Pittsburgh Penguins Dominate Minnesota Wild, Win 7-2


The Pittsburgh Penguins started off the second half of the season in dominating fashion tonight as they obliterated the stumbling Minnesota Wild to the tune of 7-2 at the Consol Energy Center.

Everyone was rolling in this one as the Pens offense looked lethal, their defense looked solid, and netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was spectacular in the cage.

On a night where the Penguins put up 7 goals and none came from either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, the first tally was appropriately scored by fourth-line center Marcel Goc, who batted the puck out of the air for his second goal of the season.

Zach Sill, who put forth his finest shift as a Penguin thus far on the play, registered an assist on Goc’s goal – registering his first NHL point in his 28th game.

Pittsburgh’s first line of Crosby, Chris Kunitz, and David Perron was buzzing all night, getting dazzling chances every time they took the ice.

Perron, playing his fourth game in a Penguins uniform, connected for Pittsburgh’s second goal of the period just six minutes later, displaying the slick hands that prompted the Pens to trade for him as he swept the puck through the crease before tucking it in on his backhand.

The newest Penguin would finish the game with two goals and an assist, marking his first multi-point game for Pittsburgh.

Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin managed to get one on the board for the Wild early in the second period. The comeback was short-lived, however, as Pittsburgh tallied a powerplay goal soon after (courtesy of Chris Kunitz) to take the score to 3-1.

Pittsburgh finished the second period having outshot their opponents 17 to 11.

While Minnesota’s chances looked dim heading into the third period, the final stanza went even worse than they anticipated as Pittsburgh posted four goals in the third to finish the game with seven tallies.

They weren’t simply lucky bounces either.

First came Brandon Sutter rushing down the wall to snipe an absolutely perfect top-shelf wrister.

Then came Paul Martin deflecting the puck down to his stick before sweeping it to his backhand and tapping in the Pens’ fifth of the game.

Kris Letang piled on with another beauty, taking a pass from Perron to once again sweep the puck through the Wild’s crease to score on the backhand (the third such goal of the contest).

While Minnesota tried to put up a fight with a goal from Justin Fontaine late in the third, the Pens weren’t content to let them have the final word, as Perron took a pass from Kunitz and wired a quick shot into the back of the twine for his third point of the game, and the Pens’ seventh goal.

It was about all Pittsburgh could have asked for against the struggling Wild – a team many felt they should have been able to easily dispose of.

The offense was firing on all cylinders, as everybody got in on the scoring party, and the defense looked stifling while limiting Minnesota to only two goals in a fairly wide-open game.

Marc-Andre Fleury was perhaps the Penguins’ best player of the night, however, showing the league why they may have made an error by snubbing the accomplished goalie from the 2015 All-Star game.

It wasn’t all good news though. Forward Steve Downie went down early in the game after taking a nasty elbow from Wild defender Ryan Suter.

The play went un-penalized, but Downie left the ice and did not return. After already piling up an absurd amount of injuries, the Pens will hope Downie can return unharmed, though there is a strong chance he may have been injured on the play, as Suter’s elbow connected squarely with his head.

Pittsburgh will await word on the hard-nosed forward as they prepare for their next game against the New York Islanders on Friday.

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