If you’re not worried that the Pittsburgh Penguins might just go on and win out the rest of the way, why not just start fretting about it now.
The Pens extended their winning streak to 11 games thanks to a 5-2 win over the Devils. In just his second game back from a concussion, Sidney Crosby added three assists and Evgeni Malkin scored his 40th goal of the season. Pascal Dupuis scored his 20th of the year while Matt Cooke, the Penguins’ Masterton Trophy nominee, scored twice giving him a career-high 16 goals.
Crosby’s three assists now gives him five points in two games since returning from his latest concussion. He might be pretty good.
Even more startling through all this is that Devils goalie Martin Brodeur didn’t even play badly as he had to make 38 saves to keep the Devils in the game.
The Penguins now head to Philly for a showdown with the Flyers tomorrow afternoon (12:30 p.m. on NBC) and they’ll get a Flyers team coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins this afternoon. A streaking Penguins team facing a potentially grumpy Flyers team? Sign us up.
It may have taken an extended shootout and it may have come against the worst team in the NHL, but the Detroit Red Wings escaped with a 3-2 shootout victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets for their 16th straight win at Joe Louis Arena. The win extends the new franchise mark—a record that had previously stood for 47 years. Who knew it would take a Valterri Filppula goal in the fourth round of shootout to earn the victory?
Detroit’s head coach Mike Babcock displayed a little clairvoyance when he warned that the game against the Blue Jackets had all the makings of a trap game. The Red Wings had to come back in the second period to tie the game; then they were forced to hold on at the end of regulation while they killed a five-minute major handed down to Henrik Zetterberg for boarding. Still, even without their best effort, they were still able to avoid the upset.
“We haven’t been as efficient as we’d like to be,” Babcock told Ansar Khan at mlive.com, “but we’ve found a way to grind out points.” They’ve been able to grind out enough points to surge to the top of the league with 65 points.
The Red Wings will have an opportunity to extend their record home winning streak when they face off with the red-hot St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. They’ll need a far better effort if they want to the streak to reach 17 games though.
The outcome was in doubt when Jonathan Toews scored with less than a minute left to force the game into overtime. But when Todd Bertuzzi buried his second of the game, he sent the Joe Louis faithful home happy for a 14th consecutive time as the Red Wings earned the 3-2 victory. The 14th straight home wins ties a 47-year old record in Detroit. Anytime an Original 6 team can tie a franchise record, you know things are going pretty well.
The Red Wings have a chance to break the franchise record on Monday when they face off against the Buffalo Sabres in Detroit.
Nicklas Lidstrom talked about the difference for the Red Wings at home after the game. “I think we’re playing more aggressive at home. We’re going after teams more. We’re forechecking harder and have the puck more.” Every team players better when they have the puck (and they’re not chasing), but it’s doubly important for a team like the Red Wings that depends so much on puck possession.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt when Jimmy Howard plays out of his mind.
Here are some moving pictures from Saturday afternoon’s game as Doc and Eddie break it down. Enjoy!
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