Sunday, December 12, 2010

Penguins 5, Sabres 2

So what happened?
This was a team game with some great play between the pipes by Marc-Andre Fleury. Just look at the list of goal scorers... Asham, Rupp and Jeffrey? That kind of effort is why the Pens are on a big time winning streak.

Who scored?
Jeffrey (1), Asham (4), Goligoski (6), Rupp (3), Cooke (5)

The Good?
  • Dustin Jeffrey had a great debut performance (for this season) with 10 minutes of ice time, a goal when he won an individual battle to get to the right position in front of the net, and a nice pass from the boards to Mike Rupp to set up the fourth goal.
  • The level of intensity was high for much of this game and the Pens didn't back down from the challenge.
  • Flower was excellent, especially early when he had to make several key saves. His save on Mike Grier (I think), kicking out the left leg to stop a puck along the ice was especially nice.
The Bad?
  • The Sabres seemed to be gripping the stick a bit too tightly. They had several chances where they didn't manage to get a shot on net.
  • Watching Mike Weber take liberties with Sid and then refuse to drop the gloves with anyone (Asham and Rupp both tried to get him to go) was poor.
  • The Sabres as a team seemed perfectly happy to run guys and get chippy, but refused to drop the gloves when the time came (see Jason Pominville hugging Matt Cooke like he's a long-lost brother). I'm not sure if that's smart or cheap... but at least they were left with no points earned at the end of the night.
  • Another off night for the special teams - one goal allowed by the PK and none scored by the PP. If they keep winning, you can't complain, but at some point they'll need a big lift from the special teams.
The Ugly?
  • Pominville wins my Ugly Award for the night. He had the previously mentioned bear hug with Cooke (where he was basically hanging on for dear life) and a cheap hit on Talbot where he appeared to target the head, despite the fact that Talbot was already down near the ice.
Any Surprises?
  • I was surprised by the level of physicality in this one. The Sabres aren't usually this kind of team, and the Pens are normally content to play a good skating game.
What's their record now? Any important move in the standings?
The Pens are now 21-8-2. The Flyer won last night to keep pace, so the Pens have a one point lead on the Atlantic and the rest of the NHL.

Who's next?
A HUGE Tuesday night match with the Flyers in Philly.

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