Saturday, February 17, 2007

Penguins 5 - Devils 4: 15 straight with a point

...and a goal for Crosby!!!

Yes, the 8-game goal scoring slump is over as Crosby buried a laser wrister in the Penguins big 5-4 win over the evil Devils of New Jersey.

The win gives the Penguins 15 straight games with at least a point, breaking an old team record. Sure, the shootout rules and bonus points for OT losses have helped create this artificial record, but 15 straight is still impressive, and gives the Penguins more cushion for a playoff spot.

Crosby was the game's second star with 1 goal, 1 assist, and +2 in a low (for him) 17:28 of ice time. It looks like Crosby is finally BACK.

From Yahoo! Sports:
Jarkko Ruutu scored two goals Friday night to lead the surging Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Rob Scuderi, Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby also scored for Pittsburgh, which pulled within five points of the Atlantic Division-leading Devils with a game in hand. The Penguins have won five in a row. More impressively, they have picked up at least one point in 15 straight games, winning 13 of them.

Brian Rafalski, Patrik Elias, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac scored for the Devils, who had won 10 of their previous 14.

The Penguins drained the drama from the showdown by jumping out a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Ruutu, Scuderi and Staal.

Ruutu got it started when he deflected Josef Melichar's point shot past goalie Martin Brodeur at 3:02.

Scuderi, set up by Melichar, scored at 5:19 from the right point.

Staal got Pittsburgh's third goal of the period with 2:06 remaining, jamming a shot from the slot past Brodeur.

Both teams scored twice in the second period.

Rafalski got his third goal in the last two games at 7:29 to break Marc-Andre Fleury's shutout bid.

Crosby countered for Pittsburgh, ending his eight-game goal-scoring drought with a power-play tally at 10:27 to give the Penguins a 4-1 lead.

Elias scored for the Devils at 12:32 before Ruutu got his second of the game with 3:08 remaining to put Pittsburgh up 5-2.

New Jersey scored twice in the third period to trim the Pittsburgh lead to 5-4. Parise scored on the power play at 2:38 and Zajac fired a shot from just inside the blue line that hit Fleury's glove and popped into the net at 8:50.

Fleury was sharp in the final seconds when the Devils pulled Brodeur for an extra attacker. Fleury turned aside several shots, including an excellent shot by Zajac, as the Devils pressed for the equalizer.
The Devils and Penguins play 3 more times this season. Let's hope those 3 meetings are just as good.

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