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Friday, October 4, 2013

Pens/Devils Recap by @pghgirl15222

Whatever questions Pittsburgh Penguins fans had about Marc-Andre Fleury were answered during an impressive performance by the veteran goaltender on Thursday’s opener against the New Jersey Devils in Pittsburgh.

Fleury stopped 28 shots including an impressive behind the back pick up in the third for his 250th victory and franchise record 24th shutout. When asked about his remarkable save Fleury on said "I tried to reach as quickly as possible," and then added “I learned it from watching the (Pittsburgh) Pirates, I guess." Got to love the Pittsburgh sports bromance brewing between these two teams.

Fleury behind the back save on Make A Gif

Fleury's behind the back save was just unreal. That goal goes in last year. Fleury also made a great save on a penalty shot by Adam Henrique.  Hopefully this is nothing but a sign to come. 

After the game, Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review reported that Mario Lemieux came down to the locker room to personally congratulate Fleury on a great game, saying "I'm proud of you". 

Cory Schneider made 18 saves for the Devils but it was not enough to stop a rolling Penguins team. NHL star Sidney Crosby and new addition Chuck Kobasew scored about four minutes apart during the first, putting on a show for the fans. Great first game for Kobasew who looks to be a great pickup for the Pens. 

The second was relatively uneventful but what struck me most is how well the forwards of the Penguins were playing defense. The Pens took just 21 shots over the course of the game, including 9 in the final two periods and seemed to trade in their usual flashy offense with responsible handling. I noted the addition of Jacques Martin in another article and his presence was noticed. Last night it looked as though the Pens implemented the 1-3-1 and it was effective. 

Craig Adams was the man to score the Pens third goal in the final period and it was a sight to see. Who impressed me the most was Olli Maatta, the rookie seeing playing time as a result of the Kris Letang injury. While he ate up 14:44 minutes he was given two blocked shots, one shot on goal, and one hit. Some might consider this quiet night but for a young guy getting his start in the NHL he made no major mistakes.

Over all the Penguins looked strong and Fleury’s sports psychologist is earning his paycheck. The Pittsburgh Penguins will continue their regular season flight on Saturday at CEC.

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