Thursday, November 20, 2008

Penguins 3, Thrashers 2

Great road win tonight against an Atlanta team that's better at home than people give them credit for.

The atmosphere was strange tonight. Consider the following:
  • There had to be more offside calls on the end where the Pens shoot twice than I've seen in any game in recent memory. Not sure who the linesman was, but I've never seen two teams be so sloppy entering the offensive zone ONLY on one end of the ice, which is my way of saying the linesman had to be smoking something.
  • Did anyone else hear the announcement of the 50/50 raffle in the third period? I wasn't sure if I was watching a hockey game or a telecast of the local Parish Festival! Who does a raffle that's announced over the PA at a hockey game?
  • There was NO ONE at that game. The end where the Pens shot twice had more empty seats near the ice than filled seats. That's pretty sad.
  • FSN named Sabu the "Player of the Game" before the game was over! That's bad Ju-Ju to me.
  • John Curry (backup goalie) was shown on camera near the end of the game. He looked to be about 15 years old.
The Pens started the game thinking that they're still playing the Wild. They were out of sorts, with several offside calls and no real pressure on Pavelec.

The Pens yielded a power play goal in the first period to Kozlov. The PK hasn't been doing the job recently.

Satan evened the score with some nice hand-eye coordination. He took a hard Dupuis pass on his backhand, turned it to the forehand and punched it behind Pavelec.

Matt Cooke plastered Kozlov, which was excellent. The only problem? Kovalchuk was also nearby. I wish Ilya had been the target.

The Pens had a two man advantage near the midway point of the second. The Pens turned that 1:18 into a shooting gallery, but couldn't beat Pavelec or the goal post.

As soon as the extended power play was over, the Thrashers were the beneficiaries of a tripping call against Boucher. You had the sense of it being a complete game changer if they could score.

The Pens were able to kill the penalty, and less than 30 seconds later, the Pens cashed in. Crosby took a pass from Kennedy and deposited it behind Pavelec while falling down.

About a minute later, Slater took a puck from behind the net, fell down and blindly swept the puck towards the net, taking everyone by surprise and beating Sabu. He wasn't even looking at the net when he shoveled it, but it went in.

The early part of the third was notable for the Pens' game of "Whack a White". In succession, Orpik gave White a good solid check, followed up by Letang absolutely plastering White near the boards. White tried to get up, but wasn't sure what planet he was on. The Thrashers finally decided to come after Letang, and the next shift Kris was on the ice also showcased Eric Godard (just by coincidence, I'm sure).

The intensity picked up a bit after the hit, but the boost was temporary... until Goligoski tried to kill Army with the hip check. He mostly missed, but both teams again picked things up.

The midway portion of the third had some nice end-to-end action with both teams getting decent chances. The spirited play took a brief break for a Thrashers power play.

Sabu was standing tall late in the third when the Thrashers turned up the heat.

The Pens got a late power play chance, which you just knew would make something happen. It almost gave the Thrashers the lead when Reasoner had a breakaway which Sabourin denied.

The Pens got the elusive road power play goal when Sykora tipped a Crosby shot past Pavelec. Great effort by the Pens to finally break through with only two minutes left.

The Thrashers never really threatened in the last two minutes.

Next up: Back to the Igloo for the rare Saturday afternoon game against Vancouver.

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