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Fleury remains undefeated, Crosby stays hot in Pens win

Oct 19, 2013, 4:11 PM EDT

mafgetty Getty Images

People might chuckle at Marc-Andre Fleury‘s gaffe from Saturday, but the goalie and his Pittsburgh Penguins got the last laugh, beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 via a shootout.

Fleury stopped 34 out of 37 shots to remain undefeated, as the Penguins only loss came when he was getting a breather.

It was really a game about Pittsburgh’s big stars, as Sidney Crosby continues his ridiculous start to 2013-14; he collected a goal and two assists to push his NHL-leading points total to 17. As of this writing, he leads everyone else by at least six points.

Evgeni Malkin made a big contribution, too, as he collected an assist and the shootout-winner. The Penguins have now won 11 straight shootouts at home.

The Canucks carried much of the play, firing 39 shots on goal compared to Pittsburgh’s 28, but they couldn’t beat Fleury enough to take the win. Like seemingly everyone else (aside from the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final), they also couldn’t stop Crosby.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I don’t see any reason why the Pens can’t win the Metro. They look comfortable and Crosby is quietly having a Hart Trophy-esqe year.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      And the rest of the metro division couldn’t even win the frozen four at this point in the season. Haha, if that doesn’t change than it surely isn’t hurting the Pens chances…..

    • claudegirwho - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      I wouldn’t call two points a game being quiet but I get what your saying

      • c9castine - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        lot of good players in this league and i think sid’s few years of injuries disconnected him from the media just a bit (im sure some are happy). 17 points and 7 goals in 8 games is pretty ridiculous. hes not a player known for slowing down or going into slumps, hes actually a bit of a slow starter and will continually get better from start to finish. this could be a pretty special season, 150 points is not out of the realm here at all.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        So 164 points (82 games times 2 points/gm) isn’t a big deal haha? When was the last time that happened?

  2. joey4id - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    The big story for the Pens has got to be the return to form of MAF. He’s been playing very well. In control of his body never over playing the puck. It’s frightening to think that Crosby has yet to reach his prime. Why didn’t D Sedin get a minor for checking from behind on Orpik in OT? Bad no call from the ref. Great game!

    • kirkmcleansbaby - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      I don’t really think you can point out that one bad call that the Canucks got away with! How many times did the Pens get away with clutching and grabbing?!? H. Sedin was was being held beside the Pens net while he was trying to get to the puck vehind the net! Where was the blatant interference call on that one?!?!

      So ya, missed calls both ways, you can’t just point to the one like it was the only one.

      Great game indeed though. Good to see the Canucks carry most of the play, and great to have our depth players really step up and contribute! Can’t wait until the rematch! :)

      • 2jivecrew - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:05 PM

        Fleury always looks good in the regular season. That’s not an issue, nothing he does in the reg season means anything anymore until he can prove he can hold it together in the playoffs.

      • curioustraveler13 - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Seeing as he has already won a cup I think he’s proven he can play in the playoffs too. He just has to get back into that form again. If the only bad thing you can say about him is “wait till he falls apart” I can take that. He looks great and I’m going to enjoy it. Pens are playing good hockey, but there are areas they can better. Once letang, Neal, and Bennett come back they will look much better. Once everyone’s healthy that lineup is scary deep. We have a defenseman playing right wing right now and were still getting wins. Fun time to be a pens fans. Olli maatta is legit and he’s only 19. Teams are going to regret not taking him earlier in the draft. That kind of talent at the 22nd spot is hard to imagine.

      • c9castine - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM

        another hit from behind could have been called on whats his face loser when he hit dupuis and you say all that clutching and grabbing but only cited some net scrum interference penalty i cant even remember. there is always missed calls both ways he was just pointing out one.

  3. csilojohnson - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Crosby is a beast.
    Check your shot totals writer…

  4. c1md6 - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Lol we’ll see in May how good Fleury is, 82 games are a marathon not a sprint. Every year we do this, crown Pittsburgh champions and every year same result, no defense, terrible goaltending, bounced first or second round.

