Tuesday, 7 March 2017

NHL - Penguins - Round Up February 19-28, 2017

Detroit Red Wings @ Penguins 5-2 - Sunday, February 19, 2017
Petr Mrazek made 24 saves and the Detroit Red Wings scored three third-period goals to end the Pittsburgh Penguins' nine-game point streak with a 5-2 win at PPG Paints Arena. Mrazek made 34 saves on 36 shots in a 3-2 shootout win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. He has won two straight after losing his previous four (0-3-1) to improve to 14-15-6 this season. Nick Jensen and Steve Ott scored for Detroit in the first period. Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek scored 1:49 apart on the Red Wings' first two shots of the third period.
Luke Glendening shot into an empty net with 51.3 seconds remaining. Tom Kuhnhackl scored and Sidney Crosby got his NHL-leading 32nd goal for the Penguins. Pittsburgh (36-14-8), which was 6-0-3 in its previous nine games, remains five points behind the Washington Capitals (85) for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins lost in regulation at home for the fourth time in 31 games this season (24-4-3). Detroit (24-25-10) has won two straight after losing its previous five (0-4-1). Jensen gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead 8:48 into the first before Kuhnhackl tied it 1-1 on his first goal since Dec. 8 with 5:51 left. Ott restored Detroit's one-goal lead 2:20 later when he backhanded a shot past Matt Murray to make it 2-1. Tatar scored 27 seconds into the third to extend the lead to 3-1. He passed to Henrik Zetterberg, who returned it for Tatar to shoot under Murray's glove. Murray made 19 saves. Vanek pushed it to 4-1 at 2:16 of the third and Crosby cut it to 4-2 seven seconds later before Glendening made it 5-2 with his empty-net goal.

* After receiving a pass from Justin Abdelkader, Jensen skated in on Murray before faking a slap shot, which froze the goaltender. Murray dove back, but failed to fully recover, and Jensen skated around him and shot inside the right post.
* The Red Wings didn't surrender a shot during a Penguins power play after Ott was called for interference at 9:47 of the third period to maintain a two-goal lead. Detroit killed each of Pittsburgh's four power plays.
* Red Wings defenseman Mike Green missed a second consecutive game because of an undisclosed illness. … Pittsburgh honored Crosby before the game for scoring his 1,000th NHL point on Thursday. Penguins owner Mario Lemieux presented him with a plaque made from the Civic Arena's roof.
"I think we just have to execute. It comes down to that. We didn't do a good job of executing 5-on-5 and on our power play. They were a little more desperate, it seems like with the way they played." Crosby Said.
Penguins @ Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sidney Crosby scored on the power play in the second period, and Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins in a 3-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Penguins (37-14-8) had lost two in a row. They trail the Washington Capitals by three points for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
Cam Ward made 19 saves for Carolina (24-24-8), which lost its fifth straight. It has been outscored 19-4 during the streak. Scott Wilson gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 2:15 of the first period when he redirected Patric Hornqvist's shot from the right boards. Jeff Skinner scored on the power play at 8:00 to make it 1-1 with his 20th goal. Lee Stempniak curled away from the net and found Skinner alone in front. Matt Cullen turned over the puck along the boards before Phil Di Giuseppe passed to Stempniak. Pittsburgh took five minor penalties through two periods, three by Evgeni Malkin and two by Crosby. Crosby's 5-on-3 power-play goal put Pittsburgh ahead 2-1 at 16:21 of the second period. He set up in front of the net and redirected Phil Kessel's shot for his NHL-leading 33rd goal. Sebastian Aho and Viktor Stalberg were in the penalty box for interference and slashing. Malkin made it 3-1 at 9:41 of the third period. He won an offensive-zone draw to Carl Hagelin, who circled the net and set up Malkin in front of the net for his 25th. After allowing 24 shots through two periods, Pittsburgh limited Carolina to six in the third. The Penguins are 25-0-0 when leading after two periods.

* Crosby's goal gave the Penguins a bit of momentum when they were struggling to get into the offensive flow.

"Sometimes that's how you have to win. We know we have to be better. There are a lot of teams out there who would like to come out of a game not playing as good as they want to and still win. So we will take the two points."
"It took away from getting the start we wanted. We finally got a lead, and I thought we had a really good third period. The first two were an uphill climb for us." Crosby said.
"It's important that you know how to finish games, you know how to play with the lead. Our team knows how to do that. Our team is at its best when we go at teams; we just try to do it in a responsible way. I thought our third period tonight was by far our best." Mike Sullivan said.
"Once we got going tonight, we dominated. That third period was exactly how we need to play to be successful. We didn't really give them any chances whatsoever in the third, so that's how we need to shut down the other team when we have a lead." Murray said.

Penguins @ Stars 2-3 - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Dallas Stars scored three straight goals in the third period to rally for a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at American Airlines Center. Brett Ritchie, Jason Spezza and Antoine Roussel scored in a 6:56 span for Dallas (25-28-10), which won for the second time this season when trailing after the second period (2-21-2). Defenseman John Klingberg had two assists. The Stars tied the game 2-2 at 9:41 when Spezza's wrist shot was stopped by Murray but bounced in off Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin. Jamie Benn was crashing the net but never touched the puck before it crossed the goal line. Roussel put Dallas in front 3-2 at 10:36 when he beat Murray from the top of the left faceoff circle. It was his third game-winning goal this season. It was the first loss in three games for the Penguins (38-15-8, 84 points), who are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division, seven points behind the Washington Capitals. Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 10:04 of the first period when he finished off a pass from Patric Hornqvist. Malkin appeared to whiff on the shot, but he got enough of the puck to lift it over goalie Antti Niemi's glove. The Penguins took a 2-0 lead at 10:40 of the second period when Jake Guentzel scored off a rebound. Ian Cole took a shot from the point that Niemi couldn't control, and Guentzel easily scored.
* Ritchie started the Stars rally when he got to the rebound of a Klingberg shot off Murray's left pad and put it in past the sprawled goalie.
"We weren't down in the room in the second intermission at all. We believed if we got one, just one goal, it puts them on their heels and then it's a one-shot game," Ritchie said.
"I thought he played a strong game for us. Made a couple real big saves," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "They move the puck really well. But I thought we rebounded, and Antti gave us the key save at the key time to allow us to win a hockey game."
"It was a big deal. We talked about it before the game because their power play is dangerous and we wanted to make sure we stayed out of the box," Ruff said. "There's nights where you get the careless high sticking. I thought throughout the game we did an excellent job of staying away from any situations that would give them the man-advantage."
* Pittsburgh was 26-0-0 when entering the third period with a lead. … Defenseman Kris Letang didn't travel with the Penguins to Dallas and won't play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

"The volume of shots wasn't crazy, I don't think. They just got some good chances. At the end of the day, I just got to make those saves." Murray said.
"We just got outplayed. We just got outplayed. I don't think we won enough puck battles, and as a result we let them come at us. And they're a dangerous team with a lot of talent. They got a lot of skill up front, and they can score goals."
"Nothing other than ratchet up their intensity level. They're a team that they like to stretch the ice. They come at you with numbers, they come at you with four guys, and we got to work to stay above people and stay on the right side of the puck. We gave up a couple of odd-man rushes, and for me we can't give those up." Mike Sullivan said.

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