Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 4/3/13
The next time the Pens have a chance to go for their 16th win, it will be much, much more important.   The winning streak was gonna end. That was pretty much a given. The only question was how exactly it was gonna end. When Chicago's points streak ended, it went down in flames against Colorado. For anyone who still wants to have a streak boner, the Pens have won 14 straight games with Crosby in the lineup, and MAF still has a streak, so there's that.   And there's this:     Any immediate disappointment over the streak ending is instantly replaced with the realization of how awesome the final month of the season is going to be. While the Pens playoff spot is (basically) safely secure, the bottom of the East is nuts. And the Pens will have a ton of influence on how it shapes up. Out of their final 11 games, 9 of those are against teams in playoff contention: Rangers(2), Hurricanes(2), Habs(1), Bruins(1), Sabres(1), Senators(1), Devils(1).   The fun begins with two against the Rangers to close out this week.   But first the streak gets laid to rest.   Recap:   FIRST PERIOD Without Crosby and without Vitale, the Pens were missing their two best faceoff men. Douglas Murray and Patrick Kaleta began a huge rumble to start the game. Actually, Kaleta started it when he went high on Tyler Kennedy, and Murray wasn't a fan of that. The Pens just started banging Kaleta until he realized and started backing off. The MIN line was a force from their first shift. Iginla was given a look in front from Geno, then Iginla returned the favor with Geno streaking to the net. Miller was looking sharp. The Pens had a mystery power play, and the Sabres killed it. Then the Pens got another PP. This time, it was 4 minutes when Mike Weber Kunitz'd Morrow behind the Sabres net. It was 2 for doing the deed then an extra 2 for chirping. Weber seemed determined to try and lose the game for the Sabres. Tough break on that PP. Iginla's stick broke on a slapper, but he was still able to take away some space as the Sabres countered. Pens looked to be out of trouble when Niskanen got the puck, but then Niskanen drank too much and fed some Porter dude. Snipe on Vokoun. 1-0. Ever since that huge turnover against the Islanders, Niskanen has been rattled. Really tough last couple of periods for him. Everyone was stunned. Pens PP looked off. Iginla looks badass on the left half-boards, though. Late in the 4 minutes, they finally broke through. Iginla slithered in from the high slot, and Kunitz fed him. It was a fan job, but it counts. 1-1. Everything was fine, and then the Sabres decided to get the goal back before the intermission. Steve Ott sucks. 2-1. Game-changing goal. Rob King getting jobbed on the intermission report was the most exciting thing to happen the rest of the game: SECOND PERIOD When Tomas Vokoun is playing really well, he is on top of everything. When he is playing bad: Before anyone knew what happened, Sabres were up 4-1 and MAF was back between the pipes. Pens jumped on a train to the box. First Engelland, then Despres. Douglas Murray had Fleury's crease on lockdown. All killed. Pens looked just awful. They had three shots the entire period. Don't discount that many of the Sabres were basically auditioning for other teams and/or for the Sabres not to trade them for whatever reason that would be. There was a time where TK looked good playing center. That time was over quicky. Lucky Orpik didn't break his hand here. Worst period in a month. THIRD PERIOD Murray continued his punishment on Kaleta. If there's one big takeaway from this game, it was Murray's personal jihad on Kaleta. For the rest of the season and the playoffs, anyone who does anything to a Penguin will be staring down the barrel of Murray for the rest of the night. If you've been watching Murray these past few games, you know he has to be cold, calculated, and deliberate given his lack of speed and recovery skills. He hasn't been in the NHL this long for nothing. Rest of the game probably could have been conceded to be honest. Crosby probably threw up the soup he has to eat for the next 4 weeks.   'bangwagoners' is now trending in #Pittsburgh trendsmap.com/us/pittsburgh — Trendsmap Pittsburgh (@TrendsPGH) April 3, 2013     Byyyyyye. MISCELLANEOUS -- Nice moment from the game. Pens saluted Orpik for surpassing Ron Stackhouse on the all-time games-played list for Pens D-men. Fifth overall in a Pens uniform. -- The Pens miss Paul Martin.    
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker