Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Playoff Atmosphere - Penguins 4, Stars 3 (SO)

So what happened?

This was one exciting hockey game.  There were huge momentum swings, big moments, huge goals and even bigger saves.  It felt like a playoff game to me.

Other than the part where it was decided by a shootout.

Both sides played hard and, for the most part, clean.  There were more hits recorded than shots on net (and there were 62 shots on net), if that gives you any idea of the effort being put forth.

The Stars had leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but the Pens used two quick goals early in the third to take a 3-2 lead.  The Stars scored shortly after that to tie the game at 3-3, and then the goalies stepped up.  Marc-Andre was especially good in helping to stem the tide, given that the Pens played shorthanded for the end of the third and almost the first two minutes of overtime.  He kept the Pens in a position to win.  He also stopped two different breakaway attempts.

Kris Letang was injured on an apparent hit to the head in the first period.  He didn't return.  Martin, Michalek and Orpik all played at least 25 minutes.

Steve Sullivan also missed the third period with an injury.  Geno and Staal both played big minutes.

Nice to see the Pens get two points out of it.

Who scored?

Sullivan (12), Adams (4), Kunitz (18)

The Good?
  • Killing it on the shootout.  On a rare night when Flower allowed two in the shootout, Neal, Kunitz and Dupuis all cashed in.
  • The team really played well in a hostile environment.  The arena was loud tonight.
  • Great to see Adams get a dirty goal.
  • Kunitz's goal was on a sick deflection.
The Bad?
  • Both Letang and Sullivan left with injuries.
  • The Pens put the Stars on the power play too much in the second half of the game.  The final three power play attempts belonged to the Stars.
The Ugly?
  • For the love of God, Eddie Olczyk should be shot the next time he says "Pas-qwal" Dupuis.  I want to jump through the TV set every time I hear it.
Any Surprises?
  • I was surprised the Stars didn't roll four lines, especially in the third period when the Pens were shorthanded because of injury.  The fourth line seemed to have some jump for them.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 37-21-5.

Who's next?
A Saturday night showdown with another team hanging around the fringe of the playoffs in Colorado.

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