Shea-ved Ice: Geno, Pens Rip Coyotes 6-1
That’s about the best I can come up with for the show Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby put on last night at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Malkin’s five points tied a career-high and Crosby extended his point streak to 21 games.
I’ve found myself nervously watching in the hopes he registers a point in games recently.
However, Crosby is taking all the drama out of the streak with his play.
He’s clearly slipping though. He only had three points last night. Not to mention he needed 19-plus minutes to come up with another highlight worthy move to set up Malkin off a faceoff.
As I stated on Twitter last night, his move to set up Malkin shows how he is toying with opponents right now.
He had his lower hand turned over to make it look like he was going to draw the puck back. However, in the blink of an eye he wins the draw forward and feeds Malkin for a soul-crushing goal at the end of the period.
The Pens got off to a great start in the game and looked fresh off a long layoff. Kris Letang scored on the power play for only the second time this season to get the Pens on the board.
Pittsburgh had all the momentum going and then the parade to the penalty box began.
The Coyotes had four power play chances in the first period and came up empty thanks to great penalty killing and timely saves by Marc-Andre Fleury.
Then, Crosby setting up Geno set the stage for the rest of the game.
Just 51 seconds into the second period Crosby set up Malkin again after Keith Yandle coughed up the puck behind the net.
What makes the turnover more egregious was Yandle had the puck on his stick at a dead stop, behind the icing line to the right of Jason LaBarbera.
He started to take a slap shot to ice the puck while killing the penalty, decided against it and tripped over his own two feet behind the net.
Crosby picked up the loose puck, slid it to a streaking Malkin, who rang it off the far post for his second goal of the game.
About two minutes later, Malkin returned the favor by setting up Crosby for the Penguins’ third power play goal of the game.
Matt Cooke chased LaBarbera with a wrist shot off another faceoff win by Malkin.
Heading to the third period, you could tell one of two things were going to happen.
The Penguins were going to excessively feed Malkin to add to his point total, or Phoenix was going to come out and get nasty.
Well, we got both.
Malkin got his chances and set up teammates for other potential points. Unfortunately, he was held off the scoresheet for the final frame.
Phoenix came out and started taking runs at Malkin, which prompted tempers to flare and the game’s only fight to break out.
It would seem likely that the runs at Malkin were in both response to the scoreboard and Cooke catching Yandle with an elbow in the corner in the second period.
Deryk Engelland squared off with Taylor Pyatt in what quickly became a one-sided fight.
We all know Engelland can fight. His knockout of Colton Orr on Oct. 13 made him a household name in Pittsburgh.
However, the right hand bomb he dropped on Pyatt’s face last night is the best one he’s landed yet.
Pyatt dropped immediately and stayed down for several moments before heading to the box. A few seconds later, he began to bleed and went to the locker room.
To his defense, Pyatt is not a fighter. According to HockeyFights.com, he has 11 fights in his career.
Engelland has 10 fighting majors this season.
After the fight, Phoenix seemed to calm down a bit. Engelland’s fists of fury put an end to the Coyotes’ plan to get feisty.
Wojtek Wolski’s goal was a complete fluke that broke Fleury’s shutout and Chris Conner tacked on a late goal to cap the scoring.
The Penguins’ penalty killers last night were nothing short of extraordinary.
With three men in the box in the second period, the Penguins limited the Coyotes to only one shot.
While the Penguins took too many penalties in the game, they didn’t surrender a power play goal in eight chances.
Up next will be the Florida Panthers, who shutout the Philadelphia Flyers 5-0 Monday night.
All in all, it was a pretty good night to be a Pens fan.