Hot Hiller, Crafty Selanne push Ducks past Penguins 2-1

Let us take a step back and soak in the circumstances of how the Penguins fell to the Ducks 2-1 at the CONSOL Energy Center on Wednesday night.

A fast, fluid pace employed by two hot teams could've produced a fair share offense on a normal night, but two hot goaltenders ended all thoughts of a replay of recent Penguins games. Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves on 29 shots for the Penguins, only to be topped by the slightly hotter Jonas Hiller, who made 25 saves on 26 shots.

Both teams played clean. Three penalties for the Penguins, one for the Ducks, all of the innocuous variety. Officiating may have been here and there, especially calling Chris Kunitz for a slash very late in the third period, but the teams themselves played the right type of game.

Really, the thing will always stand out in this one was the game winner.

The Penguins, piling on pressure for what seemed like an eternity, are finally cracked by the visitors. Ducks winger Matt Belskey, transitioning through the neutral zone, finds the puck on his stick as he skates towards the Penguins' blue line. Belsekey is a fighter, a grinder, not a playmaker. He's played 49 games this year and has 13 points, compared with 52 penalty minutes.

Somehow, Beleskey finds it in his power to deliver an unreal backhand saucer pass from wing to wing, finding none other than Teemu Selanne.

Teemu. The name just gets you excited.

He bears down on Fleury, reaches into his bag of tricks, and finds one to excite even the most stone-hearted of cynics. There's your game winner.

Selanne is 41-years-old. He may retire after this year. So it goes with NHL careers.

The Penguins lost, and it was a shame that such a solid performance was all for naught. But at least we got to see the magician pull off one more master illusion before he hanging his cape up.

The loss snaps a six-game home winning streak for the Penguins, and Evgeni Malkin's five-game scoring streak came to a halt. Don't worry, he's too good right now for that to last very long.

On the bright side, Jordan Staal scored his 17th of the season, and second in three games since returning from injury. A Pascal Dupuis chip up the boards, a Staal to receive it, and a slick wrist shot to finish it. A fine goal.

A point could've pulled the Penguins past the Flyers. One wasn't to be found.

Don't worry, the flightless birds will face their cross-state rivals in the City of Brotherly Love on Saturday, with everything still very much on the line.

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