Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Penguins Game 61 Recap - Penguins 3, Predators 1

The Penguins got back on the winning track with a nice 3-1 win. It was a pretty tight checking game with both teams combined for only 38 shots. After giving up 15 goals in the last three games Marc-Andre Fleury did a nice job in net with the aid of Nashville hitting three posts, but I will take it.

The posts actually made some big plays in the game. Shea Weber hit a post with about three minutes left and then the Penguins scored about 15 seconds later. It wasn't only Nashville that was post happy tonight as the Penguins hit about three themselves. That is part of the game but it seemed like the posts played a little more than usual tonight.

Things actually were pretty close the entire game except for like a couple of minutes early in the second period. The Penguins got on the board when Matt Niskanen found the back of the net just 27 seconds in. The Penguins had the lead and you felt good. For 12 seconds. No, seriously 12 seconds. The Preds scored 12 seconds after Niskanen did.

The game went back to being really tight checking and conservative until Niskanen scored his second goal of the game in third period with about 12 minutes left. It was his first two goal game of his career and the more he plays the more money he is going to make on the free agent market. The dude is just racking up the dough. Not only has he been great in the defensive end but he has nine goals on the season.

Tanner Glass was also really good tonight. I mean sure he missed a wide open net with about 30 seconds left and the Nashville goaltender pulled but it wasn't even about scoring. Glass was all over the ice tonight. On a Preds power play Brooks Orpik broke his stick and Glass gave him his stick and then went out to block three bullet shots. One in the hand, one in the arm, and one in the leg. They look like they hurt. Later on another Nashville power play he stood in front of another shot and blocked it. I am not a huge believer that "intangibles" makes a player good but tonight they made Glass good. He blocked five shots on the night and even though he wasn't anywhere else on the scoresheet in just over 11 minutes of ice time he played one of his better games of the season.

MAF was pretty good tonight. He didn't make any great saves and the Preds didn't really put a ton of pressure on him but he got the job done. Maybe the best play of the night was when he almost factored into a goal. Right before Niskanen's power play goal he went out to challenge a 50/50 puck around the blue line and looked like it could be a disaster. Somehow he got the puck to Sidney Crosby who found Evgeni Malkin and then Niskanen. Watch it here:

Pretty cool stuff. One of the weirder goals of the season.

Crosby had a very quiet three point night. Malkin added an assist and was all over the ice.

Chris Kunitz scored the insurance goal for his 200th of his career. Good for him.

All-in-all a really solid game to get back into the win column. The Metro Division race is already over and the Penguins will probably win the Eastern Conference but they still need to stay focused. Nashville isn't an overly great team but that doesn't matter. A win is a win.

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