This was a pretty good way to start the season. I did not get to watch the game in its entirety because of the Pirates (who got worked) but I got to see much of the second and third period and they looked pretty good. You can't really knock any team for getting the shutout and on the back of some ridiculous play by Marc-Andre Fleury they were able to get a regulation win over a division team. Big points.
This game was set up in the first period as the Penguins got off to a 2-0 lead and never looked back. New signee Chuck Kobasew was able to find the back of the net after Brandon Sutter drove and created the opportunity and Sidney Crosby decided to be Sidney Crosby and put one in the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
The Penguins defense did a pretty nice job after that in making it hold. That includes Fleury who was very good in stopping all 28 shots that the Devils faced him and had to make some really nice saves in the final few minutes to preserve the shutout that included a save on a penalty shot. We all know that MAF has this kind of ability and it was nice to see him come out and play a big game. In games past the Penguins would have a 2-0 lead early in the third period, as they did tonight, and a soft goal would go in and things would get really interesting. Not tonight. Really good to see.
The Penguins held an advantage in faceoffs 32-22 and had 10 takeaways while the Devils had only one. The Penguins really collapsed on defense in front of MAF and that certainly helped things and led to some nice breakouts that created some good chances.
The Penguins also got a goal from Craig Adams which was nice. It was the Penguins third goal and scored on a nice feed from Evgeni Malkin. Tanner Glass also assisted on the goal which was a pleasant surprise.
Olli Maatta was playing his first game and got almost 15 minutes of ice time and looked pretty good. He probably prevented a goal with a nice stick check and at the same time he looked like he was playing his first game at the age of 19. It was probably a better game from him than I was expecting which is pretty significant with Kris Letang being out for the next week or so.
Not much else from me. Good win in the first game of the season. I will take it.