Sunday, December 18, 2011

Unexpected - Penguins 8, Sabres 3

So what happened?

This was a surprise.  The only other game this season that was this lopsided was Crosby's return against the Islanders.

The Pens dominated almost from the drop of the puck.  Chris Kunitz established a physical tone early on, and the team (and crowd) fed off of that and never looked back.

It didn't hurt that they were playing against two goalies (Miller and Enroth) that couldn't stop a beach ball from going in their net, much less a puck.

Flower played well and made a few key saves early on (specifically one on Derek Roy) that could have turned the game another way.

Much credit goes to the coaches, who found a way to keep the players focused and working despite the big lead.  Too many times, the Pens have jumped out to an early lead only to lay off.  There was no relaxation in their game last night.

Geno, by the way, had a five point night, including a hat trick.  It was his seventh in his career.

Who scored?

Williams (1), Despres (1), Malkin (13, 14, 15), Neal (18), Engelland (2), Kunitz (11)

The Good?
  • Simon Despres, the second star of the night, scored his first NHL goal and played a stellar 20 minutes, including time on the power play and penalty kill.
  • The Pens allowed just 19 shots.
  • Carl Sneep had his first NHL point and was a +1 in over 16 minutes of ice time.
  • Geno, obviously, was flying.
  • The score could have been much worse - the Pens had several other golden chances they didn't capitalize on.
The Bad?
  • Craig Adams left early in the second period and did not return to the game.  He seemed to get hit while on his back near the Buffalo goal, up around the head area.  No idea if that was the issue, but the Pens can't afford to lose another center.
The Ugly?
  • The Sabres - the effort as a team was just ugly.  Only 19 shots and 10 hits.  If the other team is dominating you, at least try to have a controlled physical response.  Nothing stupid, but play hard.  They didn't seem to want to do that.  It didn't help that both goalies completely sucked.
Any Surprises?
  • Eight goals is a big surprise, and a nice one.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 18-11-4.

Who's next?
Tuesday night, at home, against Chicago.

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