Anytime a guy with no face is named a third star in a game against your team, you know it was a tough loss.
Let's see. James Neal missing the net, the powerplay basically losing the game, and Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby not being there. The spring of 2011 reared its ugly head in Oil Country Sunday night.
Too bad you're a huge moron if you're broken up about this loss. The Pens have started the season 2-0-1. That shit would be impressive if those were three home games. Instead, they were all in western Canada, one was against a Stanley Cup favorite, and two were against fresher teams who had yet to play a game this season. AND the third game was against arguably one of the quickest teams in the NHL. Malkin was a late scratch in Edmonton, the Pens put their backup goalie in between the pipes, and the leader of the defense didn't suit up for any of the games. Not exactly sure what people expect. Pens could still go 81-0-1 this year.
And there is no rest for the weary. Pens have unlimited games this week, all against good Eastern Conference teams…and the Washington Capitals. We're already preparing ourselves for a letdown Tuesday night. It's in our DNA.
Oilers have to lead the league in bizarre jersey numbers.
Pens get a power play early when the Oilers had too many men. Pens work it around. Letang with a one-timer. No clue what it hit. 1-0.
What a kick in the sac to the Oilers.
Some Oiler fell, and Lovejoy was close to him, so he went off. Beej made another big save to put a exclamation point on the end of that kill.
Then the Pens were going to the box again. This time, it was Letestu. Hemsky was on cocaine and made Dupuis job him. Pens had to kill off 31 seconds of 5-on-3. So they did.
Referees were bored, so they gave the Pens a PP toward the end of the first. No dice, and that was it.
Kennedy slashed some guy after a whistle. Jesus.
The Pens spent the next chunk of the game forcing turnovers. And they were going on the PP again halfway through the second. Pens just could not score.
The Oilers started coming on late. Jonny made several sick saves to keep the score at 1-0 going in to the third.
Andy Sutton flipped the puck over the glass early on in the third. Powerplay was whatev.
Midway through the third, the Penguins got another powerplay. Noticed this new James Neal Play™ on the powerplay. Neal circles up top and basically gets fed a shot as he steamrolls toward the net. Pens did this once or twice. Didn't work, but it was cool.
The Oilers were getting close, and you could feel it.
Taylor Hall is going to be a good player. Maybe even great. But he was on Michalek Island almost all game. Finally, Tom Renney got Hall away from Michalek for a shift. Hall fed Ted Nugent. Puck bounced around, then Nugent found it and scored. 1-1.
Pens had no juice left. Now the goal was just to get the point. But Ryan Smyth had other ideas. He thought it would be cool to gift-wrap a win for the Pens. Smyth smoked Kunitz on the boards. Too bad it was with his elbow.
Smyth got tossed, and the Pens got a 5-minute powerplay. They got a few good chances, but nothing great. Letang was on another level. Just couldn't beat the goalie.
The game slipped into OT.
Oilers killed off the rest of the penalty, and then they were all jammed up. Hall started making shit happen. Then the Oilers hit the post on some odd-man rush. They turned the goal horn on really early. No go.
James Neal had a big-time chance. Nope.
Elberle – goal
Hemsky – goal
Neal – goal.
Linus Omark – tried to make a stupid move.
Sullivan vs. Double D. Nope.
- Letang almost played 30 minutes. When he is a Norris Trophy candidate, this game will be referenced. Best player on the ice at points. Looks like he has made a big-time effort to hit the net.
-Defense has still been solid. Engo, Niskanen, and Lovejoy have earned playing time.
- Somewhat interesting stat to track: Pens have given up 4 third-period goals in three games. Just something to watch. Last year, they were seventh-best in the league, only giving up…gulp…68 third-period goals.