My Prediction

Avalanche 3, Pens 2.
Actual: Pens 5, Avalanche 1.
Record in predicting winner: 24-16.

Even Strength Offense: B

The Pens have played lots of better offensive games. They never really established a forecheck, and the Avs actually carried the play for much of the night. The first period was really all Avalanche, yet the Pens came out of it up 2-0. Both goals were on transition—a wicked slapper by Asham and a miraculous deflection by Engelland. They doubled the lead in the second on a garbage goal by Geno and a Park breakaway out of the penalty box. Then Sullivan iced it with an empty-netter. Only Geno’s goal was the result of hard work in the zone. So it certainly wasn’t the typical wear them down win.

Even Strength Defense: C

Boy, they gave up lots of chances, especially early. They just did not come out ready to play.

Power Play: B

They failed to score, but they did have lots of zone time and some good chances.

Penalty Kill: A

Another four kills as they just keep rolling.

Goaltending: A

Flower kept them in this game early on, when they just looked out of it. He made numerous big saves in the first 7 minutes to keep it scoreless. But he kept it up throughout the game. He deserved a shutout, but that wasn’t to be.

Overall: B+

The Pens played a decent game, but it certainly wasn’t one of their best, score aside. They were aided by sieve-like goaltending by Giguere and quite the opposite by Fleury. The latter kept them in it early until his mates found their legs. In the latter half of the first and then the second periods, it seemed like every tough shot whizzed by Giguere. I guess once they took away his Michelin Man pads, he just quit being a good goalie.

And now, the rest of the story…

Geno: B

Not one of his best efforts, but he did notch a goal.

James Neal: D

No goals since signing the big contract. Only two shots on goal last night.

Steve Sullivan: A

Boy, what a roll he is on! Two more points last night.

Jordan Staal: F

Didn’t even notice him. And he was 3/15 on faceoffs.

Arron Asham: A

That shot was a rocket

Deryk Engelland: A

Too bad he couldn’t notch the Gordie How hat trick.

*Minus machine 4: * +1 to go to -5.

Minus Machine 7: +3 to jump to -4

The Non Minus Machines: +4 to go to +44

Icehole of the Game

J.S. Giguere. He couldn’t stop a puck, so he decided to go for something larger—Cooke’s head. He nailed Cooke right in the chops with a blocker shot. Yep, he’s such a good guy.

Monk Moment

The tip by Engelland. I think he fancies himself a goal scorer.

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A guide to the game grades can be found here.