My Prediction

Pens 4, Sens 3. Record in predicting winner: 7-4

Even Strength Offense: B

They sort of did enough to win. They fired lots of pucks toward a very shaky Alex Auld, but were only able to beat him twice at even strength. Vitale, Asham, and Sullivan connected for a beauty just after Ottawa had scored. Then Kunitz actually got one to count when he tipped a Depres shot long after the outcome had been decided. How they didn’t get more pucks past Auld is beyond me.

Even Strength Defense: P

For putrid. Breakdowns galore.The Spezza line just schooled the Dupuis line all night, to the tune of three goals. A Martin gaffe gave them the first one. orpik deflected another one in. Just ugly all night long.

Power Play: A

Hey, at least the power play was good. Niskanen floated one in off a faceoff, then Malkin ripped one past Auld.

Penalty Kill: D

They killed four of five, but the one they allowed was a doozy. They lost the draw with only 10 seconds left in the period, then allowed the immortal Zenon Konopka to stand all alone in front and deflect the shot past Johnson. That simply cannot happen.

Goaltending: F

Probably their worst goaltended game this year. Johnson just flat out sucked. Yeah, he had some back luck in that second period, but he also seemed to be in a daze back there. He allowed 5 goals on only 10 shots in that disastrous second period, and was rightly pulled after that.

Overall: F

This team just stinks right now. And I mean Columbus Blue Jackets level of malodorous. The Pens are 5-5-0, the Jackets 4-5-0 over the last 10 games. But over the last two weeks, the Pens have only managed to beat the Islanders, and even that was a struggle. Yes, I realize it’s because of all the injuries. But we can only evaluate what we see, not what could have been. This team is simply not good at all right now, and won’t be until they get some of the injured guys back. Michalek and Staal would have helped last night.

And now, the rest of the story…

Geno: A

Another 2-point night for him. He is the Russian Machine right now.

Steve Sullivan: AI

Probably his first one of the year. Beautiful shot for a goal, plus two helpers.

Brooks Orpik: F

So much for our shutdown defenseman. He was -3 playing against Ottawa’s top unit.

Ottawa’s Top Unit: A

The Sens’ top unit of five (Spezza/Alfredsson/Greening/Karlsson/Cowen) was a combined +18. Amazing night for them. I gotta say, that might be the best game I’ve seen Spezza play. He looked engaged for once.

Minus Machine Martin: F

I think either Samuelsson or Sneep will adequately replace him. And if he’s out long term, that’s $5 mil in cap space freed up.

Bibsy’s Creative Language

“He’s a big tough rumble player.”

“Kennedy’s arms ore going to fall off.”

Root Sports: F

This time, they cut to a replay when there was a fight breaking out. Well, hey, at least we didn’t misss a goal this time.

I’m on Twitter.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.