Penguins back to winning ways, making push for top spot
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 09:02
That’s what the Penguins had been looking for, and what they’ve seemed to find in their last three games, winning all three battles with division foes.
In Saturday’s game against conference rival New Jersey, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury allowed only one goal in a 5-1 victory, giving the Penguins their first home victory in nearly 10 months.
Brandon Sutter, who was acquired from Carolina in the Jordan Staal trade, got the Penguins on the board first, notching his first goal as a member of the Pens.
Not to be outdone, newcomer Robert Bortuzzo also scored his first career goal as a Penguin in the game.
Captain Sidney Crosby led the way in points (and penalty minutes), adding a goal of his own and assisting on Sutter and Bortuzzo’s goals.
Winger Chris Kunitz also finished the game with three points, starting a rather prolific two-game point streak.
The Penguins headed to Washington the following day to take on the recently unimpressive Washington Capitals.
In a show of absolute brilliance, Kunitz recorded four of the Penguins six goals in their 6-3 beating of the Capitals.
While Kunitz wasn’t officially awarded credit for the fourth goal until the following day, his impressive showing in the Caps game, combined with his seven points in two games, was good enough to earn him the
NHL’s ‘Second Star’ for the week.
After embarrassing the slumping Capitals, the Pens moved on to New York to take on the Islanders.
The team spread out the scoring this time in their 4-2 win at Nassau Coliseum with eight different players on the score sheet.
Fans got a bit of a scare in the second period when Crosby was struck in the face with a puck and briefly left the game. Fortunately for Pens fans, and for Crosby, the injury does not seem to have reopened fears about the captain’s concussion struggles.
In a not-so-surprising move, the Penguins traded defenseman Ben Lovejoy to the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night for a fifth round draft pick. Lovejoy played in only three games this season and has struggled to find consistency in the Penguins lineup over the past five seasons.
In a corresponding roster move, the Pens recalled blueliner Dylan Reese from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
A Pittsburgh boy, Reese, 28, was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in 2003 and spent time with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Islanders before signing with the Penguins as a free agent in July. He has recorded 17 career points in 74 career NHL games.
Reese made his Penguins debut Thursday as he and his new team took on the Capitals for the second time in a week. Reese was able to start due to an undisclosed lower body injury to the team’s star blueliner Kris Letang.