Crosby shines, Halak pulled in Penguins' 6-3 win

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Crosby6.jpgIt was all about quality over quantity tonight in Pittsburgh, as
Sidney Crosby and the Penguins made quick work of the Montreal
Canadiens en route to a big 6-3 win. After Jaroslav Halak put together a magical three game run to
take out the first-place Capitals, he looked entirely human and a bit
out of sorts tonight as the Penguins took a 1-0 series lead.

What the Washington Capitals could never do
against the Habs, the Penguins were able to do in dominating fashion;
after killing 32 of 33 penalties against the Capitals the Habs gave up
four power play goals to the Penguins, including three straight with
the man advantage after the Canadiens were able to take an early 1-0

Sidney Crosby, while not putting up tremendous numbers, had
another lunchpail game as he made big hits, played great defensively
and did all the little things needed to keep the puck alive on several
occasions. It was his brilliant cross-crease pass that put the dagger
into the hearts of the Canadiens tonight, as he fed Alex Goligoski for
an easy tap-in goal that gave the Penguins a 5-3 win.

though, even with Crosby’s inspired play, the story will once again be
centered around Jaroslav Halak. Two days ago it was based on Halak’s
tremendous play against the Capitals and tonight it will once again be
about his inconsistency. Halak allowed five goals on 20 shots and did
nothing that resembled the confident and motivated goaltender that ended
the Capitals’ season. While Washington used a blitzkrieg approach to
their offense, peppering the net with shot after shot, the Penguins took
a more patient approach. Pittsburgh would use just the slightest of
hesitations in their puck movement to throw off the defense and penalty
killing of the Canadiens.

He appeared to be fatigued and just not mentally into the game,
and was barely able to make much of an effort on the fifth goal by the
Penguins. He was eventually pulled, although I’m guessing the move was
more about giving him some rest than it was about benching him in favor
of Carey Price.

While some surprises are always expected, I’m
guessing we’ll see Halak back in net once again for Game 2.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby

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Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).