Thrashers Blog: Bird Watcher's Anonymous
Perhaps this is what Rob Rossi was talking about when he mentioned players other than Sid and Geno need to score goals in this morning's Trib-Review. Given the fact that Craig Adams, Matt Cooke and Mark Letestu each picked up a goal in this one, I'd say the "deeper" players definitely stepped up to help the Pens win tonight. You can't let a game where Adams scores go to waste. A strong third period guaranteed the Pens a 'W' in this one.
More after the jump...
Crosby's point streak is now at 25-straight games thanks a to a monster four-point night in which he picked up two goals and an assist. Early on it looked as if Sid would register yet another hat trick against the Thrashers this season, a replay of his November 13th outing, but the final line of four points is nothing to shy away from either.
Have to give props to Cooke as well for picking up a goal and an assist, picking up his fourth and fifth points in five games and raising his total to 18 on the season. At this rate he could potentially be in range to knock off his previous career high of 42 points, set back in 2003 when he played for the Canucks.
Quiet night for Evgeni Malkin tonight as he finished the game pointless, but perhaps the Thrashers were looking to cut off at least one head of the two-headed monster. In one aspect - limiting Geno - it worked. In the other - winning the game - it failed.
Even though the Pens did give up a power-play goal after Dustin Byfuglien put the Thrashers up 2-1 in the first period, the penalty kill still put in a great night, killing off five of six when Atlanta had the man advantage and both of Atlanta's 5-on-3's. This remains a clear indication as to why the Pens remain the league's best PK unit.
It wasn't the strongest of starts for Marc-Andre Fleury in the first period but he did eventually settle in to pick up the win. The defense did a great job of limiting Atlanta in the second period, as Fleury only had to work to stop a total of five shots before giving up just one more goal in the third.
Pens hit the road to take on the Islanders tomorrow night. Remember: episode three of HBO's special is also on tomorrow following the game.