Saturday, March 05, 2011

Penguins 3, Bruins 2 (OT)

So what happened?

That was the term that Bob Errey used to describe Dennis Seidenberg in overtime, when he threw an ill-advised pass that was pick off by Dustin Jeffrey. Jeffrey took the puck, went right around Seidenberg, and beat Thomas cleanly. Errey couldn't have known that a platypus is one of the few mammals that is venomous and lays eggs, so I'm going to assume it was because Seidenberg was caught flat-footed. In Seidenberg's defense, he had been on the ice for over a minute when the goal was scored, so he was probably gassed.

Overall this was an excellent hockey game. I think I'd be writing that even if the Bruins had completed the comeback and earned two points instead of the Pens. It was extremely physical and felt like playoff hockey. The Bruins came out and tried to bully the Pens, who would have none of it. Once things settled down (though the hitting kept up), the Pens went on the attack. The 39 shots they put on net were the most allowed by the Bruins since January 18th.

I was really impressed by the offense the Pens were able to generate.

It is a great two points for the Pens to earn.

Who scored?
Staal (7), Jeffrey (6, 7)

The Good?
  • Dustin Jeffrey with two HUGE goals. The Pens really needed someone to step up and score. Jeffrey and Staal provided that tonight.
  • The response by the Pens to the physical gauntlet thrown down by the Bruins was excellent. There were two fights, but mostly the Pens ignored the hitting, responded when they could, and kept playing hockey. Winning on the scoreboard is the best retaliation.
  • Letang, Martin and Michalek were all huge for the Pens, all playing more than 25 minutes.
  • Mark Letestu is going to be a really good offensive player in a few years.
  • James Neal helped to set the tone by working hard on the offensive glass all night long.
  • Fleury was really, really good early in the game when the Bruins were throwing the kitchen sink at him.
The Bad?
  • Both Bruins goals were because the forward was slow in getting back defensively. It was Kovalev earlier in the game, and in the scrum with 30 second left, Matt Cooke was just a step too slow in trying to get to Krejci.
  • Zdeno Chara avoiding the corner with James Neal bearing down on him. I know Neal isn't small, but Chara really shouldn't bail out in those situations.
  • Paul Steigerwald keeps mistaking Craig Adams for Alexei Kovalev, because (in case you're not aware) of the #27. I never realized how much announcers count on the number on the jersey since Kovalev and Adams are about as different as you could imagine on the ice (Kovalev - left-handed shot, relaxed skating style - Adams - right-handed shot, aggressive, hard-striding skating style).
The Ugly?
  • My personal pet peeve - the Three Stars. How is Jeffrey not one of them after scoring twice, including the game winner in OT? Also, how is Seidenberg among them after giving the puck away and then getting badly beaten in allowing the OT winner? Something isn't right there...
Any Surprises?
  • Missing Chris Kunitz again was a surprise, but given the level of hitting in this game, it was probably better to have him hold off.
What's their record now? Any important move in the standings?
The Pens are now 38-21-8. The Flyers have lost three in a row and now sit just two points ahead of the Pens for the Atlantic division lead (though they do have three games-in-hand over the Pens).

Who's next?
Just one game before next weekend and that's Tuesday night at home against Buffalo.

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