Best. Opening. Ever. On NBC:
Crosby and Company came out flying. The bad side about playing the Senators? Evgeni Nabokov isn't around anymore. Craig Anderson made a bunch of huge saves early and often, reminding everyone what an opposing goalie looks like.
About a minute in, Kyle Turris realized he wasn't playing against some shit Habs players and pissed himself, taking a penalty on Dupuis. Late on the power play, Malkin chased down a puck and got it to Martin at the point.
The Sens dictated most of the second period. Neil jobbed Murray on an icing, and there probably should've been a penalty there. Speaking of jobbing, the CONSOL boards almost jobbed Vokoun, but he avoided disaster.
After a skirmish, Neal was headed to the box, even after Turris tripped up Malkin well after everything. Pens killed that off.
Saw some of it in the first, and more in the second: Anderson being active on the Pens' dump-ins. It's definitely part of the Sens' plan to counter the Pens' long dump-ins and subsequent forechecks and cycles.
Then Orpik did this:
Then there was some more feeling out.
Conacher held up Kunitz after a face-off, and the sharks started swarming. On the PP, the Pens had the Sens running, leaving Iginla and Kunitz alone in front. Kunitz jammed home a rebound. 3-1.
Pens were still coming at the end of the period. It was poetry in motion, with some beautiful movement. A puck squeaked through Anderson but didn't have enough ass to get over the goal line before Karlsson got it out of there. That may have gone in on fresh ice.
Vokoun didn't have to make any 10-bell saves, but he was stopping everything he should've stopped. It's really all the Pens need.
Not much going on through the first half of the third. Cory Conacher is a joke and decided to headbutt Letang, so there was some 4-on-4 for a while. Pens were looking for the dagger the whole time.
Dupuis went down behind the Sens' net, and it had high-ankle sprain written all over it. Everyone wondered if he was gonna be okay. The answer would be coming shortly.
Neal went to the box. Veteran sell by Karlsson on that call, but he was gonna have to answer for that. Murray acted like he was gonna clear it along the boards, and Karlsson pinched to cut it off. Instead, Murray sprung Dupes and Cooke on a shorthanded 2-on-1. Patience. Patience. Dupuis roof job.
James Neal kept taking penalties. Pens killed all of them.
The game was over after that, but of course the Sens had to start trolling. Chris Neil had a moment where he was jawing with Doug Murray, waited for Murray to go to the bench, and then jumped back on the ice to start shit. Neil avoided contact with Murray for most of the game except for when Murray's back was turned.
And except for this pic.
– There's rumors that Karlsson isn't fully recovered from his Achilles injury.
– Saw some chatter about Bylsma sitting Neal due to all his penalties. lol ok
– Special teams made all the difference in this one.
– On the radio side the old 29er mentioned he saw Chris Neil elbow Crosby in the mask. No vid though.
All double digits. Good times. Still waiting for Brenden Morrow to do something big. Pens would be lethal if they could get Sutter's line going.