GAMETIMEOne of my keys to the game was to score early to rip the confidence of the lesser team right out from under them. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Just 3:23 into the game Colton Orr of all people and/or Wayne Primeau tag teamed for a goal after Wallin charged the net on a breakaway. Fleury did all he could do to keep the game ties, no dice.
So while that road goal is key, the lead didn't last more than 7 minutes. TK capitalized after some great work along the boards by Rupp and Adams. If there's a time for all of these guys to get hot its right now. With Geno and Gonch out its important for guys to step up...and why not the fourth line.
Even after 1 period.
Even after 2 periods.
The third was also an even period for both teams, though the Leafs struck early on a powerplay goal from Tyler Bozak. Holding on to this lead most of the period you could tell the Pens went into desperation mode eventually. Getting under 5 minutes and down a goal will definitely do that to you. When desperation does set in it takes an extra effort from everyone. What we saw was just that. At the 17:12 mark Leopold slapped one on net and Cooke redirected it past Giguere. Mellon Arena went crazy, and so did I. You almost thought that the Pens were going to get that last game winner before the end of regulation, but alas, a point was secured.
Even after 3 periods.
OT went quick, but it wasn't without its chances. You have to love the 4 on 4 play, its up and down everywhere. The Pens got 6 shots on goal but it was all for not, shootout city.
Even after OT.
Fleury was strong in net and stopped both shots he faced, one by Kessel. Sid cranked one off the post and eventually sunk yet another shootout goal. But it was Dupuis, yes Dupuis who netted the second in the shootout to give the Pens 2 more valuable points.
WHAT THE PENS DID RIGHTWell, they got their shots on goal for sure, 45 in all. The more shots on net, the more goals you'll see. Letang has nine of his own, though nothing to show for it. Likewise the PK was huge. At one point the Pens were on the bad side of a 5 on 3 and killed it off in stellar fashion. Craig Adams seems to always picks a good time to start playing well. Now if he can just get a goal here.
What more can be said about Sid? I say that rhetorically, but seriously. To all the haters of him calling him a cryer, whiner, and/or diver, just look at his stats. None of those aforementioned attributes helps you score goals, that's pure talent. Deal with it, SUP87MAN is here to stay.
WHAT THE PENS DID WRONGI felt they had some defensive issues again that have seemed to haunt them as of late. The first goal was a good example of it. You really can't let guys get behind you like that, its disastrous, and they can't rely on Fleury to always bail them out every time.
WHAT SID THOUGHT
FINAL ANALYSISIt wasn't the best performance but it was a big two points. Playing without Gonchar and Geno certainly makes it difficult for the rest of the guys, but they all stepped up. Sid's goal(s) were the first when Geno doesn't play. Matt Cooke has had consecutive goals in the last two. One more for him and he gets a career high. Orpik assisted three times and gets a career high 3 points. Seems strange to think FREE CANDY never had more than 3 points. Either way four points in the last two is good. Confidence is always built on wins. Now lets keep this streak going.
At home again on Wednesday against an inconsistent yet dangerous Lightning squad. The goal in this game is to grab another two points and keep Stamkos out of the goal column.