My Prediction

Pens 3, Hurricanes 2. Record in predicting winner: 14-8.

Even Strength Offense: D

HCDB will tell you they did all the right things last night. But that’s not exactly true. One of those right things is scoring. And they put only one past Cam Ward. Check out the last eight games.

Goalie Goals
Brodeur 1
Lundqvist 1
Brodeur 1
Anderson 1
Vokoun 1
Clemmensen 4
Garon 6
Ward 1

It sure would appear as though any time they face a decent to good goalie, the puck doesn’t do in on all their perimeter shots. But when they face the scrub goalies, they pile up numbers. last night was more of the same. Geno notched their only goal with a pinpoint shot. Other than that, it was just Cam Ward doing what most goalies do to the Pens.

Even Strength Defense: B

They allowed only one goal when Sullivan didn’t take McBain at the point and let him walk down the slot. They also allowed a few too many quality chances for my liking..

Power Play: I

Once again, only one chance, and an ineffective one at that.

Penalty Kill: A

The PK was tremendous, allowing only four meaningless shots in six minutes.

Goaltending: A

Flower was excellent all night, especially in the shootout. That toe save on Staal to win it was just superb. He had a couple other saves just like that during the game.

Overall: B-

It was a must-win game with the upcoming schedule, and they got it. But I don’t know that this team is out of the woods just yet. The upcoming schedule (Rangers, Canadiens, Caps, Blues, Leafs, Leafs, Bruins, @Devils) is brutal. Is the winning streak an aberration? was the losing streak an aberration? Can they score goals against good teams and goalies? The next couple weeks will tell us.

And now, the rest of the story…

Geno: A

Only one point? Man, he sucks. Oh, okay, he scored a shootout goal, too.

James Neal: A

Another shoot from everywhere night, even though none went in.

4M Pair:

-1 on the night.

Tyler Kennedy: F

Is there a more worthless use of cap space? He’s horrible in his own end. He has one move: come down the wing and shoot wide or into the defenseman’s shin pads. Okay, maybe two moves. Sometimes he fakes the shot and goes around the net, then shoots it from a bad angle.

Pascal Dupuis: C

I love how Bibsy told him to keep shooting because eventually one would go in. Um, no, he’s Pascal Dupuis. One might not eventually go in.

Striped Buffoonery

Well, it’s official. NHL stands for No Hit League. Can someone please explain to Mike Hasenfratz and/or Action Jackson that just because you hit a guy hard, it is not a penalty. Orpik nailed poor little ice dancer Jeffy Skinner with a perfectly legal, booming hit. But because it was the poor little ice dancer recently concussed Jeffy Skinner, they felt obligated to make a call. He had played the puck at the same instant, so it absolutely couldn’t be interference (Rule 56.2 “Minor Penalty – A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck.”). It was shoulder to chest, no blow to the head. It was just a good hard CLEAN hit. But now we’re going to legislate that out of the game now?

Root Sports Daily F

They went to commercial during a scrum and missed the Brent/Vitale fracas.

Iceholes of the Day

Kirk Muller and Jussi Jokinen. After a Carolina icing call, Muller and Jokinen combined to hoodwink the clueless refs. Muller wanted Brandon Sutter on against Geno, but he wasn’t allowed the change and had used his timeout. So either he had Jokinen fake an injury or Jokinen was smart enough to do so. Either way, Muller got his change. And miraculously, Jokinen didn’t miss a shift.

Free Candy

The aforementioned CLEAN hit.

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A guide to the game grades can be found here.