Friday, April 25, 2008

Penguins 5, Rangers 4

Great comeback win for the Pens. They showed a number of important things tonight. Among them, in no particular order, are:
  • Lundqvist can be rattled. Twice the Pens got goals within twenty seconds of each other. I know three of them weren't really his fault, but when he's on his game, he makes some of those saves.
  • The Pens were able to get that huge power play goal when they needed it the most. Capitalizing on the late power play was the play of the game, by far.
  • Sykora and Hossa both picked up where they left off, combining for 10 of the Pens 26 shots.
  • Both teams rolled four lines with consistency. That will be key for the Pens going forward.
Recap time!

First period:

Things started out really well for the Pens. The Rangers were called for two early penalties, and the Pens dominated the play on and off of the special teams.

Unfortunately, the Pens couldn't covert on either of their two minute chances, or on the brief chance at the end of the first. It wasn't for lack of trying - they did get shots to the net and Ryan Malone had an excellent chance on a centering pass. Lundqvist was simply up to the challenge.

The Rangers went on the power play, and another usually stellar aspect of the Pens game at home deserted them. The Rangers scored just 29 seconds into their power play when Marty threw a puck at the net that went off of Gonchar's leg. 1-0 Rangers.

It was a perfect period for the Rangers, and probably the worst start you could think of for the Pens. They really need to bury one of those early power play opportunities.

Second period:

It was the worst start... until the beginning of the second period. Drury deflected a puck with what looked like a high stick behind Fleury. The replay proved inconclusive, and the goal stood. But... you could hear Sid on the mic at ice level asking what the ruling on the ice was. Neither ref pointed to the net to indicate a goal. Replay is there to overturn the ruling on the ice, right? If neither one ruled a goal, an inconclusive replay would keep the ruling on the ice of "no goal", wouldn't it? 2-0 Rangers.

When they go to a replay, they should do what the NFL does - announce what the ruling on the ice is, so everyone knows which way the replay should be viewed.

It got worse before it got better. Sean Avery came down the right side and blasted a puck past Fleury on a two on one. Orpik played it properly and took away the pass, but Flower didn't make the save. 3-0 Rangers.

I thought Therrien might yank Marc-Andre at that point, but he didn't, and it paid off as Flower made several big saves as the period wore on.

Ruutu got the Pens on the board with a lucky goal. He threw the puck at the net from behind and it deflected off of Rosival right behind Henrik. 3-1 Rangers.

Dupuis brought the Pens one goal closer on a feed from behind the net by Crosby. Pascal one-timed the puck upstairs on Lundqvist, who had no chance. 3-2 Rangers.

Sykora later hit the crossbar behind Lundqvist. The Igloo was ready to go nuts.

Third period:

After some non-typical guys got the Pens back in the game, two snipers gave them the lead.

Hossa threw the puck from the corner that somehow found the five-hole of King Henry. Bad goal for him to allow, to be honest. Great goal for the Pens. 3-3 tie.

Twenty seconds later, Sykora dunked a brilliant setup pass from Malkin, giving the lead to the Pens. The Igloo was as loud as I've heard it. 4-3 Pens.

The Rangers wanted to keep things interesting, so Jagr took the puck in on Gonchar. Jaromir fanned on his shot attempt, but threw the puck out from behind the net. Straka was unable to knock it down, but he did get Fleury to freeze. The puck went straight to Gomez, who blasted it top shelf. Great shot by Gomez. Not so great defensive zone coverage by the Pens. 4-4 tie.

With just over three minutes left, Marty gets whistled for interference in a race up the ice with Sid. He doth protest, but it doth not matter. The Pens went on the power play.

The Pens used nearly the full two minutes, but on a shot from the point by Sid, Geno wandered in front of the net and the puck went in off of his leg. 5-4 Pens.

My immediate thought was "Did they score too soon?", but this isn't a Steelers' game.

Fortunately, the goal post was Flowers' best friend with time ticking down and he kept the Rangers out of the net.



The Big K said...


Will said...

Great Game!

I also thought McFleury would get yanked after he gave up that softie to Avery. I'm really glad MT let him fight threw it.

Already excited for tomorrow... GO PENS!