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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.