Sure made up for the last game we played against Ottawa.
We begin the evening with Bob Errey in the Christmas spirit.
We also saw some changes in the lineup, with Tenk and Dups on the top line with Bing and Guerin and Kunitz on the second line with Malkin.
Ottawa came out very strong and had Fleury working hard, who came up with some key saves early in the game. Pens soon got a power play and we were not disappointed. Bing dishes a cross ice pass to Geno, who buries one back door. Pens showed good puck control on that opening power play.
Ottawa gets a power play of their own soon after. Kovalev misses a wide open net. Whew.
Almost got to see Letang bury one. He's due.
Pens second power play did not result in any points, but once again they showed good puck control, and Cooke planted himself right in front of the net, just like Malone used to. It also didn't hurt that Volchenkov and Phillips, two of Ottawa's penalty killers, got the first two penalties of the game.
Ottawa scored their first goal of the game after a big faceoff win. After that it became Momentum City for the Senators. Fleury stood tall against a barrage of shots. Ottawa got another power play, and Alfredsson got destroyed by a hit from Adams, who ended up sandwiching Alfredsson between himself and Gonchar. Alfredsson goes off down the runway...not good for the Senators, who are already without Spezza.
Plenty of 4 on 4 action in the first period as well. I about jumped out of my seat when a Gogo and Geno 2 on 1 ensued, but they couldn't knock it in. Ottawa went right back down the ice and Kovalev got denied by Fleury. Bodies were flying.
Ottawa had 24 shots in the first period to the Pens 9 shots. Wow.
At the beginning of the second period Geno gets a stick to the face by Cheechoo. Apparently he drew blood, but a 2 minute penalty was called. It didn't take long for Billy G., who wasn't even being covered by a defenseman, knocked in his own rebound to make it 2-1. 5th power play goal of the season, 10th overall. Mike Yeo's job is safe once more.
We found out that Alfredsson would not be returning. Another kick to Ottawa.
Neil gets called for a charge, which probably should have been called as interference. On the way to the box Neil takes a shot at Geno's midsection with his stick, nothing called. Rupp takes offense to this and gets called for unsportsmanlike conduct. More 4 on 4 action.
Staal proved again that he is an unreal player. He hammers Kovalev and gets control of the puck, does a little give and go with Talbot, then dishes it off to Tenk, who punches it in to make it 3-1. Beautiful work by Staal.
Kunitz deflects a shot from Billy G. into the goal to make it 4-1. Wooooo. At that point, the Pens were outshot 35-18 and winning by three goals. How crazy is that?
Pens get ANOTHER power play goal to make it 5-1. Ottawa gets a shorthanded chance, then Pens get a 3 on 1 back down the ice. Kunitz to Bing to Guerin, who buries another one. Hot damn. Glad I made Billy G. my extra attacker tonight.
Neil takes a shot at Staal's face. Clown.
At the end of the 2nd Volchenkov and Geno battle in the corner...Geno gets himself up and in position to knock one in from a great pass from Kunitz. 6-1. Putting Geno and Kunitz on the same line sure has looked good. Kunitz had 4 points alone in the 2nd period. 4 points. 3 assists and 1 goal. Unreal.
Ottawa had 39 shots on goal at the end of the second period, but only got 1 in. Fleury=beast.
We began the 3rd period with some much expected fights. Rupp and Neil went at it first. Then Adams, who had a big target on his back after the hit on Alfredsson, went at it with Carkner.
Then it was Sarge's turn. Cooke had a nice pass to Sarge, who had good positioning in front of the net. 7-1. Sarge's 3rd point of the night.
We've been waiting for it...a GENO HAT TRICK. Bing, being the classy leader he is, passed it off to Geno to make it 8-1. I don't think Bob Errey wanted to give up his Santa hat though. That 8th goal also tied the season high for most goals in one game.
Pens got a power play and started a "Let's Go Guerin" chant for him to get the HT. Unreal. Then he gets called for a penalty, and flashed us all a grin. You have to love it. He ended up with 9 shots on goal tonight and 4 points.
What a great Christmas present for us Pens fans. Fleury, Guerin, Geno, Kunitz, all unreal tonight. Fleury with 45 saves on 47 shots. It's saying something when your team wins 8-2 and the goaltender gets the number 1 star. Geno is back in action. The Kunitz-Geno-Guerin line had 11 points total tonight.
I would like to wish all who read this a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy the holiday with your loved ones.