The Pens got off to a great start tonight with A goal in the first, along with a fight that set the tone for at least the first 2 periods. Then it was just time to hang on as the Pens make it a 2 game winning streak over one of the Western Conference’s best teams, The Blackhawks.
Kunitz scored first at the 10 minute mark of the first period on one of Malkin’s 3 assists tonight. The Penguins then were able to put 2 more goals behind Emery in the second period to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead going into the 3rd period. The goals were scored by James Neal and Tyler Kennedy. Tyler’s goal was only his 5th of the season, but it could just be the goal that gets him started.
As mentioned, James Neal scored his 19th of the season, but he also put the Penguins in short handed situations on 3 times tonight. The 3rd time could have been the game changer for it came with less than 2 minutes in the 3rd period with Chicago having all of the momentum. The real star of this game was The Flower. I mentioned in a previous post that at some point he was going to have to stand tall, and tonight that is just what happened in that 3rd period. The Pens out shot Chicago in the first 2 periods 24-19 only to be outgunned in that last period by a count of 19-4. Fleury repeatedly stood on his head to keep that lead in tact.
On the Blackhawks side of the ice, they saved all of their magic for the 3rd period. I have never seen a team dominate a period quite like they did tonight, but it was too little too late with The Flower standing tall. Toews scored first in that period then to be followed by Stalberg on what might have been the prettiest tic tac toe goal you are ever going to see in a Hockey game.
It was an old school kind of goal, but it was a thing of beauty to watch. It started with Hossa passing it to Kane, then Kane quickly puts it right on stalberg’s tape who then flipped it right into the open net that occurred by the the 2 previous quick passes. Those passed put him completely out of place and provided Stalberg with the open net to shoot into. Chicago continued to powder Fleury with shots, but he held tough and in the end, Pens were able to pull it out.
The Penguins were able to get Staal and Adams back in the lineup but Michalek is still a couple of games away. The Penguins will play Winnipeg on Friday at 8:30.