Pens win 4-1 against the Laffs, now with a score like that you wouldn't expect much of a nail biter, but there were some times in the first period where at least I was saying 'Oh God, here we go again'. Marc Andre Fleury looked kind of shaky at times in the first, pucks bounding in weird directions, one coming a whisker away from flubbing in when it bounced high off Flower's shoulder and then off the top of the cross bar. But, for some reason, the guy thinks it was fun.
There were times in that period I had to be restrained from declaring 'Zebra Season', as the Pens were hit with 4 penalties in a row, and from the sound of the arena I'd have had trouble getting there before the refs were all gone. Antropov scored the first goal of the game, bashing one through the 5 hole on a rebound, and later in the game (obviously suffering from dain bramage) he seemed to forget he was playing hockey and not soccer when he tried to kick one in that was disallowed on review.
For once this season, shots remained pretty even. Despite the 4-1 tilt of Toronto power plays in the first, shots were P25-T27. Which is holding the Leafs to fewer shots for the whole game than they allowed in the 3rd period of two out of the last three games. Jordan Staal was nearly absent tonight, playing center on the second line doesn't seem to agree with him any more than playing wing on that line. Miro Satan and Petr Sykora scored on nearly identical passes from El Sid in two different periods, Dupuis scored on a cross-crease pass, and Sid scored (what can I say? The guy was everywhere) from behind the goal line off a defenseman, and hey, if there just happens to be one in the net, why not use him?
Evgeni Malkin had an on-camera, one on one interview during an intermission and didn't seem at all intimidated. Of course a Dan Potash interview is like riding with training wheels but I think it still counts as a first.
Good Job Awards: Sidney Crosby, for scoring his 300th point, 200th assist, and 100th goal all in the same game, as well as figuring on every goal the Pens scored. Evgeni Malkin, for scoring his 200th point (83g, 117a), assisting or scoring on every goal tonight, and for just being a general all around beast on the ice, and for knocking Colaiacovo's helmet off on a blue line check. Kris Letang, for forgetting he doesn't have the name Orpik on the back of his jersey and throwing some heavy checks. And Bill Thomas, for basically not screwing up completely during his first game in his hometown. Finally to the Goal Posts and Crossbar, for helping MAF out.
Special Nostalgia Good Job Award: To Frank Petrangelo for making 'the save' in game 6 against the Debbles in 92 and showing up at the game tonight. And here's the tribute:
FPL report: I'm liking Go-Go on the power play. It's either talent or rookie enthusiasm, but he's pinching when needed, shooting when he's open, passing well, and holding the puck in the zone. Kris Letang still looks a bit tentative, each night he's showcasing one aspect of his talent, and ignoring all the others. When he jams them all together we'll talk again. Hal (USS) Gill showed us two things, he can take a slap shot occasionally, and Dupuis can fold in half when he thinks his life is in danger of being hit with a Sequoia shot from the blue line. PK looks good but had some wobbles, allowing shots the posts had to stop, but none went in, so they don't count.