Continuing their onslaught of the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins pushed their winning streak to 12 by beating the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime 2-1 Sunday night.
March certainly has been kind to Pittsburgh, as they’ve not lost the whole month and currently lead the entire conference with 50 points (25-8-0) in 33 games played.
But what’s more impressive about their run is that they are winning as a team.
In the past eight games, the Pens have given up a total of nine goals. In the eight games played prior to those, Pittsburgh had surrendered an eye-popping 31 goals.
And even though the Pens had won a few of those high-scoring affairs, it still was a little uneasy to watch knowing that no lead Pittsburgh had attained would be safe.
What also is good about Pittsburgh’s success is that they continue to receive contributions from across the lineup.
Sunday night was no different.
After captain Sidney Crosby tied the score up at one on the power play 13:46 into the third period, forward Tyler Kennedy buried his fifth of the year top-shelf past Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to win it for the Pens in overtime.
Kennedy has had a rough time scoring this season, so for him to score not only a goal but a game-winning goal is great news for Pittsburgh. Kennedy has just eight points (5G, 3A) on the season.
The Pens have gotten tremendous goaltending from both Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun amidst their streak and last night didn’t change anything.
Fleury, back in net after Vokoun’s strong start against the Islanders this past friday, stopped 27 out of 28 shots to improve his overall record to 17-5-0 with a 2.31 goals against average and a .914 save percentage.
Both goalies are playing at a high-level, feeding off each other’s energy, and it’s exactly how Pittsburgh had hoped it’d turn out.
Crosby’s goal pushed his NHL-leading points total to 53 (14G, 39A) and now has a four game point streak. He also continues to top all NHL skaters in assists.
Assisting on Crosby’s goal was defenseman Paul Martin and forward Beau Bennett.
The skaters to record helpers on Kennedy’s overtime winner were defenseman Matt Niskanen and forward Pascal Dupuis.
Forward Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang were unable to suit up for the game Sunday, leading us all to believe the Pens are being extra careful with their star skaters.
Malkin has said that his shoulder is feeling better, but that he is not a hundred percent yet. And as for Letang it was probably the same prognosis, because both him and Malkin were still able to skate with the team Sunday despite their unreadiness.
The status for both of them for Tuesday night’s game is questionable, so stay tuned for more updates regarding their situations.
Pens go for 13 in a row tomorrow versus the Canadiens in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.