Despite some poor stretches of play and some mental and defensive lapses, the Penguins have steadied the course and have now won two games in a row after beating the Sabres on Thursday night by a score of 4-2. Patric Hornqvist opened the scoring for the Penguins when he stuffed home a Nick Bjugstad rebound. The Sabres would challenge that goal because Bjugstad got obliterated into the Sabres goalie. That challenge would ultimately fail giving the Penguins a power play. That power play was absolutely abysmal and Buffalo would tied the game while short-handed. Marcus Pettersson finally decided he was going to chip in offensively. He ripped a one-timer from about the circles to give the Pens a 2-1 lead. In the second period Hornqvist would extend the Pens lead to 3-1 on his second of the night. Buffalo tried to make things interesting when they scored on a shot from about a mile away with no traffic in front of Murray. But Sidney Crosby put the Sabres in their place when he scored his 69th career backhand goal to give the Pens the 4-2 lead and victory, and giving POA another successful trip to Buffalo.
Now things get fun. The Penguins remaining games are all against teams in the Metro except for two. Entering play today, the Caps and Flyers are tied atop the Metrosexual Division with 87 points. The Penguins, who have one less game played, currently sit at 84 points.
This afternoon the Capitals come to town. The last time these two teams met the Caps came from behind to beat the Pens 5-3 in Washington. The Caps are limping into this game. They've only won twice since their last time out against the Penguins and have lost their last two games. On Thursday night they let Mika Zibanejad score five goals against them. That being said expect the Caps to win 5-2.
Third jerseys today.
Mika Zibanejad just scored again.
The first time the Penguins will see Ovechkin and Kovalchuk together. Good lord.
Ovechkin has 47 goals this season. That's good.
Evgeni Malkin has 11 points (3G, 8A) in his last 7 games.
Per Penguins PR, Jason Zucker (I hardly know her!!) has 11 points in 12 games since being acquired back on February 10th.
Nick Bjugstad looked very good in his return on Thursday.
No clue who the Pens goalie is at the time of typing this. Assuming Holtby will be in net for the Caps.
For you standing nerds, the Flyers and Caps are tied for the top spot in the Metro. The Pens are 3 points back.
The POA takeover of Buffalo was an overwhelming success.
Hopefully the Pens remember this game starts at 1. They haven't had good starts in afternoon games all year.
Zucker-Crosby-Sheary line is really starting to gel. Marleau is starting to gel with Malkin and Rust too. That could be a very good top six down that stretch and beyond.