Nothing much happened in the first period. The Canes came out and outshot the Pens, 12-8. Beej had to be sharp in his first action since November 19th. The Canes took a stupid penalty late.
1. Pens committed only one giveaway all game.
2. Pens had only one power play.
3. Paul Martin. Another solid game. Led both teams with 24:37 of ice time.
Pens had that PP to work with. The Canes kill it. Geno and Sid saw their longest shift of the game on that PP, being on ice for the first 1:48 of that second period. There was a race to a puck in the Canes' zone at the end of the PP that Malkin couldn't get to 'cause he was so gassed.
After that PP, though, the Pens slowly started building momentum. Every line was doing their shit. The Crosby line ran the Canes ragged. What's scary is that when opposing teams get out of the woods after a Crosby shift, here comes Geno. He takes a pass in stride and blows past a Canes d-man. Saved. And then Staal's line continued the assault.
Then it was back-and-forth for a while. Hardly any whistles.
Koonie and Adams get a 2-on-1. Kunitz holds on to it, and Boosh makes a save. The action settles in the Canes' zone, and Crosby gets the puck. Literally, he single-handedly beats two Canes on the boards and gets into open space. He feeds Adams down near the goal line. Adams puts it short side. 1-0. Some dude with a Habs jersey was holding a Czech flag in celebration of the goal. wtf.
After that goal, the Pens were still tilting the ice. Hurricanes couldn't do anything. They finally sniffed a scoring chance, but Jeff Skinner fanned on a loose puck in the crease and Orpik
cleared it out.
Late in the period, the Canes score on a delayed penalty. McBain. 1-1.
was interfered with on the goal. The first time, it was gonna
be incidental. If Pitkanen
had shot it from the right point, the goal would've been waived off. But Beej
was able to recollect himself in time to face McBain's
shot. Pens are on the other side of that sometimes.
Engelland kept getting hurt during that second period.
Probably the most emotional third period in a long time. The Pens were still telling the Canes how the game would be played. Sullivan almost scored a beauty lifting that Cane's stick on the icing call.
8:30 into the third, Adams carries the puck up ice. He enters the Canes' zone and finds Asham on the far side. Staal lets the pass go. Asham winds up and beats Boosh. Had to feel bad for Boucher. He was doing everything he possibly could, but he could never get a breather. Pens were in his mouth all night.
jStaal and Ruutu took slashing penalties, so there was 4-on-4 there for a while. Malkin does his spin move, and Boosh makes the save. Dupuis basically scored this goal on sheer willpower. 3-1.
30 seconds after the Dupes goal, Sullivan went off for roughing, and the Canes scored on that PP. 3-2.
Later, the Pens thought they had answered the Canes' goal when Neal scores. It was initially called a goal on the ice, but it ended up being waived off either from video review or the officials huddling. Pens have to lead the league in disallowed goals.
Staal took a puck to the face somewhere.
Staal's inability to even stay upright after getting up was scary.
Women cover their eyes.
Men take pics with smartphone.
And then came a parade to the box reminiscent of the Rangers game last week. This time, the Pens were holding on to a lead. First, the Pens get called for too-many-men. 20 seconds later, eStaal and Dupuis get tangled up. Unfortunately, the ref saw it as Dupuis holding eStaal. Bizarre call. Bylsma wasn't pleased:
Kirk Muller makes a bold move and pulls Boucher to give the Canes a 6-on-3. Great move. The odds of the Pens being able to have enough time to fire a puck at the empty net were minimal being outnumbered two to one. Matt Cooke makes some diving play to get it out of the zone. With under a minute left, and with the Pens still down two men, Cooke trips up eStaal. Bylsma takes a time-out, and the PK unit digs in.
Blocked shots everywhere. Craig Adams. Richard Park. Brent Johnson was the last line of defense, blocking any shot that made it through the triangle and actually hit the net.
Then came a Vietnam moment in the crease. Jokinen looked like he had the entire net. Beej gets his toe over there to make the save. The puck then hits the post, and eStaal was lurking on the back post. Johnson freezes the puck and Staal's stick in one motion, and Brooks Orpik dives into the crease.
Crosby and Park were put on the ice as the closers.