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Pens top Habs in 2013′s highest-scoring game

Mar 2, 2013, 10:25 PM EDT

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The Pittsburgh Penguins got a little revenge on former head coach Michael Therrien on Saturday night.

They didn’t just beat the Montreal Canadiens. They also likely made the defense-first bench boss shudder thanks to the track meet nature of the contest; their 7-6 win represents the highest-scoring game of the 2013 season so far.

To give you an idea of how wild it was, Kris Letang collected a career-high four assists … and wasn’t even named one of the game’s three stars.*

NHL.com provides video evidence of all 13 goals:

That win improves Pittsburgh’s standing to 14-8-0, good for 28 points. Meanwhile, Montreal’s loss technically leaves them behind Boston for first place in the Northeast Division and the Eastern Conference because the Bruins have one more win and have played in three fewer games.

* – Brandon Sutter (two goals), Max Pacioretty (goal, assist) and Crosby (goal, two assists) took the honors instead.

  1. steelers88 - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Let me vent here trust me I really need to do this. It’s great that the Pens won 7-6 but Vokoun has to play better and Shero has to get a least a defensemen or two. The problem with the Penguins is they have to many offensive defensemen Niskanen,Martin,Letang, and Depres.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      Yeah there’s no way that Gionta shot should go in, but Vokoun was also hungout to dry a few times. There’s no question the Pens offense can erase deficits, but their D and Goaltending can erase leads. The onus falls more on the D than the goalies, however. The Pens look like the Flyers did last season. They can score with anyone and allow anyone to score. This year the Flyers (and consequently, Bryz) have played better thanks to a more team approach to defense. The forwards are helping out a lot more, and the results have been better (despite the record). I think Bylsma and the Pens need to consider putting an emphasis on this. Bc what I’ve seen from Pittsburgh the last few games is almost everyone expecting someone else to step up in the defensive zone, which leads to breakdowns. They’re an exciting, talented team with flaws.

      • somepeopleskidz - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:52 AM

        I completely agree, the Pens defense has just been terrible lately. Sometimes they just seem downright lazy, letting the opposition just walk right in on goal way too much, not clearing pucks, or watching the back door, etc. And while it certainly isn’t easy being the net-minder in that situation, I have also seen far too many goals given up that should have easily been stopped. The goaltenders need to find a way to keep their composure, not let those soft goals happen, track the rebounds better, and in general do a much better job staying in position. Normally its Vokoun letting at least a couple “easy saves” go by him, but Fleury has been guilty too. I believe Pens and Flyers really have traded playing styles, but also this is typical of the Pens mid-season performance. Look for them to correct this soon though, as they usually start and finish the season strong. As a sidebar, if the Pens/Flyers have traded styles, who would win the playoff series this time? I know hockey fans would love to see that match-up again!

      • tsi431 - Mar 3, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        I don’t believe the whole defense is the issue.
        Fleury SV% is the same it has been his whole career. Fleury’s GAA is lower this year then his career numbers.

        The difference is Vokoun, he has been terrible this year.
        .883% SV%, well below his average and he has given up 22 goals in his last 4 games. 3.61 GAA when his average is 2.57 over his career.

    • skillful999 - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      I heard Komisarek is available???

  2. sportsfreak13 - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    I would of preferred a 2-1 win considering how we lost our last 2, but a win against one of the best teams in the east is a win. These 2 points were big and buys us more time till Martin and malkin get back.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Mar 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Suit yourself…….I LOVED THE GAME!

      I wish the defense was better…..but 1-0 shutouts and 2-1 games are almost a waste of entertainment value for 2 and half hours of people’s tiime. A team can shore up their defense by simply playing better positionally.

      We can find a compromise though, if our team plays better defensively and the league stops allowing goaltenders to puff themselves up like the michelin man, I can be entertained and you can have your defense.

  3. jaybaileys - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Pens have no defense. They may make the playoffs but will get slaughtered. 2 goal lead gone in a matter of minutes. Shero needs a stay at home defenseman or this team will go nowhere. They left Fleury out to dry in Carolina and this game was similar, several goals scored within 5 feet of the net. And please sit Tyler Kennedy down he has been putrid all season, 2 bad penalties again tonight. This team can score with anyone he needs defensemen who aren’t interested in stats. You don’t win many games 7-6 in the playoffs. They keep this up they’ll get lit up in Philly too.

