Pittsburgh 4 – Florida 2
Summary: On a delay penalty, Zbynek Michalek netted the game winning goal at 12:49 of the third period and Craig Adams added an empty net goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins ((46-25-8, 100 pts) defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Saturday night at the Bank Atlantic Center.
The Penguins snapped a two game losing streak and reached the 100 point plateau for the 7th time in team history. The Penguins pulled within two of the Philadelphia Flyers who have a game in hand.
The Penguins swept the season series from Florida (4-0) and have won 7 of 8 games against the Panthers.
The victory was the Penguins first in regulation since March 15th.
Goaltender Brent Johnson made 28 saves to record his 12th win of the season. Johnson is 6-1 in his last 7 starts against the Panthers.
Tyler Kennedy (20) and Pascal Dupuis (14) also scored for Pittsburgh. Kennedy has reached the 20 goal plateau for the first time in his career.
The Penguins moved three points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the No. 4 seed in the East. The Lightning won this afternoon.
— The Penguins escaped Florida with a much needed two points and the Penguins came up big on the penalty kill in the third period.
The Penguins killed off three penalties in the third period and the PK was a bright spot for a second straight game as the unit had been struggling without Matt Cooke.
The Penguins just continue to own the Panthers and are 13-4-1 in their last 18 games against Fla.
As bad as the Penguins have been offensively, the Panthers have scored 2 or fewer goals in 16 of their last 21 games.
A few game notes….
— Zbynek Michalek’s game winning goal was his 4th goal of the season and after going 92 games without a goal, Michalek now has 4 goals in his last 12 games. He worked the right point on the first power play unit tonight.
— Craig Adams empty net goal was his first goal in 29 games and Adams had a strong game, leading the Penguins with 6 hits.
— Jordan Staal earned the games No. 1 star with a 3 assist effort. It was Staal’s first game this season with 3 assists or more.
— Matt Niskanen remains a problem with taking penalties and has now recorded a penalty in 7 of 8 games.
— Max Talbot’s assist on Pascal Dupuis second period marker 45 seconds in the period, was his first point in 9 games.
— Alex Kovalev’s 3 game points streak came to an end. Kovalev was a +1 in the game.
— James Neal’s struggles continue and he now has 0 goals in 11 games and 1 goal in 18 games overall with Pittsburgh. Neal has 2 goals in his last 29 games, dating back to his final 11 games with Dallas.
— The Penguins were 0-for-1 on the power play and now 3 for their last 65.