Friday, April 15, 2011

Lightning 5, Penguins 1

So what happened?
Special teams killed the Pens tonight. They had numerous chances to get back in the game on the power play but were unable to convert. They also allowed two power play goals, including the rally-killer late in the second period.

The Pens got off to a slow start, as the Lightning clearly seemed to be the more desperate team. Before you could say "uh-oh", the Pens were down 1-0 due to a 2-on-1 goal by Eric Brewer (after a really bad pinch by Kris Letang). After that, there was a great play made by Brewer (he was the #1 star) to keep the puck in on the power play. It never left the zone, as it was finally deposited behind Flower. Not content with that, the Bolts executed the "pass off of the pads" to perfection with Nate Thompson finishing off the play.

To the Penguins' credit, they came out with renewed purpose in the second period and did a great job of turning the tide. They hit a post (I think it was Kovalev), and they finally got a break when Roloson mishandled the puck, leading directly to Craig Adam's goal.

The absolute killer was a really bad penalty called on Brooks Orpik (bad as in "The Zebras Need Glasses"). The Lightning took just seven seconds to get their second power play goal, a three goal lead, and the effective end of the game.

Who scored?
Adams (1)

The Good?
  • A nice response to build some momentum in the second period.
  • Good offensive zone presence for much of the evening, as shown by the shots margin (36-21).
  • Kovalev, Letestu and Neal were able to generate offense fairly consistently. If these guys ever get hot, they're going to carry this team.
The Bad?
  • Where do you start? Three goals allowed in the first? Two goals allowed on the power play? Take your pick.
  • Some more questionable work from the refs. As much as Game 1 was slanted towards the Pens, tonight was slanted in favor of the Bolts. The calls on Talbot and Orpik especially were poor.
The Ugly?
  • No goals on the power play in seven chances. This is going to cost them the series if they can't get something going.
Any Surprises?
  • Coming out and not matching the desperation of the Bolts was surprising. It may have been a matter of lucky bounces, but you have to rise to the occasion.
What's the series at now?
The series is tied 1-1.

When is the next game?
The Pens get the weekend to think about this before Monday night's game in Tampa Bay.

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