Sunday, April 11, 2010

Moose on the Loose

It cannot be said that the Pens did not try to beat Johan "Moose" Hedberg. It also cannot be said, however, that he made that possible. Johan Hedberg made some incredible saves to hold the Pens off and preserve a 1-0 victory for the Thrashers. Getting shut out was hardly the worst news of the night for the Pens, however as they were officially eliminated from contention for Atlantic Division and may possibly be without several key players. Matt Cooke was laying unresponsive on the ice after taking a punch to the head from Evander Kane, but he did skate off on his own power and the FSN commentators said he "was OK" so there may not be any serious problems there. Brooks Orpik also left the game in the third after taking an accidental skate blade to the upper leg. It is unknown about the severety of the cut, but he did not return for the rest of the game. Despite these injuries, the Pens certainly made Hedberg work for his shutout, as he needed to make 33 saves. Crosby was denied several times for his 50th goal, while Stamkos and Ovechkin both have 50 in the Richard race. This is not to say that Fleury played poorly, though, as he made 21 out of 22 saves. Atlanta's lone goal, which was also the game winner, was scored by Bryan Little on a rebound that he jammed passed Fleury on the high side. Though the Pens were far from stellar tonight, they should begin to prepare for their first round playoff matchup which will be...(drumroll please) the Ottawa Senators. There will be more to come on this matchup later in the week. The Pens do have one more game left tomorrow afternoon against the New York Islanders, though it cannot improve or worsen their position in the standings. The greatest possible significance of that game would be if Sidney Crosby could score a few goals and get himself back in the race for the Richard Trophy.

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