Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Penguins 5, Capitals 4

Yeah! Now that's how a home game is supposed to ... er... start out?

The Pens kicked the Capitals around the Igloo for the first period. They made Ollie wish he'd stayed injured. They danced circles around the Caps and took advantage of opportunities.

Thank goodness they made hay while the sun was shining, 'cause it got awfully dark after that.

The Pens had four goals on their first nine shots. They had one goal in the next 17 shots.

The Caps started to gain steam in the second period by outshooting the Pens 20-10 and outscoring them 2-1.

The second goal was not a good one - Caron got lightly bumped by a forechecker after a clearing attempt. The puck went around the boards right to Brooks Laich who was standing just outside of the faceoff circle. Two things went wrong. First, Caron went back into his net on the opposite side from where he cleared the puck. Second, the forward on that side of the ice (Palffy) didn't come down the wall as far as Laich, so all Laich had to do was take the puck and shoot it into an open net. Personally, I'd put that one on Palffy for allowing the guy to be that open, but Caron certainly could have taken the right way around the net.

In the third, the Caps got a goal on a nice feed from Ovechkin. They followed it up with a short-handed goal on a great dump pass from Halpern, and Caron didn't come out in his net far enough to cut off the angle on Willsie.

Surprise stat of the night? Christensen getting NO ice time on the power play and Malone getting over four minutes. Not sure I understand that one. I know they're different types of players, but Christensen has been clicking with Crosby big time - I'd put them on the ice together with the man advantage.

Overall, the Pens did just enough to win, and not much more. Caron, despite allowing a few questionable goals, still stopped 41 of 45 shots, which is more than I'd expect from Thibault these days. They got a goal from Pirjeta, which is good, as they need to get more goals from guys other than their offensive stars. Matt Hussey made his first start and chipped in with four shots.

All in all, it's a win, and I'll take it.

Panthers on Friday.


Pronovost said...

I don't often worry about style points, but those last two periods were ugly. 45 shots against, and the bottom-feeding Capitals were missing two of their top four forwards.

Somehow I doubt it was enough to bring Trent back into the fold :)

Will said...

Horrible 2nd and 3rd periods. Got the point and that's the most important. I thought that the new guys played well.

I would feel really good about this team with a better goalie. Caron is ok, but only a soild back up at best. Thibault is a nightmare...I don't know what to expect from this guy each night other than giving up 4.89 goals, or whatever his gaa is. I know Fleury's name always comes up but I don't think the Pens are going to spend the cash or even want to bring him up till next year. We'll have to see.

Trent said...

Ah, don't get me wrong, i love the Pens. This season is just a hard one to swallow after choking on the past two.

Personally, i think Caron has been really strong in net this season. He's made a bit jump since last season and he's still really young. He had 3 gaffs last night but he's been mega-solid for the most part. I think he'll continue to acquit himself well this season.

I agree with the comment about putting Malone on the PP over Christensen. Mister-almost-holdout has shown little blood, sweat and tears this season, even after being scratched. The points he has come from his inate ability and the sick talent around him. NONE of it has come from hard work. And that kid has potential. You would think his dad would rap him in the head a bit...

My girlfriend was amused that there's a Hussey playing for the Pens. (And he was called for hooking, no less!) But that's all there is say about the recent moves...