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Not This Time, Pens Ride Fleury to 3-2 Win over Boston

Some might have gotten a touch of deja vu when the Penguins let a 2-0 lead get away from them in a matter of 13 seconds in the second period.  But a strong 44 save performance from Marc-Andre Fleury, including all 20 shots he faced in the third period, and Jordan Staal's second goal of the season let the Pens escape from TD Garden with the 3-2 victory.

A quick recap of the game after the jump.

The Penguins continued to take unnecessary penalties in the first period, including Matt Cooke's minor penalty. The Pens killed it off and when Cooke came back in play he made up for his retaliatory penalty.

He joined the play to make a 3 on 2 rush and flew a cross-ice pass to Jordan Staal. Staal then passed it to the middle to an open Chris Kunitz. Kunitz missed the puck with his stick but luckily it went in off his skate. The referees reviewed the goal and Toronto said there was no direct evidence of a kicking motion.

Zbynek Michalek's fanned shot missed the mark but luckily the puck bounced hard enough off the back boards behind the net and made it out to Dupuis, who smacked the puck past Tuukka Rask to make it a 2-0 lead for the Pens in the first minute of the second period.

For those who believe the Pens get all the calls, let an incident early in the second period disprove that notion. Steve Kampfer was hit on the nose by Zdeno Chara's stick and Pascal Dupuis was awarded the double minor for high sticking. Luckily the Pens and their number one penalty killing unit were able to kill it off.

Deryk Engelland blocked a shot in the defensive zone and the puck came out to the point and Dennis Seidenberg blasted a shot through a screen past Fluery. Then just 13 seconds later Michael Ryder took a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated down the side and fired a puck over Fleury's blocker side into the top corner of the net.

Those two quick goals came just after Evgeni Malkin couldn't finish off a breakaway after a nice pass from Engelland.  The mini meltdown left many thinking about Monday's 2-0 lead that diminished into a 4-2 loss. Luckily it was only the second period and the Pens had a chance to redeem themselves in the third.

Just 3:25 in, Staal won a faceoff back to Tyler Kennedy who sent the puck behind the net. Matt Cooke went behind the net and was unchallenged, so he sent a backhand pass to Staal in front of the net and he used his long reach to put a puck past Rask to give the Pens an early 3rd period lead.

That turned out to be the only goal of the third, but definitely not all of the action and excitement the third period usually brings in a one goal game. The Pens rode Fleury and his 20 third period saves to the 3-2 win.

Final Thoughts:
- Both of Sidney Crosby's line mates scored today. Kunitz notched his 15th of the season, while Dupuis' goal in the second period was his 9th.

- The Bruins fourth line of Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell played well today. They scored the first of the two quick goals in the second with a good screen in front of Fleury. They also sustained pressure in the third period.

- The Penguins best line, I would say, was the recently re-united line of Cooke, Staal and Kennedy. Not only did Staal score the game winner, he won the last faceoff and sealed the deal for the Pens. It took some time for Staal to get back into the swing of things, but I'd say he's almost back to where he wants to be.

- Dustin Jeffrey was called up for the game and he didn't crack the lineup. A little confused at why he was recalled for nothing, but hopefully he will be sent back to WB/S for their game in Connecticut tomorrow afternoon.