You want to know why we started beating the drum about the Pens’ secondary scoring back in December? Watch this game again. In playoff-like fashion, the Senators frustrated Crosby and Malkin over and over and over again.
That right there is what you want Crosby to do if you’re the opposition. As the game wore on, Crosby looked more and more disinterested. The bad part of this for the Senators, though, is they are awful. They were severely outshot, 48-25. Fleury only had to make one real save all game, and we’ll be seeing that highlight for years to come.
Still, it’s very promising that the Pens were able to win this one. The Pens will be playing games like this for the remainder of the season. Teams in the midst of playoff races are already adopting a playoff mentality. That will only become more prevalent in March.
The Senators got one point thanks to some great goaltending. The Penguins got two, thanks to strong goaltending and a sharp shooter finally hitting his mark. James Neal is a streaky scorer. When he is on, he can't miss. When he is off, he can't hit anything. He was bound to get one, and he finally did in OT.
Pens have Buffalo on Wednesday, Rangers Friday, then the Olympic break.
Trying something new. Normal recaps feel ordinary…
Things that happened in this game
1. What the hell is going on with Kris Letang?
ROOT Sports caught a glimpse of Letang in the press box:
Bylsma said before the game Letang has a mysterious illness. Probably isn't going to help keeping track of the Buffalo/Edmonton game on GameCenter.
2. Chris Neil, the ulimate villain.
They should give out an award for biggest troll in the NHL. Chris Neil would be the Nicklas Lidstrom of it. He'd never lose. It took literally 23 seconds for him to jam everyone up.
3. Tyler Pyatt got hurt on the first shift. He didn't return.
4. Ottawa hit the Penguins every chance they got.
Right out of the gate, the Sens got some good shots on the Penguins, especially on Sidney Crosby. Crosby almost got smoked by Karlsson coming across the ice in the first period.
5. Fleury was outstanding in the first.
Although the Penguins outshot the Sens in the first, Marc-Andre Fleury made several sparkling saves in the first period, including this one:
Did Brooks Orpik plan on playing D there?
6. Speaking of Orpik, Mike Colligan makes his return to the Internet and lays out some good things about Orpik. [ THW ]
7. The Senators scored first. 1-0.
Stephane Da Costa got the goal, beating Fleury short side. Da Costa got some help, thanks to an uncalled interference:
Poorly officiated game on both sides in this one.
8. Senators opened the door for the Pens right after that. Zach Smith got called for checking Malkin from behind. Easy call. But don't tell Chris Neil that.
9. Pens tied it. Gibbons refuses to celebrate his goals. 1-1.
Gibbons deflected an Olli Maatta shot past Craig Anderson. Good to see Gibbons respond after a tough game in Phoenix. When he scores, he’s all business.
10. Bortuzzo and Zach Smith in a heavyweight battle.
This stemmed from Smith’s hit on Geno.
These pics tell you all you need to know:
11. Eric Gryba had a special message for James Neal late in the first period.
They both got penalties. Period ended.
12. Just like he planned it.
Dude dropped his sticked, picked it up like it was no big deal:
13. Maatta saves a goal.
Fleury lost track of a shot, but Olli Maatta cleaned it up.
14. Craig Anderson stole the second period.
Neal-Malkin-Jokinen had a life-changing shift in the second period, but Anderson was everywhere. He robbed Paul Martin, Tanner Glass, Sutter on a breakaway, and Jokinen on a 2-on-1. He stopped all 16 shots he faced in the second period.
15. Crosby was really pissed off.
Without checking, we’re still 100% sure the Senators gave Crosby a hard time in that 5-0 loss in Ottawa before Christmas. And they did it again in this one. You’d think Crosby would get that much attention in every game, but the Senators do it at a level unmatched by any other team in the regular season.
After getting knocked around in the first, Crosby was starting to get pissed off. He got jobbed by Karlsson from behind again. He had some roundtable with the stripes:
16. Speaking of Crosby, he's going through his first real goal-scoring slump of the season.
He has only two goals since January 11th.
17. The Penguins had multiple chances out of the gate in the third.
Crosby and Malkin both had chances point-blank. Nothing going in.
18. Tons of penalties in the third.
19. Craig Adams dove, and Paul MacLean didn't like it.
Hate to see Craig Adams cheat the game like he did here:
Veteran move, though, we guess.
20. Then came this save from MAF:
21. Pens got caught with 8 guys on the ice.
That's a penalty. PK came up roses.
22. Erik Karlsson refused to come off the ice:
23. The Senators survived the Pens' late surge in the third, got a point, and prepared for overtime.
24. Then came OT, and the Senators didn't even get a shot on goal. Neal put home the Pens' 4th shot.
– Can't remember the last time Malkin and Crosby led the team in ice time.
– Pics: ROOT Sports, AP/Getty