Sometimes 15 minutes is all you need.
That's pretty much all the Pittsburgh Penguins played on Friday night during their 3-2 win against New Jersey, doing all of their damage in the first period. After they jumped out to a three-goal lead they pretty much flatlined for the rest of the game and let Marc-Andre Fleury take it from there. Outside of a little hiccup early in the second period when he allowed two goals in less than two minutes, he was up to the challenge and pretty much stole two points from the Devils.
The Penguins, playing without three of their top four defenseman (Paul Martin, Rob Scuderi, Brooks Orpik) due to injury and James Neal (due to suspension), seemed to really miss them on Friday as they struggled to get out of their own zone and couldn't really handle the Devils' forecheck.
Elsewhere, Washington and Florida needed a 10-round shootout to decide their game and it was Tomas Kopecky getting the game-winner for the Panthers in round No. 10 when he beat Capitals goalie Phillip Grubauer.
All the NHL Scores
Penguins 3, Devils 2
Panthers 3, Capitals 2
Canucks 4, Oilers 0
On Friday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Can Alex Ovechkin possibly one-up his four-goal game?
He did not. After scoring four goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning the last time out, Ovechkin was pretty much shut down by the Panthers on Friday in Washington's 3-2 shootout loss. Ovechkin did not record a point, finished the game as a minus-1, and was limited to just two shots on goal. It was just the second time this season, and just the ninth time over the past two seasons, that he was limited to fewer than three shots on goal in a single game. The Capitals had a hard time generating any sort of consistent offensive zone time and managed to get just 25 shots on goal, with only 13 coming from their forwards. That's not good enough. They were fortunate to come out of this game with a point in the standings.
2. Will this be Jaromir Jagr's last game in Pittsburgh?
You never can tell with Jagr. It seems like he's played a lot of potential final games in Pittsburgh over the past few years and he still keeps on coming back with a different team. Philadelphia. Boston. New Jersey. Who knows which team it will be next season. If it was Jagr's final game in Pittsburgh the local fans treated him the same way they usually do when he comes back, booing him every time he touched the puck. It's still weird given that Jagr is one of the best players in league history and the second best player in Penguins history, having won five scoring titles, two Stanley Cups and an MVP award during his time with the team. But his unfortunate exit from Pittsburgh more than a decade ago and the time he rejected a reunion to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers seems to outweigh all of that success.
3. Will John Tortorella keep Kesler and the Sedins split up?
He did, and it seemed to work out quite well for the Canucks as they steamrolled over an Oilers team that just looked to be overmatched from the start. Kesler did get an assist on Daniel Sedin's power play goal in the first period, but when it came to 5-on-5 play Kesler and the Sedins were split up for most of the night.
4. Can Cory Schneider do anything to separate himself from Martin Brodeur?
It wasn't a great showing for Schneider. He surrendered three goals in the first 15 minutes, including a really bad goal in the opening minute, and that proved to be just a little too much for New Jersey to overcome. You could say he improved over the final two periods, since he didn't allow another goal, but it's hard to make that argument since Pittsburgh really didn't produce many chances after they scored their third goal. Just look at the shot attempt chart, via Extra Skater, for the game.
That bad start pretty much did New Jersey in.
5. What will the Florida Panthers boards be made out of?
After going through the embarrassment of putting up a piece of glass that still had the protective cover on it during their last home game, the Florida Panthers were able to get a mulligan on Friday night. For the second straight game they needed to replace a panel of glass and this time, thankfully, they got it right.
The one play or moment from Friday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
Another night, another bad hit that is going to get the attention of the league. This crap is getting old, but it keeps on happening. The latest incident involved Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson earning a match penalty for his hit on Eric Fehr. The NHL is set to announce the suspension for Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton on Saturday and has a hearing with David Clarkson for a hit he delivered on Thursday night in St. Louis. You get a suspension. And you get a suspension. And you get a suspension. Everybody gets a suspension.
Stat of the Night
Total shot attempts for New Jersey: 84. Total shot attempts for Pittsburgh: 41. And the Devils still lost. It's a crazy game sometimes. Oh, and goaltending is important. You just can't always predict it.
Post to Post
- Is it time for a new direction in Nashville?
- How long does a rebuild take?
- Canadians have invented a better version of beer pong.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled their new stadium series jersey on Friday.