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The Paper Boy Delivers...Pens defeat Panthers 4-1

Tyler Kennedy, the Paper Boy, scores two goals and the Pens out shoot the Florida Panthers 47-32 en route to a 4-1 victory.

  • The Penguins are now 4-0 on this road trip.  Your obligatory Dan Byslma record update: 7-1-1.  Too late for the Jack Adams?  Probably.  After all, Bruce "Nom Nom Nom" Boudreau took over after Thanksgiving last year in time for the Caps turnaround last season.  But at this rate who knows when Bylsma falls?  The defense is more aggressive, the team is loose and they keep winning.  What coach is getting better resuts than Bylsma right now?  Keep thinking, I'll wait.
  • Any doubts about Sidney Crosby's health and readiness were answered in the second period...Shortly after the Panthers scored an ugly goal to take a 1-0 lead, new Penguin Bill Guerin fed Crosby the puck and El Sid took it on himself to split two defensemen and then threw  wicked wrister by Tomas Vokoun.
  • Vokoun, who stopped 44 of 47 shots, played very well and did his job to hold his team in there.
  • Crosby, in addition to the goal that jumpstarted the team, won 17 of 23 faceoffs and generally didn't look like a guy returning from injury.
  • New Crosby linemates update: Guerin had the assist, 5 shots on goal and 4 shots blocked....Chris Kunitz had one blocked shot and one that missed the net.  They were a little disjointed, but eight days ago one of them was injured, one played in New York and one played in California, whaddya expect?  I'll settle for the fact that both held the puck in the zone at times, the new guys actually fed Crosby with pucks in the zone and generally knew what they were doing...We'll take that any night of the week.
  • With Sergei Gonchar out for his wife being in labor, the newly united pair of Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang combined for 1 goal (Letang's), 2 assists (Orpik's) and a +6 (+3 a piece).  Not bad.
  • According to the Florida statistician, the Panthers out-hit the Penguins 27 to 12.  Anyone who watched the game really believe that?  I sure don't.
  • Since getting pulled in Washington 11 days ago, Marc-Andre Fleury has won all five games and has given up 0 or 1 goals four of the five times.  Just a little trend or a turning point for the season?  A good indicator will be when Fleury sees those Caps Sunday.

Now the Penguins are in a three way tie with 76 points for 6th place with Florida and the Rangers (though Pitt has played one more game than both).  But 5th place Montreal is one point up and Philly is four points up too.