    • jpelle82 - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      well they say it every year for good reason, the penguins do put themselves in position every year to compete for the cup. no point in bringing up playoffs now when its 6 months away, a lot can happen between now and then. i will say the penguins need to find a solution for the backup goalie situation, zatkoff cant keep blowing games against teams like the panthers for the sake of spelling fleury.

      • thesportsjudge - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        So you are saying there was no point to the first post’ers entire post then, right? Winning the division, and a trophy?

    • jpelle82 - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      and by the way, they made it to the ecf last year…thats past the 1st or 2nd round.

    • c9castine - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      every year same result? 2008 stanley cup final 2009 stanley cup champs 2013 conference final. thats 3 times in 6 years they didnt do what you said. i havent fact checked this but i think only boston and chicago and detroit can claim that, if that. try again.

  5. cmpuck - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Nucks shoulda taken more 50 ft shots.

  6. steelers88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    This Penguins team feels different this year. The Penguins defense is very underrated they are blocking a lot of shots. I haven’t seen Flurey play this well since the cup year. This team is obviously the class of the Metropolitan the Penguins are doing this without Neal and Letang the only thing that is a weakness with this team is the backup goaltending situation. It feels like the Penguins are on a mission this year to win the Stanley Cup.

    • c9castine - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      i agree only weakness is backup net. this team does feel different. it feels like they are done carrying the weight of the pressure of playing in pittsburgh….instead just going to realize it is what it is and they are built to win. if this group focuses and goes out and plays for fun and with no reservations, they will win it.

    • joey4id - Oct 20, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      No doubt we’re seeing the Jacques Martin effect this year. But! The “if” between the pipes is still there. How will MAF play in the playoff? I don’t think backup is an issue. The backup only needs to play well enough to give MAF some rest during the regular season. During the playoffs you go with numero uno. And that should be MAF, and it will be his chance to secure his future in Pit.

  7. steelers88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Crosby looks like the player he was when he suffered his concussion.

  8. Hockeyfan - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    No fyers fans berating the Pens/Crosby so far and that is refreshing. It’s a long season for sure but it is great to see the effort and things clicking right now. And, this is without Letang and real deal Neal. Should the Pens keep Maata?

    • laxman1944 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      So true…..Those fans of the Philadelphia Flyers can be so tiresome at times.

      The Penguin is playing well. But it is a long season and you can’t help but be concerned about the goal tending.

      Hey……….Let’s go……Pimanti’s is on me!!!!!!!!

    • letsgopens8771 - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Absolutely keep Maata. He deserves his spot. He’s been playing really well. Bortuzzo is good, but Maata has been better. This scenario sets up a Despres or Engelland deal at the deadline. Either way, Pens are in good shape. Only thing that’s suspect is if our backup goalie can win is a game when we have to give Flower a break.

      • claysbar - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:08 AM

        At the very least Dustin Jeffrey. Would be nice seeing Engelland stay on in his current utility role. That really could come in handy. Also with Joey V progressing nicely it makes Jeffrey more expendable.

  9. csilojohnson - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I guess if you just started watching hockey a couple years ago you’d think Fleury needs to prove he can handle playoff game. Goalies go through ups and downs. It’s only hands down the toughest job in sports. Hopefully he finds his mojo. The backup sitch is a concern. The Florida game was his first NHL action though. Won’t throw him out for that.

    • laxman1944 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Sorry bro, everybody knows Flowers has not gotten it done when it counts since winning the cup.

  10. letsgopens8771 - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Um… You seem to have forgotten the fact that OLLI MAATA SCORED HIS FIRST NHL GOAL!!! It was only a Matta of time baby! He has been playing so well and he deserves to keep his spot. He is not making typical rookie mistakes and is playing some great hockey. Great game all around. Fats paced, lots of flow, and Flower came up huge when he needed. Stellar play by Sid, but that is nothing new. He is showing why he is the best in the world. GO PENS!!!

  11. steelers88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    If the Penguins are going to win the cup their going to win it is going to be this year. The Penguins play teams from their own division in the first two rounds of the Playoffs their division is TERRIBLE this year. The only teams that scare me are TB, BOS, and NYI.

  12. whammy71 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Pens fans – yes, enjoy the regular season.

