The results were not there tonight for the Pens. Their effort was inconsistent too.
The first period was great, and when Tyler Kennedy scored to make it 2-1 in favor of the Good Guys about midway through the second period, you had to think things were looking up.
Unfortunately, a bad penalty taken by Paul Martin (the call was highly questionable, not so much the actions of Martin) led to a game tying goal by Hartnell. Giroux followed that up with what seemed like his 34th goal against the Pens this season, and that was all she wrote.
The problem was that the effort was not there for 60 minutes. When the bounces aren't going your way (and they weren't tonight) and the goalie is struggling (and he was), the effort has to make up for it. Tonight it didn't for the second half of the game, and it likely cost the Pens a chance at the division title.
Kovalev (16), Kennedy (19)
- Kennedy had another goal, which is nice. The only thing about him is that for all the talk about how well he's playing, he's really not doing anything extraordinary. If he were on the Flyers, he'd be tied for sixth with two other guys in goals. It is a career year for him so far in his young career, however.
- Kovalev scored, downshifting and using his time-warping powers to drag everything around him to a halt (maybe like bullet time from the Matrix).
- The PK. While it will only be credited with allowing one goal, there were really two that went in (Carter's goal happened just as the penalty expired). If the PK can find a way to shut down the Flyers, this is a totally different game.
- Kovalev, Letestu and Neal looked out of sync for much of the night. I don't know which center you can play with Kovalev right now.
- Flower was not on top of his game, to say the least.
- As noted above, the inconsistent effort level can't happen once the playoffs arrive. The Pens peaked in hits in the first period (13 out of their 29) and had just four hits registered in the third period. That is a direct indicator of willingness to work and isn't going to cut it against better teams.
- No, not really. I was mildly surprised the Pens were rolled like this, but that's what happens when you miss chances and the bounces go against you.
What's their record now? Any important move in the standings?
The Pens are now 45-24-8.
A trip to Tampa with a chance to either lock up fourth place (and home ice in round one) or throw that seeding into disarray.