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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Game Recap: Minnesota Wild: 2 - Pittsburgh Penguins: 1 [Shootout]

The Penguins' winning streak was stopped at six and Evgeni Malkin's point streak ended at 13 as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday night at the Mellon Arena.

Matt Cooke scored the only goal for the Penguins, jamming home the rebound of a Jordan Staal shot in the first period. Minnesota's goal in regulation was actually put in the net by the Penguins as Mike Zigomanis directed the puck back to Hal Gill off the faceoff. The puck took a weird bounce and slid past Dany Sabourin. Marek Zidlicky scored the only goal in the shootout to win the game for the Wild. Petr Sykora, Alex Goligoski and Sidney Crosby were all stopped by Niklas Backstrom on their shootout attempts.

Thanks to Rogers Cable and the CTV/TSN conglomerate, I wasn't able to watch the game. The game was shown on TSN2, a new offering from TSN that is not carried by my cable company, Rogers Cable. I managed to watch overtime and the shootout online.

From the highlights and recaps it seems like it was a slow, uneventful game; which can be expected from the Minnesota Wild. They play a very tight defense and their goaltender, Niklas Backstrom, comes up big when he needs to. The Penguins were not able to capitalize on the few chances they had and their powerplay didn't manage to score.

Jordan Staal got in a fight, which is strange for him, but good to see. He's a big guy and he should send the league a message that he's not someone to be messed with. It looks like Staal is living up to that potential I mentioned a while ago.

Malkin was hit in the face with the puck and temporarily left the game. He returned later with some visible damage to his mouth so I assume he will be given a massive raise at the end of the season.

All-in-all it appeared to be quite a boring game and a disappointing one for a Penguins team that was on a role. The team's impressive offense couldn't come through and the team lost for the first time this month. Dany Sabourin performed well in goal and it was actually weird to see him lose in a shootout, since that happens so rarely.

The Penguins head to Atlanta to play Colby Armstrong and the Trashers on Thursday.

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