Reader Hansen B. captured the Michalek chant in the arena.
Phoenix isn't anything to laugh at, minus Shane Doan and Michal Rozsival's career. The Pens have kicked off a four-game home stand with a win, and they are riding a 6-game winning streak.
And again they did it mostly because of Marc-Andre Fleury. We've seen the coming of age of MAF. It is hard to remember a time where he was more engaged than he is right now. Another stellar performance. Can't complain about this being a tight game, either. The more one-goal games the Pens experience, the better, in anticipation for the post-season tournament.
The first line, despite getting another goal, is going through a minor slump. Not really a big deal. In fact. this is another blessing in disguise. They were unrealistic there for a long stretch. In two weeks, things will circle back, Crosby may be circling back, and they will be the sum of all fears by the first week of April.
Speaking of April, it's officially time to break out David Copperfield with the magic number. We've done the math daily since we started the blog, but now there's a website that does the work for us. As usual, we won't worry about tiebreakers. We'll cross that bridge when it comes. Remember, the magic number is the amount of points the Pens need to make the playoffs in the impossible scenario that every team in the Eastern Conference wins out.
Recap after the jump.
Shane Doan was being an enormous dick in the first period.
The Pens jumping out to a quick lead is becoming a habit. And they're doing it with a couple goals in quick succession. They did it in the first period here again. Jordan Staal is generating numerous chances every game since his return from that knee injury. He set up the Michalek goal by throwing it to an open area. In swept Michalek. 1-0.
After that goal, Kunitz and some Coyote went off, and that 4-on-4 wasn't much. When Kunitz got out of the box, he decided to score. Great pass by Malkin under pressure, knowing he was gonna get rocked in getting that puck up to Koon.
But when you look at that first period, the game was still really tight. Both of those goals were kind of soft, and the Coyotes were pressing the Pens all night, eventually accomplishing the rare feat of outshooting the Pens.
The Coyotes proved that in the second, when they came out all jammed up. They eventually made Steve Sullivan take some penalty. The Pens and MAF killed that off.
After some more shit, Matt Cooke got jobbed by a goalie for the second game in a row. Goalie Mike Smith acted like that one dude in that movie, and the Pens got a powerplay out of that. Couldn't cash in, though.
The puck came back into the Pens zone, and the Coyotes were slashing everything and forced a turnover. MAF probably came flying out 'cause he was pissed.
It's not like Neal and Co. aren't getting amazing chances. Just aren't going in right now. NHL may be catching up to them, but the Pens will adapt.
Yotes scored some bullshit goal.
Ray Whitney scored his 1,000,000 goal lifetime against the Pens.
Joe Vitale knows what his role is every time he hops over the bench. He's like one of the first pieces of the puzzle you put in place after establishing the corners and the border.
Late PK. Didn't give up a shot if we recall correctly.
Shane Doan looked like a troll when he went to the box at the end of the game when Phoenix pulled Smith.
Peace out Peenix.
Tyler Kennedy looked like he hadn't played in a while.
Orpik destroyed some dude. If they made a movie about the hit they'd call it the hunger games.
Martin and Michalek are coming to form at the perfect time.
Underrated performance by Strait on the blue line. Really amazing depth on the blue line in the organization.
Matt Niskanen with a solid, solid play to take a penalty to prevent some dude from pretty much getting an easy goal. Heads up play for sure.