In a game of true momentum filled with grit and mite, the Pens pulled off an OT win on a Malkin one-timer. Geno ends up with two points on a night where Dupuis and Fedotenko also light up the red lamp in Mellon Arena. Vokoun faced another 40+ shot game and couldn't stay calm enough to give his team a victory.
This excites me.
Kunitz saw his first action in a while as did Brent Johnson; Godawful was a healthy scratch to keep a hot Mike Rupp on the ice. The Pens had the advantage early. They came out with great energy and looked very confident. Though despite a healthy start the Panthers ended up drawing a penalty on the aforementioned Mike Rupp. To no one's surprise the Cats got on the board first by Reinprecht knocking the puck out of mid air to beat Johnson and take a [0-1] lead.
Two and a half minutes later the Pens got a little of the momentum back with a choice goal from Dupuis, [1-1]. Taking advantage of Kulikov "blowing a tire" (as Errey noted) PD takes a pass from Adams and shows a little backhand to forehand action and beats Vokoun glove side.
Couple of good chances for each team afterward, though nothing to really write about. The Pens dd stay in control for the rest of the period though. After an interesting turn of events from “The Key” gave a headshot to BJ that lead to a Malkin 4 minuter. The Pens killed the penalty and Crosby drew his own at the end of the period. With little time left they rolled it over like ATT to the next period.
Pens outshot the Cats 14-11 but the big statistic was the faceoff. Out of 20 the Pens won 15, Crosby winning 7 out of 9 himself.
Week powerplay chance to start things off (getting tired of saying that). For those watching the FSN Pittsburgh feed we were handed an early Christmas present and had Flower on the broadcast alongside Steggie and Errey. He stayed on for the better half of the period up to and including the only goal of the period.
You gotta love his optimism...
Kunitz got a little over aggressive and took a penalty; happens from time to tme. Though the Cats didn’t seem within striking distance of anything during the full two minutes.
After a routine dump and chase into the zone from Mike Rupp, he then created a little something out of nothing to find Geno who 'fed' Fedotenko who finally got on the board, [2-1].
Good for him, but no wonder he was on the trading block rumor. Eklund's dream.
Crosby gets lifted into Vokoun’s net by Ballard. Little dirty dirty. At the 13 minute mark McKee shows why he get's a paycheck from Mario relieving BJ of his goalie duties for the moment stopping two shots.
Rupp got some great shifts by being sprinkled on lines with Makin and Crosby at separate times. He really is making the most of his opportunities, not something often done from others...cough, cough, Jerk Store. Only 6:08 of ice time as well.
The Pens did draw a penalty which typically wouldn’t get you excited. Though the Pens didn’t end up scoring, they did look much better.
Despite dominating the faceoff circle the first period, the Cats came back and ruled the second. Observe.
I mentioned the Pens looked good on their last powerplay, right? Well, Gonchar gets away with a high stick on Mathais to start a break only to have Rupp draw a penalty from McCabe. The Pens go on another Super Cuts powerplay. Time to get a new sponsor, I think. After a pitiful powerplay attempt (did I say that ?) McCabe gets loose on a break after charging out the box, BJ stopped him, but Wiess was there on the rebound to make it [2-2].
Fellow PU blogger Oz rightly noted during the game that the Pens clearly lacked "situational awareness" on this powerplay. They’ve done so a few times this year but were caught with their panties in a bunch this time.
Good news was Orpik decided to get into the spirit of giving and hand out his free candy. Moral guy.
Though after that last goal the momentum shifted, the players and the fans seemed to stay flat. Near the 16 min mark Geno slipped and turned the puck over to former penguin Jeff Taffe who was stoned by the Johnson. Whew...
At the 15:58 mark Staal then drew another penalty on McCabe. But instead Gonchar hooks Dvorak on a shorthanded breakaway some 19 seconds later. 4 on 4. Pens put a little pressure on at the end, nothing doing.
Seven seconds later this happened. Game...[3-2]. Geno shows why he's the reigning Art Ross winner.
A tie tonight for those who responded to my request of a prediction for tonight's affair.
- Kunitz looked good, will take some time to get back into it.
- Geno did have some bad plays but more than made up for it.
- Hits: Pens 34, Cats 14. What...
- Crosby 69% on the draw...unreal.