Tyler Kennedy has earned the moniker "The Little Tiger" by Paul Steigerwald, the FSN-Pittsburgh play-by-play commentator.
In the 2007-2008 season, he earned a spot on the Pens through hard work and smart play.
In September 2008, he earned a two-year contract extension.
He earned the game winner against the Florida Panthers on March 5th.
He earned a second goal on a play made by the quick transition of Ruslan Feditenko and Evgeni Malkin.
He has earned the respect and regard of his teammates so much so that they tried to get him a hat trick.
The only thing he didn't earn that game was one of the three stars dished out by South Florida media.
The stars of the game were Marc-Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby and Radek Dvorak. Fleury deserved his star by making plenty of key saves to win the game. If you had to give a star to a Florida Panther, I guess Dvorak's goal earned that honor.
Crosby's goal 26 seconds (or 24, depends on who's telling the story) after Dvorak's first tally, tied the game, but it didn't spark the Pens' offense. With only 1:47 left in the second period, it merely cancelled any momentum the Panthers may have gained going to intermission with a 1-0 lead in an even game.
Tyler Kennedy's go-ahead-goal 2:24 into the third period was truly the spark that ignited the Penguins' explosive offense.
Kennedy, reunited on the energy line with Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke, continued the excellent cycle and puck possession game they play so well. All day the three had did a good job of keeping the puck in the offensive zone and slowly wearing the Panthers out.
Their hard work got them the game winner as Cooke and Staal worked the puck on the boards, Kennedy entered the high slot on the cycle. Cooke threw the puck to the slot through Staal's skates and Kennedy ripped a one-timer over Vokoun's strong glove hand.
Kennedy and his third line comrades continued their hard cycling work for the rest of the game. Kennedy got his second goal and easily put the nail in Florida's coffin burying the puck on a beautiful play from Malkin.
Crosby certainly had an impact on the game by dashing Florida's hopes on the rocks, but Tyler Kennedy deserved a star if not the first star.