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Quick Hits: Penguins quick strike ability overwhelms Sharks in impressive 5-1 win

— Prior to tonight’s 5-1 Penguins win, Dan Bylsma called the San Jose Sharks the best team in hockey. “With all due respect to Chicago, I think they’re {San Jose} maybe the best team in the league right now in a lot of different areas,” Bylsma said. “The way they come at you and the way they play, they’re certainly, I think, the best team in the league right now.”
Playing shorthanded without star center Evgeni Malkin and a number of other top players including Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi, the Penguins put on quite a performance.
— The game quickly turned in the Penguins favor in the second period as the Penguins quick strike ability was on display. Pittsburgh would break the game wide open scoring four times in a 7:03 span, getting goals from Pascal Dupuis (4), Jason Megna (3), and Chris Kunitz (15, 16) to take a commanding 4-0 lead before the eight minute mark in the period.
The Penguins dominated the second period on the score board but the Sharks had plenty of chances to cut the Penguins lead as they outshot Pittsburgh 24-15 in the second period and had a number of bouncing pucks right around the crease on second and third opportunities that they couldn’t convert. Kris Letang would ice the game early in the third with his 6th goal of the season at 3:30 of the third period . Joe Vitale provided an excellent screen in front on the goal.
— The Penguins winning streak is at five games and in the previous three seasons they have had winning streaks of 12, 11, and 15 games. If the Penguins get by the Bruins Saturday night, think we could have another 10+ game winning streak coming for the fourth straight year.
Marc Andre Fleury continues to post excellent numbers at home, making a season high 44 saves on 45 shots. Fleury improves to 16-7-1 on the season and is now 25-5 in his last 30 home starts. Not to take anything away from him but Fleury seemed to get a bit lucky tonight as he was fighting the puck some.
— The Sharks outshot the Penguins 45-30 and San Jose had 75 shot attempts to the Penguins 52 shot attempts.
Pascal Dupuis scored just his second goal in his last 22 games, deflecting a Brooks Orpik shot past Antti Niemi, 27 seconds into the second period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Dupuis, though, wouldn’t finish the game and has a lower body injury.
Sidney Crosby picked up three assists and now has an NHL leading 41 points on the season.
Chris Kunitz two goal night moves him into a tie for third in the NHL in goals with 16. Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL with 21.
— The Penguins were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and are 33-36 (91.7%) on the PK at home this season, second in the NHL behind the Devils.
Tyler Kennedy went from a player fans couldn’t wait for the Penguins to get rid of to receiving a standing ovation from the crowd after a first period scoreboard tribute from the organization.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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