A 1-0 victory over the New York Islanders gave Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury his 18th career shutout, bringing his numbers to 22-5-2 in his last 29. Those are impressive stats if one considers the rocky start to the season for the Penguins number one net-minder. However, watching his performance tonight there is absolutely no doubt surrounding his selection to the All-Star festivities taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend. Flower, it would appear, will always come up roses. (Yes, it is another terrible pun!)
After a scoreless first period and an equally goalless second period, Craig Adams would get the first of the night with 11:24 remaining in regulation. It would be the only goal of the evening with assists going to both Dustin Jeffrey and Arron Asham. It was Adams third of the season. The Penguins outshot the Islanders 31 to 29, registering 14 shots on goal in the second period. Maxime Talbot and Kris Letang led the team with shots on goal, registering five a piece.
For only the third time since the 2006-07 season, the Penguins were without both Crosby and Malkin (hey – if every other media source can remind you of this, why should we be any different?) and are now 5-3-1 without Sid and 2-1 without he and Geno. The Penguins penalty kill remains number one in the league having successfully killed off 37 of the last 39, including three tonight. Tonight’s victory marks the Pens tenth consecutive win against the Islanders at home since December 21, 2007. (Pittsburgh is now 25-8-6 against the Islanders since the 2004-05 lockout.)
After a week off, the Penguins will return to regular-scheduled play when they face the New York Rangers next Tuesday in New York before returning home to meet the Islanders once again. We wish Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang all the best this weekend in Raleigh where they will represent the team at the All-Star Game. As for the rest of the guys, they are headed for a much deserved week of rest and relaxation.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury
2. Kevin Poulin
3. Craig Adams
(I know - a less than thrilling recap - next one will be better.)