Game 68: Penguins 7 Jets 4 post-game report
That was as exciting a 1st period of hockey we have seen at the MTS Centre. A unlikely fight (carry over from the bad blood courtesy of the game in Pittsburgh) between Blake Wheeler and Evgeni Malkin, then an expected fight between Chris Thorburn and Tom Sestito, a Sestito game misconduct as he took out Tobias Enstrom as well as a number of goals being scored.
Not something you’re gonna see everyday. Wheeler’s first fight since Feb. 11th, 2016 (Patrice Bergeron). Good tilt. Fans loved it. pic.twitter.com/IwINDc8AF7
— Dave Minuk (@ICdave) March 9, 2017
However the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t the defending Stanley Cup champs by accident. Inopportune penalties in the middle frame gave the champs an opening and they took it. From a 3-2 Jets lead prior to a five on three quickly became a 4-3 Pittsburgh lead, a lead they wouldn’t surrender. Another two goals in that middle period ended the night for Connor Hellebuyck and gave Nick Bonino a hattrick which was scored on Michael Hutchinson who came into the game in relief.
The 3rd period seemed somewhat anticlimactic. Early in the final frame Jake Guentzel redirect a shot past Hutchinson while Marko Dano got a late goal to make the score seem somewhat closer than it really was.
Following the game coach Maurice provided an update on the status of Tobias Enstrom.
Coach Maurice: Did he like the team’s intensity in the 1st and where did it go wrong? Thoughts on the hit on Enstrom? Does he get upset by the Penguins bringing up Sestito? Was Sestito called up to do something? What does he hope the NHL does? His thoughts on the overall play of his team? Why did he pull Hellebuyck? What did he think of his penalty kill? Was the 5 on 3 the deflating part?
Evgeni Malkin: The fight between him and Wheeler. After the fight, was it done and time to play hockey again? Sticking with scoring and leaving fighting behind? On the Winnipeg fans getting on him. When did he and Wheeler decide to fight? Has he ever had a Gordie Howe hat trick?
Coach Sullivan: On Malkin playing physically. Did he expect Malkin and Wheeler to go? Importance of getting production from Nick Bonino. Was he surprised with the Jets initial push? Was the first five/ten minutes emotional carryover from the last game in Pittsburgh? Did Sestito give him what he expected? Why was Patric Hornqvist a late scratch? Kris Letang injury clarification. It (Letang injury) was a hockey injury? What has he liked most from the pairing of Streit and Hainsey? Is Hornqvist ruled out for rest of the road trip?