Cam Ward and Hurricanes shut down Penguins 2-1

It wasn't the most exciting of games to watch, but perhaps our friends Bob and company over at Canes Country would like to keep that statement open for argument.  They did, after all, pull out the win.

Let me put it this way - it's a good thing the Penguins didn't face Cam Ward in the previous two meetings this season.  I don't know what that guy is eating before games but he looked just as good tonight as he did last night against the Maple Leafs.  That's back-to-back starts with a little trek between Toronto and Pitt.  Impressive.

The Pens got to him early when Evgeni Malkin picked up the trash in the first period, but from thereon in Ward clamped down and didn't exactly make it easy for Pitt.

Hell, the same can be said of Marc-Andre Fleury as well.  While he did cough up one more goal than Ward, hardly anyone can argue with the fact that he single-handedly kept the Pens in striking distance.

And striking distance was more than feasible.  After Evgeni Malkin took a high stick to the jaw with 4:15 remaining in the game, the Pens received a four-minute power play to not only secure a chance to tie, but also to win.  As any Pens fan knows from watching them with the man advantage this season, one goal is rare enough.  Two?  That would just cause Michel Therrien's head to explode.

With that said it probably shouldn't come as any surprise that the Pens failed to convert in those four minutes of 5-on-4.  Oh and did I mention the one minute-plus of 6-on-4 after the Pens pulled Fleury?  Yeah, I guess I'm just trying to forget that.

Sigh.

The Penguins back into the All-Star break with a loss.  So be it.  Let's hope these eight days off give guys like Dupuis, Orpik and Talbot a chance to heal.  Throw Crosby into that mix too.  I don't know if he's out there playing hurt or not, but frankly I'd rather he sit out the ASG in favor of some much-needed rest.

The good: Marc-Andre Fleury kept it close, stopping 38 shots in the process.

The bad: There's only so much your goaltender can do.

The ugly: The four-minute power play to close out the third.  Fundamentals thrown out the window.

Next game: Wednesday.  January 28.  Rangers (again).

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