We got a last-minute offer from an old friend that wanted to fly us out to Colorado.
Maybe it was good for the Pens to play the Avalanche after two emotional division losses. Not only was it great that the Pens got two points out of a hockey lineup that could be likened to Jesse & The Rippers, it was imperative. All of a sudden. the Eastern Conference is getting tight, and the Pens need some points. The mantra we've been spewing about how important the long winning streak was has gone out the window. Time to buckle up.
Anyone else getting used to watching these scrappy sons of bitches? Tyler Kennedy has turned into Sidney Crosby apparently, as ever since Dan Bylsma exposed himself to TK at some one-on-one practice, TK is playing like a mad man. Jordan Staal carried the whole world from the second period on.
Matt Cooke returns Sunday in Chi Town. Hopefully he kills someone.
Fast-paced first period. Not a ton of whistles. Pens get a bunch of chances but can't get anything to stick. The Avs pick shit up and start setting up shop in MAF's mouth.
Dan Bylsma has to call a timeout after the Pens were run ragged. We were never big fans of the first-period timeout, but in the new era of unlimited icings, sometimes you have to do it.
It kind of helped. Things settled down.
Then The Ticket put a pass on Dick Vitale's stick.
He sniped Budaj for his first career NHL goal. 1-0.
Pens take the lead into the locker room.
PERIOD RECAP: Best period in a week for the Pens.
Wilkes-Barre guys playing like their lives are on the line.
As good as things went in the first, the second started like a piece of shit.
Dude for the Avs scores after the Pens D breaks down. 1-1.
Not much longer after that, the Avs score again to make it 2-1 on a shot from Egypt.
If you were around for the 2001-2006 years, you were sort of conditioned to start strapping in for a long night when the Pens went down by at least one goal on the road.
Jordan Staal wasn't even alive in 2001. While the Avalanche fans are still touching themselves about living a mile above sea level, Jordan Staal went to a level above that: giving Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman a punch to the sac and bringing the Pens right back and tying it 2-2.
Some big saves by MAF to send the Pens the other way on that Staal goal.
Pens were in penalty trouble all period. Also had a "fight" that featured Nick Johnson getting his face beat in. The National Guard was almost called in. Even that reporter who had a stroke felt bad for him. Probably the worst part is that just before the fight, he fed Jordan Staal with a sweet pass.
Stay down, Rock
Pens have to kill a 5-on-3 at the end of the period. Staal would kill some of the penalty, go to the bench, refill the water bottles, then come back on the ice to kill some more penalty.
PERIOD RECAP: STAAAAAAL.
If he cuts his hair, he'll be able to get to loose pucks faster.
The third was quiet for both teams. Pens had an early chance on the powerplay and didn't do anything. And then after some great work by Ryan Craig, the Pens jumped on a PP faster than Tim Benz. But the powerplay wasn't clutch.
Mike Rupp had a strong game. Max Talbot was terrible.
Pens controlled play all period long but couldn't get a good-enough chance to bury.
Colorado's Brandon Yip almost scored off a faceoff. It would have been vomit city.
He also got stoned by MAF on a breakaway early in the third.
PERIOD RECAP: Paul Martin hit a post, and Michalek had tons of chances as well.
They're both going to score big goals. Soon.
The Avs looked like they we're just trying to get it to a shootout.
They had the Pens bottled up until some dude trips up Michalek Island.
The look on Avs coach Joe Sacco was priceless.
Pens bring out Staal-TK-Letang-Goose for the powerplay.
It looks messy, but it gets cleaned up. Puck gets fired on net. TK ends it. Game.
Big performance by Pens fans in Colorado.
Gathering the pics for a post Thursday night.
Jordan Staal, 24 + minutes of courage.
Nice to see a normal hockey game.
Was anyone else really against the Nick Johnson fight? Not because of Nick Johnson, just because it was a fight. Weird feeling.
TK's 50th goal.
Brett Sterling could be one of those guys that stuns the world in the playoffs. Crazy shot.