Sunday, February 27, 2011

Penguins 6, Maple Leafs 5 (OT - SO - 1-0)

So what happened?
A great win for the Pens in one of the most exciting games of the year so far. This was an old-fashioned shootout, with pucks flying past the goalies with frightening regularity. It is a credit to the Pens that they found a way to come out on top.

The Pens had just one lead in regulation, at 3-2. They were playing catch-up hockey for much of the rest of the night, and they never gave up. The drive and the legs were there all night long.

Give credit to the Leafs, who played a good game. They probably could have become more conservative once they had the lead in the third period, but where would be the excitement in that? Of course, the same could be said of the Pens, who had the lead going into the third.

You have to admire the work ethic brought by the Pens after playing on Friday night against the Canes.

Who scored?
Kovalev (15), Letestu (11), Jeffrey (5), Talbot (7), Rupp (6)

The Good?
  • You could see the difference in having a player like Mark Letestu back on the ice. He really has that offensive instinct and ability to keep plays alive.
  • Kovalev was great on the shootout. He saw Reimer stay deep in the net with Letang, so he was ready to blast the puck past him when Reimer tried the same thing. That's called veteran awareness, combined with the skill to make it happen.
  • Max Talbot had a HUGE short handed goal to tie the game at 4-4.
  • Mike Rupp made a tremendous effort in sticking with the play on the goal that tied the score at 5-5.
  • Kris Letang with nearly 33 minutes of ice time, and he was flying in the OT.
  • James Neal had himself in the right place at the right time again tonight but just couldn't finish. He'll get there.
The Bad?
  • Fleury's play, while making some key saves, was inconsistent. It was that kind of night, however. Reimer was worse, allowing all kinds of rebounds.
  • Too many penalties. Again. This time the PK allowed two goals.
The Ugly?
  • Despite the goal by Kovalev, the Staal, Neal, Kovy line was a -2. That means they were on the ice for three goals against at even-strength. Ouch.
Any Surprises?
  • The news that had Tyler Kennedy not missed the game, Max Talbot would have been scratched. HCDB must really like what Joe Vitale brings, especially in the faceoff circle.
What's their record now? Any important move in the standings?
The Pens are now 37-21-6. They are four points ahead of Washington for the #4 spot in the East. Somehow, they're 4th overall in points in the NHL.

Who's next?
A few days off and then it's a replay of this one, on Wednesday night in Toronto.

No comments: