Pens Win: Comeback City II

 My first thought was to repost the Superman pic of Sid. I mean, seems fitting the way he's been coming to the Pens rescue. But to reference the "Kid's" new nickname 'round here again need not apply. This win was a team effort, Sid just became the beneficiary of some good luck. Then again, and I said a few time here before, Champions create their own luck.

Little ESPN FAIL to start things off.

Its weird not seeing Geno out there on the ice. Watching Bourque and Connor was like watching Janne Pesonen last year. Lots of energy but not overly effective and size is an issue. Against the BJ's though, size is pretty much always an issue. Bourque definitely looked better in this game. I mean, his role increased overnight. Still not a quality replacement, but he'll do for now.

This is good news.

The first period was pretty much evenly matched. Very physical, though sloppy. There were 7 penalties taken between both teams, 4 of them the Pens. There were a couple real good chances on Mason, but lost a few battles in front of the net. Again, size. Johnson made a couple key saves to keep it close.

The biggest difference was line chemistry and team position. We all anticipated a problem with rhythm; Will pointed that out in the pregame. Another issue in the first period was missed opportunities. Letang completely blew a one-timer chance on our first powerplay falling and fanning on a shot.

Looking for the Pens Broads are we? #letangsexhair

The BJ's are the first to put the puck in the back of the net. MonsterNash makes a sweet play to circle around the net and catches a rebound off Bassard one-timer on his knees, [0-1].

The Pens then get a chance right back on a powerplay from a roughing penalty from Dorsett on Orpik. Though Orpik found a trip to the sin-bin himself in the scuffle.

Snapped right in the middle of saying bull-*&%.

Powerplay was semi productive but nothing to show before the buzzer.

The second period was the antithesis of true Penguins hockey. It epitomized the lack of chemistry we figured might just be an issue. With only 5 shots on goal the game seemed out of reach. Particularly after the BJ's, namely Nash, scored the second goal of the night, [0-2]. Columbus just looked more in control of the game. The Penguins were out of position most of the the early part of the period and often looked tired, as Errey pointed out.

Though after the Penguins took a second penalty with Guerin hooking a fellow, Kunitz got a great breakaway chance but the play got broken up on what appeared to be a tripping penalty...a possible penalty shot. The no-call didn't stymie either Kunitz or Crosby who kept the play going. After Crosby corralled the puck and dished it to Chris, we got on the board, [1-2]. Two goals in two nights for the man recently nicknamed Edison (cf. SLBD).

Lots of energy after this. The Pens were one goal away from evening things up. And with Samuel Pahlsson getting 2 Minutes for Hooking Craig Adams, it was time to capitalize. Problem is, after a failed powerplay attempt Pahlsson jumps out of the box to start a breakaway and feeds the puck to Dorsett who dekes his way past Johnson for his first of the season, [1-3].

Yeah, that pretty much sucked the life out of the Pens. Period ended that way.

At this point I talked with my good friend Tony "The Cattle" Cataldo and figured this might be one we're just going to have to give away. When two of your top 5 guys are out of the line up and Staal didn't seem to want to answer the call (he did show up in the third however), sometimes you just lose. Its understandable, we expect it. We have an excuse, its okay.

That of course was between periods and just a little something to prepare ourselves for the inevitable. Or at least we thought.

As I said here, just when you thought....you rethought. 

As I said above, Staal showed up finally. He had a solid short-handed chance that lead to a penalty which the Penguins looked much improved and stronger. However there was nothing to show for the effort.

Then with about 4 minutes remaining you could sense a change, a shift. That shift we witnessed on October 24th against the Panthers. The Pens came out with purpose on every shift (again, in the last 4-5 minutes). They put all sorts of pressure on Columbus and you could tell Nash and company were in defense mode, just trying to protect the lead. Problem is, when you have a determined, experienced team like the Penguins who have been seemingly coming back all year, you need a little more that what we saw.

At the 17:04 mark we saw Fedotenko get his third goal of the season [2-3] off some great positioning from Jordan Staal and a shot on net from Skool-ya.

39 seconds later the Pens realize the momentum is in their favor and give it all they got. With a great anticipatory screen from Guerin and a nice dish from Crosby, Gogo rips a wrister over Mason to tied it up, [3-3].

Comeback City II

Looked as though at this point the Penguins weren't going to let up and did a tremendous job at nearly finishing the game before the end of regulation, no dice though.

Here we go again, seen this fish 4 times already this year. Problem is, 5 minutes just isn't enough time. Let's skip to the good part.

Shootout attempt by Antoine Vermette MISSES wide of net (Snapshot 15 ft)

Shootout attempt by Kris Letang MISSES goalpost (Snapshot 17 ft)

Shootout attempt by Rick Nash MISSES wide of net (Wristshot 17 ft)

Shootout GOAL scored by Sidney Crosby on Steve Mason (Tip-In 6 ft)

Shootout attempt by Kristian Huselius SAVED by Brent Johnson (Backhand 6 ft)

I like the shootout...

  • Pens remain perfect on the road. 
  • Crosby hasn't missed and is 4-4 in shootouts. 
  • Gogo has a 6 game points streak going, and leads the league in +/- with a +13.
  • Kunitz back to back? Don't anticipate saying that much.
  • Johnson's also a beast...at times.
  • Clearly need Sarge and Geno, but will take a win like this too.
  • Wild tomorrow. Get to face Petr.

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