Originally posted on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 10/12/11

The Penguins hosted their first home game last night against the Florida Panthers after beginning the season on a three game Western Canada road trip.  They came out of that road trip with 5 of the 6 possible points going 2-0-1.  Well, after last night’s home opener they added two more points to their total with a big win.

Dupuis after scoring the first goal of the game.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the Penguins were without both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who sat out last night.  Malkin who sat out the previous game at Edmonton because he was sore on the lower body, but the coach doesn’t believe it to be a long-term injury.  It didn’t matter though the Penguins soared to a 4-2 victory over the Panthers.  Matt Cooke scored his third goal of the season in four games and James Neal scored his second of the season matching his goal total for his time with the Penguins from last year.

Not to mention the Penguins are still more than perfect on the power play, by shutting down Florida five times last night and notching another shorthanded goal from Richard Park who was beautifully assisted by Craig Adams.  That’s the second shorthanded goal the Penguins penalty kill unit has gotten in four games this season.  The penalty kill unit was the best in the league last year, and they were really good.  But is it possible that they could be any better this year?  So far they are.  The Pens didn’t fair as well on their power plays last night going 0-4 but killed on the faceoffs winning 34 to the Panthers 21.

While this is a team built to win no matter who is in the line up we are good without two of our best players, I can’t imagine the level of greatness this team can reach with both Malkin and Crosby back in the mix.  Next up on Thursday the Penguins will face conference rivals Washington Capitals on Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

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