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Penguins vs. Devils recap: Pens open up a can of whoop ass, beat NJ 6-1

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The Pittsburgh Penguins explode and finally light up the scoreboard in New Jersey to beat the Devils 6-1. Crosby and Malkin each put up 2 points, and look at Bryan Rust showing them up with a 3 point night, on a 2 point night in the standings for the Pens.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Penguins have struggled on second end of back-to-back games, but they got lucky that Corey Schneider couldn't play at took advantage of it.

The Goals

Evgeni Malkin scores the game's first goal on the power play on a nice pass by Sidney Crosby. Penalty was drawn by Tom Sestito making himself useful and tricking the not-so-smart Jordin Tootoo into beating him up.

I mean, Tootoo cheated on Kellie Pickler, what a dummy. Thanks for the power play!

1 on 4, Matt Cullen scores 38 seconds later blowing the puck by not Corey Schneider.

The Pens make it 3-0 with Nick Bonino scoring his first goal in 31 long games by finding the puck and slamming it home.

The Devils get on the board in the second period with Kyle Palmieri breaking past the defense and beating Matt Murray

Jon Merrill doesnt know how to skate backwards, tough times for an NHL defenseman. Malkin pounces on the mistake and makes Keith Kinkaid pay to make it 4-1.

Justin Schultz gets his first game in his Penguin career off to a success by throwing a deflectable puck for Bryan Rust, to um, deflect to make it 5-1. Just rubbing it in but welcome to the team, Justin.

Scott Wilson scores yet again on a beautiful pass from Crosby to make it 6-1.

6 goals in the game? As the Devils call it: a week's worth.

Some Thoughts:

  • Carl Hagelin couldn't play after receiving a big hit yesterday so the Pens called up Conor Sheary. No real commentary, just documenting this. Hopefully Hagelin is ready to play sooner than later and won't be in concussion limbo for long.
  • Derrick Pouliot a scratch tonight in favor of Justin Schultz making his Penguins debut.
  • Malkin takes (lazy penalty in the second period) and Malkin gives (slam dunk goal in the second period). Win some, lose some.
  • Sestito brings a lot of hand-wringing. He's a knuckle-dragging unskilled player, but he was smart enough to draw a penalty (at the expense of getting beaten up) and it worked. With 8 straight division games against some rough and tumble teams coming up, Sestito is probably a little more valuable to have for muscle, size and presence than the pure Corsi numbers might show. Just something to consider going forward. He played less than 5 minutes tonight, even in a blowout, but proved he has something positive to offer if he can continue to play smartly. Plus it's always nice to have a big tough guy on the bench, just in case.
  • Nice to see Conor Sheary back in the NHL after being hurt last week.
  • Jon Merrill had a tough night, looked really silly on the Malkin goal and then slew-footed Matt Cullen. Lucky he didn't get a major for that flagrant foul.
  • 3 point night for Bryan Rust. His speed makes things happen and opens up chances.
  • Nice to see Bonino get off the schnide for a goal tonight. Pittsburgh needs to get him going.
  • As poor as the Pens have been the last season+ against the Metropolitan Division, they're now 7-2-1 in the last 10 against division opponents. Results like that will be huge if they can keep it up going forward.
  • Matt Murray wasn't tested a lot, with only 18 shots on him, but he was solid when called upon, and the only goal allowed was a breakaway against. Murray's showing he belongs in the NHL, and probably for the first time in many years (other than Tomas Vokoun) the Penguins now have a backup goalie capable and expected to give them more than a chance to win.
  • Murray made a couple of great saves in the 2nd period when the Pens were 3v5 and the score was 3-1. Pittsburgh would jump on it but thanks to Murray they were able to.

This was the first road game of 4, but this week's schedule looks pretty good compared to last week, or next week. Pens travel to Strong Island for a game in Brooklyn on Tuesday and then get to rest until Friday night in 'Lumbus...Which is better than next week starting on the 13th when they play Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday-Sunday.

Nice to put these two points in the back pocket, and the next game against the Islanders will be crucial for a chance to try an move out of the wildcard spot and jump into the 2/3 battle in the division.

For tonight, getting 6 goals in Jersey, a house of horrors, is really good. Stone Cold, did they open up a can?

Oh hell yeah!