Saturday, February 02, 2008

Penguins 4, Hurricanes 1

This one didn't look very good for the first two periods.

The Canes used some luck (preparation + opportunity) to score the opening goal. An attempted pass deflected off of Talbot's skate and straight to Samsonov, who was right in front of Conklin. Ty had no chance and Sergei scored. That goal was the only tally through the first two periods.

The Pens didn't look very good through the first period. They spent four minutes on the power play and still managed to be out shot 15-8. Daryl Sydor said it best between periods when he talked about the guys needing to move the feet. They were getting beat to the loose pucks and not putting themselves in a position to succeed.

The second period started to turn the tide, but it was looking like one of those games where Cam Ward would simply shut the door and not allow it to open. The Pens had several good chances and couldn't manage to get one past Ward.

In the third, Crusher took a pretty vicious cross check to the ribs in front of the Canes net (from Wallin, I think) with no call. Karma came back around to bite the jerky Canes as Erik was able to score on same play after the puck worked back around to him.

Ryan Malone scored what proved to be the game winner by batting a puck out of midair on the backhand that trickled behind Cam Ward, just over the goal line. I had a few issues what that:
  • The ref never saw the puck cross the line (or seemingly even bothered to check upstairs)
  • The same ref ignored the fact that it was a defensemen's glove (Commodore) that cleared the puck out of the net, which would have been a penalty if the puck hadn't crossed the goal line.
What exactly was our clueless zebra watching?

Malkin didn't have his strongest overall game, but he did have a great third period. He scored on a beautiful individual effort to make it 3-1 (though he did try to give it back by taking a hooking penalty just 8 seconds later - I think Therrien lost some hair on that one). Sykora finished off the scoring with another power play goal.

Great game by the Pens. Conklin was great early when he really needed to keep the team in the game, and then did his usual solid job once the Pens took over.

Next up: The Pens return to Jersey for a rematch with the Devils on Monday night.

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