Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Penguins Game 46 Recap - Sabres 4, Penguins 2
-For the most part this wasn't a very exciting game. It never really felt like either team got into the game until about ten minutes left in the third period when Jarome Iginla tied it up with a power play goal but as you thought the Penguins were going to get at least a point Steve Ott scored the game winner with about three and a half minutes left in the game. All told the loss doesn't mean much but losing is never fun.
-The good news is that Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were back in the lineup tonight. It was bigger news that Malkin was in the game since Letang was just missing because of food poisoning and it was pretty encouraging for Malkin. He looked as he should coming off missing a few weeks of action as he had unreal jump. The only thing he didn't do tonight was score a goal. He was getting chances and he was creating chances for his teammates, they just didn't fall. I have to admit I was a little worried about Malkin's shoulder being more serious than he or the Penguins letting on but he looked really good and even was throwing out some hits. Hopefully there are no more setbacks.
-Pascal Dupuis might have got a billion prime scoring chances tonight and just couldn't finish. With how good he has been this year at putting the puck in the back of the net but tonight he couldn't get one to fall. That is going to happen and it is still good that he got a ton of chances but another game just like this and he probably has two or three goals.
-Iginla's been absolutely spectacular on the power play. Not that the Penguins need help on the power play but his one time shot is nearly impossible to stop. As good as Ryan Miller was tonight he literally had no chance to stop the shot that tied the game at two about halfway through the third period. It sucks that it didn't result in at least a point but his shot on the power play is a dangerous element to have.
-For the most part the Penguins stayed healthy in the game but they did have to play a majority of the game with only five defensemen. Brooks Orpik had to leave the game early with what is being classified as an upper body injury. No idea how serious that may be because with only two more games left there was no need to send him back out there if he was a little dinged up. It sucked the Penguins had to play a man down on the defensive end but it just hasn't worth it sending him back out.
-Marc-Andre Fleury played his first game in a while tonight and was pretty good overall. He did let in three goals but it could have been a lot more. His lateral movement is ridiculously good and he saved a few goals thanks to great reads on the puck and just being in good position. Not really worried about him at all. He should get the final two starts and should be able to dust off any wrinkles that he may have from the extended break he just had.
-Kris Letang is a monster on the ice. 28 minutes tonight and looks as good as he has all season. He did take a few hits and got a nice cut below his left eye but good to see he got back out on the ice and continued to look fine.
-All told this game didn't mean anything. The Penguins weren't going to catch Chicago and that makes it more set in stone after tonight. The Presidents Trophy would have been nice but it largely doesn't mean anything. The biggest thing going forward is staying healthy. I am sure some more guys will get a game off on Thursday and I would assume that the Penguins will be at a full roster, or as close as they can be, on Saturday and as they gear up for the playoffs.