The Pittsburgh Penguins ended their regular season with a win, by beating the Montreal Canadians 3-1 at the Bell Centre. All of the playoff match ups are set and the Flyers, Rangers, and Bruins finish their seasons today.
First seeded Boston Bruins will play the eighth seeded Montreal Canadians, a repeat of last year’s first round. They have met 31 times in the playoffs, with Montreal winning 24 times.
Second seeded Washington Capitals take on the seventh seeded New York Rangers. The Caps have won three of four meetings with the Rangers this season.
Atlantic division winners, the New Jersey Devils, will play the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina won its first three meetings with the Devils this season.
Finally, the fourth seeded Philadelphia Flyers will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the battle of Pennsylvania. Pens have won four of six meetings this year, one in overtime, and one in a shootout. If the Flyers close out their regular season today with a point, they get home ice advantage. Here’s to a Flyers beating wherever they have to play!
Penguins Pregame Notes:
-Miroslav Satan is back in the Burgh tonight, but not in the lineup.
-Montreal leads the series against Pittsburgh 2-1-0.
-Pens PK is great. Moved to 4th in the league.
-Malkin can clinch the scoring title with 112 points on the season.
-Habs allowed 11 goals over 3 game losing skid.
-Malkin could be 4th Penguin on Ross Trophy along with Lemieux, Jagr, and Crosby.
1st Period Breakdown:
First line switched up a bit for the opening shift. Bylsma starts Crosby, Dupuis, and Talbot up front and Scuderi and Orpik on defense.
Only 1:09 into the game, Evgeni Malkin scores! He’s still hungry for points, and promised he would get at least two tonight to lock up the title. Great play by Gonchar and Fedotenko.
About five minutes in, Jordan Staal is cut above the right eye on a deflection off Hal Gill’s stick. With no major damage, he returns with 7:30 left in the period.
First power play of the game goes to Pittsburgh at 9:52 with a Komisarek hooking call. Petr Sykora hasn’t scored a power play goal in 16 games, and won’t get one tonight. The Penguins power play was overall ineffective tonight and went 0-5.
Tensions are rising as Tom Kostopoulos intentionally shoves Sergei Gonchar into the boards. Tempers are raging against these two teams when normally they would not.
Habs are also looking weak on the power play and they would go 0-3 on the man advantage tonight.
During the PK, Pascal Dupuis breaks to the net with Max Talbot. He shows blazing speed and looks like he’s in the best shape of his life. The puck bounces off the post, and Talbot tries to hit it in after. It is waved off because it was above the crossbar. Great effort by these two and there’s more to come.
Before the period is over, the Habs tie the game at 17:29 with Hamrlik cashing in. That will be their only tally of the game.
The Penguins for the outstanding goal and penalty kill. Malkin’s goal locks up the Ross Trophy.
2nd Period Breakdown
Both teams come off strong after the intermission. Offense is surging and looking for another goal to break the tie. Penguins 3rd line of Kennedy, Staal, and Dupuis are continuing to show great energy.
Three more power plays would be given to he Pens this period, and they failed to convert on all of them. Carey Price is saving everything that comes his way, making it hard for the Pens to finish. The last five minutes in the period were brilliant for him. He robbed great shots from first line forwards Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin.
No scoring during this period.
The Habs, solely for Carey Price’s goaltending. Their PK was great too, holding off the Pens on three power plays.
3rd Period Breakdown:
Pens defense looks like it’s starting to break down. Fleury is keeping up with solid goaltending, but giving the Habs way too many scoring chances.
Brooks Orpik taking a cross checking penalty at 8:42 seemed to wake the Penguins up and change the momentum of the game.
Max Talbot notches a shorthanded goal to make it his 12th of the season. Dupuis made an easy pass and he buried it. Pens up 2-1 with half a period to play.
On the same power play, only 55 seconds apart, Kris Letang scores his 10th goal of the year from Jordan Staal. Special teams were a success tonight. Penguins win 3-1 and move into the 5th position in the East to take on the Flyers.
The Penguins special teams shined tonight, scoring two shorthanded goals on the same power play.
-Garth Brooks is on Carey Price’s goalie helmet.
-Pens leaders in hits this season:
1. Scuderi - 181
2. Orpik - 151
3. Eaton - 148
4. Letang – 127
-Rob Scuderi is a +22 on the season.
-Pens score 2 SH goals in 55 seconds.
-The last 5 players to win the Art Ross Trophy won the Hart Trophy.
My Three Stars:
3. Max Talbot
2. Marc-Andre Fleury
1. Evgeni Malkin
Three Stars of the Game:
3. P. Dupuis (PIT)
2. K. Letang (PIT)
1. C. Price (MTL)
The Penguins look to beat down the Flyers in the 1st round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Flyers loss today secures home ice for Pittsburgh. Lets Go Pens!!! Bring the Cup back to Pittsburgh!! And a huge congratulations to Evgeni Malkin on winning the Art Ross trophy. He earned every single one of his 113 points this season!
by Kaitlin Kennedy
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