PENGUINS – DEVILS TAKEAWAYS
The Penguins torched Keith Kinkaid for six goals on 30 shots in a 6-1 Penguins win. Getting a bounce back win, the post trade deadline Devils were the perfect opponent to avenge a bad loss from Saturday afternoon vs the Flames.
While the Devils are no longer a threat for a playoff spot, Pittsburgh pulled seven points ahead of New Jersey and put pressure on the Flyers to get a win vs the Lightning Monday to stay within three points.
Quick Strike: Evgeni Malkin opened the scoring 9:14 into the game on the power play and 38 seconds later Matt Cullen put the Penguins up 2-0 with his 10th of the season.
21:37: The Penguins scored three times in the first 21:37 of the game on goals from Malkin, Cullen and Nick Bonino to pretty much put this one away less than two minutes into the second second.
Closing in on 30 goal season: Evgeni Malkin netted two goals in the win, his 26th and 27th goals of the year. Malkin is closing in on his first 30 goal season since scoring a career high 50 goals 2011-2012. With Malkin closing in on 30 goals, so is Sidney Crosby who has a team-leading 28 goals. The last time Malkin and Crosby each scored 30 goals in a season was 2008-2009.
Murray shines during 5-on-3: Matt Murray stopped 17 of 18 saves, to record his 3rd NHL win. Murray with six quality starts in six starts this season, has a 1.82 GAA and .934 save percentage on the season. Wasn’t tested much but shined during a 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period with the Penguins leading 3-1 in showing excellent athletic ability in going side to side. Murray’s elite level ability to anticipate the play continues to be the biggest takeaway from his game.
32: Nick Bonino scored 1:37 into the second period to put the Penguins up 3-0. The significance of the goal is it was Bonino’s first goal in 32 games, dating back to November 11. Bonino also added an assist for his second multi-point game of the season.
Schultz shows offensive talent: Justin Schultz had an assist, 2 shots on goal, +2 rating in 16:23 of ice time. From Schultz you could see the booming shot and vision that had scouts marveling about him before turning pro. For one game the system looked like a natural fit for him.
Defensively, there were some situations where he was getting bumped off the puck down low but not the best game to evaluate him due to the lack of talent he was going up against. Schultz saw bulk of 5 v 5 time against the Kennedy and Farnham lines. The Penguins need to throw him in the lineup Tuesday vs the Islanders and Sunday vs the Rangers to see what you really got.