The Penguins go out as they have been lately
Here are the line combos and defense pairs that the Penguins will be going with in St. Louis. pic.twitter.com/CT5fK5mMMn— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 30, 2018
First shift of the game, Bryan Rust gets high sticked and it’s a power play for the Pens early. Patric Hornqvist sends a pass over for Sidney Crosby at a harsh angle. But unfortunately for Jake Allen and the Blues, harsh angles are a friend to Sid. 1-0
Awkward shooting angles are no match for Sidney Crosby.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 30, 2018
Sid now has 12 points (2G-10A) in his last 8 games. pic.twitter.com/TcDB4S1KLJ
Rust would play a few more shifts in the first but would then not return later on.
Later on Jaden Schwartz made a move to the backhand and thought he had a goal but a big stop by Matt Murray with the leg.
Matt Murray streeeeeetched out just to say "no" to Jaden Schwartz.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 30, 2018
(Also, nice hand-eye coordination to clear that puck afterwards, Phil!) pic.twitter.com/clWFTaeM7S
Shots after one period end up 12-8 Pittsburgh.
The Pens would get another power play and the first unit didn’t score. But Tanner Pearson dug a puck off the wall for Juuso Riikola who slapped one from the heavens for his first career NHL goal, and what would end up as the eventual game winning goal.
BANG!— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 30, 2018
...Did you hear that? That was the sound of Riikola blasting the puck straight into the back of the net. pic.twitter.com/8U03xCEQ5F
Just about two minutes later the Pens strike again with Kris Letang throwing a shot-pass down to Zach Aston-Reese for a beauty of a top-shelf deflection into the net to make it a 3-0 game.
We think Zach Aston-Reese might be taking net-front deflection lessons from Sidney Crosby... pic.twitter.com/c5oZ2z8yO5— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 30, 2018
The Pens get another power play and score another goal. Kris Letang kinda flips one in and hey that works. Jake Allen gets chased from the game at this point, 4-0.
The Blues get one back with David Perron sniping a great shot from the perimeter (where else would he be?) to make it 4-1.
Jake Guentzel not worried about how the money on his next contract changes him, tipping a puck in from a Brian Dumoulin shot to make it 5-1.
Jake Guentzel's deflection game = pic.twitter.com/IVukTs6d5O— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 30, 2018
Evgeni Malkin doesn’t want the power play to miss a beat so he takes the Phil Kessel pass and wires it far-side to extend the lead to 6-1.
Just 33 seconds after Guentzel's goal, Evgeni Malkin makes the power play 4 for 4 on the night! What a performance the Penguins are having tonight with the man-advantage. pic.twitter.com/g2jfEmg6hf— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 30, 2018
And that’s it on a big win!
- Coach Mike Sullivan said Rust is being evaluated for a lower body injury to which he didn’t return after the first
- It stinks but with injury comes opportunity and Aston-Reese got tapped to jump up with Guentzel-Crosby and looked great there. We’ll see how long it lasts but great game for ZAR to show energy all over the ice, and tipping in a goal will always be noticed.
- Casual 4 point, 1st star of the night game for Crosby. His genius is that his brilliance is almost casual
- Make that 4 goals allowed in the last 4 games for Murray. 30 saves on 31 shots and there’s really no doubt who the #1 goalie is when he’s playing this well, keeping pucks out of the net and racking up wins.
- Who led the Pens in shots on goal (4) and shot attempts (5)? Patric Hornqvist of course. Not bad after an injury scare Friday in practice catching a puck up high in the face. Never would have known in tonight.
- Blocked shots on the night were 23-5 Pens, led by Riikola’s 6. Some would say why even allow so many shot chances against? At the same time, great to see from top to bottom a team effort to keep as many pucks away from the cage as possible.
- Pens power play going 4/4 was a good look and what really broke this game open. For a group that’s been kind of quiet as of late, quite a sight to see all the big guns firing there. Four different PP scorers too, including three on the top line.
Winning streak is up to 5 games now as the boys keep piling ‘em up and moving on to the next one.