Pittsburgh Penguins Shut Out Again, Fall to Vancouver 5-0


It seems the Pittsburgh Penguins only dabble in shutouts these days.

After getting shut out twice in only three games a week ago, the Pens put together two shutout wins of their own against the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames on their current road trip – convincing all that they had finally righted the ship.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh ended up back on the wrong side of the shutout tonight when they were trounced 5-0 by the Vancouver Canucks on the final leg of their Western Canada road-trip.

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The drubbing was one the Pens will want to quickly forget, as nothing went right for them in this one.

Goaltender Thomas Greiss, starting in place of Marc-Andre Fleury (who posted two spectacular shutouts over the past two games), had a particularly abysmal outing, allowing 5 goals on 27 shots (good for a .815 save-percentage).

The first three goals for Vancouver were not squarely Greiss’ fault.

First there was Alexandre Burrows tipping a puck high into the top of the cage on the powerplay.

Then there was Bo Horvat, tallying off a two-on-one that resulted from some horrible defensive play.

And of course there was Shawn Matthias, breaking in on yet another two-on-one before firing a no-look wrister that found the back of the net.

Greiss didn’t do much to prove himself on any of those plays, but defensive breakdowns surely played a key role as well.

Vancouver’s fourth goal was certainly, without any shadow of a doubt, the backup netminder’s fault.

With only minutes remaining in the second period, Greiss left his net to try to play the puck behind the cage – only to whiff on the pass, letting the puck float to Canucks’ forward Linden Vey.

Vey quickly dished to Zach Kassian who easily buried Vancouver’s fourth goal of the game.

It was a brutal play on an even worse night, putting the game decidedly out of reach before the third period even began.

Forget the fact that the gaffe was a nearly identical reenactment of a previous goal the Canucks scored on Greiss – the true issue is that Greiss simply didn’t show up for his team when they needed him most.

A 3-0 lead heading into the third period would have been manageable, even if it wouldn’t have been easy to come back from.

But down 4-0, with the latter goal suggesting that all was falling apart, the Pens came out flat for the final period and left town without a single point.

Vancouver added another tally before the night was through, as Daniel Sedin buried the Canucks’ second powerplay goal of the night to take the score to 5-0.

While Greiss had a rough night, the rest of the team didn’t fare much better.

Seemingly all of Pittsburgh’s stars finished the night on the wrong end of the +/-. Perhaps the lone bright spot was young defenseman Derrick Pouliot, who finished with an even 0 and nearly scored for the Penguins in the second period when he wired a slapshot that trickled past the line as the net was knocked off its moorings.

The goal was, of course, called off, keeping Canucks netminder Ryan Miller‘s shutout intact.

Vancouver’s tender came up strong in the final period when the Pens peppered Miller and outshout the Canucks 14-3.

The loss takes Pittsburgh’s record to 30-15-8. They have a tough schedule up ahead, but will get their first chance to right the ship on Feb. 11th when they face off against the Detroit Red Wings.