Read the Islanders' take at Light House Hockey.
Did I have my doubts before this one? Yes, slightly. But I refuse to allow myself to get over-confident, and thankfully the Penguins followed in a similar suit.
Mark this one up as a confidence booster. And since everyone insists the Pens learn all new lessons with each loss, let's say the Pens learned one with the win as well.
When you score more goals than your opponent, you win.
I know, it sounds like ludicrous but it's entirely true.
After losing three straight games the Penguins needed a win like this. They needed a blowout to get things moving again and they needed the power play to score at least once.
Well it did. A few times. In fact two of Sykora's three goals came on the power play (eight this season), proceeded earlier by Satan's during a 5-on-3 in the first. By the end of the game the Pens went 3-for-11 with the man advantage. Even some of those had the C and D units on the ice.
Let's talk about Petr Sykora. Here's a guy who's been in the league for over 12 years. He's not your 100 point scorer or 50-goal guy but he's consistent. How many times have we sat idly by during one of Sykora's two-goal games, waiting anxiously for goal number three to come? Well, I don't know how many he rocked with the Pens, but the guy posted 48 two-goal games before finally getting the elusive third goal against the Islanders tonight to complete the hat trick, the first ever of his career. He also had an assist earlier in the second on Evgeni Malkin's goal to start the four point night.
Before Sykora could skate off the ice to bask in the glory, Pascal Dupuis played a friendly game of "anything you can do" and scored a hat trick of his own, ALSO the first of his career. Not to discriminate Sykora's efforts or anything, but it almost looked as if Dupuis put in a little extra work to make it happen tonight. Maybe it's because we were all sitting by waiting, watching and hoping for him to do it that I get this perception. Am I alone on this? I mean, the guy rocketed a slap shot in for the first goal of the night, showed some nifty wrist shot action in the second and deked Yann Denis out of his pads in the third to cap it off. He's a grinder by definition, but then again even Sykora fought for some positioning in front of the net.
But hey, either way you look at it these guys were on fire tonight. Let's hope they take this confidence with them into Philly on Saturday and dominate the Flyers once again.
The good: 38 shots tonight. Way to put the rubber on net.
The better: Nine Penguins had multi-point efforts
The best: TIE! Pascal Dupuis' and Petr Sykora' hat tricks. That was a long time coming for Sykora and just an awesome feat for Dupuis.
Next game: Saturday against the Flyers. 1:00. Yes, 1:00.