The Pittsburgh Penguins are making quite the habit of defending their home fortress in recent weeks. The Penguins held on for a 4-3 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames this afternoon for the Penguins seventh win in a row and tenth straight at CONSOL Energy Center.
Sidney Crosby added three points now leading the league with 54 also having a league leading 34 assists.
With the exception of the Crosby, Dupuis, and Kunitz line, the first period was not very solid for either team, despite the Penguins taking a 2-0 lead on only five shots. Defense has been a noted sore spot for the Flames for the bulk of the season, but have been markedly improved recently ...
In part two of the opening season review we will examine the forwards and their contributions thus far to the season. While some players are keeping to the status quo, a few forwards have started to make their mark on the early season.
Start with the Obvious – The Pittsburgh Penguins top line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, and Pascal Dupuis is arguably the strongest line in all of hockey. They have a combined nine goals through six games, seven of which have come while playing five on five hockey.
Here are a few other stats to show how good this line has been. *All statistics are a combined total.
+ 10, 56 shots on net, 24 total points, 8 Takeawas, 28 Hits, 87 Fac...
The Flyers and Senators made some noise outside of the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
The big hits and the fights got the crowd vocally active in the Flyers 2-1 win over the Senators, and it will get the NHL's head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan vocally involved sometime in the next couple days.
The highlight of the extracurricular activities came midway through the first period. Flyers winger Harry Zolnierczyk came flying across the ice to deliver a massive hit on Ottawa's Mike Lundin.
Zolnierczyk left his feet to deliver the hit, driving his shoulder into the head of Lundin. Lundin was knocked out of the game due to the hit, and Zolnierczyk got a five-minute major for charging and a 10-minute game misconduct.
(Pictured: Harry Zolnierczyk lays out Mike Lundin as Zac Rinaldo looks on. AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Major penalties, desperation saves and a lot of bad blood were thrown into the pot Saturday afternoon.
Those were the ingredients in a violent 60 minutes between the Flyers and Senators. Ilya Bryzgalov won the goalie battle and he helped lead the Flyers to a huge 2-1 win over Ottawa Saturday afternoon to cap the home stand.
And most importantly, the Flyers got to .500 for the first time this season. After six previously failed attempts, their seventh try at evening up their record was successful.
(Pictured: Zac Rinaldo fights along the boards with Daniel Alfredsson. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
It has been very apparent that the Flyers have struggled to get a consistent effort from any of their forwards this season.
Top players like Danny Briere and Claude Giroux have struggled, young players like Tye McGinn have been taken in and out of the lineup, and enforcers like Tom Sestito have made lineup changes even more interesting. It’s tough to think of a player that has provided a consistent effort while performing his specific role.
When you get down to it, Zac Rinaldo may very well be your guy.
(Pictured: Zac Rinaldo reacts after scoring in the third period on Monday. AP Photo/Seth Wenig)