My Prediction

Rangers 4, Pens 0. Record in predicting winner: 14-9.

Even Strength Offense: A

Disco would probably tell you he wasn’t totally thrilled with their play last night. They dominated zone time in the first period, but after that it was a pretty even game. And three of the goals came on transition, not forecheck. That makes me very happy. They need to have a strong transition game rather than just dumping the puck down ice and then forechecking. It worked to perfection on the Kunitz and Park goals as they were both on odd man breaks. They need to have this “home run” threat to keep the opponents honest in the Penguin end.

Even Strength Defense: A-

Once again, they did allow a fair number of decent chances. It started off great, as the Rangers didn’t even register their first shot until midway through the first period. The goal was just a total breakdown between Martin and Niskanen. Martin pinched, and nobody really covered for him. Then on the Ranger breakout, for some reason Niskanen went over to the left wing boards. it was as if he didn’t realize Martin was caught deep. I’m not sure what he was thinking.

Power Play: F

They did generate one good scoring chance in two power plays, but rarely sustained any pressure.

Penalty Kill: A

They stopped the Rangers cold. The PK midway through the third was especially impressive. The Rangers could have gotten back in the game with a goal, but the Pens gave them nothing.

Goaltending: A

Another excellent game for Fleury. The Rangers helped him by missing a couple wide open nets. But when you only allow one goal and it was a breakaway, you’re doing something right.

Overall: A

THis was quite possibly the Pens’ best game of the year. They were just outstanding. They came out and forced the play early, and took the lead. They didn’t wilt when the Rangers tied it up in the second. And they got two spectacular goals in the third to win it. Just a fantastic night overall. Geno and Neal continued their heroics, and they even got two goals from “secondary scorers.” And they finally beat a top-level team.

And now, the rest of the story…

Geno: A

He is simply amazing right now. This is by far the best I’ve ever seen him play. He’s the best player on the planet right now. It makes me happy to admit my criticisms of him earlier this year were wrong. It’s obvious he was still struggling a bit with the knee. But now that he’s 100 percent, he’s just incredible to watch. I don’t know about you, but my heart skips a beat every time he gets the puck nowadays.

James Neal: A

Only two assists.

Richard Park: A

Quite a nice addition.

Chris Kunitz: A

He finally got on the scoreboard.

Kris Letang: A

Great to see him back, and he looked like he didn’t miss a beat. Bt can someone please cut his hair?

Striped Buffoonery

Brandon Prust, being the punk that he is, pushed Martin right into Fleury with Francois St. Laurent (I know, say no more, right?) standing right there. he just stared at them and said play on.

Bibsy’s Creative Language

“He turned around to try to get the license number of the freight train that hit him. Wait, I guess a train doesn’t have a license plate.”

Loathsome Homerism of the Game

Talkking about 3-on-1s, Steigy said, “we’ve seen many go by the boards for other teams.” Nope, we’ve never seen the Pens botch a 3-on-1. Never. Ever.

Kunikaze

He just plastered the whining punk Ryan Callahan.

I’m on Twitter.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.