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Plus/Minus: Penguins 2, Sharks 1

February 12, 2009
Pittsburgh Penguins 2, San Jose Sharks 1

The Pens pulled off a shootout win against the #2 San Jose Sharks in Mellon Arena last night. Pittsburgh proved that they can keep up with the best teams in the NHL and showed the increasing population of Chicken Littles that the season isn’t over yet.

Plus:

-Marc-Andre Fleury. Stopped all but one of 37 shots. Won the shootout. I wouldn’t be surprised if his BFFs are named Pokey, Prickle, and Goo. What a man.

Energy. The Pens were all over the place. They kept up with super fast San Jose, didn’t quit, and managed to actually play 65+ minutes of hockey. Where has this team been hiding? If they keep this up, I have no worries about the rest of the season.

Shoot the puck. Pittsburgh generated 36 shots to San Jose’s 37. When these two teams met in October, the Sharks managed to keep Pittsburgh at only 11 total shots. The Pens were all over rebounds too and didn’t stop until the whistle was blown.

-Malkin-Sykora. It’s nice to see everyone’s favorite East European duo skating together again. Together with Matt Cooke, the line generated some pretty sick scoring chances. I guess Therrien finally got all of Sykie’s hints.

Bill Thomas. First goal in a Penguins uniform. Pittsburgh native rocking the accent (played on a line with Jordan “Stawl”).

Miro Satan. Best shift as a Pittsburgh Penguin. Carried the puck into the Sharks’ zone and fed it to Thomas with less than two minutes left in the second period. Maybe Miro did take that trip home to Slovakia afterall.

Minus:

Power Play. Nothing new here. Same old story.

Dupuis-Crosby-Kennedy. Nothing wrong with the individual efforts– Dupuis and Kennedy were insane. This combination just doesn’t work. Kennedy is not Crosby’s scoring winger. I’m beginning to think that Therrien pulls names out of a hat to determine who skates with Sid.

Overall: +4 (+6, -2)
An awesome effort from the Pens produced excellent results. Pittsburgh earned 2 points and is now tied for 9th place in the Eastern Conference with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Was this game the defining moment that saves the season? Maybe. If the Pens can continue with this level of energy and effort, I’ll say change the “maybe” to a “yes.” Last night, the Penguins definitely looked like a team whose playoff season already started.

Locker room reaction? We’ve got to find a way to maintain that level no matter who we play against and make sure we rise to that every time we step out onto the ice. –Sidney Crosby.

The season isn’t over. Go Pens.

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