That includes tonight where the Penguins took it to the Wild and while Minnesota was able to cut the lead in half near the start of the third period they really never stood a chance.
The Penguins got back James Neal tonight and found out that they lost Jayson Megna for six weeks but I think if they had to make a swap they would gladly take that one.
Pascal Dupuis found the back of the net 49 seconds into the game. It was the only goal of the first period but it was a great way to start. The Penguins played really bad in the first period against New York last night but they came out and got a goal today early. it wasn't a pretty goal and it was more of a case of just getting the bounce off a brutal play by Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom but I don't think anyone is complaining.
The Penguins put this away in the second. They scored a pair of goals in the first four minutes and then added another halfway through the period and it was essential over. It did get interesting when the Wild got a 5-on-3 power play for nearly a full two minutes just five minutes into the third period with the score 4-2 but the Pens PK unit did a hell of a job killing the penalty. What happened next sealed the game.
Olli Maatta got the first penalty and as he came out of the box he got behind the defense and had a breakaway. He was able to get a shot off but was hooked in the process so that meant penalty shot.
(via The Pensblog)
Maatta was just a straight beast tonight. Last night he played 28 minutes and tonight he scored that goal and also assisted on two others while playing almost 22 minutes. This kid is 19 years old. He is going to make mistakes but right now he is playing some big time hockey when the Penguins need him to.
I think it also should be noted that the Maatta goal was a shorthanded goal since the other penalty did not expire yet. That turns out to be the Penguins second power play goal of the season. The first shorthanded goal was scored on an empty net by Brandon Sutter and then this one tonight was scored on a penalty shot. So, in essence, there has not be a traditional shorthanded goal scored. Just odd.
Speaking of Sutter how good has he been. The first eight games or so of the season were pretty rough but he's been nothing short of outstanding since. He scored another goal tonight which is his eighth of the season and defensively he has been pretty shutdown.
Brandon Sutter has played 417 minutes at even strength this year and has only been on the ice for 11 goals against. Shutdown.— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) December 19, 2013
Sidney Crosby continues to be outstanding. Two primary assists. Ho hum.
Jeff Zatkoff was once again good. He gave up a pair of goals but when he needed to make big time saves he did. His AHL defense was there to make the plays and he just keeps getting better. Love to see it and give Marc-Andre Fleury time to take a breath.
This winning stuff is fun.