Sans a horrible first 10 minutes, the Pens played a decent game and got a comeback win.
Big games from Kunitz, Arron Asham, and Mark Lestestu. All figured in on extremely important goals.
Brent Johnson relieved MAF and got the win.
It seemed like MAF was on a short leash because he played the previous night.
Bylsma didn't hesitate going to Johnson.
So, overall, the Pens ended up going 2-2 on the road trip.
All the while playing like mud for long stretches in games. We'll take it.
Next game is on Wednesday against Boston at CONSOL. Pens play 5 of their next 6 at home.
Audible "Let's Go Pens" chants as the game starts off. They quickly went away.
Phoenix takes all of three minutes to get a goal.
Engelland gets toasted. Belanger has a cake walk. 1-0.
Before that information can be registered, the hockey gods were gonna take another shot at the Pens.
Something we've learned in our years of watching hockey:
No use complaining about NHL officiating because every team has their time when they get screwed.
Here is what happened. Radim Vrbata gets the corner on Engelland and crashes the net. Engelland hooks him and is in the process of being called for a penalty as Vrbata crashes into MAF. During all this, the puck crosses the line and the net becomes dislodged. The referee closest to the play only calls the penalty on Engelland and makes no indication of a goal. Only a penalty. Referee didn't blow his whistle for about an hour, so the Pens couldn't fall back on that.
One of the linesmen or the other head referee say they better give Toronto a call.
The net was coming off as the puck was going in.
Still wish we knew when the whistle had been blown.
Our math indicates this evens things up from that early goal by Jagr in Lemieux's comeback game.
Next thing you know, Brent Johnson is in and MAF is on the bench.
It seemed calculated, because it would have been ridiculous to blame MAF for a goal that was shady.
Interesting note: MAF never removed his helmet after he went to the bench. Kept it on all period.
The Pens still weren't awake. Until Brooks Orpik makes a big defensive play on a 3-on-1.
Got his stick down and broke up a chance.
The Penguins build off the play and get some shit going. It looks like Crosby scored, but Dupes is called for a penalty that never happened. Crosby's shot had hit the crossbar anyway. But Toronto reviews it and delays the game further
Pens kill the penalty.
Some idiot hits Mike Comrie, and the Pens get a powerplay.
The powerplay looks decent. Just can't score.
After those first 10 minutes or so, the Pens started playing really well.
Bryzgalov was seeing everything.
Another deficit to overcome.
Period recap: Bizarre officiating.
FSN missed an entire 10 seconds at one point.
Right off the bat, Phillip Morris fans on some pass right in front of Bryz.
Bing city jumps on it like it's crack. 2-1.
Four minutes later, Malkin strikes. Asham makes a nice little dish to Malkin at the blue line, springing Geno down the right wing. Asham buys Malkin some time with a Babcock pick, and Malkin attempts a centering pass, but it gets blocked. It comes right back on his stick, and then it gets put top shelf. 2-2.
Things settle for a little. Adams and Talbot have a nice shift.
Pens get called for a penalty. Another pretty good kill.
Johnson made a great save point-blank somewhere.
Biz Nasty and Engelland fight.
Could have been a better scrap than that.
Pic from Jefe Penguino.
Everything was okay until Wolski gets a fortuitous bounce, and the puck gets past Johnson. 3-2.
Tough one to take.
Late in the second, the Pens get the usual 5-on-3.
This has got to be some sort of record for most consecutive games with a 5-on-3.
Wish a 5-on-3 stat was floating around on the Internet somewhere.
The PP looked good.
Didn't waste time making moves.
Letestu repeatedly going to the net every time he'd get the puck.
Not sure if Phoenix ever cleared the puck.
The first penalty expired, and the Pens knew their powerplay was ass.
Letestu gets the puck behind the net.
Why is Letestu a beast? Because he used Crosby as a decoy on this play.
Every Coyote leaned toward Crosby getting that pass. Bryz bet his house on it.
Test Tube hits Kunitz on the tape. Quick snapjob. 3-3.
Kunitz looks for Crosby every time he gets the puck.
Period recap: Pens outscore Phoenix 3-1 in the second.
Pens came out hungrier than Phoenix in the third.
Even with some bullshit Matt Cooke penalty, the Pens had a 7-1 shots advantage by the 10:00 mark.
Then the Pens got their own PP.
No dice. Killed.
Steiggy mentioned that Crosby was playing like the fate of Western civilization depended on it.
And he was right.
The Pens were getting chance after chance after chance.
Then they got some more chances.
Crosby was on the ice for the entire third period almost.
Scariest thing about overtime was that the Coyotes woke up all of a sudden.
Johnson didn't see a lot of pucks in the third, so it was huge that Beej was sharp.
Tyler Kennedy draws a penalty. 4-on-3 PP.
Crosby and Malkin almost win it off the faceoff.
Let's not even talk about that powerplay.
This is the default shootout pic
Radim Vrbata was up first.
Johnson poke-checks it.
Crosby had Bryz down but couldn't lift it.
He was right on Bryz's sac, too.
Wolski comes down and does some dekes.
Beej says no dice.
Letang had Bryz down, too.
Korpikoski misses the net.
Was it gonna be Geno next?
No. It was Le Test Tube.
FSN goes to some ridiculous camera angle behind the net for the original feed.
Are you serious? Goal. But who cares. FSN is embarrassing.
Chris Kunitz played his best game of the season.
Arron Asham is starting to come on. Liking him with Malkin right now.
Pens are 37-3 when Crosby and Malkin score in the same game.