RECAP: Shut Up, Winnipeg. PENS LOSE.

 
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Dear Winnipeg, no one gives a shit. Sincerely, Everyone.

From years of being a Penguins fan, you kind of knew this game was going to be annoying. Winnipeg got their choice of games for the first two home games of the season. Of course they picked the Penguins.  Winnipeg had to win this game, because they were probably going to move again if they didn't.

The game started off terribly but actually got interesting as time wore on.  If the Penguins could've opted to be down 1-0 before the opening faceoff instead of rousing up the annoying Winnipeg fans by giving up a goal 8 seconds into the game, they would've taken that pre-faceoff deficit.  Fans of Canadian teams have a sense of entitlement, and that's been kicked up a notch when a city gets a team thrown back into their lap.  Jokes.  It didn't really feel like the Pens were playing in Canada until a Jets player fell on his own, and the entire arena felt victimized.  Refs are already terrified of offending the delicate sensibilities of Winnipeg fans. MTS Centre will be a war zone when and if the Jets make the playoffs.  Louder than CONSOL has ever been except when grunge metal is playing.

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Pens are back stateside already.  They play Minnesota in 11 minutes.  Over/under for Root Sports shots of Mike Yeo on the bench: 14.5.

UPDATE: Letang has been summoned to Shanahan's lair for that boarding call in the third. [ NHL ]

Recap…

 

 
Big-time performance in these pics from @eahoff10 and Gregg A.
 
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_fw7iF68JR8k/TLE29-jW58I/AAAAAAABaY4/CzIemx3Pikk/First.png
 
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1-0.  Shades of that Columbus Andy Chiodo game.  Michalek blew a tire on 119 South. The Jets had a 2-on-1 right afterward, and a small part of you was like, "Yeah, just score again so we can go to bed early."
 
An e-mail from reader Dan R.:
Not sure if anybody else was blown away by this on the radio side: When the Jets scored eight seconds into the game last night Mike Langue — without the aid of a computer (unless you count his brain) — correctly rattled off the following:
  1. It was the fastest anybody has ever scored against the Pens
  2. The Flyers previously held that distinction (from a game in 1977)
  3. The goal was scored by [I can't remember right now, but Lange did]
  4. They lost that game "ten-nothing or eleven-nothing" (it was 11-0)
  5. They had a game against the Atlanta Flames the next day.
A speechless Phil Bourque had their stats guy confirm it all afterwards.

Beast.
 
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How annoying is that pink scarf.
 
The Pens eventually composed themselves.  Things were rough for a while, though.  The Jets continued getting the best chances.  It was 7-0 in shots or something at one point.

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The Pens started sniffing the net later in the period.  James Neal smacked one off a post.  Then Engelland and Thorburn dropped the gloves.  Kunitz had a great chance off a Staal rebound, but no dice.

Letang had one of the best chances with like 3 minutes left, but Pavelek made his first of 113 saves on the night.

Pens had some PP but couldn't do anything. Then the Jets scored after Burmistrov stole the puck from Ben Lovejoy twice in the neutral zone then capitalized when Letang's hair got tangled in the boards.  He passes it out to the point.  Fleury stunned.  2-0.

 
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Pens got an early PP.  Man, did they want a goal.  The Jets killed it, but the Pens wouldn't stop coming.  Chance after chance after chance.

MAF had a seizure at the other end of the ice when a dump-in took a weird bounce.  Every time we see him like that, we're reminded of his high-ankle sprain. Let's not even talk about it.

 
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Women almost outnumbering men in this pic.

Park went to the box and gave the Jets a chance to get back some momentum.  Killed.  Then they had another chance when Neal was sent off for a bullshit call.  Killed again. Refs were garbage.

The Pens picked up right where they left off after killing those penalties.  Unreal chances everywhere. Neal sprung Sullivan and Park on a 2-on-1. 

 
 
Park waited a half-second too long to get the shot off.  Saved.  Then Dupuis had a chance all alone.  Another save.
 
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AKo-LDnoIMw/Tp1uAX-YNqI/AAAAAAABvxI/4Rd80VZnFUM/s715/i-8.jpg
Paul Martin saved a goal in there somewhere.

Later in the period, Engelland got the puck and put it on net, as he always does.  The crowd circle-jerks about that save.  The Pens win the next faceoff.
Set play.  One-timer to Michalek. Matt Cooke played on the edge. 
 
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2-1.
 

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Pens took some penalty at the end of the second.

Biggest night in Winnipeg since the corn-eating competition back in 2004.

 
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Playoff-like feel to the game. Winnipeg fans were all jammed up. MAF and Pavelec were having a goalie duel, each making huge saves. The crowd felt compelled to chant Fleury's name the entire night. Do you really chant a goalie's name in a 2-1 game in October? 
 
The game had a frantic pace to it. We can joke around about Kris Letang, but, man, is he out of his mind right now. After MAF made a save, the puck was floating above the crease, and Air Letang comes out of nowhere.
 
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-SgB9CA8RTBk/Tp1uALj24eI/AAAAAAABvxE/eXJoBEwcbic/s512/i-10.jpg
 
Letang also lit up Chris Thorburn at one point, too. 
 
Pens still were getting chances. Steve Sullivan broke through on a chance, but Pavelec said no.
 
 
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When the goals start coming for Steve Sullivan, look out. The guy has created unlimited chances the last few games.
 
Time was ticking down, and Kunitz went to work drawing a call with about five minutes remaining. Some jerk-off named Tanner Glass tried to get the even-up call by going up to Kunitz and acting like Kunitz high-sticked him. Idiotic move, and it set off a scrum. A.C. Slater on the other side of the ice started jobbing Lovejoy.
 
Pens had another late game power play, but really it just wasn't happening. The Jets killed it for the maddening Jets fans.
 
Burmistrov had a breakaway to seal the deal, but MAF was up in his shit and said no. 
 
Pens pull MAF, couldn't get anything going.  
 
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Game.
 

MISCELLANEOUS
-Still no clue who the Jets coach is.
-Mark Letestu. Meh.
-Pavelec was lights-out.
-Pens hit three posts.
-Shouldn't the Pens call up someone if TK is hurt?
-Zach Bogosian had some big-time rush up the ice and almost scored a big goal. First time he's ever done anything.
-Dan Potash did a segment on Winnie the Pooh.
– +/- stat is overrated. 
-Man.
 
Courtesy of a screenshot by PM, here's that scorecard:
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