Wow. This is the kind of game that can turn a season on it's end. The Pens have been struggling of late, but now have earned 5 points on a three game road trip, punctuated by a HUGE comeback win tonight in Washington.
All you need to know about the early part of the game is that the Pens were down 4-0 by the early part of the second period. They had allowed a power play goal, by Kris Beech no less, and a short-handed goal. These were sandwiched around two goals by Chris Clark.
First, the Penguins got a grinding goal by Max Talbot. Then, Christensen and Crosby scored just 35 second apart (Thank you Mr. Ollie the Goalie). Malkin scored 3:20 into the third period to tie the game and it went to OT.
Malkin took a bad, bad, bad (did I mention bad?) elbowing penalty with 2.3 seconds remaining in the third period, so the Pens had to kill off 2 minutes of 4 on 3 hockey. They did it, had a few chances and got the game to the shoot out.
In the shootout, Christensen led off and made Ollie look really bad. Green couldn't score for the Caps and Crosby failed wide for the Pens (he doesn't seem to use any speed when he's taking penalty shots... and I don't know why). Ovechkin scored a great goal for the Caps to knot things up at 1-1 and I developed a sick feeling in my stomach. That ill feeling was for naught, however, when Malkin became the second Penguin to embarrass Kolzig in the shootout, putting the Penguins up 2-1. Chris Clark, he of the two goals in regulation, basically shot the puck straight into Fleury's glove, and the Pens won the game.
Like I said at the start, this was a TREMENDOUS comeback from a 4 goal deficit. I'm hoping we're looking back on this road trip (and this game in particular) as the time when the season turned around for the Pens and propelled them into the playoffs.
Next up: vs Philadelphia at the Igloo on Wednesday. Nothing like the "Flyers Suck!" chant to welcome a team home after a three game road trip. I'll be watching. Will you?