Devils Blog: In Lou We Trust
Alex Goligoski is shooting. Mark Letestu is scoring. And Brent Johnson is goaltending. Just like that, the Penguins secured their first win of the season on the road in New Jersey, a place where they were winless in 2009-10 and last registered a win on December 26, 2008.
Take a closer look at the Pens' first win of the season after the jump.
Is anyone else completely floored that after three games Mark Letestu and Alex Goligoski are tied for first on the team with two goals apiece? No complaints here, trust me. It was nice to see Goligoski cranking up a few shots in this one, including the first goal of the game on an assist from Eric Tangradi, his first career NHL point.
As for Letestu, nothing but great things to say about this guy. He keeps playing like a guy who wants a spot on this team even though he's temporarily earned one. Of course, if he keeps playing like this he's going to stick around. No question. There's a solid chemistry developing between Evgeni Malkin and Letestu whenever they're out there together, but the Rupp-Kunitz combo is also looking pretty good. His versatility in mixing it up with teammates is clutch.
Maybe all those rumors we read/heard about Marc-Andre Fleury being injured at some point during the preseason are true. Or maybe he just needed a day off to take a mental vacation (rather than in the game). Whatever the case, it was refreshing to see Brent Johnson between the pipes for the Pens. Outside of that one goal given up in the second to Patrick Elias, he looked as solid as can be. There were plenty of close calls too and it definitely wasn't the easiest of games, particularly when the Pens were holding onto a slim one-goal lead, but the save of the night has to be the breakaway dive on Travis Zajac. Kudos to Craig Adams on that one too for not giving chase and playing some good, stay-at-home defense in the crease to back up Johnson.
And finally, the game wouldn't have been complete if we didn't have a chance to see Paul Martin stick it to his old team. Granted he didn't have to beat Martin Brodeur to get the job done, but a goal's a goal. Any other arena on any other night, he's passing that puck to Adams in front of the net. But at Prudential Center on Monday night, he did what he had to do, and I'm confident none of the Penguins took issue with it.
There ya have it folks. The first win of the season, although it may have come with a bit of a price as Zbynek Michalek is rumored to have separated his shoulder when he left the game with an obvious upper-body injury. Here's to hoping it's not too serious.
In any case, the first 'W' may have taken a little longer than we'd hoped, but Penguins Nation is an impatient group of fans. And we'd have it no other way.
Now the question is, do the Pens stick with the hot glove and start Johnson Wednesday against the Leafs, or turn back to Fleury to try and get his confidence back up?
Comment of the night comes from tehchico:
I had to take off work for this…it better be worth it! :-)