Crosby and Malkin are playing a nice little game of grab-ass. Malkin is sneaking up on Crosby in the points race. Crosby saw that and had himself a 3-point night against Tampa Bay. Malkin answered with a 4-point night in this one.
Everything is roses right now. The Pens survived and even thrived during the first period of this one, and that was pretty much the game. And finally, to our enjoyment, the Pens won the giveaway battle 5-2.
And what a night for Zatkoff. 39 saves on 40 shots.
This was the last game in November, and Malkin put quite a cap on it.
– He finished with 25 points in November. Since 2005-2006 only three other players have had as many points in November ( Crosby, A.O., Kovalchuk).
– Malkin adds to his career totals in November, which is strangely always his best month. It is funny that people ignore that stat. It's something you have to consider before taking a shot at him, but, hey, we remember the first time we watched hockey, too.
Hell of a schedule coming this week: On Long Island, at home against San Jose, then headed to Boston again on Saturday.
– The big news of the first five minutes was finding out why Craig Adams got that game misconduct at the end of the Lightning game. The Pens were jammed about the ref fixing Killorn’s jersey instead of ringing him up like he did Geno.
– Pens were getting outshot 7-1 early. Hats off to Zatkoff. The Pens were caught with too many men, but the Panthers couldn’t do anything with it.
– Pens had their own PP when Kulikov went off for tripping up Dupuis. The Pens survived a Letang scare on the PP, then Kunitz got one home. Got to wonder if that goes in on an Olympic size rink. 1-0.
– 30 seconds later, Joe Vitale had the puck hit off his stick before it went in the net. 2-0.
– A kill of a Crosby penalty later, and the Pens got out of the period up two goals after surrendering 15 shots and having to kill 3 penalties. Zatkoff was standing tall, too. Seriously can’t ask for a better start unless they announced there was gonna be a Speed 3.
– Not much to talk about for the first chunk of the second. That changed when Geno went to Genotown. Geno. 3-0.
– The Panthers woke up to make it 3-1. No, they didn’t That kicking-motion call definitely could’ve gone either way. From some angles, it looked like a kick. From others, it looked innocent. But the son of a bitch knew what he was doing. No goal.
– Second period lull set in. It got snapped when Kunitz went off for hooking. Scottie Upshall scored and broke out a pretty good fist pump. 3-1.
– But then Neal scored right after, taking all the wind out of the Panthers’ sails. 4-1.
– During the Pens' final big flurry at the end of the period, it looked like Tim Thomas was just gonna skate off the ice mid-play. Pens couldn’t score, though.
– Turned out we were partly correct. Thomas wasn’t in net to start the third. Old friend Scott Clemmensen mopped it up.
– Kulikov capped off his horrible night by flubbing a puck with Geno bearing down on him. Geno picked it up, fed Jokinen, and the puck was in before even the cameramen knew what was going on. 5-1.
If the fourth goal turned out the lights, that fifth one burnt the house down.
– Simon Despres has to be staying after all the dust settles on the Pens' blue line.
– Always an awesome showing for Pens fans in Florida.
– Chris Conner blocked a puck with his head. Because it is Chris Conner we decided to not make a gif of it.
– Still some struggling for Pascal Dupuis, who had only 3 points in November. He's on the same line as Sidney Crosby.