Penguins were in total control for over half of the first period. Great passing, throwing the body around and most importantly controlling the puck. In a blink of an eye, Sidney Crosby puts two pucks behind Ondrej Pavlec and the Pens lead by 2 goals.
That's where the game ended for the Pens. The feeling of the game in hand, cruise control, we got this.
Jets came firing back to end the first period with great scoring chances and some great saves by Tomas Vokoun. Passing became an evident issue for the Pens throughout the night here on out. Matt Cooke and Paul Martin make a few juicy turnovers, leading to scoring opportunities, which Vokoun denied.
In the second period, all Jets. A lazy pass from Matt Cooke and terrible defense by Kris Letang leads to an Evander Kane goal 70 seconds into the second period. Later, Evgeni Malkin turns over the puck to Nik Antropov and ends up hooking him. The ensuing power play, "all 265 pounds of Dustin Byfuglien" (to which Bob Errey said I think at least 6 times) rockets a goal from the point. The Penguins are in complete panic mode now. After a bad outlet pass from behind the Pens' net from Lovejoy to James Neal, the Jets take the lead on an easy goal from Andrew Ladd. Lovejoy had no idea where his man, Ladd, was. 3-2 Jets.
Penguins never found a way back into the game. Vokoun kept things close with some great stops, but offensively the Pens couldn't sustain any momentum. Bad drop passes, forcing shots from the point, just uncharacteristic hockey. Jets slide in an empty net goal. 4-2. Drive home safely.
I liked what I saw from the new look second line. Tyler Kennedy isn't going to be the final solution with Malkin and Neal, but Kennedy looked like Mario Lemieux out there compared to Eric Tangradi. Speaking of him, the fourth line suits him far better.
Ben Lovejoy had that one mistake of not following his man. Other than that, he played well. He pinched up and came in on rushes, taking shots from Crosby passes. Not as many mistakes as Simon Despres was committing, but the one lead to a goal. That will stick out in Dan Bylsma's mind.
Bylsma after the game:
Yeah it's only 4 games into the season and oh no it's too early to panic, but this team needs to get back to fundamentals quick or they're going to make it easy for the Rangers and Flyers to jump over them in the standings. They laid a turd in last night's game. Disco needs to figure this out, and fast.