Penguins 3 – Canucks 1
Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh
The Penguins topped the Canucks, 3-1, Wednesday night at the Consol Energy Center. After their power play completely failed them Monday against the New York Rangers, the Pens’ PK was flawless, killing all five of Vancouver’s chances and scoring a short-handed goal. The Canucks, in Pittsburgh on their last stop of a nine-day, five-game East Coast road trip, looked drained to start the game and didn’t have enough energy for a comeback. The Pens took advantage, improving to 3-0-1 over their last four games.
The Penguins opened the scoring when Max Talbot hit Sidney Crosby just as he had stepped out of the penalty box late in the first. With 3:17 left to play in the period, the Pens’ captain broke in alone on Roberto Luongo, easily beating his former Olympic teammate stick-side.
The Penguins’ penalty kill got more of a workout in the second period as the team took three minors. The NHL’s No. 2 power play was completely shut out, however, and during their third power play of the game Vancouver surrendered their first short-handed goal of the season to Max Talbot. Talbot’s wrap-around goal was his fourth of the season and second point of the game.
Some sloppy defensive work in front of Luongo cost the Canucks a third goal. Christian Ehrhoff lost control of the puck, which bounced to Mike Rupp. Rupp and Aaron Asham skated in on the Canucks’ goaltender unimpeded, and Asham crashed the net to put the Pens up by three. Vancouver pushed right back, however, cutting their lead to two with a goal by would-be Penguin Daniel Hamhuis 34 seconds later. The Canucks dominated play the latter half of the second frame, but the Pens maintained their composure and Marc-Andre Fleury stayed sharp to preserve their 2-goal lead and notch another win at the Consol.
Goals: Sidney Crosby (13), Max Talbot (4) and Aaron Asham (2) scored for Pittsburgh. Daniel Hamhuis (2) tallied for Vancouver.
Assists: Max Tablot, Brooks Orpik, Matt Cooke, Mike Rupp and Paul Martin assisted for the Pens. Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin assisted for the Canucks.
IN THE NET
Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves to earn the win and the game’s No. 1 star. Roberto Luongo stopped 26 of 29 shots.
Neither team scored on the power play as the Penguins were 0-2, and the Canucks were 0-5 and allowed a short-handed goal.
The Carolina Hurricanes visit the Consol Friday night.