Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Game 20: Pens 3, Canucks 1

60 minutes of hockey

Penguins- 3
-Sidney Crosby (Talbot, Orpik) 1-16:43
-Maxime Talbot (Cooke) 2-5:43
-Arron Asham (Rupp, Martin) 2-9:04
W- Fleury (29-30)

Canucks- 1
-Dan Hamhuis (Sedin, Sedin) 2-9:38
L- Luongo (26-29)

The Penguins put together one of their best, well-rounded games of the season to date and got back on the winning track with a 3-1 victory over Vancouver. In a game that was hyped to be mostly featuring the Crosby-Malkin combo vs the Sedin twins, it was the penalty killers that stepped up and were the ultimate difference for the Pens. Of course, a little star power never hurts either. Sidney Crosby put the Pens on the board late in the 1st with a wide-open breakaway goal following a penalty. Maxime Talbot and the PK unit on the ice timed it perfectly, and the pass was waiting for Sid as soon as he exited the box. Then the penalty kill would further kick it up another notch.

Maxime Talbot scored a shorthanded goal early in the 2nd on a nice wrap-around that flat out beat Luongo. Luongo tried to slid across the crease, but Talbot had already stuffed the puck past the post at that point. Then the Pens got a crucial insurance goal when Arron Asham poked it into a semi-empty net after a whole bunch of confusion in front left the puck open in the crease. Vancouver would score a few seconds later, but that was as close as they would come.

It was another solid game for Fleury, who racked up 29 saves and let in just 1 goal. It is his 3rd win in the last 4 games, and his form continues to improve as the young season progresses.

Game Changing Play:
Talbot's shorthanded goal was the difference maker as well as the momentum shift.


Offense: B+ Functioned very well as an overall unit, and many of their 29 shots were quality scoring chances. It is not easy to beat Roberto Luongo 3 times in the regular season, and the Pens did just that.

Defense: A- Shut down the twins for the most part and kept pressure off Fleury. The Canucks still got their shots, but none that were wide open or easy.

Fleury: A- Very well done. He just keeps looking better and better as the games progress.

Powerplay: ? Only had 1 1/2 chances and did not convert but still that isn't enough to grade on.

Penalty Kill: A+ Enough said. Vancouver came into the game with the 2nd rated PP in the league and the Pens held the PP unit scoreless and set up 2 goals on the PK.

3 Big Points:

-Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang made one mistake on the Vancouver goal, but for the most part did a great job keeping the Sedin twins quiet. Holding them each to 1 assist is a positive for any team.

-Malkin and Asham just keep getting better with each other. They function well together because Asham is often the one either setting up Malkin for the drive or trying to clean up the rebound.

-Chris Conner is playing like he wants to stay, and has been working as hard as anyone out there to compensate for his size disadvantage.

My 3 Stars:

1. Maxime Talbot
2. Marc-Andre Fleury
3. Sidney Crosby

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