Same lineup as last game for the Penguins.
Let's Go Pens! pic.twitter.com/unL031wJVA— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 10, 2017
The Avalanche actually carry the better of the play early on but they can't finish. Phil Kessel, now he can finish. Nice pass from Matt Cullen and Kessel slides in his 18th of the season.
The first Dad to smile a little bigger tonight: Phil Kessel Sr. pic.twitter.com/wdDO8qSI6t— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 10, 2017
Tom Kunhackl beats an icing call but pays the price in a heavy body-check from Nikita Zadorov and leaves the game.
No one scores, Colorado 13, Pittsburgh 11. Made worse with the knowledge the Pens had 4 minutes of power play time to 0 for the Avalanche. The Avs hit 2 posts and Matt Murray was otherwise sharp keeping them off the board.
Kuhnhackl back on the bench. Sidney Crosby gets held and the Pens go to their 3rd PP of the game early and they strike. Justin Schultz with a nice keep, Kessel takes a shot to make a play, the play being a nice backhand centering pass for Patric Hornqvist. Hornqvist shoots and scores. 2-zippy.
Sound the HORNqvist. pic.twitter.com/32FgCrTJsW— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 10, 2017
Bryan Rust gets a step on Mark Barberio and a great pass from Crosby but then Barberio cross-checks Rust and he flies into goalie Calvin Pickard. Carried a lot of speed on that and it looked like his right arm moved in a way that it shouldn't have, Rust would leave and not return. Barberio wasn't called for a penalty.
But Hornqvist would get on the board again for his second of the night and 17th of the season with a nice play to quickly backhand the puck past Pickard. 3-0.
Hornqvist goal, take 2. pic.twitter.com/L5DMJV9ZtC— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 10, 2017
Shots 24-18 Pittsburgh after 2. A better second period in shots and goals but still not really the cleanest or most inspired game of the season. But when you're on the road, playing by far the worst team in the league, a B- game still means leading 3-0 after 40.
Not much at all going on in the 3rd. Classic passing of the minutes. On the second penalty the Penguins take in the 3rd period, the Avs finally get on the board with just 3:16 left with Gabriel Landeskog converting. 3-1.
Cullen passes up to Chris Kunitz for his 8th of the season in an empty net to cap it off. 4-1
- Abbreviated thoughts with the late game. Rust didn't return, hopefully less damage occurred than how it looked, because it looked pretty bad.
- 2 more assists for Schultz, just keeps piling up the points
- Murray was good early when he had to be
- Colorado really might have 3 players that belong in the NHL (Duchene, Landeskog, MacKinnon), a promising youngster or too (Rantanen) and the rest of their team is garbage. Seems like they're miles away from being respectable.
- Zadorov hits and wanders looking for hits like a young Orpik though. Don't see too many players that big and physical anymore these days.
- Crosby sits at 998 career points still, same number he came in with. Was even on the ice for goals 2 and 3 but not involved in the scoring play. Bit of a mild surprise, but what can you do? He'll get 'em sooner than later.
The dad's trip continues (and comes to a conclusion) Saturday night from Arizona.