Without Sidney Crosby in the lineup for the fourth straight game, someone – anyone – had to raise their game for the Penguins. Thank you, power play. The Pens went 4-for-6 with the man advantage, against the league’s top penalty-killing unit to boot, to beat Montreal 5-2. The win snapped an 0-2-1 slide and gave the team its first win minus Sid.
Jordan Staal got his first points of the season (goal, 2 assists), Kris Letang had 3 assists and Alex Goligoski scored 2 goals. This was a great rebound from Monday’s debacle against Boston. The Pens rose to the occasion on the road, thanks mostly to a power play that ranked 21st in the league entering the game. Staal’s PP goal with 11 seconds left in the second did the most damage, breaking a 2-2 tie. How great was it to see #11 have a big game? It’s obvious Staal hasn’t been his normal self thus far – missing the first 39 games of the season due to injuries will do that. But he’s getting there, and hopefully this game is a sign of things to come.
Pittsburgh travels to Boston for a 1:00 game Saturday, setting up a nice doubleheader with the Steelers playoff game.