Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 3/29/13
You could feel it in the arena. You could see it in the Pens' play. It felt similar to '09.  But it was different.   Ray Shero's genius was still prominent in CONSOL Energy Center, in the same building where he traded Jordan Staal and Michalek this past summer. His master plan had finally been revealed in the most theatrical way imaginable. And the Pens basked in his glory against the Winnipeg Jets. It wasn't even a game.   What all of Shero's moves do is let everyone get their feet set into the roles they excel in. Craig Adams can kill penalties with unlimited energy. TK won't see big minutes, limiting the mistakes he can make. Sutter can lay in wait when the other team just had to deal with James Neal, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkn, Brenden Morrow, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, and...   Jarome Iginla. Think about that. Jarome Iginla. Hall of Famer. 500-goal scorer.   There is a storm coming on every level imaginable. The hate. The pressure. The jealousy from other dog-**** fanbases. This game was a mere footnote. But it is the beginning.   Pens host the Isles on Saturday. Get through that hurdle, and the Pens will officially be knocking on the doorstep of history.   Recap:     FIRST PERIOD The combination of all the trades and the winning streak gave this game a completely different feel. Douglas Murray was making his debut, and Crosby was trying to get him a goal. He fed him like 4 times on one shift. Murray's skating is as advertised. There's no mistaking him for anyone else in a Pens uniform. Every time the Crosby line was on the ice, the pace picked up. That kind of **** just goes without saying. Jets answered the Pens' moves with some looks, but Vokoun has done a 180 since the Philly and Montreal games. He is seeing everything. Malkin, meanwhile, looked he hadn't played for a couple weeks. Everything was a touch off, but you could almost see him getting back into it on every shift. Late in the period, Crosby-Malkin-Kunitz saw some action, and the puck found the net. Crosby's pass just didn't even make sense. 1-0. That line almost scored like 6 seconds later. Dupuis hit the post. Whoever runs the horn at CEC made a rookie move and hit the horn and spotlight button. Everyone is jumpy, though, so can't say we blame them. A 1-0 lead going into the intermission would've been great, except the Pens wanted more. The M&M Line of Malkin-Neal-Morrow put in their first of many, many goals (unless Iginla gets put on that line. Jarome Iginla is a Penguin.) They had to take a look in Toronto before Malkin was credited with his first goal in like three weeks. Count it. Morrow drew two defenders on the play, something Beau Bennett and Tyler Kennedy don't have the nose for. 2-0. SECOND PERIOD The next goal in the game was gonna be huge, and the Pens got it. The Crosby line was at the end of a shift and was still able to make **** happen. A sweet bank pass by Crosby to Kunitz, who hit Dupuis going to the net on a saucer pass.  3-0. That was pretty much a wrap on the game right there. Pens were a machine in the Jets' zone. Every shift. Ridiculous. Morrow-Malkin-Neal showed some promise. Morrow is shaking off some rust; you can tell. Craig Adams went off for tripping, so the Pens had fun killing that off. The game then fell into a "the Pens are playing the Jets" lull. Really enjoyed Douglas Murray's game. He isn't going to win the Fastest Skater Award, but he skates hard, if that even makes sense. Something Mike Lange touched on was how well Murray shots the puck and how nearly everything is on net. He had some minor collisons: Paul Martin went off late for a high stick, so the Pens killed that, too. Amidst killing it, Dupuis put a shorthanded goal up Montoya's pooper.  4-0. Rest of the period was meaningless.   THIRD PERIOD Pens dug themselves a hole early on in the third. Niskanen got a penalty, and then Orpik shot it over the glass. Killing a 5-on-3 with tons of time left is nothing to joke at. But the Pens penalty killers had it. They had fresh legs and made the moves they had to make. Craig Adams was outstanding. The Pens just started to take over the game from there. Morrow has his best period as a Penguin. Crosby is hypnotic right now. He is locked in. Basically only two other things happened. Evander Kane shot the puck at the ref: Dude was pissed: The last thing worth noting was Tangradi had a breakaway with under 7 minutes to play. He had a clear look and shot wide right. He probably dreamt of something like this, and he blew it. The game wound down after that stuff. Dupuis was trying his balls off to get the HT. He made a pretty strong case for himself in terms of staying on that top line. Pens haven't given up a goal in 148 minutes. Shutout town for Vokoun. GAME. MISCELLANEOUS -- Just can't see Eaton being scratched when the D is all systems go. -- CONSOL is electric.  
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