The Pens jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two periods and almost let the Leafs crawl back into the game. Even in victory, the third period was very disappointing. There was some sloppy play with the puck and an ill-timed penalty taken by Matt Cooke. Fortunately the PK was able to kill it off, because the Leafs would have cut the lead to one if they had scored on that third period power play.
The Leafs effort in the third should not have been a surprise to the Pens. You know the coaches were telling them after the second period that the Leafs have two straight third period comebacks. Hopefully this will serve as a painless wake-up call.
At any rate, the Pens were firing on all cylinders for the first two periods and managed to get the two points, and that's all that matters.
Crosby 2 (25,26), Dupuis (7), Letestu 2 (5,6)
- Grabovski was impressive for the Leafs. He showed some spirit and had a nasty wrist shot to score Toronto's second goal.
- Sid nearly had the hat trick. He just couldn't get his stick on a puck that he had put behind the Monster.
- Dan Bylsma is psychic. He sensed trouble early in the third and had the foresight to put Godard out there with Crosby and Kunitz. When Rosehill tried to take some liberties, Godard was able to step in and handle the heavy lifting. He took a game misconduct in doing so, but there was no more nonsense.
- The Pens were out shot 15-2 in the third period. That's both bad and ugly.
- Special teams didn't fare any better tonight. The PK let one in and the power play failed to score.
- Rosehill's gash on the forehead that was opened by Eric Godard, seemingly after Rosehill was on the ice. That isn't something you ever want to see, but you can't feel too bad for Rosehill - he hit both Sid and Paul Martin on that shift in a questionable manner.
- Letestu with the first two-goal game of his NHL career! I hope he gets back in the scoring knack - his line has been generating offense for a few games now.
What's their record now? Any important move in the standings?
The Pens are now 20-8-2. They have a three point lead on the rest of the NHL and have an NHL-best +27 goal differential. This is really amazing to watch right now. Enjoy it while it lasts!
A trip to Buffalo on Saturday night.