.
Next up: Three straight away from the Igloo, beginning with Friday night in Jersey.