RECAP: Gin and Jussi. PENS WIN.

 
The Pens and Rangers have played a carbon copy of this game late in the season for what seems like forever now. The game is tight-checking, hard-hitting, and there is bad blood all over the place.
 
Friday night fit the bill After two mild periods, the third period turned into a little bit of everything. While Henrik and MAF dueled, Douglas Murray killed Brian Boyle, Matt Cooke went after the Rangers bench, and Rick Nash actually did something that mattered. Just a great game.
 
In the end, Fleury was outrageously good and basically won the game by himself.
 
Looking at the standings. a month from today, the Pens and Rangers could be in the throes of a seven-game dance. If that happens, good gawd.
 
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We promise.
 
Recap:
 

FIRST PERIOD

Tyler Kennedy became possibly the first player in NHL history to go from the first line to the fourth line in like 4 seconds.
 
Morrow had his best period as a Pen, hitting shit. It looked like he killed Ryan Callahan for a second. Engelland and Clowe dropped gloves. That was fun. Except it woke up the Rangers, who carried the play for the rest of the period.
 
Rangers had to use up their timeout after a late icing call.
MAF was in the zone early and often.
 
Pens really only had two decent chances in the period. Iginla had a chance to stuff one home but couldn't. And Dupes got a puck past King Henrik, but it trickled wide.

Malkin is fighting it big-time. By our calculations, there will be at least 50 articles before the Pens' next game about Malkin not shouldering the load.

SECOND PERIOD

Pens dodged a bullet when Sutter went down the runway but came back for his next shift.
 
Eaton jobbed Nash, but the Pens PK shut down everything, expect the one time a Ranger walked right down Main Street and almost sniped Fleury. Huge glove.
 
Pens had their own PP when Powe threw one over the glass. Cue the Torts Faces.
 
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Pens' power play is complete piss. Iginla had another chance later on, but it wasn't that close.
 
Rangers had their best flurry of the period later. They knocked MAF's glove off but still couldn't beat the son of a bitch.

THIRD PERIOD

The third period is where everything happened.

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30 seconds in, Dupes and Kunitz played catch. Kunitz with a nice dish to Jussi. He roof-jobs King Henrik.

1-0.

Huge stat here: Chris Kunitz and Martin St. Louis are the only two players in the NHL who have yet to go two straight games without getting a point. Wow. (Stat from the Pens)

After the goal, the Rangers were coming in waves. They were possessed. MAF stopped the music with a huge glove save on Stepan. No words.

Brian Boyle shoved Kunitz from behind into the boards, so the Pens jumped on the PP. That came to a crashing halt when Del Zotto delivered the people's elbow to Neal.

Del Zotto definitely had Neal in his sights.
Neal left for the game. Not good.

After the kill, Douglas Murray buried Brian Boyle. 

Two big boys colliding. If that's what Murray does to someone who touches Kunitz, what's gonna happen to someone who messes with Crosby/Malkin?

Boyle got up and cried because he couldn't deal with the hit, and everyone got jammed up.

After a little while, Dupuis came at Del Zotto at like 200mph on an icing call. He barely nicked him, but it was enough to send him off. Away from that, Rick Nash slashed Cooke from the bench.. Nash then sat on the bench and hid behind Ryan Callahan of all people while Cooke chirped.

Maybe the funniest moment of the season.

MAF had to perform acrobatics on the ensuing penalty kill, including a save that was sent to Toronto. The Rangers were crying for a call as usual. The look on Torts' face when he knew it wasn't gonna be a goal was priceless:

The CONSOL crowd erupted with a Fleury chant. Always the sum of all fears that the opposing team will score right after something like that.

SUM OF ALL FEARS REALIZED

Right after the penalty expired, Nash cashed in on The Neal Play™.

1-1.

Maybe the biggest goal of Rick Nash's career, which, come on.

Brian Boyle had a chance to become a huge villain moments later after the Rangers had a nice little breakout: 

Fleury shut that down. Monster save. Rough play for Brooks Orpik. Starting to wonder if he is playing hurt.

Bylsma called a timeout late to get some shit together. Pens settled down a little from there, and Fleury took them to OT.

OVERTIME

The Rangers owned much of the play in OT. Fleury sparkled with several saves. Malkin had a chance late, but the Rangers had him on lockdown all game. Any shot he took was blocked.

SHOOTOUT

It figures that Jussi Jokinen's first game would a shootout. Jokinen is third all-time on the shootout-goals list.

He smoked King Henrik:

Henrik either got hurt there or later on in the shootout when he stopped Malkin.

After MAF stopped some guy and Henrik shut down Malkin and Dupuis, the Rangers had to score to keep it going.

Nope.

Peace.

MISCELLANEOUS

— Juice won 13 of 15 faceoffs. 13 of 15. Will he seriously be the fourth-line center when Crosby returns? It was only one game, but Jokinen has that Fedotenko air about him, and we mean that in a good way.

— Pens PK is 29 for 32 (91%) in the past 11 home games.

— MAF has won 12 straight home decisions since February 2nd.

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— Niskanen with a season-high ice time.

— Jarome Iginla is a Penguin.

 

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