RECAP: Front of the line. PENS WIN.

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If the Penguins first line was cocaine, it'd probably be listed as the cause of death on Whitney Houston's death certificate.
 
Kunitz-Malkin-Neal accounted for 19 points over the weekend.  The Pens again went down 2-0 in this one but stormed back with 4 unanswered. 
 
Overall solid weekend.  Took 4 points from garbage Eastern Conference teams.   Plus, we remember Steiggy saying something about the majority of the Pens' next 10 games or so are against NHL bottom-feeders.
 
 
If you are starting to feel like it's gonna be Pens/Devils or Pens/Flyers in the first round ,you aren't alone. Oh, well. Bring it.
 
Recap:
 
 
 
The first part of the period was embarrassing. Steve Downie got way to much room from Paul Martin, then beat Brent Johnson from way downtown.
 
1-0.
 
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Johnson giving Martin a look.  Interesting.
 
11 seconds later, Downie again.
2-0.
 
Let's be honest. Steve Downie can't even say the alphabet in 11 seconds.
 
Big moment of the game. Dan Bylsma changed up his D.
He broke up Michalek/Martin and put Michalek with Niskanen…and Martin with Engo. Huge move, and it paid off. The D got its shit together and didn't give up a goal the rest of the game.
 
The 2-0 hole didn't bother the Pens. Even though the Lightning got away with like 50 penalties in the first part of the period, the Pens kept coming.
 
Stamkos took some stupid penalty on Malkin.
 
Malkin cashed in right away. Letang fed him. Malkin buried it from the right boards.
Top shelf.  2-1. 
 
Pens took some momentum into the second period.
 
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The second period was where the game was won. And it was won with ease. Tampa Bay's defense got absolutely torched.
 
Chris Kunitz started it with a sick coast-to-coast goal. Garon had no chance. 2-2.
Tampa's D was too concerned about Malkin and Neal. Kunitz didn't fool around. Beautiful goal.
 
Four minutes later, Letang was on the business end of a tic-tac-toe passing play. Garon is awful.
 
 
3-2.
 
Brent Johnson made at least three or four big-time saves in the meantime. He settled in after falling behind. Later in the period, the Pens had a goal waived off because the ref said Richard Park was interfering with Garon. Too bad a Tampa defenseman shoved Park into Garon.
 
All the bitching about the bad call was moot when the Pens eventually scored again.
Kunitz with a nasty saucer pass to Malkin.
 
4-2.
 
For all the talk about Malkin's 7-point weekend, Chris Kunitz had 7 points as well. He is playing some type of hockey.  Game was pretty much over after the second.
 
 
 
The third period was basically just waiting for the first line to come over the board and be sick.
 
Brent Johnson made some saves.
The Pens got two power plays but couldn't do anything.
 
The best part of the period was Malkin trying to get the hat trick with the goalie pulled. The Pens did everything they could to get him the puck. He got the puck with 1.8 seconds left at the blue line. And he hit the post.
 
Letang jobbed him.
 
Tampa Bay sucks
 
 
Game.
 
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NOTES:
  • Pens scored their 41st powerplay goal on the season. They had 49 last year. ( stat via @kdpomp )
  • James Neal has matched his career-high of 55 points.  And he's done it in 22 less games.
  • Did Dominic Moore play?
  • Niskanen played an unbelievable game.

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