The Pens had their 7th man on Saturday night, err Friday. The beaten and battered CONSOL Energy Center atmosphere was bloodied and crumpled up on its stool in the corner. But it answered the bell and came out swinging. Unlimited tweets/comments about the amazing, deafening atmosphere at CONSOL for this one. It came across as a thing of beauty on television.
The Pens are officially back in this series. Say you had one of the worst credit scores of all time when you were like 22. But then you get a steady job, settle your finances, and begin a comeback. Then you turn 26 and you're a year away from being able to buy a car without having a co-signer. Is your comeback hindered when you think about where you used to be when you were 22? No. If anything, it just keep pushes you. You battle. That's where the Pens are at now. The big difference in this series now is the Game One that went to overtime.
In this one, the Pens powerplay came through. Staal gave the Pens another jump. And TK served notice to anyone jobbing him; he's a playoff performer. We never say this, but the Pens were definitely on the short end of the officiating stick. Doesn't matter.
Marc-Andre Fleury has everyone believing.
And the Flyers, for the first time this series, actually are facing some adversity. Game six will be a whole different thing for the Flyers rookies.
Noon start on Sunday for Game 6 in Philly. Drag this son of a bitch back to Pittsburgh.
Recap after Read More.
stock footage used on NBC. The ghost of the igloo.
Philly was loose before the game:
What a fucking idiot.
Both teams hit the pipe early.
Simmons went off for a trip for the game's first PP. Pens couldn't do anything.
Couple minutes later, DerykEngelland goes to the box for roughing up Danny Briere a little by the benches. You could win youtube if you compile a video of all the time Briere whips hishead back. Really bizarre call.
In the waning moments of that PK, Matt Carle threw one on net, and it found its was past MAF. 1-0.
Later in the first, Braydon Coburn went off for interference. It was an easy call. The ensuing Pens PP would not be denied. Great puck movement. Bryzgalov set goaltending back like 10 years when he bit on Letang's fake one-timer which turned out to be a pass to Sully. Sully buries it. 1-1.
Crucial moment in the game and potentially the series came late in the first. Malkin went off for BraydenSchenn diving after a play. Pens were on their way to killing it, but Craig Adams was headed to the box for a slash.
Philly capitalized on the 5-on-3 to make it 2-1, and they were still gonna have another 1:50 on a 5-on-4 PP. And that is where the Pens PK held the line. MAF made a couple stops. A big moment came late in the PK where, due to the Pens not being able to cleanly win a faceoff in front of MAF, Bylsma sent out Crosby simply to win the draw. Crosby did and went to the bench. Pens killed off the rest.
People who were chirping about "oh, the Pens finally killed one" didn't have their minds right. When you're pushed back, you still have to hold the line. Amazing job by that PK. Possibly saved the season.
This happened somewhere:
HahahMalkin was all jammed up.
The second period of this game will be remembered for two things: two goals scored over the span of 4 minutes.
First was Staal's goal. It came off the stretch pass that every national analyst is saying the Pens have never done before. whaaaat…
Snipe job by Staal. 2-2.
CONSOL's balls were about to fall off.
The Flyers settled down a little, and it looked like the Staal goal was gonna open the scoring bonanza that we've all become familiar with in this series. But it simply didn't happen. MAF was beginning to steal the game.
A couple minutes later, the hockey gods have the Pens a little shove with their stick as they were skating up ice. There was a staggered line change, and no one in a white jersey was prepared for Tyler Kennedy.
Pens killed another Malkin penalty. Malkin collided with Coots:
Apparently TSN was calling for a headshot. Malkin was a little bit frustrated, but he would regain his composure. During the intermission Crosby probably told him to just relax. And they probably had a bro moment.
The Pens bailed him out, all that matters.
The third period was like the end of The Patriot. It actually was way more similar to Games 6 and 7 against Detroit in '09. This was the period were the Pens needed to Marc-Andre Fleury to be mistake-free. And he responded with his finest hour.
The Flyers had some chances, but play was even during 5-on-5.
The threat of the Pens getting called for some bullshit penalty loomed.
Hartnell smoked TK, and TK slashed him back. Refs were looking for it, and they called it. There are defining moments in everyone's hockey fandom. This was gonna be one. You'll probably never see a fanbase more united than for those two minutes on a warm April night. The Flyers powerplay is completely unrealistic. The chances would be there. It was on MAF and the D.
And MAF rose to an all-time occasion. He stopped Briere, Timonen, Giroux, Voracek, and John Leclair. They were gigantic saves. And then he stuck a gun in little Danny Briere's mouth and robbed him on two quick saves. By the time the last seconds on the powerplay counted down, MAF had made 7 seven brilliant saves on the Flyers during the PK.
There is some show on A&E called the "First 48." They should make another show about this game called "The Last Ten Minutes."
By this time, we were living every shift with Brian Strait and Simon Despres. Matt Niskanen played one of the best defensive games we've ever seen. It was shift by shift. Flyers were coming. And the Pens were surviving.
Every time the Pens crossed the Flyers blue line, it was a win. Every second was paramount.
CONSOL was alive, engaged. What an atmosphere.
MAF made a jumping save on Richard Simmonds to rob him. Two minutes later, Orpik and JVR had a mini-WrestleMania in front of MAF. No idea why the refs just didn't take both Orpik and JVR to the box. One of the worst officiated games of all time.
The Pens had a huge chance to make it 4-2, but Staaljuuuuust missed on a backhand turnaround shot. The Pens tightened down, and the game slipped under two minutes. Lavvy called his timeout.
Infinite faceoffs in the Pens zone. The Flyers won a few, but they didn't generate any chances from them. Heroic defense by the Pens. MAF just would not let them beat him. And as the Pens chipped it out the zone one last time. It was over. GAME.
Claude Giroux was very upset:
Heading back to Philly on a wing and a prayer.
Some guy brought a Talbot jersey for people to step on:
What a shirt for Dupes:
Remeber game is High Noon on Sunday.
Telling you, follow @hockeyburgh for live streams of the game.
Kudos to the Pens for bringing back the "Hey Song." Huge moment for Consol.