So what happened?
So the short version is that the Pens were the beneficiaries of some very lucky bounces in the first period that led directly to a 3-0 lead. Kunitz deflected a shot off of Hedman, Cooke bounced on a rebound and Staal was granted a breakaway short-handed when the linesman ran interference on Hedman at the point.
Then the Bolts made the dumb mistake of getting Malkin angry. How can teams not figure out that their smartest move is to let him try to get himself motivated? One hat trick later, the game was completely out of reach (it may have been out of reach prior to that, but he completely buried them). One of the goals was a highlight reel end-to-end rush going through or around three different Lightning. It looked like Mario Lemieux was back on the ice.
Otherwise, the way this game started, the Pens were very lucky with how things turned out in the first.
Kunitz (17), Cooke (12), Staal (20, 21), Malkin (34, 35, 36), Dupuis (14)
- The offensive output, including two power play goals and a shorty.
- Nice to see Cooke and Dupuis pick up goals to go with the big guys.
- Fleury absolutely dominated early in the game. He made several amazing saves to keep the Bolts off the board.
- A slow start... again.
- Way too many penalties - the lack of discipline will cost them if it continues.
- Roloson's two handed shove to the face of a prone Evgeni Malkin. It was cheap, and Roloson is lucky he didn't bounce Geno's head off of the ice, because that would certainly draw the attention of the league.
- The top line (Geno, Neal and Kunitz) were all under 15 minutes of ice time. I figured it would be lower than normal, but I was really surprised how much Bylsma was able to rest them in the third. Should make things better for Columbus today.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 35-21-5.
A trip to Buffalo for a Sunday afternoon game against the Sabres.