Pens Beat Jets In The Shootout, Byfuglien Crosses The Line - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Pens Beat Jets In The Shootout, Byfuglien Crosses The Line

After securing a 4-3 shootout victory, Sidney Crosby summed up the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets perfectly: 
"That was pretty emotional for game between two teams that don't see each other much. And the crowd, too, was so loud. That was fun."
We are not sure if the game was fun or if the NHL is just embracing its garage league-like settings. 

The outcome, obviously, was good for the Penguins, who won their sixth straight game. 

However, one has to ask how Dustin Byfuglien was not ejected for his hit on Steve Downie after Downie scored a goal in one of the biggest cheap shots we have seen in quite some time. You have to imagine that Downie would be facing punishment from the league after the game if the roles were reversed. 

Of course, the NHL Department of Player Safety seems to only care if there is an injury. Really, that shouldn't matter. 

Hitting a guy from behind as he begins to celebrate a goal is beyond bush-league. And any subsequent discipline, which is deserved by Byfuglien in this case, should be based on the act that was committed, not if there was an actual injury.

Steve Downie recieved an ejection. Granted, he is taking a lot of penalties, but at $1 million-per-year, his production (7 points in 12 games) is a welcome addition to a team that has struggled getting consistent production from its bottom six players over the past several years. 

Brandon Sutter had a huge impact on the scoresheet, contributing a goal and two assists. He now has 8 points in 12 games. That is really solid production from their third-line center. 

Paul Martin turned in one of the best shifts we've seen from any skater in a while on the penalty-kill during overtime. 

Simon Despres scored a goal and got beat up by Evander Kane. Despres may be truly insane as he had a sadistic smile on his face during the entire fight. 

Sidney Crosby was pretty bad against the Jets. He looked disinterested for much of the contest. He committed some atrocious giveaways due to lazy passes. 

Sid is the best player in the world without question, but Thursday night was that rare bad night for him. And it was bad. 

As an aside, it is interesting how the Pittsburgh sports media manages to completely ignore that, but are so quick to call out Evgeni Malkin when he has similar games. 

Speaking of Evgeni Malkin, his point-streak did end at 11 games. He, along with Crosby, Sutter and Christian Ehrhoff did test Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec five times each, however.

Why Zach Sill is playing remains a mystery to most. He took a bad penalty and only has two shots on goal for the season. Beau Bennett's return will likely see Sill removed from the lineup. 

On special teams, the Pens killed all four penalties in the game. The team hasn't given up a power-play goal in nine straight games. After a terrible start to the season, the Pens' penalty killers have killed 34 straight power play opportunites. 

Marc-Andre Fleury was really good again, stopping 34 out of 37 shots. Fleury has won his last five starts. During this win streak, Fleury has only given up six goals on 135 shots, posting a .955 save percentage. Keep hating on that new contract. 

Pens will play Buffalo Saturday night at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY.  Start time is 7:00 PM.

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