Three number one overall picks, another mid first round pick, a former Olympic gold medal winner, and last year’s AHL defenseman of the year. All of that and the Edmonton Oilers still find a way to be awful. They came into Pittsburgh with the bottom spot in the Pacific division and one of the worst goaltending duos in the NHL.
Not to say that the Oilers played an awful game. They were able to hang with the Pens but hanging around gets you the same result in the standing as losing by ten. It took a top shelf shot by Evgeni Malkin with 7:20 left in the third period to give the Pens the win. It was a shot by Paul Martin that was fanned on that found Malkin’s stick and got Jason LaBarbera out of position for him to bury the game winner.
Sidney Crosby followed up his hat trick on Saturday with a three assist game tonight. He now leads the league in scoring. All three goals had a hand of Crosby’s in it. Pascal Dupuis scored in the first period off of a pass by Crosby from behind the net. Chris Kunitz was the last one to touch the puck on the second goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury got back on his horse after struggling a bit against the Lightning. He made 20 saves and both goals that he gave up, he never had much of a chance on. The third defensive pair didn’t do him any favors. Deryk Engelland was awful which is a surprise to absolutely no one. What was surprising was the poor play of Olli Maatta. He had his first bad game as a pro. He was on the ice for both Edmonton goals and he was pretty noticeable in a bad way on both of them.
The lineup for the Pens looked a bit different tonight for injury reasons. James Neal was moved to IR and Beau Bennett was held out of the lineup with an injury. That prompted Harry Zolnierczyk to be called up from Wilkes/Barre Scranton. He played on the third line tonight while Chuck Kobasew was moved up to the second line.