Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hockey Justice - Penguins 4, Canadiens 3 (OT)

So what happened?

The Pens dug themselves a hole (again) and then dug themselves back out of it, all in a difficult place to play.

It looked like it was going to be a good night when Geno scored on the rush just 21 seconds into the game.  Sid drove to the net and earned a penalty call, and Geno scored before the Habs could get possession of the puck.

The Canadiens scored just over a minute later when Engelland handed the puck to Travis Moen, who provided the roof job on Flower (you know the story - Flower went down and the shot went up).

The Habs would score two more goals before they were done, the second one coming during the second period, which the Pens thoroughly dominated (except on the score board).  Throw in two Chris Kunitz goals overturned by replay (the guy has about four of those this year, which has to be some kind of record), and this was starting to feel like a "we did everything but score" kind of night.

Fortunately, the Pens were able to get a lucky bounce when Paul Martin held the puck in the zone (on a high risk play) and it found its way right onto the stick of Pascal Dupuis.  Duper blasted it past Price.

Staal score the huge game-tying goal late in the third.

Letang took a blindside head shot from Max Pacioretty (which amazingly was not a penalty) late in the third.  He returned for the OT (with a broken nose, but fortunately no concussion) and score the game winner in what could only be called Hockey Justice.  The puck appeared to be frozen by Carey Price, but the ref somehow didn't blow the whistle, and Letang dug it out of there and shot it under the irate goaltender.

Who scored?
Malkin (8), Dupuis (6), Staal (12), Letang (3)

The Good?
  • Total domination in the second period, out shooting the Habs 16-5.
  • Staal is on pace to score 40 goals.
  • Sid played over 20 minutes (20:55 to be exact) for the first time.  This is especially encouraging since he did it on the second half of a back-to-back.
  • The PK did their job and didn't allow anything.
  • Pacioretty apologized after the game for breaking Letang's nose.  A very classy move after a very dumb, dangerous hit.  It makes me less willing to call Pacioretty the Hypocrite of the Year, but Hypocrite of the Month sounds about right (Pacioretty, in case you don't remember, was the victim of a Zdeno Chara hit into the turnbuckle last season).
The Bad?
  • Sid on the faceoff circle - he won just seven out of 25.  Ugh.
The Ugly?
  • The Zebras, who were not only clueless, but also criminally negligent.  No penalty on the Letang hit?  No whistle on the game winner by the Pens?  Both of these missed calls should have these guys on administrative leave.
Any Surprises?
  • I never expected Letang to return to the game after that hit.  It looked really bad.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 14-6-4.

Who's next?
The road trip continues at MSG on Tuesday to face the Rangers.

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