Thursday, October 27, 2011

Persistence - Penguins 3, Islanders 2 (SO)

So what happened?

Just one minute into the third period the Pens found themselves suddenly down 2-0 on a goal by Matt Martin.  They had played very well for most of the first 41 minutes but had nothing to show for it other than the ringing sound of hitting the post / crossbar twice.

In short, the Pens needed some results, and Chris Kunitz provided them.  He was in the right place at the right time to jam the puck past Nabokov after it fluttered across the crease just 44 seconds after Martin had made it 2-0.  Kunitz wasn't done yet - he played the middle part of a tic-tac-toe passing play as the Pens came through on the power play less than three minutes later to tie the score at 2-2.  Kunitz had no way to shoot the puck with the angle he was at, but Nabokov reacted as though he was going to shoot anyway.  Chris simple angled the puck down to Neal on the goal line.  James roofed it.

Flower came through with a few big saves throughout the remainder of the third and got the game to OT.

It went to the shootout, where the Isles strangely put in DiPietro (did something happen to Nabokov?).  Glass Jaw was good, but not good enough.  He was unable to get his left pad flat on the ice against Geno, who had totally faked DiPietro out of his pads.

Who scored?
Kunitz (3), Neal (9)

The Good?
  • Have we moved beyond saying "fast start" for James Neal and started thinking that he might score 40 this year?  He was great again tonight, though I wish he'd hit the net more often.
  • Staal was very confident as well.  He seems to have taken things to another level so far this season.
  • Geno played two straight complete games for the first time this season, and looked none worse for wear in notching the shootout winner.
The Bad?
  • Lack of intensity late in the first and early in the third almost cost the Pens those two points they earned.
  • Several odd-man breaks against the Pens went far better than they should have.
The Ugly?
  • I can't come up with anything I'd call ugly.  The Pens earn their two points tonight with hard work and effort.
Any Surprises?
  • Allowing just 19 shots only ties the low water mark for the season (they also allowed just 19 in losing to the Caps).
What's their record now?
The Pens are 8-2-2.

Who's next?
Off to the Land of the Entitled (Toronto) for a Saturday night game.

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