Still Streaking; Pens Take Eleventh Game In A Row
The Pittsburgh Penguins have now won eleven straight hockey games and have pushed their way to just two points behind the lead in the East, with one game in hand.
Heading into New York on Thursday, the Penguins were looking to make a statement, well, they did. The Penguins took a 5-2 victory all the way to the bank. Sidney Crosby was rather strong in his first game, getting two assists and recording a plus 3. The real kicker was all star defenceman Kris Letang who racked up just one assists but was a plus 5 on the evening. Matt Cooke had a two goal evening as well giving him 14 on the season.
With a ton of momentum the Penguins had to head into New Jersey on Saturday afternoon. The problem was that in their last four meetings with the Devils at the Rock, the Penguins only scored 4 goals. This game, however, was just a little bit different.
The Penguins dominated the game in every single aspect as they skated to an impressive 5-2 victory. Dominating in shots, Pittsburgh led the game by a 44-14 margin. Having thirty more shots on net is huge, but Martin Brodeur stood on his head and only allowed 5 goals, which could have easily been 8 or even 9. Sidney Crosby and new line mate Matt Cooke continued their hot streak. Cooke had his second consecutive 2 goal game and Crosby dialed up 3 assists.
For the season now, Crosby has 17 points in ten games, an unreal pace of 1.7 points per game. Evgeni Malkin now has 87 points giving him a three point lead over next in line Steven Stamkos. Malkin hit the 40 goal mark for just the second time in his career. The shocker of them all though is Matt Cooke, who now has more goals than minor penalties! His change of play has been phenomenal this season and if there was ever a player that needed to change, it was him. He sits at 16 goals on the season with just 15 minor penalties. Marc-Andre Fleury was not particularly spectacular, but held his own during a sporadic shooting game for New Jersey.
The Penguins current win streak of 11 games is the NHL high this season. During this streak the Penguins have scored a total of 45 goals while allowing 17 goals. Their last three games have a similar tune with all ending 5-2 (Boston, NYR, NJ). While the streak is impressive, the Penguins cannot look back.
On Sunday March 18, the Pittsburgh Penguins will play cross state rivals Philadelphia Flyers. With just a dozen games remaining, the Penguins have to pounce on every opportunity to gain divisional points. The Flyers are currently playing well, going 7-2-1 in their last ten and having a hot goaltender in Ilya Bryzgalov, are not going to be an easy team to beat. The Penguins have to bring their best tomorrow as this game is sure to be just as fast and physical as any other game this season.