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Penguins-Canucks Recap: Pens Cruise Through Canada with Perfect 4-Game Road Trip; Win 5-0

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The Penguins wrapped up this Canadian road trip with a matchup against the Vancouver Canucks.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Lineups:

The Penguins (5-1-2) met the Vancouver Canucks (6-5-0) in the final game of this road trip, just 11 days after the Canucks came into PPG Paints Arena and took a 3-2 OT win.

It was announced before the game that Derick Brassard would miss the contest with a nagging lower-body injury. Daniel Sprong has taken his place.

1st Period

Kris Letang was responsible for a bad, early giveaway, but Casey DeSmith was the one called for tripping Elias Pettersson. The penalty would be successfully killed.

Letang would leave the ice after taking what looked like a knee-on-knee hit from Vancouver’s Tim Schaller. He would later return.

With 9:12 left in the first frame, Jamie Oleksiak was penalized for holding. This penalty would be killed as well.

The first period would come to an end with both teams carrying goose eggs into the dressing room. In a period that was largely dominated by the Canucks, Casey DeSmith and Carl Hagelin were lone sources of positivity for the Pens.

Some stats after one:

2nd Period

12 seconds into the period, Antoine Roussel was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for tackling Sidney Crosby behind the play. Vancouver would survive the two-minute man advantage.

Phil Kessel would get the Penguins on the board first by slamming a Jacob Markstrom rebound into the net. 1-0 Penguins:

Brendan Leipsic was hooked by Evgeni Malkin with six minutes left in the period, giving Vancouver its third power-play chance. The Penguins would do away with the power-play two minutes later.

Sidney Crosby would give the Penguins their second goal after a beautiful passing sequence and a great feed from Dominik Simon.

With 2:01 left in the period, Pittsburgh was sent to the power-play after a holding call on Bo Horvat. The period and power-play would reach their natural conclusions with the Penguins holding onto a 2-0 lead after two periods.

Stats after two:

3rd Period

Seconds into the final period, Antoine Roussel was cited with a four-minute high-sticking call on Jake Guentzel. Seconds later, Kris Letang was sent off on a tripping call. Pittsburgh could do nothing with their advantage and 5v5 subsequently resumed.

Evgeni Malkin put the real nail in the coffin after a tremendous shift in the o-zone. A silky pass from Daniel Sprong helped Geno bury the 3rd Penguins goal.

Aaaaaaand 59 seconds later, Malkin would add his second of the night:

Sidney Crosby, in the same spot Malkin was in on his first goal, notched his second of the night. The flood gates have opened.

The game would end with the Penguins taking the win, 5-0.

Postgame Notes

  • Casey DeSmith was the #1 star in my book. He was able to withstand the early onslaught from the Canucks and helped stabilize the Penguins as the game went on.
  • Carl Hagelin was also quite noticeable early on, getting tons of chances and even ringing one off the post in the 1st.
  • The Sidney Crosby Backhand Tour continued with another great performance tonight.
  • We must also give recognition to the other superstar, Evgeni Malkin and his two-goal, 3-point night.
  • The Penguins officially end this road trip with 4 wins in 4 games. Pretty, pretty, pretty good!
  • Pittsburgh will return to home ice on Tuesday with a duel against the New York Islanders.