The looks on the faces of Ryan Malone and Steve Downie will haunt us all until 1900 hours Wednesday night.
Look at them.
Hockey's version of the white Milli Vanilli put the Pens season on life support.
Not St. Louis, not Stamkos, not Lecajoke.
Malone, who has played like the biggest jerk-off playoff series of all time, sealed the win.
Ryan Malone, the former Penguin, the so-called Pittsburgh kid even though he talks like he grew up in Minnesota, who cried like a child in his last game as a Penguin, and then like four days later left for all the money in the world.
Steve Downie, who has documented cases of losing rock-paper-scissors to blind people, got the game-winning goal.
The guys that take costly penalties aren't supposed to be heroes. Normally, players that commit unbelievably bad penalties in huge moments don't bury a shot right in your mouth to put the game out of reach.
A powerplay is supposed to score. It always used to.
But that is how it goes this season, we suppose.
The locker stalls of 87 and 71 are empty.
And now we have to face our worst fears. A Game 7 in the city of Pittsburgh.
When perhaps all the locker stalls will be empty.
Part of us thinks this season is over. Part of us still believes.
Game 7's never go how you think they will.
They are the single worst thing to ever happen to a sports fan in their life.
We'll be there. You'll be there too.
All in, motherfuckers.
If you're going to the game, grab your sac right now.
Perhaps the game's fate was sealed before the opening faceoff. Dan Bylsma, without hesitation, said the Penguins game is speed. We assume that meant Chris Conner and not Eric Tangradi.
It is hard to question Byslma on that. Are we really thinking that a rookie is going to change the face of a playoff series? On the other hand, though, what could it hurt? The only powerplay goal of the series came when Eric Tangradi put up a screen. The powerplay couldn't score a goal on Seton LaSalle's girls lacrosse team right now.
What-if's can drive a man insane.
One of the Muppet Babies comes out to do the anthem.
Francis Scott Key's family could not be reached for comment.
Pens were forcing turnovers and dictating the play.
Kind of like the beginning of Games 2 and 5.
Back and forth dump-ins and shit.
Tampa settles into their 1-3-1.
The Pens do another dump, and Roloson has to play it.
He jokes it up.
Talbot jumps on it and feeds it to Dupes in front. 1-0.
Such a big goal, or at least that's how it felt.
Dominic Moore falls, and Kovalev was nearby, so Kovy goes off.
Tampa had like 1:54 of zone time. Killed.
The Lightning continue to fall all over the ice. Ohlund goes down when Staal hits him. Thought he died.
Puck goes the other way.
Letang for some reason considers Ryan Malone an offensive threat and runs into him after Letang gets caught in another bizarre pinch. Malone goes all Louganis and gets a call.
Pens kill it, but the puck hangs around in the Tampa zone.
Duracell puts in a goal when everyone is a mess. 1-1.
Only goal he has probably ever scored.
Neal was in everyone's mouth the rest of the period.
RECAP: This series has been an enormous step backwards for Kris Letang. Bad penalties, really bad pinches. Just tough to watch. He's one of the team's biggest offensive threats, and he's probably been given the unlimited green light by Bylsma to create offense at all opportunities.
In a few years we'll laugh about this during his Norris Trophy acceptance speech.
Until then we have to watch him flirt with disaster.
Then the second period started.
Or, as we'll always remember it, the Miseducation of Chris Conner.
Right from the get-go, the Pens were skating hard.
And all the penalties that the Lightning didn't get called for, they got evened out in the second.
Pens gets a power play.
It's 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.
That PP is still trying to get into the zone.
But despite killing their own momentum, they kept working.
Chris Conner was a force on his next shift. And a huge 3-on-1 develops.
Talbot-Conner-Dupes vs. some joke and Roloson.
Talbot dishes to Conner. He has two options: just hit the net or dish to a wide-open dupes. He does neither. His weak shot gets blocked somehow. Brutal.
Tampa answers with a flurry in the Pens zone.
