Post-Boston Analysis & Observations
The additions of Alex Ponikarovsky and Jordan Leopold have made the Penguins a much deeper team but the surging Penguins continue to show the ability to play any kind of game.
In a tight defensive game, the Penguins got timely saves from Marc Andre Fleury and production up and down their lineup as Evgeni Malkin netted the game winning goal, a 1:27 into the third period, leading the Penguins to a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins.
The win was Pittsburgh’s 4th straight and their 40th win of the season.
Head coach Dan Bylsma often states the importance of attention to details and Pittsburgh was phenomenal in driving to the net and creating open lanes on the rush.
The Bruins love to clog the middle and force teams to the outside but players such as Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz and Alex Ponikarovsky to name a few, were consistently providing a center-drive and creating a number of offensive chances.
Ponikarovsky’s center-drive to the net, created a screen on Malkin’s game winner from the right circles.
A complaint on the Bruins of late has been their lack of physical play and Pittsburgh was the more physical team, especially throughout the final 30 minutes of the game, when they began to control the play.
Pittsburgh outhit the Bruins 30-23.
Pittsburgh’s hit leaders were Ruslan Fedotenko and Craig Adams with four each as Fedotenko is playing with more of an edge since the Olympic break, even getting in a few scrums in front of the net over the past couple games, which lets be honest, only happens three or four times a year.
With Bill Guerin sidelined for the third straight game with back spasms, the line of Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis was very effective throughout.
Dupuis netted his 16th goal of the season at 8:57 of the second period as the Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis unit had a combined 15 shots on goal.
Crosby praised Dupuis’ effort following the game as the veteran forward is having his best season since 2001-2002 when he scored 20 goals for the Minnesota Wild.
Dupuis earned the games No. 1 star.