Post-Vancouver Observations & Analysis
The Pittsburgh Penguins (10-8-2) earned their first win against the Vancouver Canucks (10-5-3) in ten years, defeating Vancouver 3-1 behind a 29 save performance from Marc Andre Fleury.
Fleury was strong between the pipes and Pittsburgh got goals from Sidney Crosby (13), Max Talbot (4) and Arron Asham (2) in the win.
— For a Pittsburgh team that hasn’t looked like an elite team this year, tonight was a big measuring stick for the Penguins, despite the fact that Vancouver was in it’s last game of a long road trip.
The Penguins played a complete game, playing a tight defensive game and turning costly Canucks turnovers into goals.
— Defensively, the Penguins were impressive and did an excellent job at clearing the front of the net and letting Marc Andre Fleury see pucks coming his way.
— On the penalty kill, the Penguins came up big once again. Vancouver who came in with the 2nd ranked power play, were 0-for-5 on the man-advantage and Max Talbot scored a short-handed goal at the 5:43 mark of the second period, beating Roberto Luongo with a wrap around goal to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead early in the second.
The Penguins continue to do a tremendous job of being aggressive on the PK, especially tonight against a Canucks team who likes to set up their power play down low.
— Offensively Pittsburgh capitalized on chances. On Pittsburgh’s opening goal in the first, Crosby jumped out of the penalty box and took a Talbot’s pass off the boards and came in all alone and beating Roberto Luongo with a quick wrist shot for his 13th goal of the season.
Crosby has 7 goals in his last seven games and 14 points in his last seven games.
Leading 2-0, Arron Asham put the Penguins up 3-0 before the mid-way mark in the second period, as the Canucks turned the puck over in the high slot on a bouncing puck that got away from a defender.
Vancouver answered, scoring 34 seconds later on a goal in front by Dan Hamhuis to make it 3-1. Vancouver had some life late in the second and Fleury came up with key stops but this was a game that the Penguins had control of.
— However, key Canucks players such as Roberto Luongo and the Sedin twins did not feel the Penguins were or are the superior team by any means. Daniel Sedin even indicated that the Penguins are an inferior team.
“This is a team I think we should beat, “Sedin said. “They gave up a lot of shots and we didn’t capitalize.”
Roberto Luongo also agreed that the Penguins didn’t do anything special. “It’s unfortunate, I don’t think Pittsburgh did anything special,” Luongo said. “They capitalized on some of the mistakes we made.”
The comments from the Sedin’s and Luongo were somewhat surprising because the Penguins were the more dominate team. It wasn’t a perfect game from Pittsburgh but Vancouver never seemed to be a serious threat.
Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault also didn’t go out of his way to give the Penguins any praise.
Game Notes: Mike Comrie, Ben Lovejoy and Eric Godard were scratched for Pittsburgh…..Max Talbot was the only Penguin to have a multi-point game, recording a goal and an assist…..
Matt Cooke is tied for the league lead in shorthanded points…..Pittsburgh was 0-for-2 on the power play…..
The Penguins’ consecutive sellout streak topped the three-million fan mark and reached 176 games (includes regular season and playoffs) Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks…..The Penguins sold out the last 166 games of Mellon Arena’s operation (capacity 16,940) and the first 10 at CONSOL Energy Center (18,087)……
Heading into Wednesday’s contest 2,999,894 fans attended the first 175 straight games. With Wednesday’s sellout attendance of 18,252 fans, the total of fans that have seen the team over the streak reached 3,018,894 – an average of 17,149 per game……
The Penguins have sold out every home game over the past three-plus seasons. The sellout streak began Feb. 14, 2007 against Chicago.