So what happened?
No one on the home team was quitting at all tonight. They kept after Nashville, taking away time and space as the Preds tried to come back from a multiple goal deficit. Nothing worked for the Predators tonight.
This was the closest blowout you could imagine for the first two period. The Predators had multiple glorious scoring chances, with several wide-open nets, and couldn't finish a play. They were off ever so slightly, and that cost them a chance to earn points.
The Pens, for their part, got two grinder goals from Dupuis and Cooke, and Geno's line did the rest. I guess the Cooke goal was also on Geno's line, since he was out there instead of Chris Kunitz at the time.
Solid offense and solid goaltending from the Pens tonight.
Malkin (44, 45), Dupuis (22), Cooke (17), Kunitz (22)
- Malkin had 10 shots. Everyone else combined for 13. TEN shots... in a game that was pretty tightly played. Wow.
- The role of Sidney Crosby was played by James Neal, who had 4 assists. It was a career high in assists, and tied a career high in points.
- Letang has two points and was +2.
- Matt Niskanen left with an injury. Letang looked like he may have hurt his knee and went to the locker room for a spell, but returned and played the rest of the game.
- The Preds effort level in the third period. They looked like they were going through the motions.
- I was surprised at how much better the Pens seemed than the Predators. Maybe it was because the Preds couldn't find the net, but it felt like the Pens kicked the stuffing out of one of the better teams in the West.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 46-21-6. They are all alone in fourth place in the conference, four points ahead of Philly and just one point behind the Rangers.
Saturday night - Ottawa - Consol Energy Center.