It’s way too early in the hockey season, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are off to an incredible start. And I liked the headline from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette so much, I adapted it for Turning Left.
The Penguins improved their record to 7-1 with a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Mellon Arena.
That matches the club’s second-best record through eight games. The Penguins started 7-0-1 in 1995-96 and were 7-1 in 1986-87.
It was their first game after a 4-0 road trip.
The win gave coach Dan Bylsma his 25th regular-season win as an NHL head coach. He is 25-4-4 since taking over Feb. 15. That doesn’t include the Penguins’ run to the Stanley Cup last spring.
The Penguins opened a 1-0 lead at 4:57 of the first period when Bill Guerin, from below the left circle, swept in a rebound of a shot by Evgeni Malkin for a power-play goal. Malkin was playing in his 250th regular-season game.
A faceoff win by Sidney Crosby — who entered the game among the top 10 in the league by winning 62 percent of his draws — led to the Penguins’ second goal. He got the puck back to Brooks Orpik, who sent it across to Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar one-timed the puck from the right point past Lightning goaltender Antero Niittymaki at 17:10 of the first period.