The Penguins are officially the Metropolitan Division Champions. That would have happened even if the Penguins couldn't take care of the Jets tonight but either way it is nice that it is official even thought it has been largely unofficial for 75% of the season. The Penguins kinda made it sweeter with a win tonight as they gutted out a win over a pretty bad Jets team.
Much like the game on Tuesday night against Carolina the Penguins came out and played some pretty good hockey in the first half of the first period. They were all over the Jets and scored the first goal as a penalty expired but they they kinda fell into a lull. Things were pretty ugly for a while as the defense was standing around and the Jets responded by scoring the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead. The last thing the Penguins needed was to lose to Ondrej Pavelec and the Jets. The Penguins responded.
Craig Adams scored the game-tying goal with just over a minute left in the third period and then the Penguins came out and put their foot down in the third period. Paul Martin came back from an extended absence and scored what would be the game-winning goal on the power play and then Brian Gibbons put the nail in the coffin with just a few minutes left in the game for good measure.
Boy oh boy, Pavelec is not very good at being a goaltender in the National Hockey League. The Jets are paying this guy $3.9M through the 2016-17 season. Just brutal.
The Jets really didn't put up much of a push against the Penguins as they tallied only 15 shots on goal and didn't have more than six shots in any one period. They finished the third period with only three shots. Going into the third period the game was tied and they managed only three shots. The Toronto Maple Leafs think that is some pretty good hockey.
It was really nice to have Paul Martin back. He makes everyone else on that defense better and while the Penguins were trying to rely on guys like Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi that wasn't going to be something you want to do going forward. With Martin coming back and hopefully Kris Letang coming back that will give much needed depth to a pretty thing defensive unit that hasn't been playing all that well. Martin also is really underrated on the power play and you can just see how that manifested itself tonight. He is calm and confident on the point and found some open space for a goal tonight. Just huge.
There are a few games left and they largely don't mean anything. Playoffs can't come fast enough at this point.