The Penguins and Rangers may not be that different. But the Penguins have a couple things the Rangers don’t:
Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.
And here are some other things they don’t have:
- A power play. It is beyond shit. Both Penguins goals in this game came right after the Pens had killed off penalties. There’s your season right there. Embarrassing.
Crosby and Malkin played together again, played well together again, and the Pens got a win. Again. Crosby got the GWG and cemented the fact he’s “back,” so hopefully fringe journalists will have to actually know hockey the next time they write up something.
The Rangers will bitch and moan about their schedule.
Win a game. Put a power-play unit on the ice that doesn’t have its own sac in its mouth. We’d buy the fatigue thing if the Pens won this game 15-0 and Mats Zuccarello was vomiting on the bench from exhaustion, but it was 2-0 and the Rangers outshot the Pens 35-15.
The main show in MSG on Monday night was Marc-Andre Fleury.
There is a large faction of writers – not from Pittsburgh – that loves to pile on Fleury. He’s deserved a lot of what has been thrown at him, but make no mistake about Monday night. He walked into King Henrik’s castle, punched him and his family in the mouth, then gave Princess Peach the business while those turtles that throw the tomahawks watched.
Series-defining Game 4 coming up on Wednesday. The Pens have already reclaimed home ice. A win Wednesday, and we’ll all be wearing black Friday.
Malkin and Crosby didn’t start together, which was stupid. Also stupid — the Vitale-Sutter-Bennett third line. Anytime in this series where Malkin and Crosby aren’t playing together is a waste of time. It’s like the credit scroll in a porn, if anyone has ever gotten that far.
So dumb. Only possible explanation is Bylsma has Crosby and Malkin playing together so they “wake up” and they take it back to their usual lines.
Gibbons pulled a real dick move and almost killed some guy.
Best chance to develop from the Rangers’ first power play was Chris Kunitz getting a breakaway. Henrik said no on Kunitz’s second breakaway of the series. So you have to wonder…is Kunitz injured? Piss off.
Finally, after that powerplay, we saw Malkin and Crosby together. They immediately started making moves, and Marc Staal was beginning to punish Crosby.
Gibbons misses the layup
Crosby was making things happen again. Crosby made a slick move entering the zone, and he got a bounce. He waited Henrik out, but then Gibbons blew it.
The lines for the Penguins still didn’t make sense. Case in point above. If that’s Malkin, it is 1-0. The Rangers almost made the Pens pay for dicking around.
But Fleury was unflappable
First, Brian Boyle ran him…
Then he made the save of the night on Zuccarello…
The period seemed liked it was just going to end, but James Neal high-sticked a n00b.
The Rangers would get a four-minute powerplay, and they would not score on it. There are no words to describe how bad their power play is. They did make it into the zone and managed not to start humping the boards. And they hit the post once or twice. Marc-Andre thanked it.
The Pens ended up killing the rest of Neal’s shit, but not before the Rangers pushed a little harder. MAF was just not letting it happen.
The Rangers were feeding off the PP, but Crosby was about to break out.
Robert Bortuzzo found Crosby streaking down the left side. Crosby got separation, looked up, fired.
Huge goal. 1-0 for the Pens. The Rangers looked dead. MSG was a funeral home.
Later, the Rangers hit another post. This time, the referees completely stopped the game to go and review it. Easiest no-goal call of all time.
Kris Letang and Paul Martin were outstanding. Letang did this:
The Rangers started to push again right after the 10-minute mark, but they didn’t have it. And then they took a penalty. A Pens PP goal could have been a death blow, but it would come soon enough.
Jokinen went to the box for a stupid call, and the Rangers power play had their moment in the sun. They got skin cancer and died. MAF was locked in.
As the penalty expired, a puck got past Zuccarello, and Jokinen was about to make hay, one-on-one vs. Lundqvist.
What a fucking powerbomb to drop on MSG. 2-0.
We have to double-check our numbers, but Joe Vitale sucks. He set the NHL record for falls in a playoff series.
The third period came down to three things.
Listless effort from the Rangers
Does Rick Nash even play in the NHL anymore? He made a few nice moves once he was in the offensive zone, but when entering the zone, he would get eaten alive by every Pens pairing. Humiliating.
Fleury was locked in
We’ve all been watching Fleury a long time. This may have been his best game in the playoffs. He was seeing every puck, even through traffic.
The Pens boxed it in.
It was similar to what we saw when Martin was coaching the Habs.
And that was it. MAF with the shutout.
- Pens are in Kansas City right now without Jussi Jokinen.
- A lot of people jammed about Marc-Staal cross-checking Crosby. Playoff battle, in our opinion.
- Officiating has been awful for most of the playoffs, no different in this one. We just don’t get as mad about it anymore.
- Consol doesn’t have the best atomsphere, but holy shit was MSG terrible last night