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Pens Points: ECSF Game 3

Next stop: home ice.

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Good morning one and all,

Game 3 of the Pens-Caps series is on tap tonight at 8 pm. Here is your game preview. [NHL]

Proving that even a blind squirrel finds the nut sometimes, the Department of Player Safety rightly suspended Brooks Orpik 3 games for the terrible and unacceptable hit to the head of Olli Maatta. In a Dickensian twist this may end up helping the Caps because Brooks Orpik is good at playing bad hockey these days. [Washington Post]

To no one's surprise, the first two games featured an assortment of cheap shots and dirty hits by the Capitals that warranted two instances of supplemental discipline. While Pens teams of old could easily get dragged to the gutter, this team understands that smart hockey means absorbing a hit and staying focused on the goal. [NBC Sports]

That said, Maatta is not expected to make a quick recovery and will likely be out for a while. Concussions can be tricky, so it's pointless to speculate how long that might be. What matters is for Olli to recover fully. [PPG]

*While we were slogging through boring hockey with subpar results during the first 8 weeks of the regular season, if was impossible to imagine the Pens transforming themselves into this team in front of us right now in just a few months. [Washington Post]

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will play the Caps AHL affiliate Hershey Bears in the second round of the AHL playoffs. [Citizen Voice]

The Blues evened up their series vs. the Stars after the strategy suggested by their new #1 fan Tony X - the whole team standing in front of the net protecting the lead - didn't quite pan out, so they had to go and win it in OT. [ESPN]

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski was clutch in the late stages of game 2 and netted his team a 2-0 lead on the Nashville Predators. [SI]

He also lended his moniker to their new mascot, the black kitty who brought good luck to the rink in Game 1. New name: Joe Paw-velski. [Sharks]