DEVILS 4, PENGUINS 1
The Trib’s Terrific Trio:
1 – G Martin Brodeur, Devils
Key stats: 32 saves
Rossi: He said he thought he had a shot at the history-tying shutout. I was convinced it was his.
2 – D Alex Goligoski, Penguins
Key stats: 1 goal, 8 attempted shots, 2 hits, 22:11 total ice time
Rossi: You prevent history from being made; you get a spot on my list.
3 – LW Zach Parise, Devils
Key stats: 1 goal, 2 points, 6 attempted shots
Rossi: One of those players that never fails to amaze me every time I see him play live.
SAY IT, SIR
“We wanted to take (Penguins C Evgeni) Malkin out of the power play. We didn’t give him any space at all with the puck. That is very important when playing against their power play.”
— Brodeur, after his club held Malkin to only one attempted shot and forced him into two turnovers
Rossi: No Penguins player looked more frustrated by the Devils’ trap than Malkin, who consistently made the mistake of attempting to maneuver through three Devils players at a time and softly dished passes into congested areas of the ice. There aren’t many ways to control Malkin, but the clear choice is to get in his head. I can’t wait to see how he handles a rematch against New Jersey. It should be telling. Great offensive players adjust, right?
MEETING AT THE CREASE
Off to the best start of his NHL career and only months removed from winning the Stanley Cup, Penguins G Marc-Andre Fleury remains reluctant to place himself in the class of all-time victory leader, Brodeur – his boyhood idol.
However, Fleury acknowledged Saturday that they found equal ground over the summer at an orientation camp for prospective players to represent Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
“We talked about everything, and life in general,” Fleury said, noting that he and Brodeur played on the same teams during camp scrimmages.
Fleury is making a case not only for an Olympic roster spot but perhaps to best Brodeur and Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo for the starting nod.
At 8-0-0 before facing the Devils, Fleury topped the league in wins. His 1.96 goals-against average rated ninth and his .926 save percentage ranked 10th.
“Last year gave him huge confidence,” Devils HC Jacques Lemaire said. “He feels good, and you can feel that he feels good. When you start to win, beat good teams and win the Cup, you get to believing in what you can do – and he’s that type of guy who believes he’s good, and he wants to stay good.”
— BY ROB ROSSI (10/24/09)
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