Monday, March 19, 2012

The Third - Flyers 3, Penguins 2 (OT)

So what happened?

First off, the reason for "The Third" - I'm suggesting that's the new name for Scotty Hartnell.  At least twice yesterday, he jumped in as the third man on a confrontation.  Coming from the man who won't fight Arron Asham, that takes tremendous courage.  Congratulations, Scott Hartnell The Third, you have the heart of a lion.

If you had said that the Pens would play the Rangers, Devils and Flyers, all on the road, and come out with 5 points (out of six possible), I would have taken that any day of the week.

Unfortunately, when the only loss comes at the hands of the Flyers, in the last part of those three games, it leaves a foul taste in your mouth.

That's a good thing.  The Pens will now have some things to correct and some extra motivation going into a slightly easier part of the schedule.

As for the game itself, the Pens jumped out to a 2-0 lead.  It would have been worse, but Bryzgalov was excellent between the pipes (as was Fleury, for that matter).  I can't believe Bryzgalov wasn't one of the three stars for the game.

The Flyers scored twice in the third period to tie the game, and again with one second left in OT to earn the extra point.

The Flyers goal in OT was one that should not have happened - James Neal had a chance to get the puck deep in the Flyers zone.  Instead, he and Dupuis tried to make a play and wound up coughing up the puck.  That led directly to the Hartnell goal.

Who scored?

Adams (5), Malkin (41)

The Good?
  • The first two periods were more of the same from the Pens.  Domination in terms of possession, zone time and shots.
  • You could make a case for Kris Letang as Team MVP.  Things are that much different when he's playing.
  • Geno had a great individual play on his goal.  Nice to see him keep pushing.
  • Sid seems to be slowing stepping up his level of play, including getting more involved down low and going to the dirty areas (like the front of the net).
The Bad?
  • The third period.  The Pens couldn't keep their system when the Flyers stepped up their play.  It was a good test for the Pens, and right now this time they didn't earn a passing score.
The Ugly?
  • Just your usual stupid thuggery by the Flyers.
Any Surprises?
  • The music people at the arena - usually when they play the musical line where the crowd chants "Crosby Sucks!", the folks in Philly drop the drum beat so as not to dilute the crowd chanting.  This time, they didn't tacitly endorse the chant by playing the full thing, so the drum was playing over the crowd chanting.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 44-21-6.  They are all alone in fourth place in the conference, two points ahead of Philly and just one point behind the Rangers.

Who's next?
Winnipeg comes to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.  Four of the next five games are on home ice for the Pens.

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