Phrases uttered by the courageous Sir Robin within the comedy basic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He’d simply watched Sir Lancelot reply three questions to realize secure passage over the Bridge of Loss of life.
Effectively, the Penguins had their very own secure passage final night time, efficiently negotiating a possible letdown sport to skewer the hapless Sabres by a rating of 5-2. The victory, our fourth in a row and fifth in our final six, enabled us to keep up a tenuous maintain on third place within the MassMutual East.
As soon as once more our pace was telling, factoring in on 4 of our 5 objectives. At 6:27 of the primary interval, Kasperi Kapanen stole the puck from Casey Mittelstadt and raced in goalie Jonas Johansson with Evgeni Malkin trailing the play. After getting Johansson to chew with a nifty sleight of hand, No. 42 slipped the biscuit to No. 71 for a straightforward purpose. (There’s that phrase once more.)
To their credit score, the Sabres hung robust for some time. Simply 27 seconds after Malkin’s marker, large Tage Thompson, all 6’7” of him, made use of his Pteranodon wingspan to attain on a wraparound and knot the rating at one apiece.
The Pens retook the lead early within the second interval on a pleasant little bit of teamwork by the third line. Teddy Blueger sprang Brandon Tanev with a bounce go off the aspect boards and “Turbo” did the remainder, scooting into the Buffalo zone and beating Johansson with a backhander via the five-hole.
Once more the Sabres replied. Ex-Pen Riley Sheahan skirted Kris Letang with a stunning burst of pace and slipped a Crosby-esque against-the-grain go to Victor Olofsson, who rifled the puck previous Tristan Jarry. However our bounce-back birds wouldn’t be denied. Engaged on an influence play minutes later, Jake Guentzel coolly measured his goal, then smoked a superbly positioned shot previous Johansson contained in the far submit. A goal-scorer’s purpose.
The Sabres had their moments, principally within the type of pictures ringing off the iron. Colin Miller hit two posts in speedy succession. In all, the house crew should’ve hit 5 – 6 posts. Such is the puck luck of a 6-15-4 crew.
Subsequent it was Anthony Angello’s flip to shine. The large winger, who grew up a Sabres fan in close by Manlius, made a pleasant particular person play to bat down a fluttering puck and whip it previous Johansson from the proper circle. The purpose gave the Pens a cushty 4-2 lead simply minutes into the third interval.
Making like GM Ron Hextall, Jarry tried to attain into an empty web within the waning minutes, resulting in Bryan Rust’s tap-in to shut out the proceedings.
Oh…no matter grew to become of the courageous Sir Robin?
Overconfident, he did not accurately reply his “questions three” and was thrown into the Gorge of Everlasting Peril. Maybe a warning for our guys to keep up their focus and depth for Saturday night time’s return match with the Sabres. Particularly with two video games in opposition to Boston looming simply across the nook.
The Pens outshot the Sabres, 27-23, and capitalized on some sloppy play by their hosts (a dozen giveaways).
Malkin paced the Pens with a purpose and an help to earn top-star honors. Geno’s re-emergence (three objectives, 9 factors in his final six video games) is a large consider our current success. He and Kapanen (4 objectives, eight factors over the identical span) proceed to make lovely music collectively.
All however three of the black-and-gold forwards tallied not less than some extent. It’s starting to remind me of our good stretch final season after we persistently received with whole crew efforts.
For instance my level, the Pens have 11 skaters who’ve scored 4 or extra objectives this season. In contrast, the Caps have 10 and the Islanders and Flyers have eight every. The highest-heavy Bruins? Solely six.
Talking of depth, is it simply my creativeness (runnin’ away with me) or has the fourth line all of the sudden sprung to life? Certainly, the Mulligan stew trio of Angello, Mark Jankowski and just lately waived Colton Sceviour have proven first rate chemistry the previous couple of video games.
Angello has been significantly spectacular. He skates nicely for a giant man and makes use of the physique (28 hits in seven video games whereas seeing restricted ice time). Regardless of his aggressive nature, he’s proven good self-discipline (no penalties) and isn’t as mistake-prone as fellow teen and fourth line wanna-be Sam Lafferty.
Whereas Angello’s not an awesome fighter by any stretch, he’ll combine it up when the state of affairs requires it and isn’t shy about who he takes on.
Might our wanted bodily presence have been proper below our noses the entire time? Maybe.
*You should definitely try Rick Bukers books,
obtainable at TriumphBooks.com,