  4. habsman - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Action packed game.

    Turnovers in your D-zone are murder vs. the Pens, just too much talent even without Malkin. Good win for Pittsburgh, but we’ll gladly take the point. Wonder if Price gets the call after tomorrow after surrendering a TD?

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:51 AM

      Meh, these games happen. Giving up seven when the other guy gives up six is a write-off. No way Budaj gets the start against the Bruns.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:51 AM

        Bruns or Bruins, whatever.

  5. 8man - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    As a Bruins fan, I see both of these teams as legitimate hurdles, opposition to the ultimate goal. So when they play each other I’d like to see a winner and a loser. It’s not good when both emerge with points. It just raises the bar even higher.

    Is it just me, or are things going to be absolutely crazy the last weekend in April? The NHL is more compelling than ever. Go Bs!

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:53 AM

      Leafs fan here. Would’ve preferred 7-0 to 7-6 but I’ll take it.

      • ironman721 - Mar 3, 2013 at 8:32 AM

        Agreed, 7-0 would have been much better. Haha! Let’s go Pens🐧❗

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Mar 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        Or 9-0, or 11-0…….25-0 is probably asking too much huh?

  6. operwapitsai - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    hmmmmm…. as a caps fan the pens look a little like the old caps looked like. not strong defense and goaltending due to firewagon style of play. makes their stars look good in stats, but really….. look what happens in the playoffs-____- get used to exciting disappointment pittsburgh

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Mar 3, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      The difference is that our coach won’t be buring in a tub of BBQ wings when the playoffs start.

      • m1k3g - Mar 3, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but Mr. BBQ Wings seems to be doing all right these days.

        I think the real problem in Washington is becoming pretty clear at this point. Think A.O. – and I ain’t talking about Adam Oates.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Mar 3, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        You’re right Boudreau is doing well with the ducks, and I would agree part of the problem is Ovechkin’s ability as a captain. But, I’d also argue Washington’s main problem occured when they convinced themselves they had to turn an offensive beast into the new Jersey Devils.

        Doing so went against everything they were built for and wasted years of players talent. Torts in NY is doing the same things with the rangers after having them spend all that money on offensive weapons.

        I’m not against defense but overcoaching players to sacrifice what they do best to prevent an odd man break is bad for hockey, boring for the fans and detrimental to the TV viewership and exposure of the league!

    • tomahawk12 - Mar 3, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      You my friend, are the reason I have lived in Washington for 40 years and find Capitals and Redskins fans the most obnoxious I have seen. Rarely have a winner, but can’t wait to show their arse.

      Go Pens!

  7. steelers88 - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    The Penguins right now remind me of the 2009 Caps fun to watch for fans but not built to win in the playoffs. But man what would NBC give to have a Hawks/Pens Stanley Cup final.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:54 AM

      Maybe sacrifice Doc Emrick to the Hockey Gods?

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Mar 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        Doc Emrick is a broadcasting saint………..blasphemy I tell you, blasphemy!

  8. steelers88 - Mar 3, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    I mean I have faith that Ray Shero will do something at the trade deadline to make the defense and team better. His done it in the past.

    • odj810 - Mar 3, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      One or two players won’t help. They have to get back to attention to detail and structure to give them a cup run. It’s a team issue I think they will figure it out.

  9. ironman721 - Mar 3, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Bad goal tending, worse defense, and if not for the “W”, this game looked like the last 2 losses. Improvement needed is a vast understatement.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Mar 3, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      You know I understand your reasoning but like you said you get a valuable 2 points on the road, bottom line ! I believe the Pens are in sprint mode due to the shortened season and are quite capable of scoring goals at a good clip foregoing defense slightly for the quick points and some little parts of their game are just not being tacked up right now but when the playoffs begin I think the Pens will go into marathon mode if I could compared this season to a runner running a race and the attention to detail on defense will be executed ! As long as the pens get average to above average goaltending in the playoffs I don’t see a repeat of last year ! If I could just rap things up I think the Pens know a playoff spot is a foregone conclusion and the real season starts at the end of this sprint to it !

      • handsofsweed - Mar 3, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        Whoa! What got into you? That may have been the fairest post you’ve ever had regarding Pittsburgh. I’ve got one for you in return:

        As much as I’d love to see your Flyers miss the playoffs, it ain’t happening. No way in hell is Philly sitting this one out.

