If you're going to do the dive play in a two-on-one, you can't let the man with the puck walk around you to the middle of the ice. Unfortunately that's exactly what happened to Matt Niskanen when he dove and slid right past Ryan Callahan, turning a two-on-one into a two-on-none. Flower had no chance as Callahan passed the puck to Dubinsky for the lay-up.
That was the game winning goal. I know Flower mis-played a puck in the third period that led to another goal, but let's face it, the way the Rangers (especially Lundqvist) were playing, the Pens weren't likely to be able to tie the score. Dupuis and Malkin both hit the goal post, but King Henrik was on top of his game, and the Rangers were on top of theirs.
Things started out well enough for the Pens when the seas parted for Ben Lovejoy, allowing him to fly straight down the middle and face Lundqvist one-on-one. He beat him to the five hole giving the Pens an early 1-0 lead. Totorella called timeout after that, and the game slowly but surely turned to the Rangers.
The Rangers are playing like the Pens need to play. Hopefully the home team took a few notes, because they could use some help these days.
- Nice shot by Lovejoy.
- Great start for the Pens, out shooting the Rangers 11-1 at one point and dominating the play in the first half of the first period.
- No consistency in the results. It looked like the effort was there, but the Rangers were finishing all of their checks and the Pens sure weren't doing that (the Rangers out hit the Pens 35-22 on the evening).
- Jordan Staal - potential serious knee injury. I didn't think Rupp actually kneed him - it looked more incidental, but either way, the Pens can't afford another injury.
- Richard Park played well in his return. He was very noticeable along the wall, winning several battles in the offensive zone.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 21-14-4.
The second half of a home back-to-back as the Devils come to Consol on Saturday night.