In a game they needed to win, the Penguins got their best performances from their biggest moneymakers, and they evened the series at one. That’s more like it.
71 and 87
The Penguins’ coaching staff made a mistake not playing Crosby and Malkin together in Game One. In Game Two, Malkin and Crosby played together the majority of the night, and they flourished. In fact, not only did the first line do well, the line of Jokinen-Sutter-Neal was fantastic. The depth of the Penguins is a major flaw. Crosby and Malkin have never played extremely well together, but they have something going in these playoffs, and they should stay together for now. It’s a gamble that Bylsma is going to have to take. Since they were put together in the Columbus series, they, at the very least, have caused match-up problems.
Fleury vs. Henrik
Just superb goaltending in Game Two from both goalies. Henrik took round one; Fleury has taken round two. The first goal in this game was going to be huge, and both goalies fought off great chances. Just great theater watching the two goalies go back and forth with big saves.
King Henrik blinked first, though, and Marc-Andre Fleury was resolute. Big win for him.
Differently officiated game
Rangers got away with unlimited penalties. Subtle and not-so-subtle interferences all night from the Rangers. It will be interesting to see how the crew handles Game Three tonight.
Gibbons for Glass
The legend of Bagger Gibbons grows. Gibbons’ speed was a noticeable change, and it sent Tanner Glass to the press box. The only move remaining is sending Vitale to the press box for anyone else, really.
Jeff Jimerson had the crowd amped up. Not sure about the American flag thing. It was probably David Morehouse’s idea, so we’re surprised it didn’t look like this:
THE THREE KILLS
Kunitz was jammed and ready to go on the first shift of the game. A push and a shove later, he was going off for goalie interference. And thus began the three worst power plays possibly of all time.
First power play – The Rangers looked like they didn’t even know what was going on.
Second power play – The Rangers got their second PP when Carcillo used the old head snap to get another call. He used the same tactic to get that roughing call on Bennett in Game One.
The Rangers’ best chance came with 10 seconds left on the penalty. Rick Nash drove the center of the ice, and made a pass to Derek Stepan and just missed putting one home as he hit the post.
After the kills, it was time to get Geno and Crosby rolling. Instead it was Geno sending Girardi into the boards, and the Rangers had another…
Third power play – Jesus Christ, is their PP awful.
PENS GET A PP CHANCE
Carcillo went off for a roughing call, and the Pens got their opportunity. It was the Matt Niskanen show, and he just started teeing off on the glass behind Lundqvist. The Pens did sport an NHL power play for the two minutes, but it was killed.
Bortuzzo and Nash went off late, freeing up Sid and Geno to gallop around. Crosby obliged and got two prime scoring chances, slapping Ryan McDonagh around on this one:
Note: The Penguins missed a ton of shots high…
They will most likely continue to miss high, because, really, unless you are in tight on Lundqvist, it’s impossible to beat him anywhere else.
The King was making his usual huge saves early. Then the Rangers started pushing back a hair. Letang had a big chance swooping in but couldn’t finish it.
The Pens had the Rangers running, but then Kunitz decided to hook up a Ranger for some reason. The Pens of course killed it, and Kunitz had a breakaway coming out. Lundqvist turned him away. King was settling in. Back and forth it went.
The Rangers were getting blitzed, but they were staying under control…until they didn’t. It all started when the Rangers got caught with tired bodies, and the Pens ended up with numbers barreling down toward Lundqvist. Malkin lasered a pass to Letang far side, who pushed it to the net. Hit Girardi’s stick. 1-0.
Penguins’ fourth-line alert
Rangers had their best chance of the game later when the Penguins got caught with their fourth line against the Rangers’ top line. Brad Richards caught the Penguins sleeping but when he got the puck he pooped himself.
Crosby-Malkin-Kunitz three unreal chances on one shift
Under five minutes to play in the second, Malkin stole a puck in the Rangers’ zone.
First chance was this sick tic-tac-toe…
Second chance was Crosby on a turnaround shot that Lundqvist somehow got a pad on.
Third chance was this nasty dangle by Crosby:
Lundqvist was having a legendary game. But Fleury quietly matched him in the second. He made a couple of big stops, including a tough save on Rick Nash.
JOE VITALE wtf
Vitale had to set a Penguins franchise record for number of falls in a game. He had to have hit the deck at least 6 times this game.
The Rangers were wearing down, and they just had nothing going on offense. There were a ton of offsides and stoppages. Rangers just looked out of sync and dead.
Scuderi/Bortuzzo pairing is scary-bad
The Rangers didn’t do much in the third. But when Scuderi and Bortuzzo were out there, the Rangers seemed blessed with chances. Scuderi and Bortuzzo held on, though, and the Rangers didn’t get anything.
About eight minutes in, Dan Giradi finally got called for interference on James Neal. That Girardi complained about it speaks volumes about the kind of player he is. The Penguins didn’t convert on that PP, but time ran off, so that was a good thing.
The Rangers were having problems doing anything, but Lundqvist was out of his mind. Just Save after save.
But finally, after Derek Dorsett hit Chris Kunitz, the Penguins got the power play they needed. The first unit didn’t do anything, but the second unit did. James Neal threw a puck on net, and Lundqvist gave up a shitty rebound. Jussi was there to put it home. 2-0.
Just missed getting it…
That’s a 6-game point streak for Jokinen in the playoffs.
The Rangers pulled Henrik with around two minutes to play, and Malkin sealed the deal. 3-0.
- Game in eight minutes.
- Crosby critcs hurt their hamstrings back-tracking this morning. Elite effort from 87 on Sunday.
- Again, can’t say again how well Jokinen-Sutter-Neal have played. Neal was punishing the Rangers all night.
- Strong second and third periods from Beau Bennett. Everything is happening.