The Penguins are playing wide open hockey like its the late 1980’s. Creating a ton of chances, giving up a ton of chances.
Senators coach Guy Boucher called the Penguins a “powerhouse” after his hockey team surrendered a 4-2 lead in losing to the Penguins 8-5 on Monday night.
“This group has provided enough evidence that regardless of what happens, we have the firepower, the talent level, the capability to win games,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “There’s a belief that regardless of what the score is, we can win.”
The Penguins were big beneficiaries of poor goaltender from Craig Andersen, just as the Senators were beneficiaries of awful goaltending from Marc Andre Fleury who was pulled before the mid-way point of the second period in allowing 4 goals on 16 shots.
Still even as the Penguins fell down 4-2 and were taking penalty after penalty, they couldn’t be contained in creating offense.
The goalie change to Matt Murray and Matt Cullen’s immediate shorthanded goal led to the Penguins scoring three goals in a 6:09 span.
“You just open the door a little bit and they’ll barge in,” Boucher said of the Penguins.
Monday night’s win was the 49th regular season win with Mike Sullivan as head coach. It also marked the 13th regular season win under Sullivan when the Penguins have trailed by 2 or more goals in a game.
Just think if this club fully embraced four scoring lines and had skill and speed around Matt Cullen instead of Eric Fehr and a combination of Scott Wilson/Tom Kuhnhackl.
Sidney Crosby scored his league-leading 17th goal and Crosby has not looked this explosive in blowing by players in the neutral zone in years.
Evgeni Malkin has jumped up to third in the NHL in points with 28 (10-18). His play away from the puck is always going to be poor and inconsistent at times, but he’s playing his best hockey since the 2011-2012 season in his ability to rack up points. Malkin had 2 primary assists in the win to go with a goal.
Matt Cullen’s breakaway backhand goal shorthanded was placed in a perfect spot. He also went 10 of 13 on faceoffs, including a combined 8 of 11 on offensive/defensive zone draws.
Ian Cole/Justin Schultz: Schultz with a goal, assist gives him 3 goals and 3 assists in his last four games. Cole had a pair assists for his third straight multi-point game. Cole has a goal, 6 assists in his last four games. Both d-men also had great nights again in the possession department vs the Senators. Cole 15/7 in even strength shot attempts, Schultz 18/9.
Bryan Rust not only recorded his first career hat trick with 3 goals, 1 assist, it was also his first career multi-goal game in the regular season. Previously had zero multi-goal games in 77 regular season games.
League-Chatter: Buy-Out chances 50/50 for Fleury?
The Penguins in talking to NHL clubs over the past couple months Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"