Calgary Flames v. Pittsburgh Penguins
Location – Consol Energy Center
Some things I noticed from the game and the final stats -
- 24 shots in the first period? The Pens now have two 20+ shot periods in their past two games. Those types of periods can wear a team down, especially on back to backs (like Calgary and Pittsburgh were in this game.)
-Brent Johnson got the start and saw 31 shots. He allowed an even strength goal in the third period to Rene Bourque – the only time Bourque had a shot on goal. He was his usual self (for this season), bagging his seventh win in nine starts this year. His save percentage is .931, while MAF is up to .905.
-Asham scored his third of the season. Good to see the former Flyer making an impact. Hopefully he can continue to play well as he gets back into the regular rotation.
-Three assists for Kris Letang. Tanger has 18 assists and five goals on the season, taking over the spot that Sergei Gonchar held down last year. He has taken a much bigger part in the offense this year.
-Another power play goal for the Penguins (Crosby, Assists by Martin (11) and Letang (18)). The Pens scored shorthanded on an empty net, but we’ll leave that one out. The Pens have continued to run the show on special teams – The penalty kill is now best in the league (90.2 %) and the PP has scored in three of the last four games.
-Mikka Kiprusoff kept the Flames in the game after one, but twenty four shots will take its toll on any goaltender.
-18, 317 in attendance at the Consol Energy Center, another sell out crowd (the official capacity is only 18,087)! The lowest number of fans in the stands for a game this year has been 18,106 (when Montreal came to town in October). The Pens played in front of 71,217 in Buffalo at the Winter Classic in 2008. When they play at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day, they may have a chance to put over 60,000 in the seats.
-I’ll say that Derryk Engelland won the fight with Jarome Iginla. Fight at the boards, Engelland appeared to get him on the ground. Engelland registered 9 penalty minutes tonight, a fight and a double minor for roughing. He was out last night, with Lovejoy taking the minutes.
-The Pens TV announcers spoke about Asham’s line trying to get itself in order, a score today didn’t hurt that cause. Having a strong third line is essential – and something that the Pens miss at times with the injuries and instability to the lines early in the season. They will only get better.
Three Stars were:
1. Sidney Crosby: 3 goals on five shots. One goal on the PP, one Shorthanded empty net. Only 19:05 of ice time.
2. Brent Johnson: 30 saves, allowed only one goal late in the game. Spent 5:56 on the PK, stopping 9 shots with Calgary on the one man advantage.
3. Kris Letang: Three assists in 21:03 of ice time. The 23-year old defenseman now has 22 points on the season. His career high is 33 from 2008-09, and he only had 27 in 73 games a year ago.
Some things about Sid the Kid -
-Crosby scored a hat trick, his first of the season. Somehow, this was Crosby’s first “game winning goal” of the season – although we all know that Sid is the unquestioned MVP and workhorse of this team (stats can lie sometimes). He could have had four, but he missed a penalty shot in the first period.
-Only 43% on the faceoffs today (12/28). He started the season with seven games over the 50% mark, he has three straight games now with a FO% under 50%. Matt Stajan was especially effective against Sid on faceoffs – winning 7 of 8.
-Crosby’s (and Malkin’s as well for that matter) TOI was lower than usual today, a good thing to get a little rest on a back to back game. Crosby spent 19:05 on the ice, his first time under twenty minutes since Dallas on November 3. He has played at least 20 shifts in every single game this season.
-His three goals tonight give him 18 on the season, good for third in the league. He has 40 points, good for second in the league. His seven power play goals are second in the league to Stamkos. His point streak is now TWELVE games, the best in the league. He has 25 points in that streak (12 goals, 13 assists).
-His second goal was good for his 200th lamplighter of his career! Just another milestone in Crosby’s amazing run. Hopefully he will have many more. He now has 546 points, registering his 500th point late last season.
New York Rangers – A Sunday off will be followed by the Rangers at the Garden. The puck drops at 7:00 on Monday. The Rangers sit in sixth in the East – 27 points (13-10-1). For comparisons sake, the Pens sit in fourth, having two more games in the books than Montreal, but the Canadiens having 29 points to the Pens 32.
For the Rangers, Dubinsky has 19 points, 12 goals on the season. Fedotenko has 11 points. Sean Avery has 10 points, as does Gaborik. Callahan leads the team with 12 assists (18 points is second). Marc Staal, who scored against the Pens in their last matchup – has 3 goals and 8 points.
Lundqvist has an 8-8-1 record with a .917 Save Percentage. His 2.72 GAA ranks 25th in the league. He has three shutouts, including a forty save SO against the Panthers yesterday. He has allowed 13 goals in his last five games, going 2-3-0.
About the Author
Written by Michael Watts
Cleveland based student. A writer for Cleveland based high school news sites. Broadcaster for Cleveland Saint Ignatius High School. Avid Pens, Cavs, Tribe, and Browns fan.