Penguins 5, Sharks 1
Some news and notes, nuggets and quotes from the Penguins’ 5-1 victory over San Jose at Consol Energy Center Thursday night:
*** The Penguins have a season-best five-game winning streak and are 5-0-1 in their past six.
*** Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 44 of 45 San Jose shots, but that didn’t seem to impress some of the Sharks. “Stats aside, I don’t think that Fleury was that good,” forward Logan Couture said. “He gave up a lot of rebounds and on a lot of shots, he looked shaky on. We weren’t able to score on second chances.” Teammate Joe Pavelski said Fleury “was fighting it all night. It felt like we could have had five.” What it should have felt like was that they only got one, and that Fleury was a major reason for that.
*** The Penguins broke open a 0-0 game with four goals in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the second period. “We just capitalized,” center Sidney Crosby said. “We didn’t change anything (from the opening period). We felt like we had some good chances in the first, as did they.”
*** Right winger Pascal Dupuis, who opened the scoring when he deflected a Brooks Orpik shot past San Jose goalie Antti Niemi 27 seconds into the second period, left the game a few minutes later and did not return. Coach Dan Bylsma said that his unspecified injury will require further evaluation.
*** The Penguins played without center Evgeni Malkin, who was the NHL’s No. 2 scorer at the start of the evening. He is listed as day-to-day with an unspecified injury. “To not have [Malkin] and then to have [Dupuis] leave the game, every guy had to step up,” Crosby said. “And we did that.”
*** Jayson Megna was bumped up to the second line with James Neal and Jussi Jokinen because Malkin didn’t play and responded with his third goal of the season.
*** Malkin’s absence coincided with the return of winger Chuck Kobasew, who had missed the previous 17 games with an unspecified injury. He primarily worked alongside Craig Adams and Joe Vitale on the No. 4 line.
*** The Sharks had won their previous six games and lost in regulation for just the fourth time this season. They are 19-4-5.
*** Chris Kunitz (two), Dupuis, Megna and Kris Letang scored the Penguins’ goals. Tomas Hertl was the only Shark to get a puck past Fleury.
*** Crosby, who had just one assist in four previous games against San Jose, helped to set up three of the Penguins’ first four goals. “That’s Sid,” Kunitz said. “That’s what he does. He takes control of the game.”
*** The Penguins remain in first place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Montreal. Both teams have played 30 games.
*** Kunitz has a six-game points streak and has taken over the team lead with 16 goals.
*** The Penguins have won their past 11 games and are 17-2 their 19 when Crosby is in the lineup and Malkin isn’t.
*** Crosby recorded multiple points in his 100th, 200th, 300th, 400th and 500th NHL games. It’s almost as if a trend is developing there.
*** The Penguins were outshot for the eighth time this season. They’re 7-1 when that happens.
*** Neal assisted on both of the Kunitz goals. He has eight goals and eight assists in his past nine games.
*** The Penguins’ lopsided victory did not lessen their respect for the Sharks. “They’re good,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “They forecheck really hard – you could see that they had us bottled up a few times – and they have big (defensemen) who are pretty mobile for how big they are. They’re tough to play against.”
*** Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and forward Zach Sill were the Penguins’ healthy scratches.
*** The victory snapped an 0-2-1 skid against San Jose for the Penguins.
*** The Sharks failed to score on three power plays, which means the Penguins’ penalty-killers are 30-for-33 at home this season.
*** Sharks winger Tyler Kennedy, a former Penguin, received a warm ovation after a tribute video was played on the arena scoreboard during a stoppage of play in the first period. Kennedy was traded to the Sharks during the off-season.
*** The victory gives Bylsma at least one against every NHL club. He had been 0-1-2 against San Jose.
*** The Penguins are 16-1 when getting the first goal of the game, 11-0 when scoring four or more.
*** Penguins prospect Oskar Sundqvist, a third-round draft choice in 2012, is one of 26 players invited to Sweden’s selection camp for the upcoming world junior championships.
*** In an unrelated note of local interest, Washington recalled Patrick Wey, a defenseman and Mt. Lebanon native, from its American Hockey League farm team. Wey was a fourth-round draft choice of the Capitals in 2009.