RECAP: The MVP and all his friends. PENS WIN.

Let's sit back and look at what has happened since Crosby returned:

They are averaging 5 goals per game.
The Pens' average on the season before this 5-game stretch was 3.08 goals per game.
It is now at 3.22.
And breaking news: This offensive explosion hasn't come at the expense of defense.  Before this stretch of 5 games, MAF's GAA was in the 2.20s.  He has a GAA of 2.00 in the four games he's played since Crosby came back.
Malkin is performing at 2009 Conn Smythe levels right now.  Crosby, in all honesty, looks like he's toned his game down juussstt a toucccch, like half a percent.  Let us rephrase that.  He is still giving 100%, but he's just doing it differently.  He's not exerting himself in situations where he knows he doesn't have to; he doesn't have to impress the coaching staff with hustle and little things like that.  Hard to explain — and we're not gonna try — but hopefully some people get what we're saying.  And his timing is off after being gone for so long.  Little passes like that drop pass to Staal aren't connecting. They will.  Not complaining at all.  Just an observation.
Pens aren't complaining, either.  Crosby's mere presence in the lineup creates mismatches up and down the lines.
Going into this game, it seemed like a really good test for the Pens. And they passed it like they had all the answers.  
-People were talking up Pekka Rinne like he was Jesus Christ.  Nashville seemed intimidated by the Penguins from the start and they never recovered from a terrible start which did include some bad luck and bad bounces.
-The win keeps the Pens hot on the tail of the Rangers and shifts the pressure back the Blueshirts, who host BuffaLOL Friday night.
-The Penguins clinched their sixth consecutive playoff berth.
Here are the caps from the previous five:
  • 2007 -Against the Caps
  • 2008 – Against the Flyers
  • 2009 – Against the Lighting
  • 2010 – Against the Flyers
  • 2011 – Clinched with a Hurricanes loss


Cap and shit after the jump.



All the talk before the game was about Radulov and his soap opera.  Didn't know 26-goal scorers got that type of fanfare.

NHL network made a mistake, too:

Bob Errey went on some "chink" streak.

Malkin took a slapshot. Peka Rinne was all jammed up. 1-0.

The Pens trolled for a while and scored again.  Dupuis deflects home a 
Letang shot.
Last year, Letang winds up for some unrealistic slapper. This year, he takes a little bit off to get it close to the net. Dupes nails it home.

2-0. Dupuis celebrations lately have become huge parties.

Amy S.

Neal runs over Rinne. Weber gives him a shot behind the play.  Only time Weber did anything the entire game.  But there was a play in the first maybe where Crosby was digging at a loose puck under Rinne, and Shea Weber had a chance to give Crosby a good jolt, pay the price, as it were.  Instead he just embraced him in a bear hug.  Not every defenseman is going to be that nice.  That one Hillen D-man for Nashville was playing like he was constipated.

Sid had that unreal pass from behind the net to Sully.  That was one of the top plays of the year.  Great play by Sully earlier on that shift to keep the puck in the zone.

Weber went off for something.  Malkin got pissed one of his passes got intercepted, so he tripped someone.  4-on-4 for the rest of the first.



Pens had to kill off some shit.  Letang went down with a mysterious injury.

Pens scored while he was in the locker room.  Horrible turnover by Nashville.  Matt Cooke Time. 3-0.

Letang was back out soon after.  Look like a potential sac hit, maybe the hip.

Then Kunitz scores.  Hearts fluttered when there was hope Crosby had finally put one home, but it went off Weber's skate.

Engelland eliminated one of the Tits:


Radulov scored.  4-1.  Big goal for him.


Malkin with another slapper5-1.

The rest of the third was a waiting game to see if Malkin could complete the hat trick.
This gnome was the Pens' giveaway for this game.  Have to think some of them would've rained down.  It would've been like the beginning of Armageddon, except maybe the guy from Hangin' with Mr. Cooper would've died.
  • Paul Martin is now a plus player. What a turnaround.
  • Niskanen out with an upper-body thing.
  • Recaps are kind of mundane when the Pens are running house.
  • Radulov took over the Getty Images for this game.