Pens At Canes Grades
Even Strength Offense: B+
They got off to a very slow start, perhaps because of the long layoff or the reconfigured lines. But they gained momentum as the game wore on, taking charge in the third period. The first goal was huge, coming just after the Canes had taken the early lead. It was a great pass from Dupuis to an onrushing Bortuzzo that set it up. Then Morrow made a brilliant play, showing he still has at least some offensive talent, to give them the lead. The game settled down in the second, but two goals in 13 seconds in the third iced it for the Pens. The fourth line got the tying goal when Bennett banked one in from the doorstep. Then Iginla put a tough shot on the sieve-like Peters and Geno banged home the rebound for the winner. The offense had arisen just in the nick of time.
Even Strength Defense: C
For the most part, the defense wasnâ€™t too bad. But they continually lost defensive zone faceoffs, and that led to two goals against. The first was right off the draw through a screen, and the second was shortly after a lost draw. That second one was a study in how one bad thing leads to another. It was all set up by a brutal Geno giveaway at center ice. Carolina dumps it in. Fleury covers it. Pens win the draw. Stinkelland is barely touched and gacks up the puck. Back to the point. In the net. But it all went back to the Genover.
Power Play: F
Brutal once again, notching only two shots in four minutes of time. That would be abouty a shot for every minute they spent in the offensive zone. They simply never got anything at all established.
Penalty Kill: C
The faceoff bugaboo killed them here too. Sutter cleanly lost a draw and Corvo put it home through a huge screen.
I have no real gripes with Fleury. The first two that beat him were screened point shots he never saw, and the final one was loose defense in front after the Stinkelland giveaway. He made a couple good saves here and there, but wasnâ€™t severely tested most of the night.
Not their best effort, but they did enough to beat a bad Carolina team. It was frustrating because Justin Peters just flat stinks in goal, and for most of the night they struggled to get good opportunities on him. They missed the net quite a bit. But they got those two quickies in the third and that was that.
And now, the rest of the storyâ€¦
He was putting forth more effort than in recent games, but the results werenâ€™t there until the winning goal.
Jarome Iginla: B
Not a bad game for him.
Jussi Jokinen: A
Wow, he looked very good once again.
Somehow, some way, Stinkelland plays while Despres sits. I think I know why. Despres made a mistake back in January and Disco is still mad at him for it. Of course, Stinkelland was once again on the ice for two of the three goals against, but he wonâ€™t sit. Somehow, in Discoâ€™s mind, both will be Bortuzzoâ€™s fault. Why, oh, why does Dan hate young players?
Brooks Orpik: A
I didnâ€™t see anything from him, but he ended up +4. Must have done something right.
Beau Bennett: A
Welcome back Beau! But being the young guy, Disco will probably have you sit for a week for not being in the right place when you scored.
Jordan Staal: F
Howâ€™s that big contract and playing with your brother working for ya? Funny thing is, youâ€™re not missed.
It was another game where refs werenâ€™t even needed. Let â€˜em play, baby, and ignore everything.
Iâ€™m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.