Last night the Colorado Avalanche traveled to the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh to go one-on-one with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite an onslaught of shots by the Pittsburgh offense, it proved to not be enough as the Avalanche defeat the Penguins 1-0.
By all rights, the score tonight should have been 8-1. Well, that would be the case if the Penguins were able to capitalize on all of their opportunities.
The Penguins spent almost half of the first period on the power play. The Avalanche were assessed 4 penalties in the first period; the first of which went to defenseman Nate Guenin for High Sticking just 57 seconds into the game. At 4:43, right wing P.A. Parenteau would be sent to the box for 2 minutes for Tripping. Just under 5 minutes later, defenseman Cory Sarich was called for 2 minutes for Delaying the Game. The final penalty of the first period went to right wing Steve Downie for 2 minutes for Elbowing.
Of the four power play opportunities they had in the first period, the Penguins were unable to capitalize on any of them.
It looks like the Penguins attempted to make up the difference on penalties in the second period. The Pens would rack up 6 minutes in penalties between center Evgeni Malkin, right wing Craig Adams, and left wing Chris Kunitz respectively.
If you were to take a look at the numbers, minus the score, you would think that the Penguins ran away with this game.
|Power Play Goals||0||0|
|Power Play Opportunities||7||3|
|Shots on Goal||34||14|
Both goaltenders put on a pretty spectacular show tonight, even though Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had to work significantly less.
Fleury blocked 13 of 14 shots brought on him for a Save Percentage of .929.
Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere blocked all 34 shots that the Penguins offense brought to the net, giving him the shutout on Penguins home ice.
Between the Avalanche defense, the spectacular performance by Giguere, and the tenacity of the Penalty Kill Squad, the Avalanche were able to start a win streak on the road.
While he did put 7 shots on goal tonight in his 26:40 in ice time, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was held off the board entirely. The same can be said for his Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia neighbor, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon registered 2 shots on goal in his 10:54 on the ice.
The Avalanche played tonight without left wing Cody McLeod who was suspended by the league earlier today for an illegal hit to Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. On the other side of the ice, the Penguins played without right wing Beau Bennett who is still out with a Lower Body Injury.
Next up for the Avalanche, they head home to the Pepsi Center in Denver to face off with Jeff Skinner and the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. The Penguins will open the doors to the CONSOL Energy Center to John Tavares and the New York Islanders.
Three Stars of the Game: