It wasn't exactly the most exciting game to watch. And frankly, I hope this allowed both teams to get the boredom out of their systems before Tuesday's Winter Classic. Either way you look at it though, the Pens got their win, Conklin got his third career shutout (first on the season) and he's improved his record to 4-0. If I had to guess, he's getting the nod in the outdoor game Tuesday.
Not much to really talk about this game. In fact, if you weren't able to watch it then you didn't miss much. Here, let me sum it up for you.
First period: A lot of nothing with basically two whistles. The 20 minute period was basically 24 minutes long including commercials.
Second period: Crosby and Armstrong break out of the gate and hustle down the ice. Sid delivers a sweet pass past the skate of a diving Sabres defenseman to connect with Armstrong's stick.
Third period: Crosby gets another assist to Malkin on the sure shot empty net goal with under 20 seconds left.
Perhaps the most painful event of the night was not exactly the struggle with nothingness, but instead the realization that Gary Roberts didn't exactly sprain his ankle on a fall in the third. Instead, he broke his fibula. It's not looking good. With Mark Eaton deciding on ACL, depending on the severity of the break and Roberts's ability to recover, we may be looking at two players sidelined for the season.
Here's a lesson in anatomy. See if you can find the fibula.
You kinda knew it was broken with the way he fell too. It was very Theisman-esque. If I can find video I'll put it up.
With the exception of that only legitimate goal in the second, Ryan Miller was phenomenal in net. In the third period when the Pens really started to pour it on, he was nothing short of relentless. He cut down angles of Gonchar, swept up rebounds and stopped everything that came at him (23 of 24 shots).
Prior to the puck drop Ryan Malone was active on the roster, apparently coming back from a leg infection. I don't necessarily know how he acquired, nor am I necessarily about to ask. But if I had to take a stupid and uneducated guess I'd just say he got it from blocking a shot. Either way, he spent more time in the box then he did doing anything productive on the night.
Thanks to Conklin's shutout the Pens appear to be in good hands. With his Flyers reserve appearance put aside (you know, the game with 156 penalty minutes and countless ejections) he's been a monster in net. He may just be the guy to carry the torch for another month or so when Fleury is healthy enough to return.
Pens play again Tuesday for the outdoor Winter Classic. David from Die by the Blade and I both hope and pray it's not nearly as torturous as tonight's fiasco.