The Pens got 5 out of 6 possible points on the Western Canada trip. Can’t ask for much more. Well, actually you can. You can ask for all 6 points, but we’ll take 5 out of 6 every time.
The Pens recovered from the Exxon Valdez by beating what is basically Kazakhstan’s national team. The Flames are bad. Really bad. Going into this one, the Flames had been shut out in five of their previous seven games. And during this game, they set some record for longest goalless drought at home. That’s difficult to comprehend.
That still didn’t stop the Flames from making a game of it. If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this Canada trip (or at least it’s been reinforced), it’s that no lead is safe.
Crosby had 8 media scrums in 5 days during the Western Canada trip.
The night didn’t start off well with Kris Letang sounding like Ace Ventura’s landlord during the pregame interview with Potash.
Craig Adams started the game because he is from Calgary or something.
Engelland and McGratton fought, but nobody told Engo. He got lit up pretty quick, and it was over before it started like when the 1-2-3 Kid beat Razor Ramon.
The first 10 minutes weren’t too bad. A lot of up-and-down action, but the Flames had the early 6-1 shot lead. Crosby kicked things up a notch with chances on back-to-back shifts. The Pens took their cue from those chances, and eventually they started peppering goalie Berra. Before you knew it, the Pens had a 9-7 shot advantage.
Late in the period, Zach Sill eliminated Dennis Wideman in the corner. The other Flames D-man decided to give Sill the business, which put the referee’s hand up and gave the Pens numbers everywhere else. Kunitz had time and space and didn’t waste it. Sick shot.
The emotional rise of Blaine Gibbons ended as he got hurt somewhere. Such a shame, because he was really starting to settle in on that line.
The period of the special teams
Too many men, and the Flames had a PP. Pens killed it.
The Pens’ fourth-line was on the ice when Matt Niskanen floated one past Berra to make it 2-0.
Really a terrible goal to let in, but, hey, give Niskanen credit. What a season for him.
Then the Globetrotters went to work after Stajan went off for a trip. MAF had to make a 10-bell save during the PP. Then it was killed off. Not really sure if the puck ever left the zone between that kill and the Flames’ next penalty when Smid went off. Flames killed off that one, too.
Bortuzzo held a stick, and the Flames got a PP. Nope.
Crosby rattled the post on some shot late in the period.
That was it. The Flames are borderline unwatchable.
Sidney Crosby was on a line with Deryk Engelland and Zach Sill for a shift. By design.
Each team had a PP, then the game should’ve been on cruise control. Instead, Robert Bortuzzo did this:
The hit was on Mark Giordano, the Flames captain. It was a cheap hit, which led to a skirmish.
Bortuzzo was gone. Cammalleri and Crosby ended up wrestling around, which gave Cammalleri time to ask Crosby if he can have the C when he gets traded to the Pens.
The Pens had to kill off an entire 5 minutes. Cammalleri’s heart and passion for the game got the best of him when he cross-checked Tanner Glass, canceling out most of their PP.
Then the Pens had a breakdown. Bob Backlund put Kris Letang in a cross-faced chicken wing then beat MAF straight-up. 2-1.
No word if Rob Scuderi will be holding a press conference after being on the ice for a goal against.
To make matters worse, the Flames still had some PP time to work with. Adams lost his stick, but the Pens survived it. MAF went on an adventure later, and the Flames almost capitalized.
The third period felt like it was going to last forever. The Flames are just so bad. Mike Cammalleri had a few chances, but nothing doing. Pens win.
– Pens are now 2-1 without Joe Vitale in the lineup.