Saturday, March 16, 2013
Penguins Game 29 Recap - Penguins 3, Rangers 0
-There really isn't much more to say about this game than the Penguins completely and utterly dominated the Rangers from start to finish. The only reason this game didn't finish up a six or seven goal advantage for the Penguins is because of Hendrik Lundqvist who was one of the only Rangers who decided to come to play today. The Rangers are just really embarrassing. If they didn't make the playoffs it wouldn't even be a shock anymore. They are just bad.
-Marc-Andre Fleury earned the shutout which was the 23rd in his career shutout which set a new franchise record as he passed former Penguins goaltender Tom Barrasso's record. Good for MAF. Every time it seems like he has a shutout going there is a late goal that goes in. I mean it is good for him as a person but as a player that doesn't really get much credit it is good to see him get this. MAF is never going to be at the top of the charts in the goaltending stats but he shows up when he needs to. I talked about his struggles in March in the last couple game previews but he's allowed only three goals in the last three games. I know it won't happen but he should get the start in net tomorrow.
-The Penguins dominated the first period like not much I have ever seen. The Rangers didn't get a shot on goal until about 11 minutes in and they didn't get an even strength shot until there was about three minutes left in the period. The first period was almost exclusively played in the Rangers zone and they had no answer. If Lundqvist wasn't in net the game would have already been over.
-The worst part (if you call it that) of the first period was that the Penguins only had a one goal lead. Last year when the Penguins dominated a period and only had a one goal lead that would lead to really bad things but not today. The second period has really been a bad period for the Penguins but they really weathered the storm. The first half of the second period had the Pens back on their heels but Fleury and the defense was able to bail them out and hold off the offensively inept Rangers team so that they could take over again.
-The defense and goaltending held off the Rangers long enough that the Penguins put the game away in the third. Tyler Kennedy scored about six minutes into the period and the Pascal Dupuis really put the game away with a goal only 43 seconds later. The third period has been unreal for the Penguins during this winning streak but today it didn't have to be a comeback. It got the Penguins a cushion that they didn't need, but it was nice not to sweat one out.
-Beau Bennett got his first even strength goal of the season today and it broke a scoreless tie on a really nice goal. The puck got chipped up off the boards and instead of gathering the puck in he decided to just one time it off the wall and it beat Lundqvist to the far side. Just a beautiful shot. The more he plays the more comfortable he gets and he is really starting to come into his own.
-Dupuis with 14 goals. Man.
-Dustin Jeffrey with a pair of assists today. He has been getting some consistent ice time and he has been showing that he deserves it with good play. He isn't afraid to get into the corners but still has the skill to make plays. I have always been a fan of him and it is good to see him making the most of his opportunities.
-Tyler Kennedy with a goal and an assist today. He has been really horrible all season but he showed up today.
-Team is just on a roll now. They now have at least an eight point lead on New Jersey, the next closest team in the division, and they have a game against a pretty good Canadiends team tonight. I don't want to get ahead of myself but if the Habs win in regulation I really think the division race is over. There are only 19 games left for the Penguins and after the New Jersey game tonight they will only have 19 left also and will trail by at least eight points. That means they will have to make up four whole games on the Penguins (at least) with the three point game being a killer for them. Outside of that the Rangers are 14 points back and have played two less games than the Penguins so it reasons to say that the Penguins are damn close to really wrapping this thing up barring an epic collapse.