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Pens ride four-minute wave of offense to top Ducks

Nov 18, 2013, 10:09 PM EDT

Depending upon whom you ask, the Pittsburgh Penguins answered many or few questions on Monday. No one can deny the score, however, as they beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 in a, well, odd duck of a game.

Penguins’ positives

Marc-Andre Fleury was brilliant when his team wasn’t so bright, including keeping the Ducks off the scoreboard in a first period where they generated a 12-3 shot disparity. Sidney Crosby scored his 10th goal of the 2013-14 season while Evgeni Malkin often asserted his will over the contest, collecting a pair of assists.

There’s also the great debut for Brian Gibbons, who notched the first goal and first assist of his career in his first NHL game.

Negatives

Still, that aforementioned first period was troubling and all four of the game’s goals came in 4:04 of game time in the final frame. For some, that might smell of blind luck or a Ducks team that ran out of gas. There will also be some who continue to gravitate toward Malkin’s lack of goals, even if he has almost an assist per game to “make up” for the lack of tallies (17 assists and 20 points overall in 21 games played).

That brings us to another undeniable factor: the Ducks will be glad to return to Anaheim. The Ducks went 0-3-1 in a four-game road trip through the East despite gaining the shot advantage in all four of those contests.

***

Pittsburgh finds itself gaining on top East teams Boston and Tampa Bay while the Ducks may find themselves slipping a tier or two once other West teams catch up to their 23 games played. Both teams have been struggling a bit lately, so we’ll see if the Penguins use this as a bounce-back night.

  1. steelers88 - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Good win. The 1st period was a lot to be desired. The 2nd pd on looked like Penguins hockey. I liked what I saw from Crosby and Malkin in this game. Malkin finally started to shoot the puck in this game that’s what he needs to do he looked good tonight. Crosby looked tonight as he scored the 3rd goal. Finally Byslma finally came out of his coma! He mixed up the lines! A pretty good night for the Pens.

  2. csilojohnson - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Just glad they got a win. Not going to pick it apart. Caps Wednesday.

  3. c9castine - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    look, it surely would be nice if malkin buried the puck a little bit more. but the guy has 17 assists in 21 games. and these aren’t secondary assists or luck. he’s still making the puck go in the net. forget about it.

    looked a little better. they put up a W so lets just take it and move on.

  4. bencia823 - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    After seeing Beau and Jussi blow A+ chances with their inability to control the puck, I thought this was going to be another Penguins loss where they had the chances to score but couldn’t do it. It’s nice that they got the win but they are going to have to be able to convert more consistently to get all the way out of this slump.

    • c9castine - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:08 AM

      what chances are you talking about with those two particular players?

      • bencia823 - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:01 AM

        Beau: Mini breakaway set up by Crosby -> he mishandled the pass and ended up throwing a bad angle backhand on net.

        Jussi: Empty net one timer opportunity from Crosby (I think it was on the PP after Neal took the puck to the face). He wasn’t able to get the shot off.

      • c9castine - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        yeah I’m not sure why all the thumbs down lol you guys disagreeing with my bad memory?

        the jokinen chance was ridiculous. even the guy who has a few goals for you can’t bury it. bennett was in a bit of a tough position. should have done better with it but that one was a little tougher.

        neal missed the net like 5 times again. sutter had a point blank shot and didn’t get the puck up enough went right into his glove with it. martin had a chance down the wings put it right into his chest. letang had him beat and skimmed the cross bar. craig adams was all alone in front with a rebound couldn’t bury it. kunitz lifted it on a give and go right into the crossbar.

        just wondering why you singled those two out.

    • hockey412 - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      Only Pens fan I’ve ever heard question the puck handling of Bennett or Jokinen. Beau got a decent shot off on that, and if he had scored it would have been a great play. Jokinen wiffed on a one timer…Kunitz does that all the time, but makes more than he misses. Not sure he thought that pass would make it through, but criticizing those plays as “inability to control the puck” is silly.

      • bencia823 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        I’m not criticizing them as a whole, I’m just saying that they were unable to make the play in those specific instances. I’ve never said that I dislike either of them or want them to be demoted. You’re right about Kunitz, but he finds a way to get so many of those opportunities that it balances out.

  5. pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    I’m happy to see us get the victory tonight. With a big rivalry game on Wednesday night vs the Caps.

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    Highlight of the night was when Malkin skated a lap of the Ducks zone with the puck, and it looked for all the world like he was thinking “this puck is going into the motherf***** net if I have to skate it in!” Then a sweet pass and a kid gets No. 1.

    • jpelle82 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      pretty sweet way to get your first goal. was hoping they couldve gotten malkin an empty netter last night just to put an f you on the score sheet for all the people who have been talking trash the last couple weeks.

    • joey4id - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Great feed by Malkin to the open man in the slot. There was a play in the second period when he was in the slot and appeared to have a good look at the net but he chose ton dish the puck to the left. Result. No shot on net. He has to take those shots himself to get those goals.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        Yes, but… assists are as good as goals, meaning if you get an assist, it can only mean your team scored. Ask Mr Gretzky. He’d still hold the all-time points record and be in the Hall of Fame had he never scored a single goal.

      • joey4id - Nov 19, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        yea. I get that but sooner or later the pens will need big goals, and they don’t want a repeat of last year’s playoffs.

  7. patthehockeyfan - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    testing

  8. patthehockeyfan - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Okay. Testing is done, and I wasn’t thrown off the site.

    To repeat: the 3rd period of last night’s game was relentless and intense. It reminded me of a playoff game.

    Congrats to the Pens, to their fans, to Fleury, and especially to Brian Gibbons on his first NHL goal.

    I’m an LA Kings fan, and while I wasn’t necessarily happy to see the Ducks lose, I wasn’t sad either.

    Finally, Geno not putting it in the net isn’t as awful as some people make it out to be. His presence on the ice, combined with his many assists, are a good as a goal. The Pens are lucky to have him.

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