Thursday, February 21, 2008

Penguins 5, Canadiens 4

Great win for the Pens. They had the lead, 3-1, and allowed three straight goals. It looked bad, but the Pens battled back and took the lead, 5-4. They then held off the Habs to earn two points. Here's the recap!

First Period:

Sabu in goal. Last chance for him? Or is it because he shut them out here last time?

Early on, James comes flying down the right side and takes a hip check, which makes the crowd cheer. What they missed is that the man and the puck kept on going. James set Kennedy up right on the doorstep. Tyler might have been a little too close to Huet and he couldn't do too much with it.

Orpik turned Ryder into his own personal whipping boy, clobbering him at least three times on the same shift.

Whitney took a nice pass from Malkin and put a shot on net. It somehow finds it's way through everyone and under the glove of Huet. Great goal for the Pens. Poor one allowed by Cristobal. At least it made the crowd quiet.

The Habs have an extended period of time in the Penguins zone. The Pens, however, dig deep. They didn't take a penalty and they didn't ice the puck. The Habs didn't really have a solid scoring chance during that time, and Sabu eventually caught a shot and held on to earn the face off. That sequence was HUGE - no goal allowed and no penalty taken.

Latendresse hit the crossbar behind Sabourin. Thank you Mr. Crossbar.

Staal took a turnover and drew a tripping call. Pens went on the power play.

On the power play, the Pens weren't able to score, but Malkin and Kovalev got in a bit of nastiness. Should be entertaining to watch...

Ruutu takes a turnover, skates across in front of Huet and shoots the puck off of the shoulder of a Habs defense, past Huet. The silence in the arena was deafening.

Second period:

Army took a questionable hit a full two or three strides after he passed the puck. Talbot decided it was time to start the Max show by fighting with Lapierre. Talbot went with the "peekabo" strategy, letting Lapierre hit the back of his head and then sneaking in a nasty right hand to the jaw of Lapierre. Good fight.

Little Connor James! Take a drink!

Koivu took a nice pass from Kostitsyn and buried it behind Sabu. Where was the defense? Whitney was on the far side waiting for the pass from Sydor who was beat to the puck. How did Koivu manage to come in untouched?

Letang took a stick to the face, putting the Pens back on the power play.

On the ensuing power play, Malone cleaned up the garbage from the Whitney back door play, depositing the puck behind Huet. Great effort.

Malkin had a chance all alone in front of Huet and he missed. After that, you had the feeling the Habs might beat Sabu, but it didn't happen. Great job by the Pens to bear down.

Malkin, Malone and Sykora had a 3 on 1, but didn't score when Malone's backhand attempt deflected just wide.

Ruutu took a bad penalty (hooking with one hand on the stick), putting the #1 power play into action for the first time in the game.

Kovalev shot for the stick of Higgins, who deflected it past Sabourin. It had been a good PK until that point, but he woes in the short-handed situation continue for the Pens.

Third period:

The Canadiens decided to let everyone know this would be a game by tying the game early in the third.

The Penguins decided to let everyone know they liked excitement by almost immediately taking a penalty (Kennedy for hooking). The Habs scored on the power play when the Pens showed a distinct lack of effort in the neutral zone and Sabu stayed way too deep in the crease.

Malkin is pretty obviously tripped by Kovalev. He didn't get the call, and he gave Komisarek a high stick, putting the Habs back on the power play again.

This time, the Pens killed the penalty and Malone snapped the puck ahead to Malkin who buried the breakaway. Tie game! Eat it!

The Habs then turned stupid and took a dumb penalty. The Pens took less than 30 seconds to take the lead. It was a low shot, on the ice, right inside the post. Probably a weak goal for Huet to allow. There have been a few of those tonight.

Now if the Pens can just stay out of the box...

Hamrlik showed the the Canadiens weren't ready to give up the dumb penalty habit. He came in high on Army, and it was completely unneeded. The Pens didn't score, but they did eat 2:00 of time and didn't allow a shorty.

The Pens then put on a clinic of keeping the puck in the offensive zone, with Talbot and Kennedy cycling and killing time.

The Habs pulled Huet and they couldn't do much. Sykora shot for the empty net and iced the puck. Very bad, Peter. It didn't matter, as the Pens got the puck out (Sykora banked it up the ice this time).

The Pens managed to hold on and get the two points. Even better, the Habs didn't earn any points.

  • Minutes for the D - Whitney and Sydor both had their minutes slashed. Orpik, Letang and (especially) Scuderi all received extended playing time. Scuds played over 23 minutes. That is huge.
  • Didn't it seem like Nathan Smith played more than three shifts?
  • The Sens had an OTL, so the Pens are one point behind them going into the game on Saturday.
Next up: HUGE battle for the top of the East at the Igloo on Saturday. Do we see Fleury this weekend?

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