So what happened?
Almost from the drop of the puck, the Pens were totally dominant in this game. There are several ways we can document this:
- The score: 5-2
- The shot margin: 44-14 (wow!)
- Your ice time leaders among forwards: Staal, Dupuis and Cooke, with only Staal approaching 20 minutes
Long story short, the Pens grabbed an early 1-0 lead. The Devils tied it, but the Pens put the game out of reach 4-1 by scoring three goals in a little over 150 seconds in the middle of the second period.
If you want to know how disinterested the Devils were, they were out shot 18-4 while trying to come back in the third period. That's just not trying. I don't care if they Pens are the hockey equivalent of the 1927 Yankees, the Devils should be able to do better than that.
However, I'm sure the Pens will take it. They played a really nice game today and will hopefully be carrying some of that over to tomorrow in Philly.
Neal (32), Dupuis (20), Cooke (15, 16), Malkin (40)
- Sid had three assists, and we saw him really use his speed on a rush in the third period. It was the first time I can remember thinking that he was going full-bore since his return. He also had six shots on goal.
- Letang also had six shots and played a team-high 22:34.
- Matt Cooke now has four goals in two games. He's unstoppable!
- Brodeur certainly allowed a few soft ones, but he made some amazing saves, or this game could have been 10-2.
- Kovalchuk's play on Geno's power play goal (which I think was the back-breaker). Sid was being pressured on the half-wall, and Kovalchuk cycled up high in the zone to take away the back-pass to Letang. He should have been positioned in the middle of the ice. He wasn't, and Sid was able to make a nice (though pretty easy) pass all the way across the box to Geno, who absolutely buried it behind a helpless Brodeur. Bad decision by Kovalchuk.
- They didn't make a big deal out of it on the broadcast, but the Devils earned four different 10 minute misconducts on four different players in the third period. They were playing with less than three lines by the last four minutes of the third period.
- Flower might have gotten away with a trick I've never seen - it looked like he hid a stick behind the net when a tired unit iced the puck in the second period. Engelland had broken his stick, and the last we saw of it, it was laying perpendicular to back of the cage on the ice. The next time we saw it, it was laying parallel to the same back of the cage, and Flower was conveniently pointing out that there was a broken stick on the ice. Did he hide it there? I kept wishing for a replay that would show him moving the stick... but I think he did it.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 44-21-5. They are all alone in fourth place in the conference, three points ahead of Philly and just two points behind the Rangers with a game in hand.
A chance to end these divisional games (and the road trip) on a high note in Philly tomorrow afternoon.