"The Pittsburgh Penguins have won a hockey game."
Paul Steigerwald's comment at the final buzzer
Wow, don't sound so surprised. Just kidding, I'm right there with ya Steigy.
I know, it's the Thrashers - but the Penguins needed this one. This team needed a glimmer of hope in any way, shape or form. All it took was one strong outing to end a miserable season-low five-game losing streak.
I'll take it.
Of course it didn't come without some expense. After dishing a right cross that tested the durability of Colby Armstrong's face, Ruslan Fedotenko skated to the dressing room shaking the needles out of his hand in obvious discomfort. This came after Paul Steigerwald double-jinxed Fedo by saying he was the team's best player as of late.
Steigy, try this next time: "Jordan Staal is the best player on the ice by far."
Thanks in advance.
Moments after the Pens watched their Russian winger head to the dressing room they also glanced in discomfort as Pascal Dupuis followed in suit. The Pens best player as of late and one of the best PK guys were gone within minutes. Great.
No matter though. Marc-Andre Fleury was a phantom in net. Minus Ilya Kovalchuk's late third period goal the Thrashers just couldn't beat him. Save after save kept the Pens in this one. Too close on too many occasions? Yeah, you could say that. But at least he was stopping them tonight.
When Fleury wasn't dancing around the crease Petr Sykora was dishing out goal-scoring lessons to the rest of the Pens early on. How many times have we sat anxiously on the edge of our seats waiting for Syko to turn a two-goal night into a hat trick? Well, if you've seen every single one of Sykora's games then 38 - but I was hoping you wouldn't take me literally. In either case mark it 39 now, but it's hardly something to be ashamed of.
Crosby showed a lot of grit out there on the ice tonight. He was hitting, jawing, jabbing, pushing and above all scoring. Sid's three-game scoreless drought ended with a power play goal in the second.
And yes, even the power play came out to play tonight. Yeah that's right, 2-for-6. Technically I'd say 2-for-5 since the final PP came with only 48 seconds remaining in the game, but whatever. Beggars can't be choosers.
Well done boys, well done.
The good: Marc-Andre Fleury's solid game in net.
The better: Petr Sykora's two goals
The best: Evgeni Malkin's three assists - time to open up the lead over Ovechkin.
Next game: Thursday. 8:00. Predators.