We said Friday morning that we had a feeling Crosby would be in the top 5 in scoring by this time. We underestimated him. He is now in sole possession of the points lead with 9 after three goals and an assist in this one.
This was one of those back-and-forth crazy games that we usually don't see until the Pens visit Toronto. Just a good time overall. The Pens had to overcome the Stamkos blade shitshow that led to the tying goal. Still no clue what that was about.
Something is seriously wrong if Maatta doesn’t stay with the team. He belongs in the NHL.
Two head scratchers in this one:
Pens' PP came up big in this one, too, going 3 for 5.
Still trying to figure out why Craig Adams and Ryan Malone fought off the opening faceoff. We spent way too much time trying to remember if there was some bad blood from last year or something. As it turns out, Ryan Malone sucks.
One second later, Chuck Kobasew hooked Stamkos streaking to the net, so the Lightning had a PP. The Pens survived that, but then Malkin was going off for something a couple minutes later. That got killed, too. Crosby saw PK time on both.
Things opened up on 5-on-5 for a while until Fleury got caught out of the net and Paul Martin had to make an American play by blocking a shot then holding Panik’s stick. Pens killed that one, too. The Lightning didn’t even threaten.
A little later, Killorn one-timed a shot at Fleury. Hit Filppula on its way in. 1-0.
Gudas went off late, and the Pens had the chance to save the period on the power play. Didn’t happen.
Second period started off strangely. Kobasew took a shot at Marty St. Louis. The Lightning retaliated. Ryan Malone got a 10-minute misconduct. Eric Brewer also went off for roughing, so the Pens had a PP. Malone was on something.
Crosby went to the front of the net for like 5 seconds, which was longer than he did in the entire Boston series. Kicked a puck to his stick and beat Lindback. 1-1.
Unfortunately, the Lightning have goal-scorers, too. This was St. Louis and Stamkos teaming up, with Stamkos finishing it with a snipe job. 2-1.
The Pens’ top line answered. Orpik found himself down low and deflected a Dupuis shot. 2-2.
The Pens didn’t stop coming after that goal. They were coming in waves. Panik panicked and threw the net off, so the Pens were going back on a PP. Killed.
Maatta went off for interference, and the Lightning took the lead. This is the actual penalty:
Yea sorry that isn't an NHL penalty. What a terrible game for the refs.
The Pens finished the second period strong. And they came out to start the third, and — Wait. What's that — It's Crosby in front of the goalie again. He deflects home a shot from Scuderi. 3-3.
The Lightning hit the post on their next rush, and that was pretty much all that happened until Alex Killorn went off for holding with about 11:30 left. It looked like the Lightning were gonna kill it, except Niskanen and Maatta, especially Niskanen, made great plays to keep the puck in the Lighting zone. Then came a sweet tic-tac-toe play from Malkin to Jokinen to Crosby. Crosby tickled the twine with authority. Give him a hat trick. 4-3.
Pens were ready for whatever the Lightning were throwing at them down the stretch…until Kunitz took a penalty and Stamkos' skate blade fell off. Just a complete joke. It led to Killorn jumping on and tying the game. 4-4.
But the gods were smiling. Orpik got under Panik's skin, and Panik decided to slew-foot him at the end of a shift. So stupid. Tampa's coach couldn't believe it:
Pens jump on the power play, and Malkin feeds Niskanen with a pass in his wheelhouse. One-time blast. 5-4.
– Advanced stats logs [ ExtraSkater ] Crosby with 83% offensive zone starts.
– Kobasew played with Malkin and Jokinen in the third. Not sure if Bennett was hurt or if he was getting punished for something.
– Basically every other Metro Division team lost last night.
– There was a live penguin at the game. No video or photos that we could find.
– Pics: AP/Getty