The Penguins put together a total team effort, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Saturday night, ending a three game skid.
A sixty minute effort is something the team has been stressing, especially after Friday’s 3-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers.
— Tonight’s win started with goaltender Brent Johnson. The 33 year old net minder was outstanding, making 33 saves to earn his 14th career NHL shutout. It was Johnson’s first shutout since April 1, 2006.
When the Penguins needed a big save, they got it from Johnson who was excellent in all areas of his game, showing great poise and composure.
Johnson entered tonight’s game ranked second in the league in goals-against average and save percentage. He was Pittsburgh’s best player on the ice and he just has this presence about him right now that you only see from a few elite goaltenders in the National Hockey League. Jaroslav Halak is one that comes to mind.
— Bylsma said after the game that Johnson will continue to see some increased playing time with a three game in four night stretch starting Wednesday night in Dallas.
The plan going into the month of October was for Johnson to start four games. Johnson’s performance earned him an additional two starts this month.
— Pascal Dupuis scored two goals and Max Talbot also scored for the Penguins.
Dupuis had an excellent game and was a force on the forecheck. He was all over the ice and the Penguins top line of Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Dupuis might have had their most complete game of the season.
Dan Bylsma pointed out Chris Kunitz’s d-zone play in his post-game comments and Sidney Crosby came up big with his play in the d-zone, making a key d-zone block that led to an odd-man rush for Dupuis who netted his second goal of the game in the third period to give Pittsburgh a commanding 3-0 lead.
Crosby had two assists in the game.
— Playing shorthanded without Evgeni Malkin and later Kris Letang who left the right game with a right wrist injury, it was encouraging to see the Penguins battle effort.
Players up and down their lineup were making plays and even Eric Godard was making some things happen on the forecheck.
— Pittsburgh dominated in the face-off circle, winning 36 of 52 draws.
— The Penguins were 0-for-2 on the power play. The team is 0-for-22 in their last five games.
Notes: The Penguins will travel to Pittsburgh tonight and practice at home for the next three days. The team will depart for Dallas on Tuesday afternoon.