The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to stop their recent two-game slide, as they went on to beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 last night at the CONSOL Energy Center.
James Neal and Sidney Crosby ignited the Pens offense, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 of 29 shots to help the team collect its 18th point of the year and improve to 9-5-0.
The Pens scored the first goal of the game again, and after losing their lead on a couple peculiar Senator tallies, Pittsburgh would only reign from thereafter.
Getting two huge goals from Neal to regain their lead, Crosby then iced the contest with his first and Pittsburgh’s fourth goal of the game.
Marc-Andre Fleury shouldn’t go unnoticed, because the man stood on his head the whole game. He now improves to 6-3-0 on the season with a 2.41 goals against average and a .909 save percentage.
It’s comforting to see Fleury have consistent bounce-back opportunities this year, but the team probably would like to see more. The season is still in the beginning stages, but believe it or not the NHL is already a quarter of the way through its schedule.
Pascal Dupuis scored the games opening goal, Paul Martin had two helpers, and the team had points from Matt Cooke, Deryk Engelland and Chris Kunitz as well. So overall, it was another solid team win for Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately, the biggest story line to come from this game was a negative one.
Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson left the contest after colliding into the boards late in the second period with Cooke and didn’t return. It later was revealed that Karlsson suffered a lacerated achilles tendon and will be out indefinitely.
The Ottawa organization and specifically Senators GM Brian Murray have their doubts that it was accidental. Murray would go on to tell the media post-game:
“It’s Matt Cooke, what else should I say? Watch the replay.”
Given Cooke’s history, there are going to being a lot of people rushing to judgements about the incident–but it wasn’t intentional.
Even as you watch the replay, it’s still very difficult to tell if Cooke was intentionally trying to injure Karlsson. So Pens fans should take this as Cooke being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Hopefully Cooke won’t see a suspension, but with the NHL’s strong feelings towards player safety, it’s hard to tell whether Cooke will be punished or not.
The Pens next game will be tomorrow in Winnipeg against the Jets at 7 p.m.