MAF stops the music.
Something not mentioned in the first period recap is how awful Matt Niskanen was. He almost got fooled again by that little dump pass behind him early in the first. He never looked confident in this game, and then he made a costly mistake.
He failed to get the puck out of the zone.
And the Pens defense betrays them.
Lovejoy and Niskanen looked confused.
Dominic Moore apparently blacked out 'cause he did something.
What a pass to Bergenheim. 2-1.
Niskanen got abused like Rihanna.
Letestu lost his man on the play, too.
That's what happens when Dominic Moore finds a nut.
Pens get a power play from Bergenheim sticking Conner off a faceoff.
That PP was like watching an episode of Whale Wars.
Out of nowhere, Chris Conner has a breakaway.
Pulled down. Penalty shot.
We always talk about how reputations are made in the playoffs.
And sometimes reputations are made on the school bus in middle school when you pissed yourself.
Years from now, the Pens will have a penalty shot in the playoffs in a huge situation and someone will say, "Jesus Christ, Mary, and Joseph. I hope they don't pull a Chris Conner." Alexsey Morozov's shot off the post has been superseded.
Needless to say, Conner, in the biggest moment in his career, in one of the biggest moments in his team's season, failed. The puck rolled off his stick. It wasn't even close.
Horrific pic. Feel terrible for Chris Conner.
Maybe he'll score a big goal one day to redeem himself.
This goal would've tied the game in the second period. It wasn't in OT or anything.
Then James Neal gets hooked up.
Lightning have no fear of taking penalties.
All that powerplay resulted in was people thinking Kris Letang looks like Jamiroquai.
The obligatory bad penalty after a powerplay came a little bit after that.
Kunitz goes off for tripping.
Craig Adams lays his life down. Huge kill.
Ryan Malone makes a foolish mistake by trying to blindside Dupuis with a hit. Malone pees himself in the box. The hockey gods aren't ready to punish Malone yet.
Tampa kills it again. The time during the ensuing power play would have been better spent actually watching that Blind Side movie and/or looking up pictures of Sandra Bullock from that Miss Congeniality movie.
RECAP: The period was basically watching the Penguins play and lose against themselves.
dick Tampa fans. thanks to tom for the pic.
The second period made everyone want to throw up.
Basically the series was over; everything was shit.
Then the Pens started skating their sacs off.
Niskanen actually doesn't screw up and makes a pass to Jordan Staal.
The Pens are back. Fucking right.
And next thing you know, Talbot has some big-time breakaway. All alone.
Talbot has the first shot stopped. The second shot stopped. Dupes swoops in, too.
Roloson stops all three shots point-blank. Wow.
Turning-point-blog, because the Lightning storm back. Somehow Steve Downie is all alone in front.
Michalek Island recedes into the ocean. Steve. Downie. Scores. 3-2.
After that, it was apparent this was going to a 7th dance. But the Pens hung around. And Ryan Malone kept giving them chances. Malone came out of nowhere in the Pens zone and shoved Letestu into MAF. Easy call.
The Pens had to make him pay.
That is what happens to idiots like that.
Not in game six. It just wasn't happening. Tampa kills it. Still, there was tons of time. But the Lightning were basically making a wall around Roloson. They couldn't get shit.
And then it ends.
Pens dump it in harmlessly. The puck takes the most bizarre bounce ever.
Almost like it was supposed to happen. Ohlund moves it straight to guess who:
Ryan Malone. Breakaway. He roof-jobs MAF. 4-2.
Game. And so it goes to Seven.
RootSports blew the first goal of the game. Can't show a corner view. Huge mistake.
Stunning stat via Rob Rossi on Twitter:
Pens PP is 3-for-78 the last three months against playoff teams. yikes
Pens 2-5 all-time in Game 7's at home.
The Penguins have never won a series where they lost game 6 on the road and played game 7 at home.
Jimerson gets the call for Game 7.
And we love Kris Letang.
He's just the lightning rod. lightning.
suck our balls