PENGUINS 5 – CANUCKS 4
The Penguins have not won a hockey game when not scoring a power play goal since a 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Dec 9. In Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Flyers the Penguins fell behind 2-0 only to see their power play provide a major jolt with two power play goals to tie the game at 2-2.
Pittsburgh went on to score four unanswered goals and the positive dynamic that has started to emerge over the last couple weeks is a big power play goal isn’t just getting the Penguins back into games, it’s providing momentum shifts and energy for the Penguins 5 v 5.
In today’s thrilling 5-4 come from behind win over the Canucks the Penguins were plagued again by an atrocious start in Jannik Hansen scoring 27 seconds in and then Hansen adding a shorthanded goal late in the first.
“I didn’t like anything about the first period,” Mike Sullivan said. “That’s something we have to solve as a group.”
The Penguins chasing games continues to be a big problem that is likely going to come back haunt them against upper echelon teams but again today the power play got them back into a game once again.
Awarded a 5-on-3 early in the second, Evgeni Malkin blasted a one-timer past Ryan Miller to get the Penguins within one.
Trailing 3-1 six minutes into the third after Bo Horvat sniped one past Marc Andre Fleury with a great individual goal, dominance from Evgeni Malkin and some puck saw the Penguins get two points out of a game that the Canucks controlled the level of play for 3/4 of the game.
When you have a superstar like Evgeni Malkin this is how it’s supposed to be. Great players are paid to elevate their level of play in games the Penguins have no business winning.
Today was one of those days.
For the Penguins one of the best things that has happened with the coaching change is the Penguins having a confidence and belief about them that they can now come back in hockey games. Having a power play clicking at 30% is a big help but the way the Penguins compose themselves is a change. They are skating down the ice looking like a threat to score, something that was constantly missing earlier in the year.
The Penguins style of play today was what many expected this season. Atrocious defensively play from the Penguins in a high scoring game.