So what happened?
Malkin had the puck on his stick. He had several scoring chances earlier in the period, but was being blanketed pretty heavily by the Caps. As he approached the offensive zone, all five Caps were within 20 feet of the blue line, and none were more than halfway into their own zone. Geno unfortunately tried to stick-handle through those players instead of recognizing the situation and dumping the puck. It's a move that you have to live with, because he is sometimes capable of running the gauntlet, but you wish in that circumstance that he'd dump the puck.
You know what happens next - turnover at the blue line, just inside the offensive zone and before you can blink, it's a three-on-one going the other way. Michalek for some reason makes a beeline for the man with the puck (Halpern). Halpern dishes the puck to a wide open Chimera who goes in on a breakaway on Flower. Ouch.
That was the only goal of the night.
The Pens didn't have any consistent pressure until the last 3-4 minutes of the third period, but then they really brought it. Watching the end of the game reminded me of why I cheer for this team. If they play as well as they did tonight, they'll be just fine.
- The rush at the end. It was amazing to see them ratchet up the intensity after not seeing that for so long. I almost forgot what it looked like.
- Flower was really, really good in keeping the Pens in the game. It could easily have been 4-0 instead of 1-0.
- No goals.
- A lack of productivity for the first 55 minutes of the game. Some of the credit goes to the Caps, but much of the blame goes to the Pens.
- Another terrible night for the refs. The hit that Ovechkin put on Adams that they showed over and over? I have another word for it - INTERFERENCE!! If the player with the puck dumps it off and runs over the defense (who never touched the puck), it's interference, plain and simple. I know the hit looked cool, but really? And the slashing call on Dupuis at the end was a complete joke. Both players slashed each other but they only sent one off near the end of a tight game. Totally hideous.
- No one delivered a two-hander to the any of the refs. I would have after the cross-check to Engelland in the defensive crease and the hit by Ovechkin.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 21-17-4.
Off to sunny Florida for two games beginning Friday night against the Panthers.