It's understood by many that the biggest Pens rivalry is across the state, while a few others believe it's somewhere around the Virginia/Maryland area. While I won't deny the brevity of either of those matchups, a special part of me loves nothing more than to see the Penguins beat the Devils. This obviously has some ties to my New Jersey residency, but I also tend to imagine the defeated look on the face of the pompous Devils fans that once bragged in my face throughout most of middle and high school about how good the Devils were. Too bad we have to wait for Pittsburgh to do it at Prudential Center until later in the season, but we'll take the win at home none the less.
Tonight the Pens got the edge, dropping the Devils 4-1 and improving to three straight wins in the process. Jordan Staal picked up his fourth and fifth goals of the season, while Chris Kunitz picked up his second and James Neal tagged on his league-leading eighth goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his fifth win of the year in a 23-save performance as well, further improving his October record well beyond that which caused him and many fans to have doubts a year ago this month.
Good to see the power play do some damage tonight, connecting on 2-of-6 attempts. Equally impressive was the teams ability to remain out of the box for the first two periods of play, thus limiting New Jersey's attempts to get anything going with the man advantage.
Admittedly it was a bit disheartening to feel as if that effort may have gone to waste when Patrick Elias tied it up in the third, but those three straight goals that followed only further confirmed that this team may very well start to get the reputation of one that plays well under pressure.
Always fun to see former Pens Johan Hedberg and Petr Sykora. Even more fun to be able to call them former Pens when they put in performances like they did Saturday night.
Hey look - Richard Park has four assists. Tag on his goal against the Panthers and that's five points in eight games for one of the few who came on board this offseason. Can't argue with that contribution.
The Pens get a few days off before a home-and-home series against the Islanders kicks off on Tuesday.
While I have nothing but endless hatred for the Devils, I have to brag about one thing - our gas prices are some of the cheapest around and we have someone do the work for us. As the old Jersey slogan goes: pump your fist, not your gas.