Who would have guessed six weeks ago that the two hottest teams in the Eastern Conference would meet when the Atlanta Thrashers would visit the PIttsburgh Penguins? No one. Still, Atlanta was riding a season long winning streak, they came in meaning business- even if noted Penguin killer Ilya Kovalchuk was out of the lineup. The result was a resounding 6-2 win for the Penguins.
- Evgeni Malkin, fresh off of being sick and going pointless in two straight games obviously came to play tonight,. Two goals, three assists and a late game failed penalty shot. Regardless, this night in all likelihood captures the Art Ross Trophy for Geno.
- Not to be overshadowed by his countryman, Sergei Gonchar had 1 goal and 3 assists. Is there any doubt that Sarge is the main reason the power-play is back on track.
- The evolution of Jordan Staal continues; a goal tonight for #11 and he made a force for himself, as he usually has since signing his contract extension. Staal now has 20 goals, for the second time in his career, and is about to set a new career high in points with 41. Not a lot of 20 year olds can say they've scored 111 career NHL points, and none can say they are 6'4, 220 poiunds and so defensively responsible.
- The top line of Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Bill Guerin finished with a combined 1 goal, 3 assists and 8 shots on net....Guerin missed a slam dunk too. If 4 points between the three of them is slacking (compared to last time) then let that happen every night.
- After Bryan Little whacked a crazy bounce in Marc-Andre Fleury rebounded nicely to finish with 18 saves on 20 shots. Doesn't sound too impressive, but now MAF is #2 in the franchise for wins.
- Dan Byslma watch: 11-1-3. What a record, the longer the streak goes, the more you have to give credit to he more aggressive style he's installed and the confidence he's given to the boys.
- And just like that Atlanta's franchise long winning streak is finished. But there's always a new streak to start, right you guys?
And now the Pens are rewarded with two full days off before hosting the LA Kings. The Pens keep rollin' and takin' care of their business, now it's on to the future.