Penguins overcome speedy Oilers for close victory at Consol
Brooks Orpik knows the Penguins were not perfect Tuesday night.
They were pretty close to that, though, after Evgeni Malkin's power-play goal in the third period.
Malkin scored with about 12 minutes remaining in regulation, and then the Penguins held Edmonton to two shots to close out a 3-2 victory at Consol Energy Center.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 20 saves and will carry a 5-0 mark and 1.80 goals-against average into a showdown at Philadelphia on Thursday.
About Tuesday, though ...
“Our first and third periods were really good, but our second was kind of like those games in Florida and Tampa Bay,” Orpik said, referring to a two-game trip last weekend during which the Penguins surrendered 10 of their 15 goals allowed.
The Oilers outshot the Penguins, 15-9, in the second period.
They utilized pace — an element that helped Philadelphia and the New York Islanders rattle the Penguins in Round 1 each of the past two postseasons — to turn momentum.
However, the Oilers were held to seven shots combined in the first and final periods, and many Penguins players spoke after this victory of a left-wing lock tactic with which many clubs have skated to Stanley Cup success over the past two decades.
Orpik offered less about the lock — a deployment that keeps the Penguins left winger from going too deep in offensive zone — and more about the decisions made by forwards.
“It's discipline with the puck in the neutral zone,” Orpik said. “It's not trying to make little plays there.”
Malkin's goal was no little thing. He has scored in two of three games since opening the season without a goal in three consecutive contests.
This goal was of three upon which captain Sidney Crosby recorded an assist.
He finished this victory bloodied — a high stick from Edmonton captain Andrew Ference split his tongue but earned the power play on which Malkin scored — and with a point streak at six games.
Crosby equaled his best points streak start to a season. His personal best mark is 25 games, but he has now produced at least a point in 76 of 92 regular-season contests dating to the start of the 2010-11 campaign.
He also assisted on goals by his regular wingers, the second each for Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz.
Right winger Ales Hemsky and center Jordan Eberle scored for the Oilers, who are off to a rough start with one win in seven games.
Edmonton is trying to ride a foursome of fine forwards to a franchise turnaround.
Eberle is joined by center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, left winger Taylor Hall and right winger Nail Yakupov, the latter a healthy scratch in two previous contests.
“(Eberle's) probably the most dangerous of those guys,” said Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi, who routinely faced the Oilers the past four years playing with the Los Angeles Kings.
“He's kind of the same as Nugent-Hopkins, but Eberle plays with a little more pace.”
Orpik predicted big things — as in a shiny, silver chalice — for Edmonton in a couple of seasons.
He also suggested the Penguins stick with their performance from the first and third periods against Edmonton and not the second.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins suggested the Penguins' way of playing was a pretty good standard.
“That vertical game — that's how we aspire to be,” Eakins said. “In the future, when our team gets good, that's how we want to play.”
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- High school roundup: Mars upsets No. 4 Hampton in GAC
- Central Valley gains measure of revenge on No. 1 West Allegheny
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Late TD lifts Penn Hills past Woodland Hills
- Running back depth, defense carries Thomas Jefferson past West Mifflin
- Roundup: PUC schedules hearings for FirstEnergy rate increase; New-home sales almost flat in September; more
- Royals take 2-1 lead in World Series after 3-2 victory over Giants
- Knoch shuts down Yough, clinches playoff berth
- Jeannette rolls past rival Greensburg Central Catholic
- No. 4 Highlands wraps up perfect regular season
- Pitt puts focus to test in jumbled ACC Coastal race