Monday, January 21, 2008

Capitals 6, Penguins 5 (OT - SO - 2-1)

This was much like an old-fashioned shoot out. You have to go back to December 11th to find a game with this much scoring (and that was the 8-2 loss to Philly).

Much of the game was defined by the efforts of Malkin against Ovechkin. Each had two goals and an assist. Ovechkin tried to kill Geno with a vicious, Armstrong-like hit. Malkin saw him at the last second, and Alex received the worse end of that deal. Check out the video highlights after I post them - I'm SURE that hit will be in there. Each player had one good rush at the end of the third. They were consecutive - Malkin first and Ovechkin second.

Disappointing to lose this one in the shoot out. Kozlov was stopped by Conklin using a poke-check. It seems like Ovechkin and Semin saw that and used it against him, dangling the puck out there until he reached for it. It was like taking candy from a baby, and they both made him look bad. The Pens magic combo of Crusher and Letang were shut down, which also was unlucky (Letang hit the post).

There are two main reasons the Pens lost this one:
  • They took two dumb penalties (three if you count Malkin's trip on Ovechkin) in the third. They killed off the first two, but the Caps came through on the third one. You can't do that when protecting a lead.
  • They were unable to score in the OT despite about three minutes on the power play, nearly two minutes of which was with a two man advantage. You have to be able to score in that situation.
Having said that, the Pens showed great tenacity in finding ways to score goals. The power play scored three different times (although, as noted previously, not in OT).

Other notes -
  • Dany Sabourin is not good at home this year. He has one win in 6 games (5 starts). Hopefully we're back to seeing Conklin for awhile.
  • Malkin is the real deal. He seems fully cognizant of the load on his shoulders and he's living up to it.
  • The three new guys (Minard, Brent and Filewich) played on a line together. They didn't play much, but they didn't look lost either.
  • Staal continues to rack up the hits - he was credited with another 6 tonight. I don't really see him crunching guys, but I guess with his frame all you need to do is run into them.
Next up: a trip back to the last high scoring game - Philadelphia - on Thursday.

1 comment:

Will said...

Tough loss, I agree that giving up those penalties in the 3rd, and not taking advantage of the PP in OT is what cost them. Without Crosby, they really need to capitalize on those chances to win games. Still a good effort, and they got a point. Hard to complain when, at least for now, they are sitting at 2nd in the Eastern Conference.

Huge game against the Flyers Thursday. GO PENS!