Thursday, 13 April 2017

NHL - Penguins - Round Up - Western Canada Trip March 2017

Penguins @ Edmonton Oilers 3-2 SO - Friday, March 10, 2017

Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid each scored in the shootout before Phil Kessel gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. McDavid scored to tie the game 2-2 with 7:15 left in the third period and had a breakaway stopped by Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in overtime before keeping the shootout alive after Crosby scored. McDavid played 26:53 and had nine shots on goal in the second NHL game between him and Crosby. Pittsburgh won 4-3 at home on Nov. 8. Fleury made 40 saves, and Nick Bonino and Evgeni Malkin scored for Pittsburgh (41-16-8), which extended its winning streak to four games. Cam Talbot made 28 saves, and David Desharnais scored for Edmonton (35-23-9). Bonino gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 5:42 of the first period. He had a hat trick in a 7-4 win at the Winnipeg Jets. Malkin was awarded Pittsburgh's second goal to make it 2-0 at 17:25. His shot on a rush off the right wing went through Talbot, trickled toward the net and stopped short of the goal line. McDavid attempted to clear but kicked the puck off Talbot into the net. Desharnais scored his first goal with the Oilers at 4:55 of the second period to make it 2-1, knocking in a rebound past Fleury.

* McDavid collected a rebound to the left of the net and shot it past Fleury to tie the game.
* McDavid went in on a breakaway 1:15 into overtime, but Fleury was able to disrupt his shot attempt.
* Fleury got his 374th NHL win to tie John Vanbiesbrouck for 15th on the all-time list. … McDavid had one goal and three assists in the two games against the Penguins. … Talbot made his NHL-high 60th start. … Malkin has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past four games. He has 71 points and is tied with Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks for second in the NHL behind McDavid (75). Crosby has 70. … Desharnais was acquired by Edmonton in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 28.
Pens Quotes
"Fun to watch. It's obviously two great players. Lot of skill. Lot of speed on both sides. But to me, Sid is the best. He's been the best for a long time. I think he does so many good things offensively, defensively. He's the complete player out there." Marc-Andre Fleury said.
"There are guys who are pretty quick and can beat you wide but not necessarily stickhandle through you. I think [McDavid's] got that ability and he uses guys around him really well, being able to give and go and get some separation for himself. There's more to it than being a fast skater. There's a lot of fast skaters in the League, but he thinks the game really well."
"I think guys like Connor are coming into the League and having a lot of success early. They're getting a great opportunity to play and deservedly so. You see some of the young guys that are having an impact in the League, so I don't think they'll be put in those situations if they can't handle them. They've shown they can handle them. These guys are elite players for a reason and they're showing it." Crosby said.
"The Pittsburgh Penguins against the Edmonton Oilers was a pretty fast-paced game and those guys (Crosby and McDavid) are elite players. It was certainly one of the faster-paced games that we've played in." Mike Sullivan said.

Penguins @ Vancouver Canucks 3-0 - Saturday, March 11, 2017

Playing for a second straight night on the road and short a forward because of injury, the Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to play a simple game against the Vancouver Canucks. They ended up dominating instead. Matt Murray made 27 saves and the Penguins outshot the Canucks 48-27 to win their fifth straight game, 3-0 at Rogers Arena. Ian Cole, Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary scored for the Penguins (43-16-8), who moved two points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Washington Capitals. Coming off a 3-2 shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, Pittsburgh dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen after losing forward Carl Hagelin to a lower-body injury that will keep him out at least four weeks. After an even first period, the Penguins outshot Vancouver 23-8 in the second, forcing Ryan Miller to make several great saves before Cole scored the winning goal on a screen shot at 16:24. Miller made 45 saves for the Canucks (28-31-9), who fell 10 points behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Sheary made a nice play from behind the net to set up Guentzel at 16:54 of the third period. It was Guentzel's third goal in the past four games. Sheary, who was robbed a couple times by Miller among his eight shots, scored his 19th of the season into an empty net with 1:15 to play.

Coach Mike Sullivan was more impressed with their simplified approach.
"We're playing back to back, we're a little depleted, we have to make sure we play a smart, efficient game. Sometimes when you go through these adversities it can galvanize a group."
"We're fortunate we have a deep organization and guys are going to have an opportunity to have more significant roles, more significant minutes." Sullivan said.
"We outshot them pretty heavily so it's just a bit of a challenge sometimes to not overthink things and you are kind of down at the other end by yourself doing nothing."
"It says a lot to how we are playing. It's not easy back to back with travel and changing time zones and all this adversity we are facing, and we came out and played a really good game through it all. That says a lot." Matt Murray

"It was nice to not see Miller in the net for a shot. Because he was stopping everything I was throwing at him." Sheary said.

Penguins @ Calgary Flames 3-4 SO - Monday, March 13, 2017

Kris Versteeg scored the shootout-winner to help the Calgary Flames tie a franchise record with their 10th consecutive win, 4-3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Scotiabank Saddledome. Versteeg deked to his backhand before lifting a shot by Marc-Andre Fleury in the first round of the shootout, and Brian Elliott stopped Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel. The win matches a run of 10 straight victories set as the Atlanta Flames from Oct. 14 to Nov. 3, 1978. Deryk Engelland, Dennis Wideman, and Johnny Gaudreau scored, and Elliott made 32 saves for Calgary (39-26-4), who are the fourth team this season to have a winning streak of 10 or more games, a first in NHL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Flames join the Columbus Blue Jackets (16 games), Minnesota Wild (12) and Philadelphia Flyers (10). Calgary, tied for second in the Pacific Division with the Anaheim Ducks, has points in 12 straight games (11-0-1) and is 15-2-1 in the past 18 games. Conor Sheary, Malkin, and Crosby scored, and Fleury made 27 saves for the Penguins (43-16-9), who ended a five-game winning streak but moved into a tie with the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division and NHL. Gaudreau scored 5:22 into the third period to give Calgary a 3-2 lead, but Crosby tied the game with his NHL-leading 35th goal of the season with 3:31 remaining to force overtime. Elliott made six saves in overtime, including four shorthanded, to get the game to a shootout. Sheary gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead 2:54 into the game, but Engelland scored to tie it 1-1 at 13:48. Malkin put the Penguins up 2-1 with a power-play goal at 15:51, and Calgary tied the game 2-2 when Wideman's shot deflected off Nick Bonino's glove and in 1:34 into the second period.

* Malkin finished a give-and-go with Chris Kunitz by tapping the return pass by Elliott for his 33rd goal of the season.
* Gaudreau deked defenseman Ron Hainsey inside Pittsburgh's blue line and faked Fleury before tucking a wraparound across the goal line.
"At first I just thought I was going to try to enter the zone, try to set something up," Gaudreau said. "I kind of got a little break there. I saw Fleury come sliding out of his net, so I thought I'd wrap it around the other side and it turned out."
"I felt like we had our chances, but it was a pretty good hockey game both ways." Crosby said.
"It's a big point for us. We played a really good team that's won a lot of games as of late. They're a hard team to play against. It was a competitive game. It was a fairly even game. It could've went either way. It's a shame it's got to end in a shootout. It was two pretty good teams going at it." Mike Sullivan.

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