The Pens jumped out quickly, with Gary Roberts scoring on a chance generated by the Pens getting the puck to the net. Crosby was pummeled off of the puck, leaving Mr Roberts all alone to blow the puck past Emery. It was like pulling back a curtain, only to reveal the bad guy standing behind it, grinning.
Unfortunately for the Pens, that was the high point of the game. They had several good chances to go up 2-0, but Emery was up to the task and kept them out of the net. He played pretty well tonight - he made the saves he needed to.
I think the back-breaker was the essentially short-handed goal the Sens scored to make the score 4-1. The Pens weren't nearly aggressive enough in defending the short-handed rush of McAmmond, allowing him to gain the center of the ice. He made a nice pass to Alfredsson, who had swing out wide for a great one-timer that went top shelf over Fleury.
Overall, great start and then... blech.
Who showed up to play tonight?
- Sidney Crosby - he didn't let up. If the Pens start to follow his lead as a team, they have a chance in this series. He is the ultimate competitor from what we've seen so far, and has only become better as the playoffs begin.
- Evgeni Malkin - started to show some signs tonight. I think defending Crosby by jumping on Phillips at the end of the game could be what he needs to get going. At the very least, it shows his heart.
- Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi - two senior members of the squad playing their butts off. Both logged about 20 minutes of ice time and both provided valuable contributions, though I wish Recchi were able to do more offensively.
- Ryan Malone - only logged 13:31 of ice time, none in the last 6 minutes of the game. He was a -2 with no shots and only one hit.
- The entire team - they were out hit, out worked and out hustled for most of the game at home. There's no excuse for that, in my opinion. It's obvious these guys want to win. It's just not as obvious that they've figured out how to do it yet.