Coach Claude Noel has got to hate going into Consol Energy Centre. In 4 games in that rink since the relocation the Jets have now allowed 26 goals. It seems the Jets just forget how to play defense in Pittsburgh. Another 6 goals against this afternoon, including the late tally by Matt Niskanen which stood as the game winner.
The Jets flew out to a quick start leading 2-0 after the first on goals by star rookies Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele. The shots were 11-11 in the well balanced period, but the Pens started to come on after being somewhat surprised by the quickness of the Jets early.
However the Pens answered in the second with 3 goals in the first 5 minutes. In what is becoming a tradition it was Malkin that scored the first one for the Pens, with Neal scoring 2 in 34 seconds to take the lead. The Jets responded on Wheeler's team leading 16th of the season just 1:03 after the 2nd Neal goal. Jussi Jokinen would regain the lead briefly for the Pens with 9:22 remaining in the period. The nutty 2nd would finish on back to back goals from Evander Kane in the final 3 minutes to give the Jets the 5-4 lead going into the 3rd. Despite being outscored 4-3, the Jets actually outshot the Pens 13-11 in the period.
Evgeni Malkin would continue his dominance of the Jets with his second of the game to tie the game. The Pens opened the period by outshooting the Jets 10-0 in the early going. Niskanen added the game winner shortly after that after a lost draw by Olli Jokinen. The Jets came back to only lose the shot battle 17-10, but despite some great chances late could not get the equalizer.
1. Al Montoya was just alright today. Looked a surprising amount like Pavelec when under siege. A goal or two he'd like back, no chance on the rest. Sounds like Pavelec's game most nights.
2. Didn't score in 4 minutes? Benched for the young guy O'Dell.
3. Back to back games. Let's not use our 4th line at all so we can ride our top guys into the ground. Yup, makes sense.
4. Kane-Scheifele-Frolik is looking like a really legitmate 2nd line. We'll see how they do as teams might start to keying on them for tough matchups, but they sure are tearing it up with the easier matchups right now. Gotta love the development.
5. Kane-Scheifele chemistry is HUGE for the franchise going forward. Gotta love that. Kane even looked back and made a smart pass back to Scheifele for his goal. Very uncommon for him, love to see him knowing where Scheifele is going to be.
6. Bad Byfuglien. That what what he was today. Two goals against can be pinned against him, particularly the Malkin first goal when he turned it over. The second was a bad pass, but a good read. Needs to be sharper for the Jets to make an impact.
7. Really impressed with the bounce back game from Trouba. Still made some mistakes, but he was reading the play better today, made some impact plays at both ends of the rink.
8. Wheeler continuing to be impressive despite the "pressure" being off with his being named to Team USA. In addition to his goal, made some plays including the PK where he normally doesn't play.
9. Despite being 0-4 in Pittsburgh since the move, it sure is a lot of fun to play in Pittsburgh. 40 goals in 4 games. Exciting at least.
10. #FireNoel. Because it's overdue.