Really fun game to watch tonight. I am not even talking about the fact that the Penguins absolutely dominated the game and left zero doubt about who was the best team in the division, but I am talking that in the beginning of the game this looked like what the Penguins/Capitals games used to look like in 2008 and 2009. Just really fun stuff with some really good talent on the ice. The Penguins showed why they are at the top of the Metro Division and really did a clinical job of shutting down a really good offensive team tonight.
The Penguins outshot the Caps 40-18 and the defensive effort that they put on the Capitals was exactly what this team needed. Not that Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't good, because he was, but Alex Ovechkin has been outstanding this season and with the Penguins giving the Capitals three early power plays it was important for them to weather the storm on the road and behind Fleury and the defense they did that. Just an outstanding overall effort.
The Penguins offense struggled the past couple of weeks but the last two games it has really played well. The Penguins got a couple of first period goals from Paul Martin and Beau Bennett and it was all over from there. Sidney Crosby added the third goal on the power play late in the second period that was just filthy sick. James Neal scored his second goal of the season in the third period and the Caps fans headed for the exits while there was a huge "Lets Go Pens" chant going on. Beautiful.
You could talk about how Evgeni Malkin was really good (despite not scoring a goal, the nerve) and how good Crosby was (isn't he always) but this was a full team game. The defensive unit was great, the forwards were great, the back checking was great, the defensive zone coverage was great. This was supposed to be a close game and while it looked that way early the Penguins bounced back and played a great game and dominated play.
It is late. Not too much else to say except that the Penguins have two wins against two pretty good teams in Anaheim and Washington on the week. I will take that.