    • ironman721 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:30 AM

      @ handsofweed, I do believe even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while (or in this case medication). However if it is one thing the Trojan war taught us, if someone puts a wooden troll out side your gate, never let it in. You burn that wooden troll to the ground. In closing “🚫don’t feed the trolls!”

  10. dayno66 - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    “The results have been better despite the record.” That makes sense…

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 3, 2013 at 2:03 AM

      They have played so many back to backs where the 2nd game they’ve been so exhausted that they’ve been blown out. Leading to an inflated number of losses. So yes it does make sense, bc when they have the energy to play solid team defense they can beat anyone. Bryz is playing a lot better because he’s getting help. Ask Vokoun how much he likes being on an island.

  11. whatthepuck2012 - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    That game may have been ridiculous, but at least it was absurd.

  12. chanceoffleury1 - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    I think Shero is just waiting until it gets closer to the deadline. 14 is still a number most teams would love to have in their “W” column right now. I don’t think any cliche describes the Pens’ season this year better than “When it rains, it pours.” They seem to be either incredibly good, or horrifyingly bad to the point where you are questioning whether they are in some sort of Black Sox scandel and being paid off to blow the game b/c it’s the only thing that could explain such poor play. Hasn’t been much in between.That being said, the Pens are still a pretty solid playoff lock. But other teams who are bubble teams will get antsy as the deadline approaches as they try to make a change to ensure their best chance at securing a spot. They’ll get rid of a defenseman that is underperforming this season for less than they normally would.

  13. buffalomafia - Mar 3, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    That was a great game!

  14. letsgopens8771 - Mar 3, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    Great game. Pens definitely need to get the “all offense and no defense” mantra out of their heads. Sure, about 2 of those goals were Vokoun’s fault, but you need to change the way you play when you have a 2 goal lead. The Pens do not like playing defense. Letang is not our best defenseman. He’s our best offensive defenseman. Sometimes he is a little too aggressive, and that costs us. Still good game by him though. Shero needs to get a stay-at-home defenseman at the deadline, maybe Komisarek, Stuart, maybe Smid, I don’t know. I’m not pushing the panic button just yet, but if the Pens get ousted in the first round for the 3rd straight year, Bylsma needs to go.

    Still, awesome game. Hooray for Brandon Sutter!! When he has that kind of performance, I say,”Jordan WHO??” IN SHERO WE TRUST!!!

    GO PENS!!!

  15. drunk4thliners - Mar 3, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    While I agree that Letang and Co. are more offensively minded, we need to give some credit to them as well. I enjoyed seeing him join the rush and have some chances. What I enjoyed even more was when Kunitz cycled behind to cover the blue line. No one remembered Kunitz was there and he got a great shot past Price. Maybe the Pens FORWARDS need to be more defensively minded to help out.

    Also, without Depres stepping up on 4-on-4, that last goal does not happen. The new mantra should be “if someone steps up to join the rush, someone else better cover his @$$.”

  16. ironman721 - Mar 3, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    I’d like to sacrifice Don Cherry’s wardrobe to the hockey gods!

    • govtminion - Mar 3, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      Can’t we kill him and give his clothes to goodwill or something?

      • handsofsweed - Mar 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        Ahh, Don Cherry. Professional Wrestling Announcing needs you. Answer your true calling. Answer it.

  17. bobc74 - Mar 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    So you have this obviously offensively minded Pens team and then you have the minor league Pens team which seems to be defensively minded. The AHL Pens team won their game last night in a shootout, final score of game 2-1. Also the AHL Pens team has one of the lowest goals for AND goals against stats in the league. Maybe it’s time to sit Letang, Niskanen and Depres while Martin is injured and bring up some guys from Wilkes-Barre to show them how to play defense!

  18. pwilson264 - Mar 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    wow, what a game good end to end, but pens D needs to clear the net, sure VoKoun should of had some of the goals, but the D needs to help.

  19. jimw81 - Mar 3, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    it’s surreal that pens are psychologically raddled since they lost to flyers. Montreal turned that game into how the flyers play the penguins and penguins barley got out with a win. flyers showed the league the blue print how to beat pens.

  20. spavs412 - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    I think 8 goals the last 2 games were a direct cause of Orpik not clearing the paint. More blocked shots from our fw’s and ww need our D to clear the crease. Start there our mentality must change or the pens are ousted in the first 6 games with a quality team

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