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When the Penguins were down 3-1 in the third period last night, I started telling myself things like, "well, it was a nice run while it lasted". But the Boys of Winter finally broke through, getting goals from Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby to send the game into overtime and later getting shootout goals from Kris Letang and Geno Malkin, sending 17,132 home with smiles on their faces. It was a huge 4-3 victory that keeps the Pens right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

That's seven wins in a row, the Pens' longest streak since winning eight in a row from December 23, 2007, through January 10, 2008. Disco Dan is now 9-1-1 as head coach and making Ray Shero and Company look very good, although I don't think anyone anticipated a coaching change and a shuffle of the roster having such immediate positive results.

As for the game itself, the Penguins outshot Florida 50-21, their first 50-shot game since a contest early last season at Toronto. It's pretty obvious that Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun was at the end of his rope when he allowed two of three shootout attempts to get past him. Sooner or later, the dam is going to break. In this game, it happened to be "later".

On the flip side, Marc-Andre Fleury did not have the greatest game of his career, but once again came up huge in the shootout. He's been between the pipes for every win on this streak. Crosby has a seven-game point streak going, and Geno had a strong night in front of Mom and Dad Malkin. Then when you factor in Staal's goal, it's safe to say that the "nucleus" truly came through in this game.

As the PG's graphic points out, the Penguins now sit in sixth place in the East, although you can see that no spot is safe:

The victory party continues Thursday at Columbus, when the puck drops at 7:08. That's also the same approximate time that Pitt tips off in the Big East Tournament, so let's hope for results as good as we got this weekend from our championship-aspiring teams.

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1 comment:

GMoney said...

You WILL lose to the Jackets!!!