MORNING PENS BUZZ
The Penguins extended their winning streak to six games with a 4-3 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. For the Penguins, anytime you get no scoring production from the top-2 lines, and no power play goals, and you come out with the “W”, it’s a quality victory.
In a fast entertaining game, the two teams combined for 102 penalty minutes and no power play goals. The Jets played with a lot of emotion, maybe too much at times. However, they came out with the right type of game plan in playing fast, physical on the Penguins.
The Penguins went 5-5 on the penalty kill and were clutch late in the game. Winnipeg had a power play in the final 2:30 of regulation that the Penguins killed off and ended overtime on a 4 on 3 power play but couldn’t score.
On the Jets 4 on 3 power play, Pittsburgh was extremely effective at getting their sticks in lanes and not giving the Jets shooting lanes. Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi were very strong on the PK in OT.
The Penguins allowed no shots on the Jets 1:06 power play and all three shot attempts by the Jets were blocked, including two from Martin.
— The third line for the Penguins was a big factor for the second consecutive game. Nick Spaling (1 assist), Brandon Sutter (1 goal, 2 assists), Steve Downie (1 goal, 1 assist) were on the ice for three even strength Goals For and combined for 2 goals, 4 assists, and a +9 rating in the win. Sutter had a rare game where his possession numbers were very strong, when he wasn’t playing with Evgeni Malkin. At 5 v 5, Sutter was on the ice for 9 shot attempts and just 3 against.
— The last two games Steve Downie has flashed some of the offensive ability he showed in Tampa Bay. The stat line for Downie vs Jets: 1 Goal, 1 Assist, +3, 3 Hits, 22 PIMS, 88.9 CF% (5v5).
— Beau Bennett will play for Wilkes Barre tonight and through the weekend. The preliminary plan is for him to rejoin the Penguins next week. Does he immediately go right to the second line?
There continues to be this intrigue from the organization of Sutter and Bennett playing together but those in upper management feel this is the season the Penguins have to find more out about Bennett and that means an extensive look with Evgeni Malkin.