RECAP: TK Phones Home. PENS WIN.

12 wins in a row. 24 points. February 20th, the Flyers won that free-for-all 6-5 on CONSOL ice. The Pens haven't lost at home and have gone 14-2-0 overall since then.
Even with both Malkin and Letang creeping from the press box, the Pens have managed to get teams sucked into playing their game. The complete 180 on the blue line has been the main catalyst for a bulk of this winning streak. They've given up only 9 goals over the past 8 games, while the offense is scoring at roughly the same pace they've been scoring all year. Honestly, when was the last time the Pens gave up an odd-man rush? Can't even remember.
The Flyers have been playing playoff games for the past week or so, and this one was no different. The Flyers are 5 points out of a playoff spot, so they could still make moves. This was the final Pens-Flyers matchup of the regular season, and if the Flyers get into the dance, they may be the Pens' first-round opponent.
But who cares.
A huge week of hockey up ahead for the Pens. Tuesday's game at CONSOL against Montreal will be full of buzz. Brenden Morrow will be making his Penguins debut, and Michel Therrien returns to Pittsburgh for the first time as Montreal coach. Four games until the trade deadline next Wednesday.



Engo got things off to a good start on the pregame:

Whoops. Second straight game with an S-bomb on ROOT sports.

The first looked nothing like how recent Flyers-Pens first periods have gone. The Flyers didn't score a deflating goal. The Pens didn't jump out to a big lead.

The Confidence Index had some minor issues in the opening minutes. Bennett, Jeffrey, and arguably TK all came out with a purpose. The Morrow trade has impacted all of them.

The Flyers had the better shifts at the beginning of the period, and the Pens countered in the second half.

Dustin Jeffrey had at least four looks at Bryzgalov but missed the net on a couple of them. Dupuis continued his new style of hitting, which is basically just catapulting himself into people.

Glass wrecked Foster behind the Flyers' net, and one of the bros lit up Bennett.

The Pens had the lone powerplay in the first, but it had nothing. We're still completely in love with the Niskanen/Martin D pairing on the top powerplay. Niskanen will score a huge goal in the dance with his one-timer.



The story of the second period boiled down to several bizarre no-calls.

Early in the period, the Flyers had too many men on the ice, and apparently Luke Schenn went into the box where Pierre stands to try and avoid the call.

No way that is legal.

Some other shit:

–Martin got hauled down behind the Pens' net. No call.
–Rinaldo had a bear hug on Crosby in front of the Flyers' net. No call. Rinaldo plays on the edge. He had a few questionable hits in the second period. He really has no business being in the NHL. Great hit on Kunitz, though.
The Flyers got a power play when Paul Martin got caught retaliating to a hit.
Saw some people wondering why Tanner Glass was on the PK unit. As it turns out, he's fifth on the team among forwards in PK time per game. The puck hit off his stick and bounced right back to Fraude Giroux.

Goal. 1-0.
Hard to imagine an NHL player more into himself right now.

The Pens were in the Flyers' zone for the rest of the period. Crosby may have played the whole time.



The third was a huge tease. It was beginning to feel like the Flyers would pull out the W, and people would flip out.

Instead, the Flyers became the Flyers.

First, Wayne Simmonds hacked Orpik's stick out of his hands. Next thing you knew, Kunitz was behind the D, and Kimmo the Emo hooked him up.

THE 5-ON-3

The Penguins lead the NHL in 5-on-3 goals with six. So the chances were gonna come.

It took a board battle and a great play by Beau Bennett to get set up. The Pens got to where they wanted. Crosby found himself in Malkin's trigger position. Martin put a puck in Crosby's wheelhouse.



MVP goal. Second-best thing about it: it was right in Talbot's mouth. The place was nuts. Pens still had a chunk on a 5-on-4, but the Flyers killed it.

Flyers looked dead and were content to at least get a point.

Scary play at the end of regulation. Dupuis got boarded by Colburn, but no call.


MAF was strong all game, and it didn't change when it slipped into OT. He made three or four point-blank saves during one of Philly's surges.

The next Pens surge, the game was over. Tyler Kennedy was trying to score like his life depended on it. He finally wired one top shelf. 

A couple things about this shot.

1. Luke Schenn is maybe the worst defenseman on Earth.
2. What a pass by Niskanen to set up TK.
3. Moments after getting murdered in the corner, Dupes comes back to set the screen for this goal. What a warrior.

Look at Talbot's face:

Sucks to suck, bro.




— Fleury has won unlimited games in a row.
— Can't wait for the video of Morrow skating in warm-ups Tuesday night.
— The blue-line dilemma is going to be interesting when Letang gets back.