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Well this certainly bodes well.
In the first Sidless game of what appears to be at least four to six weeks, the Pens shut out the Montreal Canadiens on the road with the final score of 2-0.
Less than 30 seconds into the game was nothing than a ritual at this point. A Penguin had to go down in pain. Colby Armstrong, in efforts to best impersonate Sid's slide into the boards last night in Tampa, left the game with what was dubbed a "bruised hip." Fortunately it appeared Army put his legs up just in time to put the brunt of the attack on his...well, 'backside.' In any case, the Pens were without Colby before Conklin even nodded off in the walkway.
Following Colby's fall, it became apparent right away that Malkin was ready to take the puck and run with it. Forechecking, passing, backchecking, shooting - he was doing it all. But the first goal of the game didn't come from the first line. Or even the second line. In fact, nestled deep in the confines of the fourth line, newcomer Jeff Taffe put one in on Laraque's sweet pass from behind the net.
The rest of the first period remained scoreless between the two. Most impressively the Penguins' PK unit efficiently shut down one of the hottest power play units in the league within the first four minutes of the game. The Pens killed penalties off with the effectiveness of Jim Jones and a vat of Kool-Aid, keeping the Habs 0-2 on the night.
The second period came and went. In fact, the action was so slow at one point that I actually did a double take when 10 minutes remained. It seemed like it was already the third.
Needless to say, the action wouldn't really pick up again. Although, there was a lot of commotion around the nets in the dying minutes of the third. Sabourin kept everything out, Ruutu irritated the hell out of everyone and Malkin shot for the empty net from nearly 150 feet away only to hit the post. No worries. He'd eventually get it back and net the nail in the coffin.
Sabourin played an outstanding game for a guy who's seen less action than the captain of the chess club. Not gonna lie - I kinda buried my head in my hands when I saw him in net. Always good to know your backup is still capable of posting a goose egg, even though Conklin will most likely get the next start against the Caps on Monday.
No official word just yet on the severity of Colby's hip injury. Tyler Kennedy was also a scratch tonight due to illness. Erik Christensen was back, fanning on a few shots in front of Canadiens' Huet. Hopefully his flu bug doesn't run rampant through the locker room. Although it would almost already appear the team has been hit hard by the high-ankle sprain bug.
Next game: Pens vs Caps on Monday