New York 3 – Pittsburgh 2
The Penguins lost their seventh consecutive game at Madison Square Garden and this was a game the Penguins should have won.
The Penguins got out to a 2-0 lead. Mark Eaton scored his first goal in 91 games. Eaton jumped into the play and banged home a beautiful pass from Sidney Crosby. Crosby was by far the best player on the ice tonight. Jordan Staal recorded his eight goal of the season in the second period.
Petr Prucha (1st goal of the season) and Nikolai Zherdev scored for the Rangers. Prucha had been a healthy scratch for the previous 10 games. A lot of scouts in the building.
In the shootout, Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev and Fredrik Sjostrom had shootout goals for the Rangers. Kris Letang was the Penguins only goal scorer in the shootout.
Zigomanis, Kennedy injured: Center Mike Zigomanis and right winger Tyler Kennedy each left tonight‚Äôs game with an undisclosed injury.
For the Inside Analysis on tonight‚Äôs game and the latest rumblings read more
Crosby is playing his best hockey of the season. He‚Äôs creeping up on Malkin for the league lead. This is going to be a great battle the rest of the season and both players will push each other.
I think Michel Therrien deserves a lot of credit for the Penguins success this season. I have been hard on him in the past but the Penguins have bought into his system and are playing very good defensive hockey. Rob Scuderi is one of those players that has flourished in Michel Therrien’s system.
Jordan Staal is playing his best hockey offensively since his rookie season but he needs to improve his playmaking skills. If the Penguins are going to give him the $3.25 – $4 million per season that he seeks, Staal needs to have the ability to carry a second line if the Penguins put Crosby and Malkin together or if either one gets hurt for a significant period. Staal plays much better with grinders like Kennedy and Cooke than skilled players.
Sources tell me the coaching staff is not happy with the play of Petr Sykora.
Miroslav Satan may have the slowest hands in the league. I‚Äôm being a bit sarcastic but he‚Äôs taking way too long to get off shots in the slot
The Power Play was 0-3.
If Zigomanis and Kennedy are unable to go the Penguins could go a couple different ways. Jeff Taffe could get the call to replace Zigomanis at center. Bissonnette, Minard and Pesonen will be getting consideration.
Sergei Gonchar has been rehabbing for almost¬†three¬†in a half¬†now. All indications are everything is going well. Gonchar believes he still has a lot of years left in him and wants to retire¬†in a Penguins uniform¬†according to source who recently talked to Gonchar. J.P. Barry the agent for Evgeni Malkin was telling people when Malkin signed this summer that there was talk about the Penguins signing Gonchar to an extension following this season. Malkin and Gonchar are very close. Despite the injury, signing Gonchar to an extension is still a priority and Gonchar is expected to take less money¬†for the chance to¬†retire in a Penguins uniform. 3 yrs at 3.5 million per season has been the number going around for a while.
Nikolai Zherdev has been a great fit for the Rangers. Zherdev needed a change of scenery and he was the Rangers best player tonight. How good we he look playing alongside Evgeni Malkin?
The Rangers were showcasing Petr Prucha tonight. Seven teams had scouts in attendance. According to sources the Blackhawks, Flames, Blue Jackets,¬†Predators and Panthers were represented. Regarding Prucha, the talent is there and what killed his development was the Rangers signing Brendan Shanahan a few seasons ago. He may be in the same situation that Zherdev was in Columbus. Probably needs a change of scenery.
G Henrik Lundqvist recorded his 16th win of the season. He‚Äôs the only reason the Rangers can be considered a Stanley Cup Contender right now. I think the Rangers could get away with the mediocre defense they have because of Lundqvist and the system they play. They need another top 6 forward…..same with the Penguins.
RW Colton Orr was doing his job mixing things up with Sidney Crosby which drew a penalty but he got carried away after that and was running around too much. You like to see your enforcer get in the head of the others teams best player and this is not knock on Eric Godard who I believe has done a very good job this year, but that‚Äôs the difference between not having Georges Laraque on your roster. Orr doesn‚Äôt fear Godard one bit
Penguins face off against the Hurricanes tomorrow night