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Pens/Tampa Recap: Back to back like 2017

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The Penguins finally win the back end of a consecutive games effort. Back to back eh?

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Saturday’s game the Pittsburgh Penguins looked brutal. Low effort has resulted in several losses of late. Playing the second end of back-to-back games has been a particular horror show, especially at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

On this night, though, the Pens would show some gumption and win.

First Bryan Rust would get his 3rd goal of the year, while short-handed when he poked the puck past the defense then used his speed to get in alone on the goalie and fire one home.

Then late in the first period the Pens struck on the power play for 2 goals to really exert dominance in the game. Phil Kessel got his 10th of the season finishing a crisp pass from Sidney Crosby.

Then Sid scored a PPG of his own, deflecting in a Kessel centering effort to make it 3-0 before the 1st period ended.

In the second period, Phil Kessel gets down the right side of the ice with plenty of space to shoot and guess what happens?

Nikita Kucherov is the most dangerous goal scorer in the 2017-18 season so far but Tristan Jarry is hungry for his first ever NHL win.

Ondrej Palat scores later in the second period on a Tampa power play to make it 4-1.

In the third period, Crosby scores on a 5v3 to make it 5-1 Pens.

Cory Conacher is apparently still in the NHL for the time being and scores his first goal of the season to bring Pittsburgh’s lead down to 5-2 but that’s all of the scoring that would happen.

Some Thoughts

  • Finally the Pens win on the 2nd night of a back-to-back. To be fair it was also a b-2-b night for Tampa too.
  • Sid and Phil both with 2 goals, the Pens need their big guys to be scoring a lot.
  • Riley Sheahan with another assist! How many more points before the P/60 and overall boxcars start pointing to him being a valued player?
  • Ian Cole a healthy scratch for a second night in a row. He’s a valuable player so it’s weird he’s not very valued right now by the coaching staff.
  • Jarry gets his first career NHL win (with 33 saves on 35 shots, no less) and also his first career NHL point with an assist too. Not bad for a 22-year old.
  • Kris Letang did spend a team-high 6:10 killing penalties (and only Olli Maatta at 5:37 was a defenseman to play 3:26+ PK time) but KL58 had barely less overall TOI than Justin Schultz (23:15 to 23:11). And Letang’s ES TOI of 13:22 was way less than Schultz’s 19:08 and Matt Hunwick’s 19:06.
  • Not to be a Debbie Downer but the Pens have had trouble scoring 5v5 goals and only had one tonight from Kessel.
  • To look on the bright side 3 PPG plus 1 SHG is a great thing.
  • Weird to see Chris Kunitz in a Lightning jersey.
  • Dan Girardi sucks

The Pens rest on Sunday before hosting the other team from Pennsylvania that DOESN’T win Stanley Cups.