*Carson Daly voice* Wazzup, fart knockers. Pens returned home after a 4-game road trip that started with an injury filled OT loss to the Flyers and ended with a 5-1 beat down of the Canadiens. It was 90’s night in the Paint Can, and Mr. 3 Beers was back in the lineup.
Before the game, the Pens had a moment of silence for Ted Lindsay and a 1,500 game presentation for Matt Cullen. Classy move by Sullivan to have Dad’s line start the game so he was out there for the Anthem. At second place in games played by an American, Cullen is still 151 games behind Chris Chelios, who played until the age of 46 and only retired after the Thrashers sent him to the AHL. This would mark the only time in the history of the Atlanta Thrashers that somebody wasn’t good enough to make their lineup.
First Period: Evgeni Malkin took his mandatory stupid penalty of the game™, which resulted in Gudbranson’s first blooper reel clip of his Penguin’s career. Borgstrom would get credit for the goal. Rats.
At the time of the penalty, Geno moved into a tie for 7th in PIMs for the league (ironically, with Erik Gudbranson). Malkin is definitely not a player that should be among the league lead in that category. At some point Hornqvist batted in a puck right at the level of the crossbar. Officials determined no goal, and the replay couldn’t overturn the call.
Pens seemed a bit deflated after the goal (and non-goal), and continued their fugly play…missed passes, blocked shots, icings, offsides, lots of faceoffs. The Penguins finally started to find their groove, after a few solid shifts. Eventually, Crosby started doing Crosby stuff, but couldn’t beat Lou.
The rest of the period saw Hornqvist take a puck to the arm and head down the runway. He would return, thankfully. The 1st finished with yet another save on a solid Kessel chance.
Second Period: The Penguins came out strong to the second, and Sid forced a turnover that eventually found Snek with the quick release.
Welcome to the 1,200 club, Mr. Crosby. Moments later, Gudbranson was upset Geno tied him in PIMs and got called for gently skating into someone shorter. It is absolutely absurd how Simmonds was able to knock Dumoulin unconscious with an actual hit to the head without being penalized, but this gets called. PK looked aiight.
To nullify his previous penalty, Malkin drew an interference call, and Sid dunked on Luongo after a big rebound (this is not the only basketball reference I will use in this recap).
This gave 87 his fifth consecutive multi-point game and the dude is all that and a bag of chips right now.
Immediately following the goal, Bjugstad had an opportunity with Sea-moan, but- as if! God, 90’s lingo is so cringy. Kessel missed another chance, and that gave the Panthers a golden opportunity to tie it up….
Did you know Vincent Trocheck is from Pittsburgh? The period ended, despite the Pens having the better play based on my very scientific, and always accurate, “eye test”. No stats for the period, so here is a gif of the Oozinator.
Third Period: I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a great feeling about this game at this point, but it’s the Panthers, right?
Not a ton of chances, and the first 10 minutes were played with hardly any whistles. Geno decided he wanted to get back to 7th place in PIMs and tripped up Hoffman in the corner for his second stupid penalty of the game™. PK looked good.
Panthers returned the favor when Yandle held Crosby. No goal, but the PP continued to look good.
With only a few minutes left, both teams looked like they were content to take the point and settle it in overtime.
OT: Considering the fact that the Pens have blown their last 3 rounds of bonus hockey, and are 4-9 on the year, I don’t think there was a ton of confidence heading into the 3 on 3. Just being honest.
Both teams had chances, including a golden opportunity for the Panthers after Dumoulin was tripped without a call. The back and forth continued with no stoppage until Sid made a brilliant lob pass to center ice with Jake waiting on the other end.
Probably the best alley oop since Bugs hooked up MJ in Space Jam.
- Pens did everything they could to mail it in and lose. Panthers did just a little bit more….
- Kinda seemed just a little bit off, but 2 points is 2 points
- Isles, Canadiens, and Blue Jackets all won, with the Hurricanes only getting a point in their overtime loss
- Crosby suddenly sitting at #4 in the league in the Nikita Kucherov scoring race
- Home and home against the Blue Jackets coming up. Buckle up!