20 minutes. That's how much time the Penguins spent inside the penalty box. Ten penalties; 20 minutes. If you really break it down, we practically gave the Devils an extra period to work with.
Both teams combined for 5 powerplay goals, in this penalty-ridden game. The Penguins converted 3 times on 5 attempts, while the Devils were 2 for 7. All in all, a great performance by the Penguins' powerplay unit.
Once again the issue tonight was poor management in our own zone. Lanes were left wide open for Zach Parise, who set up three on the night, and the inability to clear in such situations led to detrimental turnovers and ultimately conversions from the Devils.
The score was well on its way to being tied on a Malkin goal from Staal on the breakaway, but the Penguins were penalized for too many men on the ice. The goal was called off, but at this point the arena was absolutely insane. Cups, programs, paper; whatever people could think of throwing wound up on the ice. Such is the frustration when your team takes six straight penalties.
All in all, the third period proved to be better played and less penalty ridden then the previous ones, but if you ask me, at this point the damage was already done. Brodeur shutout the Pens on their only 5 shot attempts in the third to ultimately seal the deal for the Devils.
If I had to highlight the Penguins for anything on the night, I'd say the powerplay did a phenomenal job compared to previous attempts in other games. Gonchar was firing from the blueline, netting one and assisting on another coming from the tip-in on his howitzer shot. Crosby assisted two of the three PP goals, while Malkin had a goal of his own.
Despite letting in 5 goals, Fleury looked a lot better in net tonight. I still stand by my statement when I say that there was an interference call on (Gionta?), but the goal stood because the penalty was not called and is ultimately not reviewable with the replay.
What the Penguins really have to do is work better in their own end. Again, this game is evidence to the fact that you can't win games by relying strictly on goals, especially when the other team has Brodeur between the pipes. Granter Brodeur hasn't started this season to the best of his abilities, but he somehow magically manages to play incredibly well against the Penguins.
Parise = the future of the Devils. The kid really is incredible.
Final thought: It's a tough loss, but I'll take it. The game was bound to be a neck and neck competition, but this time around the Devils came out on top. There's still seven more meetings on the season, and I'm really looking forward to what the next game has in store for these two teams.
<i>Italicized = PP</i>
Talbot from Whitney - Roberts
<span style="font-style:italic;">Roberts from Gonchar - Sykora</span>
<i>Gonchar from Crosby - Malkin</i>
<i>Malkin from Crosby - Gonchar</i>
Fleury : 30-35
Brodeur : 26-30
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