Thursday, December 23, 2010

Penguins 3, Capitals 2 (OT - SO - 2-1)

So what happened?
The Caps came out roaring, led by Ovechkin taking a run at Geno (again). They earned an early 4-on-3 extended power play. Fleury was up to the challenge, and the Pens responded with a goal on their first shot on a nasty deflection by Sid. It was the perfect answer to all of Ovechkin's bluster (with no results to show for it, I might add).

If the Pens could have avoided the special teams situations completely, this may have been a shutout. The Caps scored on both their own power play and (late in the third) on the Pens' power play. It was slightly reminiscent of the Rangers scoring short-handed to tie the game earlier in the season.

Kudos to the Pens for hanging with the game plan and really stepping things up in the third period when they needed to most. Kudos to Pascal Dupuis on the shootout for earning the two points (and making Ovechkin have the sad, pouty face).

Who scored?
Crosby (29), Kunitz (9)

The Good?
  • Flower was the biggest performer of the evening. He made every save he possibly could, including several that were of the "ten bell" variety. The stop on Mike Green was especially amazing in the OT.
  • Great effort by the penalty killers. The Caps had a two man advantage several times during the game, for extended periods, and the Caps only managed one goal.
  • Point streak still going for Sid.
  • Mike Green had over 34 minutes of ice time. There were 5 extra minutes for OT, but that's still a big number.
The Bad?
  • The Pens nearly put themselves behind the eight ball by taking too many penalties. That has to stop.
  • Sid lost 17 out of 28 draws - that might be his worst showing of the season.
The Ugly?
  • Matt Cooke's clearing attempt that went over the netting on the far side of the ice while on the PK was very ugly. It also put the Pens down by two men and led directly to the Caps game tying goal.
Any Surprises?
  • I was surprised not to see Dustin Jeffrey after the Pens called him up.
What's their record now? Any important move in the standings?
The Pens are now 24-10-2. They have 50 points and are on top of the NHL heading into the quick Christmas break (two days off for the league).

Who's next?
A trip to Ottawa for a Sunday night match against the Sens. Gonchar is really struggling.

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