Return of Kennedy pays dividends
Pascal Dupuis (3) scored the go-ahead goal with 10:47 remaining in the third period and Marc Andre Fleury (10-2) made 26 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins continue their dominance on the road beating the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 Tuesday night at the Honda Center.
Pittsburgh which had lost 14 of 15 games in the state of California, prior to Tuesday nights contest, tied an NHL record with their seventh straight road victory to open the season.
For the Penguins, it was their role players that fueled their 4-3 win. Defenseman Kris Letang (1) and Alex Goligoski (6) eached scored and Michael Rupp (4) added a goal for Pittsburgh.
Goligoski’s third period tally was his 6th goal of the season and now has nine points in his last nine games. Dupuis who netted the game winner, has scored in two straight.
Right winger Tyler Kennedy returned to the lineup after missing the past three games and Kennedy is slowly becoming one of the teams most important players. Kennedy had two assists in his return and finished the game with a plus/minus rating of +3.
The Ducks fell to 2-6 at home while the 12-3 Pittsburgh Penguins continue to find ways to win without Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin.
“We’re just trying to do our best, and we’re adjusting to new things,” Crosby said. “I think that it’s difficult when you lose two guys like we’ve lost. We’ve just got to adjust and find ways to be successful.”
Pittsburgh’s power play continues to struggle without Gonchar and most importantly without Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins are 0-for-13 on the man advantage since Malkin has been sidelined.
The struggles on the power play will catch up to the Penguins in time but on Tuesday night, the Penguins were able to over-come that.
The Anaheim Ducks (4-7-2) came into the season with high expectations but there is just something missing. Personnel wise, they don’t have the toughness on their backend that they use to have and the Ducks are struggling to put together a 60 minute game.
Pittsburgh had some miscues in front of the net in the defensive zone. Brooks Orpik was beat on Corey Perry’s first period goal and Alex Goligoski failed to clear the front of the net on Perry’s second goal of the game in period number two.
But, it was centers Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal who made two key saves to prevent a goal. In the first period, Staal blocked a wide open shot by Bobby Ryan at the side of the net and Crosby made a sliding save through the crease in the third period as Marc Andre Fleury was out of the net.
Pittsburgh won for the first time in Anaheim since December 10, 1997. The road gets tougher as the Penguins travel to Los Angeles Thursday night in what will be a very intriguing game.
*Alex Goligoski has some short-comings in the defensive zone but for his play in the offensive zone, he’s been better than advertised. The second year defenseman is playing with a ton of confidence.
Goligoski is third on the team with 13 points and has a team best plus/minus rating of +13.
* Members of the organization have been very pleased with the play of Pascal Dupuis this season. Ray Shero see’s Dupuis as a valuable piece to the Penguins Championship puzzle.
Any trade talk surrounding Dupuis has died down.
*LA Kings center Anze Kopitar leads the NHL with 24 points. Evgeni Malkin the NHL’s points leader last season is 10 points behind after missing the past three games. He wants to return to the ice as soon as possible.