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Insider Only Post-Game Observations: Fleury continues strong play, earning 1st shutout of season

Post-Game Observations
The Penguins extended their winning streak to four games and their points streak to 7 games in defeating the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 on Wednesday night at the HSBC arena.
The Penguins improved to 13-8-2 on the season with the win.
Marc Andre Fleury made 30 saves to earn his 1st shutout of the season and 17th of his career.
Fleury and the Penguins are on a 6-0-1 run and they are begining to win games the way management thought they would when assmebling the Penguins roster this past off-season.
In his last seven games, Fleury is 6-0-1. He has quieted his critics after a disappointing first five weeks of the season.
Special teams continues to dictate the Penguins success, as a dominating penalty kill has made up for a lackluster power play.

Pittsburgh was 3-for-3 on the PK against Buffalo and have killed 24 straight penalties and 40 of 42 penalties in the month of November.
The Penguins have a great mix of penalty killers led by Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, Max Talbot and Craig Adams. The Penguins have become more aggressive on the PK this season and are a cohesive unit that reads each other very well.
The unit projects to get even better when Jordan Staal returns to the lineup in mid-December.
*Sidney Crosby extended his points streak to 10 games, notching a primary assist on Pascal Dupuis (6) 1st period marker.
Crosby won a puck battle from a defender near the goal line and set up Dupuis for a one-timer goal in front at the 15:04 mark of the 1st.
Crosby is playing his best all around hockey of his career and the same might be said for Pascal Dupuis who by the way is in a contract year.
*Mike Comrie returned to the lineup, mostly because the Penguins were on their dad’s trip. Comrie had 8:00 minutes of ice time, skating on the 4th line with Mike Rupp and Craig Adams. Comrie did not record a shot and he’s time in a Penguins uniform is going to be coming to an end fairly soon.
Regarding Comrie, it’s a lose-lose situation for the Penguins and Comrie individually to play on the 4th line or even the 3rd line. It’s doing him no good and it’s doing the team no good.
*The Penguins are starting to show signs of coming together as a defensive unit. Some of the newcomers are starting to get more comfortable with the system, and a player like Deryk Engelland is starting to simplify his game more and seems to know what works for him and what doesn’t.
Solid overall game for Paul Martin who had a game high 6 blocked shots and Zbynek Michalek added 4 blocked shots as the pairing combined for 10 blocked shots in the game.
*Pascal Dupuis, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang all had a team-high six shots on goal.
Game Notes
*Sidney Crosby had an off night in the face-off cirlce, going 3-for-10 on draws.
*Pittsburgh was out-hit 20-12
*Defenseman Kris Letang led the Penguins with 26:04 of ice time and attempted 12 shots in the game. He was very active off the rush and in the offensive zone.
*The Penguins were 0-for-4 on the power play
*Craig Adams was 77% in the face-off circle, going 10-for-13 on draws.
NHL Notes
*Former Penguin Mark Recchi became the 13th player in NHL history to record 1500 points. Recchi will be 43 in February and is on pace for 60+ points with the Boston Bruins.
*The New York Islanders lost their 14th straight game, losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime.

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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