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Aftermath: Coyotes 3, Penguins 0

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo Gallery |  Game Highlights
The Penguins had to kill off four Coyotes’ power plays in the first period, and failed to do so during the second half of Evgeni Malkin’s double-minor for high sticking. Ed Jovanovski’s shot through a screen found its way past Brent Johnson to give the Coyotes the lead.

The Penguins had trouble moving the puck through stifling Coyotes' pressure in both the offensive and neutral zone. Pittsburgh came on strong towards the end of the game but couldn't muster enough to pull off one of their usual comeback bids.

Pittsburgh will have to put this game behind them quickly as a showdown with the Philadelphia Flyers looms Thursday evening, the start of a four-game road trip.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Petr Prucha was knocked off his skates in front of the net but still pushed the puck into the net while sitting on a Penguins player's back in the second period, and the Phoenix Coyotes took advantage of nine power plays to beat Pittsburgh 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Matt Cooke checks the Coyotes Keith Yandle during Wednesday's game versus the Coyotes.
(photo by Getty)
What Worked Well: Solid Play from Johnson
No. 1 netminders need a quality partner between the pipes and Marc-Andre Fleury is no exception. Brent Johnson provided the Penguins with a great performance in making his first start of the season. Both goals he allowed were power-play tallies, one through a screen where Johnson never saw the shot and another on a rebound where the Penguins were unable to clear the front of the net.

What Could Have Gone Better: Staying Out of the Box
The Penguins ran into severe penalty trouble. Four first-period penalties forced the Penguins’ top players to either exert energy killing, or sit and watch others kill. The energy spent shorthanded appeared to wear on the team and Pittsburgh couldn't get into a rhythm. Phoenix scored two times on nine power-play attempts.
Brent Johnson was without a doubt the Penguins’ top performer. Johnson was making his first start since February 1st of last season when he was with the Washington Capitals. Johnson finished his Penguins’ debut making 22 saves on 24 shots.

Johnson came up huge at the 9:25 mark of the first period when he robbed Shane Doan, who found himself wide open at the right of the goal mouth, with a glove save to keep the score 1-0 in favor of Phoenix.
The Penguins did not record the first goal for the first time in the 2009-10 season as Phoenix defenseman Ed Jovanovski’s shot from the top of the right-wing circle found its way through a screen past Brent Johnson. Shane Doan set the play up with a beautiful cross-ice pass through the Penguins’ penalty killers. Phoenix 1, Pittsburgh 0.

Pittsburgh found themselves in their first two-goal deficit of the season when Petr Prucha scored from the seat of his pants during a power play. Prucha lifted the rebound of a Radim Vrbata shot over a down-and-out Johnson as the Coyotes notched their second power-play goal of the evening. Phoenix 2, Pittsburgh 0.

Vrbata added his third goal of the young season when he scored into an empty net with 54 seconds remaining in regulation to finish off the scoring. Phoenix 3, Pittsburgh 0.
The Penguins thought they had cut the Coyotes' lead to 2-1 when defenseman Alex Goligoski made a great move at the point and fired a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov with 5:29 remaining in the second period. Instead, Penguins forward Matt Cooke was penalized on the play for interfering with Bryzgalov, negating the goal.

Goligoski was a bright spot yet again for the Penguins as he continues his maturation into a solid all-around defender. He continued to log heavy minutes on both the Penguins’ power play and penalty kill. Goligoski led all Penguins by playing 8:19 during the first period, when the Penguins had to kill four Coyotes’ power plays. Goligoski finished the evening with two hits, two blocked shots and one takeaway.  
> Scoring Summary:
PHX, E. Jovanovski PP (1), 9:07 1st period: Coyotes 1, Penguins 0
PHX, P. Prucha PP (1), 10:47 2nd period: Coyotes 2, Penguins 0
PHX, R. Vrbata (3), 19:06 3rd period: Coyotes 3, Penguins 0

> Ruslan Fedotenko appeared in his 600th career game against the Coyotes.

> The Penguins lost for only the second time in regulation during the regular season since Dan Bylsma took over as head coach on Feb. 15, 2009. 

> Chris Bourque made his Penguins’ debut and received 9:42 of ice time.

> The Penguins were outshot for the first time in 2009-10, as the Coyotes finished with a 25-24 advanatge.

> Jordan Staal had a huge night on the faceoff circles, winning 12-of-13 draws for a 92 percent winning percentage.

> Pittsburgh outhit the Coyotes, 26-19.
1. I. Bryzgalov
2. E. Jovanovski
3. J. Staal
“I thought he played very well, a couple
big saves, was big in net. It was
a good first game.”
- Penguins coach Dan Bylsma on
the play of Johnson.


Author: Jason Seidling

Author: Jason Seidling

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