RECAP: The boys are back in town. PENS WIN.

Two years ago, Sidney Crosby returned from a concussion against the Lightning, and it set back the Penguins for a long time. Last night, Evgeni Malkin returned from a concussion against the Lightning, and it may elevate the Pens to a different level. It may not even be a "different" level. It could simply be the level the Pens are supposed to be at.
71 and 87 turned the tide on consecutive shifts in the third period. Can't even remember the last time they did something like that. Poor coaching, poor personnel decisions, and still some flawed play be damned; when the big boys are rolling, they can change the game just like that.
Big two points. Philly and Mecca on tap.

No clue of the source for this.


Some good hits were being dished out to start.  Engelland and some dude fought. 

Good fight. If you have hair like that, you better be able to throw bombs.

On the next shift, Crosby fed Mr. Automatic for a one-timer in the high slot. 1-0.

The Bolts looked jammed. Boucher was shuffling lines like nobody's business.

Pens were running house and forced the Bolts to take a penalty, except Tampa couldn't get control of the puck.  Pens got some good chances then jumped on the PP.  Some more good chances there, with James Neal fighting the puck a little.  Letang looked ordinary at the point. Killed.
The first ten minutes of the game was all Penguins.
The next 20 or so, the Lightning fought back.

There was some 4-on-4 for a couple minutes.  That all cleaned up.



Crosby drew a penalty 15 seconds into the second, and the Pens jumped on a power play. Tons of chances, but Garon kept the Bolts alive. But he couldn't keep his sac alive. He got hurt making a save on Malkin. He couldn't go anymore, and Lindback came into the game.

Pens were hitting pipes like crack addicts all game, and it surfaced again in the second period. Letang's shot is like a work of art. He hit two posts in the game from downtown.

After killing off the penalty, the Lightining started playing.

Stamkos did some coke and woke up.

He finished up a nice passing play to tie it up 1-1. Orpik turned in his Free Candy to open a Burger King, because he again was out to lunch.

The game hit a lull, and everything started moving Tampa's way.  They got some bullshit bounce, and a puck fluttered past Fleury. 2-1.

Rest of the period was as run-of-the-mill as it gets. Fleury kept the Penguins around. Pens couldn't get much going. Crosby drew another penalty toward the end of the period.The PP made some moves but couldn't punch anything in. 


It was a game the Lightning wanted. Although Malkin and Crosby had flashes, they weren't getting great chances shift after shift. The Lighting were in a groove. They were 6-0-1 when leading after two periods.

But one turnover changed all of that. 

5:38 of the third period

With ROOT's cameras on Orpik and some guy behind the play in the Pens' zone, the Bolts got the puck. Eric Brewer changed the game. He had a terrible turnover, and Malkin swooped in. He took the puck, and within two seconds he knew what he was going to do. He made Matt Carle look like a tree, splitting him and another defenseman. Lindback had no clue what was even happening. 

It was a mesmerizing play. Just an incredible goal.

You shouldn't be able to do that. 2-2. 

The goal ignited the crowd and woke up the Pens.

7:29 of the third period

That was all Sidney Crosby needed. When Crosby stepped on the ice right after the Malkin goal, it just looked like he was going to do something.

Crosby took the puck from the Pens' zone, used some unreal move in the neutral zone to gain entry into the Lightning zone, and then dished to Letang behind his back. 

Letang made this goal. He carried the puck around the net and waitrf for Crosby to get into position. As soon as Letang made the pass, it was net.

3-2. Just like that.

Tampa Bay really never really recovered despite it only being a one-goal game. The Pens held court for the rest of the third. Mark Eaton was outstanding.
Tampa pulled their goalie, but it wasn't happening. Malkin found James Neal for the ENG. 4-2.
It turned out to be the GWG actually, because Tampa scored with 8 seconds left. 4-3.



– Kunitz is like the final boss on Sonic 2.
– Letang is going to have big nights, and then be on the ice for three goals against. Another two-point night.
– If you watched the national broadcast and/or ROOT, they showed Orpik chirping the ref after Malkin scored. Interesting. Not sure what the etiquette is there.