New format for the hell of it as losses to the Flyers spark change.
- Jaromir Jagr and Maxime Talbot play their first games after not signing with Pittsburgh in the offseason.
- The Pens and Flyers entered the game tied for 2nd in the division with 46 points each
- It’s the Pittsburgh-Philly rivalry, what else do you need?
|This kid would make a good Flyers fan with signs like that.|
Flyers 4 Pens 2
Goals: Jordan Staal (15) from Kennedy,
Tyler Kennedy (5) from Malkin, Despres
- Pens get on the board less than a minute in with Staal’s goal, causing the crowd to erupt.
- Despite being a rivalry game, nothing truly ugly happened between the two teams. Always nice to see no fighting or biting every once in a while.
- The Pens were unreal in faceoffs tonight, winning 68.5 % (37 for 54). Adams (6-0) and Staal (13-5) were the highlights.
Tyler Kennedy – After seeing his name floated around newspapers because Jagr was questioning how he was a priority for the Pens in the offseason, Kennedy put up a goal and an assist to extend his scoring streak to a career high 5 games.
Simon Despres – The kid is NHL ready as far as I’m concerned. He knows when to pinch, knows how to shoot the puck from the points safely, and steps up on D when he needs to. Strong body, smart play, it’s going to be tough to send him down. His stats looked good with an assist and a +2 tonight.
|Staal finds a tasty looking stick.|
Jordan Staal – He certainly gave the Pens chances, winning 72.2% of his faceoffs (13 for 18) and scoring his 15th goal of the season. Staal is quietly on pace for a career high in goals despite lingering injury problems.
Zbynek Michalek – He had 4 blocked shots and was a +2 tonight in 20 minutes of ice time. He did exactly what he gets paid to do tonight.
- The Pens lost the special teams battle, allowing a powerplay goal and not scoring any of their own. As common knowledge suggests, lose that battle against a good team and lose the game.
- The refereeing was iffy at times. Most notably, when Matt Cooke was bear hugged and taken down, but then got yelled at by a ref. Gotta feel for Cooke on some days.
James Neal – He’s starting to trend as the powerplay trends this season. Neal was a -2, had 2 giveaways, and took a crucial tripping penalty in the offensive zone, leading to the Flyers taking the lead on the ensuing powerplay. No offensive production from him tonight.
Chris Kunitz – He was pretty much invisible after a solid first 2 or 3 shifts. In the past against the Flyers, Kunitz has been a big hitter and momentum changer, but he was very quiet tonight.
- Watching Jagr score a beautiful backhander to give the Flyers the lead
- Jagr following it up with his usual salute to the crowd
- Watching Talbot on the ice with a minute left and Fleury pulled and just knowing what he wanted…followed by watching him score the empty net goal
- Hell, watching the Flyers win
|Welcome back Max...now leave.|
Matt Niskanen – He was a -3, added no offense, and looked a bit intimidated against the Flyers forwards baring down on him. He gave them a prevent defense effort, allowing plenty of room for the Flyers to stickhandle and pass the puck deep into the zone.
- Though both teams have their injury issues, the Flyers really kept to their game and wouldn’t let the Pens get to their own. Letang was a big factor out of the lineup tonight, he would have been a great guy to have stepping up on the Flyers forwards and moving the puck up.
- The Pens are a middle of the playoff pack team as their roster stands right now. Stealing a couple games from the top of the Conference (yes, the Flyers) might have to suffice this season.
- The shot total was rather low tonight and the Pens as a team seemed hesitant to shoot from all angles. I wonder if Bobrovsky is getting into their heads a little.
- Bobrovsky is undefeated in Pittsburgh and the Flyers are undefeated in Consol (4-0 for each)….ouch.
Pens Record: 21-12-4, 46 pts, 3rd in the Atlantic, 5th in the East
Next Game: 12/31 @ NJ, 3pm