Now that’s more like it!

Offense: A

Not only did they put five past Uncle Fatty, they generated numerous good chances from start to finish. They tired the old geezer out by the end. Of course, it was getting close to senior hour at the buffet, so his mind was likely elsewhere by the third period. But seriously, it was a great offensive performance, especially by the Crosby line. They just dominated shift after shift. The Pens got a goal off the rush when Sutter finally found the net and one off a brutal turnover by Volchenkov to Kunitz in the second. Then the floodgates opened in the third. Letang snapped one by Uncle Fatty for a huge goal, then Sid and Bortuzzo closed the scoring. It was one of those days where everything was working.

Defense: A

For the second straight game, they allowed no even-strength goals. In fact, they allowed only 14 ES shots. Every now and then, the Devils got a look, but when they did, it was one and done. The Pens continue to concentrate on the defensive end, and it’s starting to pay some dividends. Props to the “bottom three” who are eating up some minutes at even strengthwhile not costing them at all.

Power Play: F-

Brutal. It looked disorganized all game long and generated only three shots in six minutes of time. Well, four if you count the one by the Devils for a shorty. At what point do you start changing out personnel one at a time until you find a combination that works?

Penalty Kill: A

They pretty much made the Devil power play look silly. Great job here.

Goaltending: A

A very underrated kind of game from Fleury. He made a few outstanding saves in the first two periods when it was still close. If one of those goes in, it’s a different ballgame. He robbed Kovalpunk a couple times.

Overall: A

A tremendous effort against a quality opponent. They finally got off the schnide at home with a dominating performance. Gone was one stretch pass after another. In were short, crisp breakouts. They very much limited the turnovers in the gray areas. They stuck to their game from start to finish. That’s two fantastic efforts in a row.

And now, the rest of the story…

Sid: A

By far his best game of the year. He was flying and he was everywhere. And he had a nice little +4 to show for it.

Geno: C

What the hell was that gliding on the short-handed goal all about? He is still nowhere near close to form.

Brandon Sutter: A

I thought it might never happen, but he finally scored one.

Z-Boy: I

(Credit to my wife for the nickname.) But he did look like he might fit in somewhere on the top two lines.

Chris Kunitz: A

Finally, the last of the Cheetos he ate during the lockout wore off, and look what happened.

Robert Bortuzzo: A

Makes you wonder why they’ve been screwing around with Lovejoy. He showed a skating ability I didn’t know he had.

Paul Martin: C

In a game where the team as a whole was +20, he managed to be the only minus player.

Striped Buffoonery

Late in the game, Volchenkov got away with a cross check to Sid’s back.

Icehole of the Game

It has to be Volchenkov. The whole third period, he was looking for Penguins to bury. That’s okay, i-hole, we’ll take the nice setup you gave Kunitz for his goal.

TYFS

Early one, Elias had a chance at a 2-on-1 but just let the puck wander away from him.

Loathsome Homerism

Steigy said Sid “accidentally”tripped a Devil.

Bibsy’s Creative Language

He said Brodeur “jumped across on his chest,” whatever the heck that was supposed to mean.

EFGT

Fleury made an outstanding save on a cross ice pass to Kovalpunk. Kovalpunk waited a split second then shot it back in the other direction. Glove save and a beauty.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.