The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to pull away from Winnipeg midway through the second period and by the third period it seemed like every Penguin was looking for the Hat Trick. The Penguins were able to beat the Winnipeg Jets tonight by a score of 8-4.“DOOM” as I called it, came in the form of Tyler Kennedy, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, and Sidney Crosby. At the end of the first period tonight the score was 2-2 and if you only saw the ending score, you would really never believe that Winnipeg was winning 2-1 at any point in this game. This game was wide open, played a great deal like games played back in the 80′s. Thiessen gave up 4 goals, and was playing well, more proof that it was a strange night.
The Penguins started the scoring with a Tyler Kennedy goal around the 2 minute mark of the first period. Winnipeg scored the next 2 goals one by Jim Slater and then a Power Play goal by Bryan Little to make it 2-1. Little scored twice tonight and was the best player on the ice for the Jets. James Neal scored his first goal shortly before the end of the period to tie the game back up.
James Neal scored again less than 2 minutes in to the 2nd period to give the Pens a 3-2 lead. Bryan Little scored his second goal of the game to tie the score again and to this point there was no defense to be had. The ice was wide open and each team was taking advantage of it. The Penguins would score the next 2 goals, the first of which was another Tyler Kennedy Goal, his second of the night to make it 4-3. Evgeni Malkin scored a few minutes later to make the score 5-3. The Winnipeg Jets would score another goal to make it 5-4. Tim Stapleton would get that tally, his 9th of the season. The Penguins would score 3 minutes later to stretch the 6-4 with Neal’s 3rd goal of the game. That would give him his 1st hat trick as a Penguin, and the 4th hat trick of the season for the Penguins. The other 3 came from his line mate, Evgeni Malkin.
The 3rd period was a little calmer, both Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis both scored in the period and the Penguins closed the game out by the final of 8-4. Thiessen played well tonight with as poorly as the defense played for the first 2 periods. The defense gave Brad little help, though I am sure if you ask him he will say that he should have played better. As for Winnipeg, defensively this team did not play like a desperate hockey team, and the Jets Goalie Pavelec was pulled tonight after the 5th goal. The last game the Pens played against Winnipeg, the coach left Pavelec in the game for all 8 goals scored against him.
Malkin scored his 200th goal of his career tonight during his 5 point night including 2 goals. Sidney Crosby had another huge night with 4 points all as assists though Sid has not broken through with a goal since his most recent return. James Neal finished the night with 4 points and 3 goals. This was a big night as a team, but the STARS stood tall.
The Penguins will have an off day tomorrow then they will be back at it on Thursday as they take on the Nashville Predators at home.