RECAP: Game 8. Pens win 4-3.

 
These are the kind of games that remind us why we're hockey fans, even if the Penguins had lost. It was two heavyweights going toe to toe, trading punch for punch. It was the first big game the Pens have played this season, and they got the job done. With Fleury starting off the season 7-0, with Crosby on an absolute tear, with the Pens playing sound defense, and all this happening without Kris Letang and James Neal in the lineup, if you think things could be any better right now, you are high.
 
 
Crosby is as healthy as he's felt in a long time. He's been going to the net more and more. That was like a demilitarized zone for him since the concussion problems, especially in the Bruins series last year when Chara was lurking. Malkin had a really nice game, as well. He set up the Kunitz goal and then scored the shootout winner with a nasty move. Can't wait for him to get James Neal back. 
 
The Avs are coming to town on Monday night, then the Pens are off until Friday.
 
RECAP:

 

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FIRST PERIOD

As the teams were feeling each out at the outset, it was easy to see the Pens had the fresh legs. The only time the Canucks were threatening was when the Sedin boys were on the ice. Chris Conner was close to sticking his sac in our mouths, but he hit the post. The strobe-light and horn guy was a little quick on the trigger. Still hard to believe Chris Conner is back in the NHL, but maybe he's changed. Who knows.

Crosby almost deflected home a Paul Martin slapper on a powerplay. Post city, and the Canucks killed it off.

The kill woke up the Canucks. They had two or three straight shifts with decent looks at MAF. The Pens rang the post for the third time of the period when Maatta jumped up on the rush and tried to redirect a Kunitz pass.

Engelland and Lance Ito dropped the mitts because that's what needed to happen, we guess.

Then this happened:

 

1-0. Edler got credit for the “goal.”

People wanting to jump on MAF were licking their chops for this kind of moment, but it was just shitty luck.

A couple minutes later, the Pens got that goal back. Crosby did Crosby stuff, putting home a rebound, again, in front of the net.

1-1.

When is it too soon to start talking about 50 in 50 for Crosby? He has 7 in 8 right now.

Canucks killed off another penalty later in the period.

SECOND PERIOD

Not much was going on early in the second. The monotony got disrupted when Malkin went off for a trip. Pens were able to kill it.

Then the Pens got their third chance on the PP when the Canucks got caught with too many men, just like George Michael. Tort-Face made its first appearance of the game, and it didn’t help matters when Kunitz was left wide open in front. Malkin found him. 2-1.

Another example of the net being shallower. Malkin had unlimited room.

Looked like the Canucks tied it shortly after, but the net was off.

About 5 minutes later, the Canucks tied everything up again. We thought Brad Richardson was dead, but he was on the ice and scored. 2-2.

Canucks almost took the lead right after that, but Bortuzzo swept away a puck on the goal line.

THIRD PERIOD

ROOT started the third with a good roll of the Canucks testing MAF high after he had shat himself on the first goal. Good bounce-back for MAF.

About 4 minutes into the third, the Pens were on another power play. It was killed, then the third slipped into one of those great third periods that everyone waited all summer for. The tension was building with each rush up the ice. It was either gonna be a devastating Canucks goal or the Pens would bring the house down. Turned out both happened.

Zack Kassian, who had just almost killed Dupuis, scored, and all you could hear were the Canucks whooping and hollering in celebration.

Devastating. 3-2.

20 seconds later, the Pens got it right back. Crosby led the rush and fed Kunitz, who threw it at Luongo.

Big save.

Rebound.

Olli Maatta?

OLLI MAATTA.

3-3.

The third period was winding down, and the Pens started coming harder. Dupuis dove like Harrison Ford in Air Force One for a loose puck and pushed it over to open space. Sutter tracked it down and got jobbed, so he got a penalty shot.

Sutter vs. Bobby Lu

Sutter isn't a guy to make moves. Bobby Lu stops guys that don't have moves, so that's what happened.

Sutter tried glove side:

Could be the first time Sutter has had possession of the puck in the offensive zone all season.

The game slipped in OT.

OVERTIME

We had high hopes that the overtime was gonna be in-your-mouth, back-and-forth action, but we didn't really see it. The Canucks had some sustained pressure with the Sedins, then Crosby and Kunitz did some work. For one glorious stretch, the Sedins lined up against Malkin/Crosby. But nothing happened. To the shootout it went.

SHOOTOUT

Big-time duel between Fleury and Bobby Lu.

Lu stopped Jokinen and Crosby.

Fleury stopped two idiots.

Malkin up…

Nasty move. It was down to Fleury vs Kesler. Kesler sucks. Fleury stacks 'em:

GAME.

MISCELLANEOUS

— Too lazy to go back and look at a bunch of shootout footage for comparison's sake, but the CONSOL Zamboni has definitely been going out really wide since Jokinen joined the team.

— Pens were getting outshot 28-12 at one point.

— Starting to wonder if Deryk Engelland has seen time at defense and forward because the Pens are trying to exhibit any versatility he possesses for potential trade partners. Engelland at forward definitely isn't a long-term thing, so you have to think that's what this is all about.

— Pics: AP/Getty

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