STAAL'S GOAL LIFTS PENGUINS PAST THRASHERS, 2-1
With a couple bounces of the puck, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Atlanta Thrashers, 2-1, Saturday afternoon at Mellon Arena.
Jordan Staal's goal with 9:41 left proved to be the difference. From behind the far side of Thrashers' net, the puck deflected off Staal's stick and took a wicked bounce on the way to the net, bounced off goaltender Kari Lehtonen and somehow found a way inside the near post.
"The way we were working, something was going to go in. It was definitely a lucky bounce, but I will take it, for sure," Staal said. "To be honest, I was trying to stop it myself, but it bounced off the toe off my blade, but I guess I put enough spin on it that it was able to go in."
Michel Ouellet punched in a rebound past Lehtonen with 12:05 left in the first period to give the Penguins a 1-0 edge. Following a scrum at the top of the crease, the puck slipped to Ouellet on the far side and he swatted it into the net. Evgeni Malkin and Gary Roberts earned assists on the play.
Atlanta tied the game, 1-1, 6:18 into the third when Scott Mellanby punched in a rebound.
Jocelyn Thibault was strong in the goal for Pittsburgh as he stopped 25 shots on the afternoon.
The Penguins return home Sunday afternoon to battle Boston at 12:30 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: Mark Eaton, Joel Kwiatkowski, Chris Thorburn, Ronald Petrovicky and Nils Ekman were the Penguins' scratches...Steve McCarthy, Jon Sim and Derek MacKenzie were the Thrashers' scratches...The announced attendance was 17,132...Jocelyn Thibault (No. 1), Kari Lehtonen (No. 2) and Michel Ouellet (No. 3) were the game's three stars.