First, here are the video highlights for the game.
Take a look especially at how wide open the net is for Gonchar on the OT game winning goal. It's because Sid was walking out in front of the net and Kolzig slid to his right with his glove on the ice. Not sure if he tripped or was just expecting Sid to shoot, but great pass by Crosby either way.
If I'm a Caps writer / blogger, I'm lamenting the fact that the Caps let the Pens off the hook tonight. They had the Pens on the ropes big time. If not for the dumb roughing penalty that Morrison took on Malkin late in the third, the Pens are probably wondering how they lost to the Caps at home tonight.
However, I'm a Pens blogger, so I'm glad they managed to get two points they really didn't deserve. They were really pretty fortunate.
The Pens took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, and when they came back out, it was like they couldn't do anything right. They suddenly couldn't get the puck up the ice consistently. They couldn't even exit their own zone much of the time, and they were starting from a stationary breakout. It was really pretty bad.
I can't remember the last time I've seen a team successfully pressure the Pens as much as the Caps did tonight. It seemed that every time the Pens went to make that second and third pass out of their own end, there was a Caps player right there in their face.
The Caps dominated the game by shutting down the Pens from the second period until late in the third. They scored twice to take a 3-2 lead, and it was only because they're not very good or deep offensively that they weren't able to add more to their lead.
Late in the third, as I mentioned, Morrison took a totally unnecessary roughing penalty (on Malkin, I believe). Dumb play, to say the least. The Pens top power play seemed to wake up and threw everything and the kitchen sink at Kolzig. He stoned them. When they left the ice with 10 seconds left on the penalty and the second power play unit took the face off, I thought sure the game was over. However, Sydor threw a relatively harmless slap shot at the net. It appeared to deflect off of a Capital and in it went. The Igloo went nuts (myself included).
In OT, the Pens controlled the puck pretty much from the beginning until Gonchar scored the game winner. Craziness ensued.
Thanks to Hoss for the dinner at the Sonoma Grill before the game. The Wife and I had never been there. I'd recommend it.
Thanks to the Pittsburgh Pirates for continuing their losing ways and forcing me to buy tickets to a hockey game (due to losing a bet with Hoss).
Next up: the Sabres come to town Saturday night in the warm up for the Ice Bowl on New Year's Day.