Heather Wampler-WPAathletics.com STAFF
Pittsburgh- The game Thursday night was bitter sweet for the Penguins. They finally scored a goal, but it was not enough to defeat the New Jersey Devils resulting in their 4th straight loss. Defenseman Brookes Orpik is now out for 2 weeks with a lower body injury. Good news is that centers Evgeni Malkin and Maxime Talbot both dawned black jerseys at practice with the team on Thursday. Malkin may play Saturday’s game, but Talbot is out for at least another 10 games. Sergei Gonchar is practicing in the red no contact jersey while Tyler Kennedy is on a day-to-day basis but has not been on the ice yet. Kris Letang and Brookes Orpik have not had ice time and are out for at least another 2 weeks.
The first goal of the game was scored at 11:20 in the 1st period by Penguin Rouslan Fedetenko, assisted by Captain Sidney Crosby and Left Wing Christopher Bourke. This was their one and only goal of the night. Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins defense were able to hold off the Devils from scoring during the rest of the 1st.
The goal ended the Penguins' drought at 160:41, short of their team record of 170:27 and Crosby's assist broke his career-worst five-game pointless streak.
Right wing Niclas Bergfors scored for the Devils at 13:50 into the second period assisted by Zach Parise and Travis Zajac. 5 minutes later, while on a power play, Andy Greene’s shot went off the stick of Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy and in behind Fleury. Greene was assisted by Zajac and Bergfors. The Penguins continued to battle it out with the Devils but to no avail. Martin Brodeur managed to ward off every shot.
Going into the third I was getting a bit apprehensive. I held out hope that the Pens would be able to come back and defeat the Devils, even though a small part nagged at me that it was not going to happen. That small part really sucks.
The third period started with a Penguins power play. No goal came out of it. New Jersey’s Parise did score at 4:33 of the third period assisted by Zajac and Bergfors. Coach Dan Bylsma made the decision to pull Fleury at the end of the third to give the Pens a man advantage and attempt to catch the Devils. That did not work. David Clarkson, assisted by Bryce Salvador scored an empty net goal at 19:58.
The final score was Devils 4 Penguins 1. The game was not all bad. Like I mentioned at the beginning this game was bittersweet. The Pens finally ended their goalless streak. Crosby also ended his career high 5 game drought with an assist in the Fedetenko goal but another thing that was great was they finally out shot their opponents 26-25.
With the good news that Malkin has intentions on playing against the Bruins on Saturday I will continue holding out my hope that the Pens WILL win. Now, if only the rest of our injured reserve comes back 100% and soon.
The Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Boston Bruins on Saturday, November 14 at the Mellon Arena at 7:30 pm