Two ways to get to a shootout
February 19. 2013 4:37PM
On Wednesday, when the Penguins beat Binghamton 1-0 in a shootout, that was good considering Robin Lehner and Jeff Zatkoff both carried shutouts through regulation and overtime. That was strictly a game of goaltenders, so winning it in a shootout is an accomplishment.
Saturday's 4-3 shootout win over Portland was also good. Like players always say, they'll take a win any way they can get it.
But this win was tinged with a bit of disappointment because the Penguins carried a 3-0 lead after the first period and allowed the Pirates to tie it up in the third.
In fact, this game didn't need to go to a shootout if the Penguins connected on just one of their five power play chances on the night.
Still, it was a win that the Penguins earned, and there were plenty of bright spots as well.
Trevor Smith topped the list with two goals - his first since Oct. 13. Last season with Norfolk Smith scored 26 goals and 69 points, so it's nice to see him start finding the back of the net.
Brad Thiessen's performance is another positive. After sitting on the bench for the last six games, Thiessen came up big several times against Portland, including an overtime penalty kill during which he stopped three shots. On the night Thiessen stopped 36 of 39 shots and earned his second win of the season.
Another point for the upside list is the Penguins' performance in both shootouts this season. Each one resulted in a win, and they've scored a total of five goals in 13 rounds. Not bad.
On a different note, I expected Steve MacIntyre to go with Joel Rechlicz tonight but it never happened. They both met during a few shifts in the third period and talked a bit, but it looked like a mutual agreement not to fight unless the need arose.
Bobby Farnham continued to provide some physical highlights, however, earning three matching minors for roughing for his own kind of hat trick. He also generated some quality scoring chances along the way. He's certainly an exciting player to watch.