Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Maple Leafs 3, Penguins 2 (OT)

So what happened?
The Pens were burned by a bad deflection off of a partition when Kris Letang tried to clear the puck in the third period. It led directly to the tying goal for the Leafs.

Overall it was a strong road effort by the Pens. They couldn't get quite enough pucks past Reimer to make this a rout, but the complimentary numbers were there. The zone time and shot attempts were there (and also tied to that, the Leafs only managed 10 shots on net through the first two periods.

This is one to chalk up to bad luck and move on.

Who scored?
Niskanen (1), Conner (7)

The Good?
  • Dion Phaneuf made the play on the OT goal, taking the puck from behind his own net, blowing past Neal and Staal, carrying the puck deep into the offensive zone and helping the team establish position on the winning possession. I didn't think Phaneuf had it in him.
  • Good pressure on the power play, but not enough chances, and not enough shots on net.
  • Chris Conner made a great effort play to beat Phaneuf on a stretch pass, protect the puck, and shuffle it through the five-hole on Reimer.
  • Matt Niskanen had his best game as a Penguin so far. He showed confidence and an eye for offense, especially breaking the puck out of his own end, while being solid defensively. The Pens may have a good player on their hands.
  • The PK stepped up. The Leafs only managed six shots combined on their five power play chances.
The Bad?
  • Too many penalties. I know the trip called on Lovejoy late saved a scoring chance, but MacArthur should not have been able to gain the lead position with three minutes left in the game.
  • Kris Letang... -3... ugh.
The Ugly?
  • Neal and Kovalev both played just four shifts with less than four minutes of ice time apiece in the third period. I know the late penalty had something to do with it, but what gives? Playing for OT maybe?
Any Surprises?
  • Not at all related to the game, but Sid is still tied for fourth in goals in the NHL... despite missing 24 games. That's astounding.
What's their record now? Any important move in the standings?
The Pens are now 37-21-7.

Who's next?
A day of rest and then back-to-back games against Jersey and Boston to wrap up the road trip.

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