Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Penguins 3, Capitals 2 (OT)

Let's get one thing out of the way right now - if the Pens can play they way they did tonight for the remainder of the series, they'll win the series.

That's not to say they played a perfect game - far from it. They were sloppy with the puck. Fleury lost his stick early on, which led directly to the first goal. The team started slowly.

However, the intensity was there tonight. The grit and determination showed up again. Most importantly, Geno showed us why he deserves to be MVP. He gave the Pens the lead late in the third and played a great puck possession game.

This one was still a roller coaster. The fluke gift of a goal to Ovechkin made everyone sick right at the start of the game.

The Pens started to carry the play late in the first and into the second. They got a desperately needed tying goal from Fedotenko. Ruslan was on a two-on-one with Talbot and tried to get the pass across. The Caps D (Jurcina?) stopped the pass, but the puck went straight back to Fedotenko, who fired it past Varlamov. It worked because Varlamov had come off of his post in anticipation of the pass. Probably not a good goal for the young goaltender to allow.

The power play FINALLY came through with just under 5 minutes remaining in the third on a nice shot by Geno through a screen by Guerin.

Then came the kick in the gut - Dupuis was called for interference with 2 minutes and change left in the game. Backstrom banked one off of Fleury to tie it up. That one hurt.

Thankfully it was only a game-tying goal, and we had OT to look forward to. The action was back and forth, but things turned back the Pens way for good. Geno narrowly missed a home run pass, but the puck went straight to Varlamov, who froze it. The Pens won the offensive zone faceoff and Letang's shot deflected off of a Caps D man and behind Varlamov. That was the game.

It was a nice redemption for Letang, who seemed to be fighting the puck all night. The way the power play looked tonight, if he can get his hands back and stop bobbling the puck, he could put up some points.

Fleury didn't have to make many saves, but he made all of the ones he could reasonably be expected to make.

Great game overall by the Pens, and great job getting back into the series.

Next up: Friday night is the most important game of the season (notice a trend?)

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