The Pens got out of this game with a win, which is all that matters. Every Zatkoff start has the chance of turning into a Bruce Willis movie, and this one did. But the Pens escaped.
Couple of main things:
– It’s really hard to believe the Isles are in the last place in the Metro Division. They need a goaltender in the worst way.
Most of the other pieces are in place. They can play with anyone, but when your goalie can't stop basic NHL shots, yikes.
– Malkin and Crosby are both starting to lock in. Every time the two were on the ice last night, it was edge-of-your-seat stuff.
– Crosby now with 250 career goals. He'd be at over 300 if it wasn't for the injuries.
Pens headed to Montreal tonight. Find your butts and hold onto them.
It could’ve been a real long night early if it wasn’t for Jeff Zatkoff making some big saves a minute in. Those couple saves were tougher than any shots he faced against the Jackets in his last start.
The Isles were up shit creek in the first 10 minutes, going to the box three times. Kunitz scored on two of those power plays.
2-0 after one. Should’ve been 3-0, but there was an unfortunate high-sticking call on Malkin that wiped out a natural hatty for Kunitz.
It wasn't the best of calls:
Matt Carkner is such a scumbag. What an acting job.
Bylsma was jammed. Most emotion we've seem him use:
Not surprisingly, the referees evened it up 30 seconds later with a hooking call on Bouchard.
The second period was a completely different story.
It started two minutes in when Thomas Vanek found a sweet spot to fire home an Okposo pass. 2-1.
And then came one of the best moments of the season thus far, with Geno finally getting off the goal schneid. It wasn’t the prettiest goal of his career, but it turned the light on. 3-1.
The Pens had a couple chances to then turn the lights off halfway through the period. First was Sutter not being able to finish on a breakaway. Then came a 4-on-2, with Letang joining in late. He had room to shoot but forced a pass over to Gibbons, who was probably in shock that Letang passed it. It hit off his skate, and the Isles went the other way on a 2-on-1. Colin McDonald said thank you very much. 3-2.
A little over a minute later, buttholes went to clench mode. An extremely bad turnover by Paul Martin got the Isles excited. Vanek was able to put home some trash. 3-3.
Seems to be a disturbing trend developing with Zatkoff. There had to have been three or four times where he was laying outside his crease while the Isles were trying to bang home loose pucks. Just strange.
Underrated timeout by Bylsma after the goal.
Had to be done.
It was a great game of chess in the third. It was a matter of which team would blink first, and neither team did.
It was on the highway to overtime until Chris Kunitz capped off his amazing night by punishing Radek Martinek on a forecheck and getting the puck to Dupuis, who found Crosby standing all alone in front. You can’t do that. 4-3.
Right after the faceoff while everyone was still celebrating the goal and yanking each other, Tanner Glass got tagged for a slashing penalty. Pens would have to kill off the Isles' rush down a man.
And they did. With the crowd in a frenzy, the Pens held the door shut. Isles didn't even really get a good look.
– Matt Niskanen continues his steady play.
– Pens lost the giveaway battle again, 1-5.
– Pens have been limiting shots on net. The Isles wouldn't let them do that. They outshot the Pens 35-34.
– Orpik was visibly irritated after a couple of the goals.
– We were fortunate enough to be in the Freak Show’s Section 120, and it was as advertised. An insane section. People may not want to get jammed for a regular-season game, but give this section a chance in the playoffs, and it could make CONSOL a scary place to play in. Hilarious job done by Mikey and Big Bob from KISS FM
. Not sure what was better: the giant Rob Ford and Bob Ross fat heads, or the fact Penguins ushers were in pure DEFCON 1 mode throughout the game. Some funny pics in this search string