But let’s not focus on that pesky “losses” part. The Penguins are still 4th in the Eastern Conference and they just acquired Alexei Kovalev from theÃ‚Â OttawaÃ‚Â Senators. Yes, the Pens lost to the Sharks but San Jose is on a serious hot streak right now and our Pittsbirds just happened to be in their warpath. It was a battle all game and both teams made game-changing goals with seconds left on the clock. Penguins’ Tyler Kennedy forced the San Jose to take things into overtime when he scored with just 50 seconds left in the third period. The Sharks mimicked that clutch move and Patrick Marleau scored with 4 ticks left in overtime.
The Pens then suffered another loss to the Carolina Hurricanes (final score, 4-1. Painful. Just painful) Pascal Dupuis was the only scorer for the Penguins, breaking his 13 game goalless streak. Cam Ward performed impressively with 33 saves for the Canes. The three stars of the night were all Canes players if that is any indication of how the Penguins looked on the ice.
However, the Penguins bounced back with a gongshow of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Goals were scored left and right by both teams making it a hell of a game to watch. Both Toronto and Pittsburgh put on an offensive clinic but neither team’s defense was enough of a presence to shut the opposing offense down.
Goal scorers for the Maple Leafs were Joffrey Lupul (2), Dion Phaneuf, Colby Armstrong and Clarke MacArthur. Scorers for the Penguins were Mark Letestu, Max Talbot, Mike Rupp, Dustin Jeffrey and Alexei Kovalev, who got the tally for the Pens in the shootout for the win.
Kovlev’s performance throughout the two games he’s been back with the Pens can be summed up in one word: SOLID. He’s been a consistent, reliable presence with his skills, skating and physical presence on the ice. He’s meshing with the team without missing a beat, almost as if he hasn’t been gone for eight years. He’s a menace on both ends of the ice and is quickly winning back fans’ hearts with his impressive style of play. I honestly can’t say anything bad about him right now. I was a fan of the trade from the start so I was an easier crowd than some. I’m still hearing quiet doubts from some but frankly, he’s a major asset for the hurting Pens right now.