for this game

Crosby, Fleury fuel Penguins past Thrashers

Nov 25, 2007 - 4:32 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- If the Pittsburgh Penguins wish to get back into contention, they will need more performances like this.

Sidney Crosby scored a goal and set up another and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves to record his second shutout of the season as the Penguins cruised to a 5-0 triumph over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night.

Jordan Staal, Ryan Malone and Colby Armstrong each tallied in the first period for the Penguins, who remain in the cellar of the Atlantic Division.

"It's a lot nicer to play with the lead," the 20-year-old captain Crosby said. "Teams can't sit back as much, things open up a bit. It seems like you get a few more chances when you play with the lead. That's something we want to make a habit of."

Fleury turned aside 10 shots in the first period and nine in each of the next two sessions en route to his ninth career shutout.

"I was glad that coach gave me the go-ahead tonight," Fleury said. "It's always disappointing when you do like I did in Ottawa, so I was just happy to be back and show what I can do."

"(Fleury got) the shutout after getting pulled early in the game the last game," Armstrong said. "He comes back with an effort like that. Look at the character of a lot of the guys on the team. It's great to see."

The Thrashers have been blanked in their last two games, and have not scored in over 130 minutes of play. Despite this reality, captain Bobby Holik isn't attributing his team's offensive woes to the opposing goaltenders.

"We played good goaltenders early in the season, we played better against them," he said.

After the game, Atlanta coach Don Waddell hinted that Saturday's performance may have been a result of fatigue.

"I didn't think we had as much jump as we did last night," he said. "It is not an excuse, but we were wore out a little bit from playing four games in six nights.

"Fleury is obviously a good goalie, and if you don't get traffic and rebounds, he will make the most of those first saves."

After not playing for nearly two weeks, Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec received a rude awakening from Pittsburgh's high-powered offense.

The Penguins opened the scoring when Staal recorded his second tally of the season and his first since October 20. As the 19-year-old was falling to the ice, he capitalized on Pavelec's failure to cover the puck and poked it in at 3:38 of the opening session.

Pittsburgh continued to pressure throughout the period as Malone added a power-play goal with 8:07 left. On the play, Penguin defenseman Sergei Gonchar fed Malone at the front of the net, and Malone spun around and whipped a wrist shot past Pavelec.

Leading a 2-on-1 rush, Crosby had his wrist shot denied by Pavelec's right pad, but Armstrong chipped the rebound into the open net. It was Armstrong's second tally of the campaign and his first since the Penguins' home opener on October 6.

"This is a league where it's a lot easier to play with a lead," Atlanta's Todd White said of his team facing a three-goal deficit at the end of the first period.

With former Penguin Chris Thorburn in the box for interference, Pittsburgh added to its advantage at 8:59 of the second period. Gonchar and Crosby executed a give-and-go that ended with Crosby blasting a one-timer past Pavelec.

Despite the offensive onslaught, Evgeni Malkin was unable to extend his 15-game points streak. The streak, however, is the longest such streak for a Russian-born player in NHL history.

Penguin coach Michel Therrien couldn't find much fault with his team's play on Saturday.

"I wished we could have kept going," he said. "It was totally a team effort defensively. We generated a lot of scoring chances that we were able to finish. Defensively, we were sharp and didn't give up a lot of scoring chances and when we did (Fleury) made some good saves."








  • CORRECTION
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 3 1 1 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 2 (GARY ROBERTS, TYLER KENNEDY) 3:38
    PIT - (PP) RYAN MALONE 7 (SERGEI GONCHAR, KRISTOPHER LETANG)
    11:53
    PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    15:09
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP

    Nov 24 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    PITTSBURGH 5
    3RD PRD: PIT - RYAN WHITNEY 4 (GARY ROBERTS, TYLER KENNEDY) 5:01

    Thrashers vs. PenguinsNov 24 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 3 1 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 2 (GARY ROBERTS, TYLER KENNEDY) 3:38
    PIT - (PP) RYAN MALONE 7 (SERGEI GONCHAR, KRISTOPHER LETANG)
    11:53
    PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    15:09
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP

    Nov 24 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    PITTSBURGH 4
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) SIDNEY CROSBY 12 (SERGEI GONCHAR, ERIK
    CHRISTENSEN) 8:59

    Thrashers vs. PenguinsNov 24 8:48 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 2 (GARY ROBERTS, TYLER KENNEDY) 3:38
    PIT - (PP) RYAN MALONE 7 (SIDNEY CROSBY, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    11:53
    PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 15:09
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD T

    Nov 24 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    PITTSBURGH 3
    1ST PRD: PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 15:09

    Thrashers vs. PenguinsNov 24 8:05 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    PITTSBURGH 2
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) RYAN MALONE 7 (SIDNEY CROSBY, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    11:53

    Thrashers vs. PenguinsNov 24 8:00 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 2 (GARY ROBERTS, TYLER KENNEDY) 3:38

    Thrashers vs. PenguinsNov 24 7:45 PM