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Insider Only Pittsburgh off to second best start in franchise history

The Pittsburgh Penguins (7-1) continued their hot streak Saturday night beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 as the team continues to get contributions night after night from “different areas and different positions.”
Sergei Gonchar had a goal, assist and Marc Andre Fleury made 22 saves in the win. Bill Guerin (3), Pascal Dupuis (1) and Michael Rupp (2) also scored for Pittsburgh.
Sidney Crosby had two assists and Evgeni Malkin had an assist on the night.
Fleury is off to a career best 7-0 start and what Pittsburgh continues to do in the defensive zone is frustrate the opposition. Pittsburgh had a total of 19 blocked shots against Tampa Bay, including 7 blocked shots from defenseman Jay McKee who has been a perfect fit for the Penguins thus far.
Through eight games, the story of the Penguins season is Marc Andre Fleury and the contributions they are getting from their core players all the way down to role players like Michael Rupp. The 7-1 start has been a total team effort.
“When you look at the efforts that are coming from different areas and different positions, every night we win as a team,” Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said.

Pittsburgh has that championship vibe or swagger about them that they expect to win every game.
“We have high expectations here, and we have a lot of confidence as a team,” Star center Sidney Crosby said. “When you have those things, you don’t need to be perfect or to do everything exactly right. You just find ways to win.”
The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for the Penguins fast start. Dan Bylsma has his team prepared and he’s done a good job of making it fun to show up to the rink for his players but has also installed discipline.
PIT-TB Notes:
*Martin Skoula and Chris Bourque were healthy scratches for the Penguins. Eric Godard returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Wednesday night. Godard had 4:17 of ice time.
Stat of the day: Center Craig Adams had 7:05 ice time on the penalty kill and 7:53 of ice time at even strength.
*The Penguins went 1-for-7 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the PK.
*Jordan Staal’s inconsistency in the face-off circle continues. Staal was 7-for-20 on draws against Tampa Bay. Sidney Crosby had an off night. He went 11-for-23.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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