Wednesday, December 8, 2010

AHL Game 25: WBS 5, Toronto 1

Tangradi TimeEric Tangradi's time in Pittsburgh allowed him to meet and become acquainted for a few weeks with Sidney Crosby and the goals he scores. Tangradi got a taste of what its like to be Sid Wednesday night when he recorded his first career AHL hat trick en route to a 4 point game and a runaway 5-1 win over the Marlies. This was a classic example of a Pens victory hardly in danger from the start, and Tangradi added the exclamation points.

Score early score often. Tangradi did just that and recorded his 1st goal of the game 1:17 after the opening faceoff on a rebound stuff-in. Then an unlikely hero gave the Pens the 2 goal advantage 7 minutes later. Jesse Boulerice took a pass off of the pads of Marlies starter Jussi Rynnas and shot it in for his 4th of the year. Brett Sterling (who had a solid 1G 2A night for himself) put the Pens in a commanding position at the 14:35 mark on a great wrist shot set up by a Tangradi pass. Justin Hodgman scored for Toronto, but their day was essentially over by that point in the 1st.

Yet Tangradi's night was just heating up. Eric potted his 2nd of the night off a 2 on 1 rush with Joe Vitale and beat Toronto backup Ben Scrivens. Tangradi finished the hat trick on the powerplay when he slammed a Brett Sterling rebound into the twine to send the hats flying. With a dominating 5-1 lead, the Pens took the back seat in the 3rd and focused on holding the lead. It was also a big night for John Curry, who picked up his 90th career victory in relatively easy fashion. Curry was as good as he needed to be, and finished with a respectable 17 of 18 saves.

The Pens have now won 21 of their first 25 games, and don't plan on stopping when they head into a huge "home and home" weekend against Norfolk.

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