Monday, April 18, 2011

Penguins 3, Lightning 2

So what happened?
Tyler Kennedy stepped up with the goal of the season (so far) when the Pens needed it most. The Bolts had just tied the score at 2-2 early in the third period after another questionable penalty call against the Pens (though not nearly as bad a call as the one against Kovalev in the first period). On the next shift, the Pens got the puck to the net and crashed. Through a mass of humanity, Kennedy found the puck and put it past Roloson, who didn't know where it was.

HUGE goal.

The Pens played a great road game. They carried the play for much of the game, and the Lightning couldn't do much at even strength all night. When they did manage to get something going, Flower was there to stop them.

The Pens took four penalties, however, and the Bolts made them pay on two of them. If it weren't for special teams, this series wouldn't be that close. Certainly tonight would not have been close.

A quick barrage got the Pens up 2-0 in the first period when Talbot blasted the puck past Roloson. Forty-five seconds later, Mike Rupp somehow got a pass across the ice, under a sliding Kubina, to Aaron Asham, who put it behind a sprawling Roloson. That gave the Pens a 2-0 lead.

Who scored?
Talbot (1), Asham (2), Kennedy (1)

The Good?
  • Zbynek Michalek was huge all night, but not any bigger than the final 1:32 of the game. With the game on the line, he played the equivalent of 2-3 shifts. He was just awesome tonight. The top four D were all really good all night long - they're the strength of this team, no doubt.
  • Martin St. Louis is deadly against the Pens. Maybe they should just shadow him on the power play? I'm kidding, of course.
  • Both goalies were very, very good. This would have been a blowout if not for some of the saves made by Roloson.
  • All of the lines were able to get something going for offense, which is encouraging given that they're still not converting on the power play.
The Bad?
  • Special teams. Still. Whether it was the power play, which generated some pressure but couldn't convert, or the PK, which has allowed the Bolts to click at a 40% rate... both just bad.
The Ugly?
  • Man, the Zebras are maddeningly inconsistent this series, from the head-scratchers tonight to the non-calls on the stick infractions in Game 1. Just poor.
Any Surprises?
  • I had a feeling of doom after the Bolts tied the score early in the third. I was happily surprised to be proven wrong.
What's the series at now?
The Pens have taken back the home-ice advantage and lead the series 2-1.

When is the next game?
There's a chance for the first nail in the coffin on Wednesday night in Tampa.

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