Pretty cool of the Carolina Hurricanes to have their 10th anniversary Stanley Cup night tonight, a night when Jim Rutherford (then their GM) would be around, as well as Matt Cullen and then Canes, now Pens trainer Chris Stewart. Old friend Craig Adams was also in the house too.
Phil Kessel makes his 6th shot on goal (and 10th attempt) of the night count, after an extended shift cycling the puck by himself and linemates Cullen and Carl Hagelin. Nice little pass from Cullen and a sublime release by Kessel to sneak the puck short-side by Cam Ward to score the game's first goal late in the second period.
We're Phil-in' good! pic.twitter.com/XgruIYdRzg— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 13, 2016
Andrej Nestrasil scores with 5 minutes to go in the game off a nice wall-pass from Joakim Nordstrom to beat Fleury.
(No GIF, no one likes the Canes)
That would be it for regulation scoring, we'd go to the shootout.
-Chris Terry gets denied going back-hand 5-hole on Fleury.
-Crosby shoots wide on Ward.
-Phil Di Giuseppe tried blocker on Fleury, not on target.
-Chris Kunitz dekes forehand on Ward, no dice.
-Lindholm shoots from out long, misses wide
-Letang wins it for the Pens, after a deke backhand and going high. (A skilled move to pull down the bouncing puck too, if you zero in on the replay)
Let's see that backhand one more time...https://t.co/1RTu8rFTW1— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 13, 2016
- Bouncing back hasn't been a Penguin strong suit lately. Per the ol' Grover on twitter the Pens were just 1-4-1 in the last 6 after being shutout before tonight.
- Poor retaliation offensive zone penalty taken by Patric Hornqvist about mid-way through the first period. Gotta be smarter and more in control of emotions than that.
- Shots through one period: 1st line (plus Letang); 0. 2nd line; 5.
- The Kessel line would continue the dominance and shots in the second period, capped by the goal.
- Marc-Andre Fleury made a great save in the 2nd that probably will fade away, but was big in the moment. Jeff Skinner had time and space on the right side, he pulled up and smartly found the streaking defender
MichaelMichal Jordan who took a hard shot from straight on. Blocker save.
- Crazy play in the 3rd, Kris Letang goes to hip-check a guy, a leg flips up and hits Kessel in the torso area. Kessel went to the dressing area in a hurry, but luckily was out of there quickly.
- Skinner, who was the most visible player on the Canes, hits the goal-post with about 6:30 left.
- In a tie game with about 90 seconds left, interesting to see the Pens double-shift Crosby for a defensive zone draw without his linemates. He wins it and goes right to the bench. Certainly a function of the injuries at center to make sure the Pens win an important draw.
- The Pens start the 3v3 OT with Crosby - Carl Hagelin and Letang. Nice trio and a lot of speed there that resulted in sustained offensive pressure.
- Second OT shift: Cullen - Kessel - Trevor Daley.
- Bryan Rust got 2 OT shifts as well, with his speed and ability he's an option to help there.
- 14 shot attempts for Kessel, nice sign he's tossing so much rubber on net even with Malkin out.
- Helps when Carolina doesn't shoot a puck on net all shootout.
- Solid night for Fleury, stopping 29/30 and then minding the fort in the shootout.
- Wasn't pretty but Pens improve to 21-0-0 when taking a lead into the 3rd period, best percentage in the league and only team to be undefeated when leading after 2.
The Pens get the weekend off with their dads and head to Florida for the Monday game there.