I said in the pregame post I felt the Pens needed to do specific things to win so lets go through them first.
- Offensive Intensity (A-): The Pens did just that. They out shot the Caps 28-22 as well as out chanced them. To quote myself, "In game 3 the Pens literally stuck it to the Caps in every way possible. They rushed through the neutral zone on long passes; they attached the slot; they kept the puck in the Caps zone." And in game 4 we saw much of the same.
- Two-Headed Monster (A+): Well, both showed up. Crosby had a goal and assist and Malkin had an assist. Though I felt Malkin's presence was just top notch. He was all over the ice again and turned his aggression up a notch. A must to carry into game 5 tomorrow.
- Defensive Pressure (B+): Like game 3, the Pens held the Caps to very few "good" chances. Perhaps the best stat that came out of this night was blocked shots. The Pens blocked 17 shots to the Caps only blocking 9. Seemed like every shot they took had a deflection and the Caps didn't get a clean shot in the slot. Orpik, Eaton, and Scuderi all blocked 3 each.
- Target Ovechkin (A): Outside of his intentional cheap shot on fellow Russian Gonchar I didn't even notice him. This means we're putting enough pressure on him and not allowing him any clean shots on goal. SOG tonight: 2. Icetime: 25:22 (2nd to Mike Green) so he was out there.
- Win Faceoffs (B-): Like game 3 this was an improvement from game 2, but still not the best. They were out drawn 28-22.
If the Pens can do these things they can steal game 5 and head back to Pittsburgh for game 6. Varlomov has seemed to show "he's not a machine, he's a man," and the Pens are gaining confidence in that direction. We have to tout Mad Max Talbot for his efforts tonight as well. Not to mention an encore from Fedetenko for getting another playoff goal. And yes, I was right earlier, Satan did hit someone.
More of the Same, more of the Same...
Fortunate for me I'll be in Pittsburgh at the NHLTweetup 2nd round. I'm looking to enjoy some great fellowship with other Pens Twitters.
For further recaps and analysis visit Pensburgh, THE PensBlog, Penguins Experienece, Brian Metzer of Hockey Buzz...