PENGUINS – CANADIENS FALLOUT
The talk of the Penguins being the Columbus Blue Jackets without Marc Andre Fleury continued prior to Wednesday night’s game with TV analyst Eddie Olczyk being the latest to make such a statement.
It’s not a radical suggestion for anyone who’s watched this hockey but again they keep finding ways to win, now 10 of 12.
Last night’s win vs the Canadiens is starting to becoming the norm for the Penguins on a game-by-game basis, stretches of quality hockey and stretches of bad hockey. For most part they continue to come out on the winning end through 15 games, now five games above .500.
Against Montreal there was the good Penguins (first period) where they traded chances with the Canadiens and got two first period goals, Pascal Dupuis 13 seconds in and Olli Maatta late in the period.
Then there was the really bad Penguins (2nd period) where the ice was completely tilted in the Canadiens favor, Penguins out-shot 13-1, and saw the Penguins star players running around frustrated like chickens with their heads cut off.
“I’m happy about the win, but I didn’t like our second period,” said Mike Johnston after the game. “I thought that second period stands out to me. We just cannot play that way. We have to get that out of our game.”
Johnston ripped into his team during the second intermission, players said, and another sign Johnston hasn’t lost his hockey club and still has a feel of when to pick his spots, the Penguins responded in a big way with 17 shots in the period and finally broke through with just under seven minutes to play on a goal from Patric Hornqvist off a 2-on-1 rush.
While the Penguins second period was really bad and unacceptable, they still prevented it from being a disaster of a period despite being outscored 2-0 in the period, out-shot 13-1.
Trailing 3-2 and unraveling, killing off a Sidney Crosby unsportsmanlike conduct against Tomas Fleischmann was a pivotal point in the game in the Penguins keeping the game a one game score.
From the Penguins end it was a quality win from being able to deal with some adversity and battling back to win.
“When you look at the third the Penguins really pushed the pace,” said Michael Therrien. “You have to give credit to the Penguins. They played really well and they were tough to defend in the third.”
From the Canadiens end it was more of a frustrating loss from the standpoint of letting the Penguins off the hook.
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