Wednesday, March 17, 2010

1st Period Thoughts: Pens-NJD

Well, if it wasn't obvious already, it should be. The Devils are in the Penguins' heads. After trailing on an early Chris Kunitz goal, the more traditional red and green guys honoring the past on St. Patty's Day responded like good teams do, getting the next two.

Both off identical sloppy turnovers forced by Jacques Lemaire's trap which has given Pitt fits. The first came off a poor change, allowing Patrik Elias to force Kris Letang and then make a smart soft backhand feed which sprung Dainius Zubrus for a clean break, which he converted with a sweet power forehand deke to draw even. The second came was a potential momentum shifter with less than two minutes left when another Pens' misplay led to returning Devil hero Paul Martin breaking in and firing far side past Marc-Andre Fleury. A very good shot but another one the Pens' netminder should've had. In four starts versus the defending champs' kryptonite, he doesn't play well.

Meanwhile, Martin Brodeur made a few strong stops when called upon. He has 10 saves to Marc-Andre's seven. You have to wonder if the Pens minus Evgeni Malkin, can respond. All we saw from Sidney Crosby were some dirty stick whacks at Mike Mottau that drew Devil fans' ire. The same kind of stuff he gets away with versus us. It would be a refreshing change to see the Golden Boy treated like other players. For one of the game's best, he sure gets away with a lot. But as evidenced during last night's Ranger clunker, refs just aren't paying enough attention to stick swings like the one Brian Gionta got away with after a whistle. He ain't Mr. Hacks for nothing.

Time for the second. Be back after.

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