    But this team is built for the POs and grabbing the Cup. Nothing that happens now matters. Sid could have a kazillion points…doesn’t matter. Everyone talks about MAF “returning to form”. Well….guess what….he’s always had a stellar reg season record. What he is doing now is nothing new. WE NEED TO SEE IT IN THE POST-SEASON.

    Mario’s Pens underachieved by winning only 2 Cups…this squad only has 1….has looked terrible in recent POs….and is quietly becoming an older team. It’s up to Sid to lead this team to the promised land. Remember, Geno was the PO MVP and Sid couldn’t even gut out a game 7 the year they won (but he could grab that Cup post-game and twirl around the ice like an 8 year old on Christmas morning).

    • joey4id - Oct 20, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Shero did what should have been done a couple of years ago. Sign a coach who can help improve the team’s d play. Jacques Martin has done that. Older team? Yes! They are amongst the oldest teams in the NHL. So are, DET, CHI, SJS, VAN, and BOS. Which team is not becoming older? You’re right about Sid being the ultimate leader who has to help carry the team. He has to set up his game, and make sure other follow. That’s what leaders do, and he’s done that already. Remember that he hasn’t yet reached his prime. The year they won the cup Sid put OV in his back pocket. He stepped up. Nothing wrong with other players also stepping up.

      BTW, here are the comparative stats for Geno and Sid. Pretty even I’m sure you’d agree.

      Player GP G A Pts +/– PIM
      Evgeni Malkin 24 14 22 36 +3 51
      Sidney Crosby 24 15 16 31 +9 14

  13. whammy71 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    oh…I almost forgot…..1975.

  14. pitpenguinsrulez - Oct 20, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    @whammy71 your an idiot…not built? So I’m guessing in your last seasons deep run was a fluke? Right?

    • whammy71 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Keep drinking the regular season kool aide. Pens won a Cup with Therrian’s system mixed with a fresh outlook. Disco Dan hasn’t proven anything but being able to win a lot of regular season games.

      1. Star is injury prone
      2. MAF is a head case in the POs
      3. Shero gave Bylsma a ton of talent at last year’s deadline and he used everyone out of position except for Crankshaft.
      4. Bylsma broke up the most dominant line in hockey (Geno, Kuny, Neal)…to appease Sid.
      5. Neal is hurt right now cause he got injured playing on-ice whiffle ball. Another smooth move by Disco Dan. And yes, I have inside sources.
      6. Pens scored 2 goals in 4 games. And they are supposed to have the high powered offense. Bylsma doesn’t make adjustments. He tries to fit the square peg in a round hole.

      Look – I’m not bashing the Pens….I’m just pointing out the flaws they have. I’m a fan and want then to win as much as anyone else on this board. But I’m looking at them objectively and withoutBlack-n-gold glasses.

      • whammy71 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        #6 was in reference to last year’s ECF.

  15. steelers88 - Oct 20, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    How do you say this is a older team their core is really young Crosby is 26, Malkin is 27, Letang is 26, Neal is 26, and Fleury Is 28. I don’t consider that old the surrounding cast might be old but their core isn’t. The Penguins are going to be good for a long time.

    • whammy71 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Pens have the 4th oldest roster in the league.

      Winning the Cup takes more than stars. We saw that play out last year.

      Again – I want the Pens to win as much as anyone. Just not drinking the reg season Kool Aide and pointing out their weaknesses.

      And this is about Cups……not reg season wins. This squad is past that.

  16. whiskytango333 - Oct 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    And to think this is all happening without Neal and Letang.

    On a completely different note, the return of Rob Scuderi cannot be underestimated. He provides that veteran leadership and stay at home defense the Penguins sorely missed.

  17. c1md6 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    I apologize to the stat geeks, they made it to the 3rd round ECF a couple of times before the colossal choke and the princess is whining to the refs all series. Didn’t know 4th place was taking so serious in Pittsburgh, well between the steelers, pirates, and marrying your cousin I guess the Pens is all you got.

  18. nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 20, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Interesting moment in the game when we saw 4 Art Ross Trophy winners on the ice at one time. Malkin, Crosby and the Sedins (though we only have their word as to who won it which year; kidding). From what I can tell it was the first such grouping of ART winners in over 40 years, since March 25, 1972, when Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita hit the ice in the Gahden in a 5-5 tie.

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