Fleury's stats in the month of February:
.930 Save %
That'll work. MAF had one of his best games of the season last night, and he found himself in a goaltending duel with Ondrej Pavelec. MAF cleaned up some messes his defensemen made and also cut down angles beautifully. The Jets missed the net at least half a dozen times on decent scoring chances, but you can't convince us MAF wouldn't have made those saves.
The Pens 4th line broke through with a huge goal that stood up for pretty much the entire game. They put the finishing touches on their best game of the season with Adams' money shot in the empty net.
And you know what's sad? Eric Tangradi was the most noticeable Jet for a good portion of this game. Part of that was his recent trade, and part of it was that he was a physical presence all of a sudden. He dished out some checks even punched Letang in the mouth.
The Jets tested Fleury early and often. Pens could've been playing all game with one hand tied behind their backs if it weren't for MAF's big saves early.
The Pens' added to their body count when Tobias Enstrom left the game after an innocent-looking check from Dupuis. Two straight games the Pens have taken out a European defenseman. Hmm.
Engo and Thorburn dropped the gloves after that.
Example of a fight that was really stupid. Pens had a 3-on-2 the other way.
Chris Thorburn sucks.
The fourth line got the Pens moving on the next shift. Center Avenue Joe squeaked past a Jet along the boards, and Adams went to the net. Adams had three whacks at the puck while the Jets just sat around and watched pretty much. The third whack was the charm.
Vitale made a similar play in the Ranger game this season.
Orpik was headed to the box halfway through the first, and the Jets really couldn't do anything with it.
The Pens' bacon was on the line toward the end of the period when Despres and Engo had a little issue. Despres missed on a pass over to Engelland. Engo tried to corral it off the boards, but it bounced over his stick, and Bryan Little had a golden chance. Huge save for MAF.
Some joke took Niskanen to the woodshed with a hit from behind, and Craig Adams added to his already-great game by dropping the gloves with James Wright. Example of a good fight.
Pens didn't have a shot for a good stretch of the second, or at least it felt like it.
Beau Bennett didn't look out of place at all. He looks kind of small along the boards, but he didn't get overpowered in the two of three board battles he was in. In the back half of the second, the Jets were swarming and had the Pens running. It was Bennett time.
Huge shot block. Got a "great fucking shift" from Sid.
Thorburn went off tripping Kennedy, and the Pens PP had their first shot at Pavelec. Letang and Martin saw time together on the points. Killed.
Then Martin did this:
He got enough of that puck to take away time for Ladd(?) to get a good shot, then he wrecked Ladd.
Pens were still holding on to a one-goal lead and killed a huge Pascal Dupuis penalty early in the third. Penalty should have been on Orpik, but, hey, who's keeping track?
MAF was oozing confidence, and the Pens started clamping down.
There was a penalty explosion later in the third, and the Pens were gifted a 5-on-3. Interesting move to revert back to the 4F-1D model, but that's probably the right move on a 5-on-3. And, shit, it worked. Malkin laid a puck in Neal's wheelhouse, and he one-timed it past Pavelec.
Jets scored some bullshit goal with Pavelec pulled. If you want to split hairs, that goal came off a faceoff resulting from a bizarre Letang play that led to an icing.
Jets maybe had one more chance at MAF before Kunitz fed Adams for an empty-net job.
The ol' 29er pointed this out on the radio side: the play was caused by a Kane turnover. Big Buff put his hands up in the air complaining about it instead of going after Adams.
-- Bennett made some moves, saw some time with Malkin and Neal. There was that one play early in the second when Bennett couldn't take a tape-to-tape pass from Malkin in the neutral zone. We're quickly becoming Bennett fanboys, so we're gonna chalk it up to nerves.
-- Tyler Kennedy. Come on.
-- We've been fans of Deryk Engelland, but is the time coming where you start thinking about replacing him with Bortuzzo?
-- Monster game by Letang, who was unbelievable. Best play of the game was in the first period where he was backtracking a puck. He fought off Evander Kane and then in the same motion just flew up the ice.
-- Malkin was good, as well. He had a great sequence where he blocked a shot and then made this nasty curl-and-drag move that almost went in.
-- Tangradi was benched for most of the third. LOL.