Recap 34: December Burns Red

The Penguins took their show to the beautiful city of Calgary last night. The Flames entered this game red hot, and that isn’t a dad joke. The Penguins entered this game with the runs, and that is a dad joke.

The team had a rare morning skate and thank the lord nobody was hurt and Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust were able to keep all bodily fluids inside. With Malkin and Rust back in the lineup, the Pens went with the following.

Do you enjoy making things harder on yourself by procrastinating? Do you find pleasure in life stressors adding up until you think you’re going to break? Are you often an hour late for work but pretty good at your job so it doesn’t matter? Considering you spend hours on our chat below (unless you’re just a lurker in which case, say hello would ya) this probably sounds like you, and you and the first period Penguins from last night should go on a date. 

The Pens, read Tristan Jarry, kept the Flames off the board for the majority of the period despite the puck staying in the Calgary zone for at least 40 minutes. Sixteen minutes in Johnny hockey took advantage of some splotchy defense and slush ice.

Pettersson loses his footing in what would become a familiar scene of hockey players falling down all night. Jarry getting the Murray/DeSmith 2018-19 treatment in this period. Fortunately, this was the only one to get by Jar Jar and the Penguins escaped the frame trailing by just one. The Flames had 30 scoring chances for in the first to the Penguins 13, I can’t remember the last time the Penguins gave up 30 chances against in one period. Justin Schultz took a knee-to-knee in his first shift and left the game just 90 seconds in. Schultz came back during a tv timeout to test his knee and said “nope.” He was done for the night.

Black and white, up and down, Penguins and Flyers, in a world riddled with opposites last night was no different. The Penguins came out in the second period and looked like the Pittsburgh Penguins. Live look of Sullivan in the lockerroom.

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It is unknown how many trash cans were injured during the intermission but they were necessary sacrifices as the Pens turned this game into a complete 180. After pushing play for half the period the Penguins got a powerplay opportunity and it actually looked threatening once the second unit got on the ice. Dominik Kahun held the puck for like a century before sending it back to Pettersson at the blue line. Pettersson whipped it over to Johnny boy. He’s the new Bambino, the great Filipino, he wears chinos to play keno, get out ya cameras kids, it’s DAMN! Marino.

JOHN MARINO (4) Assisted by Pettersson (10) & Kahun (10) @ 12:13

This is a move you expect to see from a seasoned veteran. Marino calmly takes the space that is given to him by the defense while looking for his spot. Head up the whole, moves forward into his shot, uses the screen to his advantage. Textbook kids. It’s textbook. The best Marino to ever wear a jersey in Pittsburgh. 

Before my pensboner had time to properly engorge Bryan Rust was busy taking a puck behind the net and doing Bryan Rust things. As Calgary experienced violent Svechnikov lacrosse goal flashbacks Rust had other plans, carried the puck out about ten feet and then snuck one in.

BRYAN RUST (13) Assisted by Letang (16) & Malkin (20) @ 13:35

Bryan Rust went from the sweetener in a potential Jack Johnson trade to the untouchables list in a matter of two months. He just continues to score gritty goals in a way that reminds me a lot of a young Chris Kunitz. The goals are rarely pretty, but they are goals. This was Rust’s 13th goal in just his 20th game this season. His career-high was 18 in 72 games last year. In a “don’t judge players just by the numbers” moment, Rust’s 18 goals last season marked the most goals he’s ever scored in a season including college and AHL. 

With under three minutes left Jack Johnson was busy helping his teammates in the lockerroom resulting in a 2 on 0 breakaway. This would’ve been threatening except the idiot passed it to Milan fucking Lucic.

It’s just common knowledge, a 2 on 0 with Milan Lucic on your side is the same as a 1 on 0 breakaway. Great save by Jarry. Idiotic play by Calgary.

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The Pens kept pouring it on Calgary the rest of the period but they couldn’t get that insurance goal before the frame ended. The 180 was complete, and by the final horn, the Penguins had 24 scoring chances for to 16 against. 

Everyone that was still awake knew the Flames were going to come into the third firing. Fortunately for us, the Penguins were among those still awake, for the first five minutes at least. Seven minutes in Damn! Marino was called for slashing and the Flames had a golden chance to tie things up but the depleted defense and Jarry said “nah, Brah.” Three minutes later the Penguins got a powerplay chance, an opportunity to put the nail in the coffin, but they had other plans. 

The Pens decided to use the powerplay as a chance to kill two minutes of game time, and with that slight release from the gas pedal the Flames took over. The remaining eight minutes after that powerplay consisted of the Flames throwing everything on the net and the Penguins trying to hold on like Leonardo DiCaprio to that door. 

Jarry was sharp when he needed to be, the Flames would pull their goalie, and Mister 101 would ice the game.

EVGENI MALKIN (9) Assisted by Rust (11) & Marino (11) @ 18:02

As you can see Malkin joins an elite list of players with 400 goals while wearing a Penguins uniform. Geno gets number 400 in his 873rd career game. In a bit of poetic justice that this sport often allows, the goal came on Malkin’s 71st shot of the season. 

As the season that doesn’t make any sense continues, the Penguins not only scored one but two empty-net goals as Kris Letang had no issues spinning around in his own zone and wiring a puck 200 feet to the empty cage. Now if it were a defender standing directly in front of him it would’ve been a different story, am I right Chronicles?

KRIS LETANG (8) @ 18:22

The Flames would not pull their goalie down by three and Jarry would not allow a goal in the final 90 seconds. Time clicked down, a three, a two, a one



  • Marino, Marino he’s our man, if he can’t do it JJ sure can’t. The addition of Marino to the backend has helped stabilize the Pens weakest link. Marino for team MVP.
  • Tristan Jarry continues to shine. For the first time since the cup runs, I feel confident in the Penguins goaltending tandem.
  • The top line was a +3 in this game, along with Marino, which is odd because last year I was told Malkins – rating had nothing to do with being on the ice with Johnson.
  • The Pens earn their 20th win in their 34th game despite an injury-depleted lineup. Last year win 20 didn’t happen until game 38. Mike Sullivan deserves some serious Adams consideration, and turning the first period of this game into 2 points is proof that he has control of this team

I’m going to be out of commission for Friday and Saturday’s gameday/recaps. If anyone is interested in picking these up, even if you’ve never written for us before, stake your claim in the comments below.