RECAP: Game 45. Pens beat Canucks 5-4.

Give up two goals in 17 seconds in the third period
Score two goals in 16 seconds in the third period.
Just another game with the Penguins’ skill bailing themselves out. It's hard not to appreciate, but it is also hard not to wonder when and if the Penguins will pay for some of their mistakes. This sums it up best:

Marc-Andre Fleury didn't have his greatest game, and it doesn’t take a genius to see MAF is showing his first signs of fatigue. He has now given up 9 goals in 2 games. He is playing a ton. It would be wise to give Zatkoff the start in Calgary or Edmonton this weekend. Pens only have one game next week, so maybe that gives MAF the break he needs. 
Time to get away from the negatives. It is never easy winning a game in Vancouver. The Pens were able to use all of the 60 minutes and then some to sneak one out. Can’t complain.


Rough start to the first while everyone recovered from the national anthem singer’s harmonica thing.
It seemed like no one knew there was a game early on. The Vancouver crowd was whatev. Malkin and Neal's line had the best two chances early. Malkin just missed beating Lack, and then Malkin and Neal tried the James Neal Faceoff Play™ to avail.
The Penguins were buzzing around for most of the period. Kris Letang was flying. We did however see the Letang Jammed Up Face after he entered the Canucks zone and got hooked up by some goon.
-Pens outshot the Canucks 13-8 in the first.
-Both teams killed penalties.
-On the Penguins’ power play, Crosby got hit in the foot by a Malkin shot. Steve Yzerman grabbed his sac; believe it.  ROOT’s cameras showed Ryan Kesler giving Crosby’s foot a love tap on his way back to the bench.

Fredo Gibbons scores

Gibbons has been strong on the first line, and he got a nice goal with six minutes left:
If you missed the first, you didn't miss much.


Thankfully, Crosby was on the ice for the second period. Sadly, the broadcast regressed to Steiggy and Errey talking about “what happened last night” in their personal lives.

Out of nowhere, Jannik Hansen had a breakaway. MAF stayed patient and shut everything down. The puck went the other way. Maatta carried the mail and dished to Geno, who did a give-and-go with Neal. The puck fluttered, and everything was a knuckleball. Malkin was able to get some wood on it, and it got past Lack. 2-0.
Canucks came to play after that, getting some of their best chances. The teams exchanged dings off the post.
Malkin took the game over for a long stretch. Letang had two great looks on Lack but couldn’t get anything past him. He was yelling at himself as he went to the bench.


Jason Garrison scored with under 5 minutes left in the second after a Crosby mistake. 2-1.
Probably a good thing for everyone involved since Tortorella was close to lighting all of his players’ houses on fire. Steigerwald and Errey essentially blamed Mark Gibbons for the turnover.

The goal woke up all those pesky Canadians. It didn’t help that the Pens had to kill off a Simon Despres penalty in the final 1:30 of the period. 


Pens killed off the rest of the Despres penalty and settled in for the third. Crosby took a knob in the face, which is something he’s used to. The perp was some guy named Santorelli. Crosby responded by trying to whack his arm off while headed the other way.
The game started picking up and was worth staying up for. With still plenty of time left, Chris Tanev threw one to the net from the point, and it found its way past MAF. 2-2.
Tom the Real Deal Sestito went off for charging. Jerk move. Almost killed Letang. Pens couldn’t convert. 
Letang was abused for pretty much the rest of the game. Kevin Bieksa even gave him the old Subban Special. 


The game was still shaping up for something special…and then it was seemingly over. Two quick goals from the Canucks made it 4-2.
One goal from Chris Higgins. The other was a nasty goal by Zack Kassian.
Seemed like one of the those things. Late in the game, jet lag possibly setting in. It's not like two goals being scored in 17 seconds happens that often.


Time ticked down. With over a minute remaining, MAF headed to the bench. Letang fired one in from way downtown off a faceoff to make it 4-3, and there was a pulse.
Torts was pissed because he knew the Penguins were gonna do that set play where the point-man on the boards, Jokinen, would one-touch a pass to Letang if given the chance. He was yelling at his players to look for it. Nobody heard him.
Off the next faceoff, the Pens were on the attack again. A loose puck found its way to the net. Kunitz was there and knocked a blind, backhand, mid-air pass over to Crosby, who settled it down and shoved it home to tie it 4-4.
This Canucks fan was pumped:


James Neal played the entire 5 minutes pretty much. He was close to dying on the ice. He and Malkin were putting on a show. Eddie Lack had to make a couple of his biggest saves.


Kaspar had the first chance. MAF said no.
Jokinen couldn’t beat Lack.
Santorelli shouldn’t have even tried.
Then it was Crosby’s turn. 
Fleury made the save to ice it.  So embarrassing that the Sedins don't participate in the shootout.


– Letang under 25 minutes is always good. He did have one of his better games, though.
– Real talk: We didn't remember hearing Zach Sill's name being called, and we still assumed he played. He didn't. We couldn't name the Pens' bottom six in this one if we had a gun to our head.