One of the better season-openers in a while. The Pens never trailed, but they did let Vancouver sneak their way back into the game. We saw some things we were used to seeing, and we saw some new things.
Mike James P. Sullivan is the real deal.
Bizarre appearance by James Neal during the anthem.
Obviously it was only the first game, but you could notice some more speed for the Pens. Both teams exchanged some shots early; nothing major. Matt Cooke gets things started when he draws a penalty. Brian Engblom called it a dive. Get a haircut.
Pens cash in quickly on the PP. Neal got a pass from Malkin and just threw a puck to the net. 1-0. Comforting to know that LOLuongo didn't change over the summer.
Pens began to buzz after that.
Malkin and Neal have some serious chemistry.
The Canucks didn't seem interested in the game at all, so they took another penalty. After TK hit the post, the Pens cashed in with 8 seconds left on the PP. Matt Cooke put one home after a great play by Dupuis. 2-0.
Things were looking good until the Canucks played their only shift of the period.
Lapierre does what he does best and scores a goal. 2-1.
Rough one to give up for MAF. Yikes.
The goal woke up the Sedin Brothers, who responded with a big shift. One of the Sedins tried to fake MAF out on a wraparound. MAF made a huge save, probably the best save he'll make on this west-coast swing. The Sedins immediately started crying that the puck was in the net. Didn't know the NHL had a rule where they view all shots on goal made by a Sedin.
Engblom tells us that Malkin is frustrated and that it isn’t the preseason anymore. 95% chance Engblom had money on this game or something. He was intolerable, which is a shame because it was actually a decent broadcast.
The Canucks came out and did some shit. Malkin got a penalty for being taller than Chris Higgins. On the ensuing penalty kill, Matt Cooke came down the right side and snapped a shot past Bobby Lu. Pretty much everyone in the building was surprised. 3-1.
Terrible positioning by LOLuongo. Cooke used Kevin Bieska as a screen, too, which is the first good thing Bieska has ever been a part of. What a low-class hockey player. The goal was so bad that they played Good Charlotte after it.
After the Cooke goal, the game went into some bizarre lull for the entire second period. Letang got whistled for a bullshit call because the fans were upset and the refs were starting to let them dictate everything. It got evened up quickly, though.
The Canucks came alive again at the end of the period. MAF had to make some really sharp saves. But he couldn’t get them all. Keith Ballard snuck up the ice and got behind everyone. 3-2.
It looked like that was Staal's guy judging by Michalek pointing. We'll trust Michalek.
MAF escaped the period with the lead.
Joey V. was 4 for 7 in the dot this game.
The third period was about two things.
-One missed scoring chance
The Neal-Malkin-Sullivan line is probably the most legit we've seen since the Cup win. They got a great chance about five minutes into the third with Sullivan setting up Malkin in the slot. Malkin missed.
And, of course, you know how it goes, the Canucks came right back down and scored. Daniel Sedin went top-shelf on MAF. 3-3. What a freaking pass by Henrik Sedin. James Neal had a great view of the play:
Not long after that, Michalek Island got called for a penalty. Rough call. But this is where MAF asserted himself. He was lights out from midway through the third on. Tons of crazy bounces going on. Luongo made like one save probably.
At some point during the third, Jordan Staal left the ice. Everyone got worried. Bylsma said after the game that he was dehydrated, which makes sense. He had that “I’m going to puke“ face when he left the bench.
One of the Sisters had a chance on MAF's doorstep but missed the net.
guy in the background is emo.
Fleury locked down a few more saves, and the game slipped into OT.
Canucks were missing Ryan Kesler:
He was apparently injured doing whatever with that rock above.
Both teams had a good shift. Once the Sedins get going, Jesus. But the defense and MAF held the fort. Really good game.
What the Pens did to Roberto Luongo in this shootout was embarrassing.
MAF made the first save on Mikael Samuelsson.
First shooter for the Pens was Letang. Just a disgusting move.
Burrows for the Canucks. MAF tells him to eat a dick.
Game on the line for Malkin city.
-Guaranteed Yahoo's Adam Lambert cried when Matt Cooke scored two goals.
-Matt Cooke is the king of the hockey world:
- Once Crosby gets back. man.
- Canucks D was punishing Malkin every time he touched the puck. Overall they have one of the better defenses in the game. Going to be interesting to see what he will do against less physical defenses.
- Great visual broadcast on Versus. Brian Engblom and Keith Jones suck, though.
-Just a note: when you send us a photoshop, make sure you send it as a file, and not a link. Our G-Mail filters pics straight to our Picasa folder. Don't want to miss any big-time pics.