Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 3/11/13
Crosby is hitting his stride. He has an 8-game points streak. He has 20 points in those 24 periods of hockey. He now has 45 points on the season. Claude Giroux and Alex Ovechkin: 45 points combined. His linemates, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, are reaping the benefits. Kunitz netted his second hat trick of the season, and Dupuis added two others.   The Pens have now won five straight. Three of those five wins came against teams out of the playoff picture. The two wins have come against Montreal and Toronto, and both of those games went to overtime. This goal explosion came against the Islanders. Huge week coming up. Four games against potential playoff teams. It all starts Tuesday night at home against the Bruins, followed by another trip to Toronto on Thursday. Then the Pens host the Rangers and Bruins this upcoming weekend. This will all be done most likely without Evgeni Malkin, who will be out for 1-2 weeks. As for Monday, you probably shouldn't spend it listening to 311 songs. Recap: FIRST PERIOD The Isles were in the Pens' mouths right out of the gate. They were getting looks every time they were in the Pens' zone. After a couple minutes, the Pens found their sacs and started countering. Looking back, Vokoun weathering that early storm was huge. There was some 4-on-4 for a while when Crosby and Nabokov -- yes, Nabokov -- got roughing penalties. Things slowed down a little. Crosby came out of the box, and the Pens picked up where they had left off. Pascal Dupuis added to his season total of bizarre goals.  1-0. All three guys on the top line have double digits in goals. Not realistic. (This graphic was shown in the first period.) The Isles started racking up penalties, and the Pens had a 5-on-3 after Neal helped the refs with the call on Hamonic. Probably one of the worst calls of the year. If the Islanders had any fans, they'd be mad. It was probably the universe evening **** out for some tripping call Mike Bossy got away with once against the Pens. Whatever the case, we'll take it. The Pens' unit was Neal-Kunitz-Bennett with Crosby-Letang at the points. Crosby was in control of the entire unit at the point. It was like he was trying to see if he could set up everyone else with at least one chance. Bing hit the pipe on a snapshot. Off a face-off, Letang made a great play to keep the puck in the zone. The Isles' first penalty was over, but Crosby-Neal-Kunitz connected. 2-0. The Isles needed to get out of the first. That didn't happen. MacDonald went off for a delay-of-game, but not before lying about it. The Pens connected. Kunitz again.  3-0. If the Pens would have scored any more goals in the first, Jack Caupano would have pooped on the ice.   SECOND PERIOD The Pens were doing a solid job of avoiding the usual second-period fart circle. But then Simon Despres fell down. Brad Boyes snipe.  3-1. The Pens laid in the cut for a while then ran away with everything. Kunitz made the monkeys rain down.  4-1. Neal had a breakaway later to make it  5-1. Islanders got a late power play that would go into the third. Should have just simulated, though.   THIRD PERIOD The Pens saw the jobber backup for the Isles. It was a cruise-control special in the third, and the Pens still managed to score. Dupuis from Crosby.  6-1. Another assist for Crosby. Five points. Knunitz with the assist, as well. Five points for him. Five. Five. Five. Pens only had five scorers on the scoresheet: Crosby, Dupuis, Neal, Kunitz, and Letang. Incredible to think that can happen. GAME.   MISCELLANEOUS - Four Pens were still a minus. - Liked the D pairings. Hope they are the same Tuesday night. - Dustin Jeffrey getting tons of chances, not converting. Still very noticeable. - Crosby would be on pace for 144 points in an 82-game season.    
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