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Plus/Minus: Penguins 5, Blackhawks 4 (OT)

February 28, 2009

Penguins Blackhawks HockeyPlus/Minus: Penguins 5, Blackhawks 4 (OT)

The Penguins defeated the Blackhawks, 5-4, in overtime last night at Chicago’s United Center. Pittsburgh gained two more points and is now within one point of 8th place.

Dan Bylsma’s Speed! Aggression! was working very well for about 2/3rds of the game. Then, in the third, with Pittsburgh’s now typical defensive breakdowns, Chicago dominated the game. The third period statistics speak for themselves: Pittsburgh registered only 4 shots to Chicago’s 20.

Plus:

-Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury started out a little shaky but pulled it together in the third. He made a total of 41 saves last night and it was his efforts that won the game for the Pens.

Chris Kunitz-Jordan Staal. Okle Dokle has been a little slow on Pens news this week, so I’m going to take the opportunity now to comment on this week’s trade. Ryan Whitney was sent to Anaheim in exchange for winger Chris Kunitz and prospect Eric Tangradi. Whitney’s departure was not a surprise considering the Penguins’ collection of young defensemen (Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, and Ben Lovejoy). The addition of Kunitz was promised to bring speed and grit, something the Pens have been missing this season. Last night, Kunitz scored on his third shift as a Penguin and did indeed deliver speed and grit. Kunitz played on a line with Jordan Staal and the two produced nothing but pure awesome. Staal played his best game of this season.

Toronto. NHL mission control in Toronto took away, albeit temporarily, Jonathan Toews’ hat trick in the second period. It ultimately led to the following chain of events: Miro Satan and Max Talbot each scoring within 1.5 minutes of each other.

Minus:

Third period. See above. Without Fleury, things would have been pretty ugly. The Pens are lucky to have come out of this with two points.

Special teams. Holy hell, why is Mike Yeo still around? Sergei Gonchar’s presence isn’t enough to fix the PP. The PP wasn’t alone in being terrible. Three of Chicago’s goals last night were a result of the Pens’ PK stinking up the joint.

Overall: +1 (+3, -2)
Two points is two points.

—–

Next up: Pens @ Stars, tomorrow, 3:00PM.

As I write this, New Jersey is destroying Florida.

Today’s games to watch:
Sabres @ Islanders, 7:00PM
Avalanche @ Rangers, 7:00PM
Hurricanes @ Thrashers, 7:00PM

Go Pens.

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