I'm not about to give you a detailed breakdown of the game. Chances are you already watched the game and if you didn't you've already visted The Pens Blog or Empty Netters first, and then the Pens Official Site for highlights. But what I want to make is a few simply observations.
From the get go the Pens looked intense. That's the word I kept twittering tonight. The overall intensity of the game was unreal. You could feel the action all the way down in North Carolina. I know no other Pens fan in NC, but I had enough energy in the room to fill Mellon Arena. To be quite honest I haven't seen the Pens play like this since last year against Detroit. Sure we don't have Hossa, but I don't care. I've argued elsewhere that I think this years team is better [more equipped, better conditioned, increased swagger, etc] than last year.
As we saw tonight the "team" came together. Everyone did their part. Jordan Staal was rightly heralded for his efforts in tonights game. Oh yeah, he's 20 and a third liner. And with Tyler Kennedy and Mark Eaton getting their first playoff goals shows they were [and are] ready for the 2009 playoffs.
Lets turn our attention to Sid and Geno. Notice I didn't start there. Why? Despite what Flyers Goal Scored By had to say here, the Pens play as a team, and tonight this was a team effort. Clearly the efforts were led by the likes of these two superstars, but the game goes to the rest. From Staal to Dupuis to Fleury to Hal Gill, this game was pure heart. Anyway, Sid started things off with a gritty goal. I'm sure Flyers fans will contest he kicked it in. Take it how you will, remove the goal at it would be 3-1, you still lose. Geno scored a goal early in the third off a sweet turnover in the Flyer zone...that pretty much sealed it.
Words to keep in mind the rest of the way:
Intensity and Confidence.
These are the aspects which will keep the Pens in and onward through the Playoffs.
Let it Burn!
Hornqvist returns, game unchanged
3 hours ago