You have to start somewhere, and this was a good place for the 2013-2014 season to start. Too many times, the roles have been reversed in this type of game. Usually the Devils shut the Pens down, get some shitty goals, and go home. Not this time.
The Pens (and Marc-Andre Fleury) were aided largely by the fact that the Devils are terrible.
This game was close for two reasons:
1. James Neal got hurt.
2. Tanner Glass played.
Speaking of terrible, the hapless Sabres come to town Saturday night. In the meantime, the recap of this one.
No one knew what was going on with James Neal leading up to game time. He ended up being in the lineup. He probably got held up at the DMV.
The Devils didn't get any looks at all in the first period. Jagr looked like a 41-year-old.
Pens get the lead early
Then Crosby did what he does.
Such an elite snipe. In previous years, Crosby hasn’t picked that corner so early in the season. It usually takes him a few weeks. Look the fuck out.
The defense looks really good
1. What a privilege it is to watch Scuderi play defense.
2. Paul Martin, y’all.
3. Maatta looked nervous early, but he still made some good plays.
4. The Bortuzzo/Maatta pairing was stout.
Pens had a late chance in the second, but Tanner Glass decided to get into a fight instead:
Pens – None
Devils – 0 for 1. Crosby actually got some time on the PK and generated a scoring chance to Dupuis in front, but they just missed connecting.
The second period was barely watchable and not much happened. The Devils came out with some moderate chances but nothing major.
James Neal didn’t return for the second period, so that fucked with what the Pens were trying to do.
OLLI MAATTA GETS WELCOMED TO THE NHL
Maatta’s whole life got turned around on this play:
You know a hit on a Penguin is bad when ROOT Sports uses it as the Subway Sandwich of the Game.
Fleury was tested for most of the period. The Devils got a few great chances, but again, they are horrible, so they didn't score. The Pens had three shots on net, so that pretty much tells the story of the second period.
Kept waiting for the Devils to do something, but it honestly was just a really boring game. And that’s okay. Penguins were down a forward.
Out of nowhere, Craig Adams and Tanner Glass found themselves playing with Malkin. Malkin, double-shifting, founding a trailing Craig Adams. Adams put one home. 3-0.
Is Cory Schneider serious? Wow.
MAF SPARKLES TO CLOSE IT OUT
First came his behind-the-back snag.
And then he stopped Henrique on a penalty shot.
And then the save that stole the show:
Fleury kept the door closed the rest of the way.
Tanner Glass took some penalty late, but the Pens killed all they had to.
– Paul Martin, 24 minutes of American pride.
– God, it is good to see Scuds.
– Orpik mashed Elias in the third:
— The first line looked like it was really clicking.