Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hurricanes 5, Penguins 3

So what happened?

The Pens found themselves down 3-0 entering the third period.  The period had no sooner started than Eric Staal found himself with a breakaway attempt.  He was stoned by Brent Johnson (though Staal did try to push Johnson and the puck into the net).  Shortly after that, Jordan Staal (playing on a line with Malkin and Neal when Sullivan didn't return for the third) buried a chance.  The next 10 minutes were great if you were a Pens' fan, as they came back to tie the score at 3-3.

The rest of the game?  Not as good.

The Pens were able to control the play for most of the time, but they were unable to beat Cam Ward for much of the night.

There were several alarming defensive breakdowns that led directly to goals by the Canes.  Brent Johnson made some nice saves, but any time you give up five, that's not good.  Kris Letang and Paul Martin were both a -2 for the night... also not good.

In short, when the puck was in the Canes' end, everything was great, but the Pens were very shaky in the coverage both in transition and in their own end.  We saw something similar against Dallas when Nystrom was allowed to float to the net unattended.  These kind of breakdowns will kill you over the long run.

Who scored?
Staal (7,8), Kunitz (6)

The Good?
  • Jordan Staal in the third period was a man possessed.  He scored his first shorty since the 2009-10 season after opening the scoring about three minutes prior.
  • Chris Kunitz finally got a goal after doing so much great work over the last few games.  The ironic thing is this was a shot that Cam Ward should have stopped from the side boards.
  • The system is working really well right now.  When the Pens have the puck in the offensive zone, they dominate the game.  Any line is capable of possession and thus capable of scoring.
The Bad?
  • Geno had about 4-5 golden chances but was unable to bury any of them.  You need your superstar to come through on at least one of those guys.  Goal scoring aside, he is playing really well right now.
The Ugly?
  • Coming back to tie the game and then allowing two late goals in the last five minutes.  That's really ugly.  If you come back from a three goal deficit in the third, you should get at least a point out of it.
Any Surprises?
  • Pascal Dupuis was 4-0 in the faceoff circle (he was in there any time someone was kicked out, which seemed to happen a lot, especially to Richard Park).
What's their record now?
The Pens are 10-4-3.

Who's next?
The Avs come to town on Tuesday night, and if Dejan Kovacevic is to be believed, Sid may return.

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