RECAP: Only the Beginning. PENS LOSE.

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Did you ever lose a battle to an Internet troll? That is what happened to the Penguins in reality. Scott Hartnell scoring a GW goal with under 2 seconds to play: Ultimate troll moment.
 
Hartnell's goal prevented the Pens from moving into a first-place tie with the Rangers, and it ended their 11-game winning streak. This one stung as much as a regular-season game can. It left you with that little piece of anger not only because you're pissed about how it ended, but also pissed about knowing you don't even want to watch the highlights of what was a good game.
 
These three road games against the Rangers, Devils, and Flyers were all playoff games.  You could feel it.  Really, the first three playoff games of the season.  All the Pens did was take 5 out of 6 points, playing three games in less than 4 days.  Don't be too worried about Malkin's performance in this one, either.  It was shades of the old Malkin, the one we really haven't seen all season.  It serves as a nice reminder for him in terms of what not to do in the coming weeks.  Kind of glad it happened.
 
In a few short weeks, a loss like this is going to be 100% worse. In fact, a series between the Flyers and Penguins may actually drive someone to the brink.
 
 
Cap after the jump.

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Both teams had jump to start.  Crosby looked good. TK waited a millennium to hit Sid with a lead pass.  Frustrating moment for TK and the Internet. Is there any way Crosby doesn't have TK off his line in two games? He'll plant coke in TK's car or something. Crosby probably watched The Wire while he was off and has something planned.



Game opened up after a while.  Matt Read had the best chance up to
 that point but hit the pipe.  Flyers were getting the better chances.

 The Pens' fourth line answers the bell.  Craig Adams eliminates Wayne 
Simmonds, and the puck stays in the Philly zone.  Letang throws one on 
net, and Adams deflects it in.  1-0.





Pens then had two power plays to end the period.  The first one was unreal.  Little things weren't clicking, but they will.  Top unit was on the entire time.  Then they started the second one, too, and they were gassed.  Nothing doing.

Kris Letang was everywhere on those power plays.  He had an amazing keep-in then played a 2-on-1 perfectly, blocking the shot.

 

Pens were buzzing to start the second.  If anything, the Flyers were getting run ragged.

Crosby had a one-time chance, but Bryz stopped him.  Somewhere in there, Engelland had a great play facing a 3-on-2, taking away the passing lane to a Flyer coming late.

At some point in the second period, Crosby set up TK for maybe the 10th time in the game.  It was TK's best scoring chance, and…


Then Kris Letang DESTROYED Double J coming through the neutral zone.

Philly took umbrage at that, so Hartnell and Rinaldo went after Letang, and they just embarrassed themselves. Rinaldo takes Hartnell's stick straight to the mouth. 

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Letang gets 4 minutes for roughing somehow.

Game was picking up.  Weird to say that since the Flyers had like one shot on goal in the second. Great backcheck by TK to stop a Giroux scoring chance.  Jagr looked really flustered on the bench.  Great look on his face.  Reminds you of the Rangers series in the '08 playoffs.

Pens got away with having too many men, but Kunitz didn't get away with a cross-check on Giroux.  Boo birds came out during that power play.  Huge block by Michalek somewhere. Killed.

Then Malkin peed on Claude Grioux's face:



Yikes.

2-0.

Michalek apparently slashed Giroux on the bench as visions of 12 straight and first place danced in our heads.

 

Pens had to kill 90 seconds of the Michalek penalty.  And just like that, the Flyers were back in it with a power play goal.  2-1. As soon as the red light went on, it was a bad situation.

The goal got the Flyers going, and the Flyers got the Pens off their game. Pens didn't do much to squash the momentum from that goal.  Malkin was heading to the box.  Huge save by MAF on Voracek.  Pens kill it.

Then the Flyers scored off a Malkin turnover.  Great pass by Giroux. Hartnell in the bank.

 2-2.



Pens answered the frenzy with some of their own shit and stemmed the tide.  But, still, whatever the Flyers decided to do for the third period was working.

Flyers were still pressing, and Malkin took another penalty.  Pens killed it.

Then Malkin blocks a shot and goes down.  Martin jobs Hartnell after the play, so Hartnell slashes him.  Kunitz gives Hartnell the business.  All the penalties evened out.

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Pretty sure that's a penalty.


Rest of regulation was probably what "The Hunger Games" is about.  Whistles were put away.  Game slipped to OT.  Great hockey.

 

Coburn and Letang went off, so it was 3-on-3 for two minutes.  Great trade-off for the Flyers.  The 3-on-3 was a chess match.  Of ass.  Both teams justifiably played it close to the vest.

Crosby was lurking and made Matt Carle look like a garbage can. He missed the net, though. In two weeks, he buries it.

The game looked like it was headed to a shootout.  Then the Flyers made a big-time line change. Briere finds Hartnell, who is coming into the play late.

MAF really didn't have a chance. Hartnell puts it where his wife banged Jeff Carter: Upstairs with a bunch of elderly women watching. 3-2.
 

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11-game winning streak over.  Start another one.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  • TK single-handedly ruined three 3-on-2's during the game. Gotta get the puck on net man.
  • Still a huge road trip for the Pens.
  • Not the worst thing in the world, having the winning streak ended.
  • Winnipeg in town on Tuesday.

 

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