Fresh off the shneid, the Boys in Black would be facing a team they hadn’t seen in a couple season thanks to Covid. One of the few good things to come out of this whole thing if you ask me.
Hey, it’s been a little while – let’s see what our old buddy Bob Grove has to say about this matchup…
The Pens were ready. The Wild were ready. I wasn’t ready, but that’s nothing new. Less than two minutes in, Foligno would get his stick up in the grill of Jake and the Pens would head to the powerplay. Which powerplay would it be, we all wondered? With Rust back, we definitely had a bett… huh. Nevermind. Two shots is better than no shots but only by two and neither mattered because neither went in. Back to even strength
Some good back and forth for the remainder of the first half off the period with each team taking turns with the momentum. Lots of shots, lots of blocks and even lots of hits. JAKE hit a guy, ffs.
Just before the midway point, the Wild were pressuring and Gogogoligoski would hit the post to Jarry’s left… it would carom behind him to the right… and right to Krill…
So I don’t know how to play hockey. But I do know that if I’m John Marino in that spot, I should be more worried about the guy close to the goalie than following the guy moving AWAY from the goalie. Woof. I’m guessing Reirden had an earful for Johnny boy after that little brain fart. 1-0 Baddies.
Back to live action, more even hockey for a while. O’Connor would trip a dude named Connor Dewar and I was surprised to learn he wasn’t scotch. I hate scotch. Since when should ‘peat’ be an ingredient in drinks? Scots are friggin’ weird. Anyway, the PK would be up to the task and no damage was done.
About four minutes after that, Kappy would finally get the monkey off his back…
Kapanen (1) from Zucker (2), Rodrigues (3) – 16:33 – EV
A great play on the boards by Rodrigues to keep it down and Zucker to push it into the slot. Kapanen knew exactly where to be and Talbot had no chance.
The two teams had time to trade a couple more rushes and work back through the lines. Then the Rodrigues line would hit the ice again and Kapanen proved the first one wasn’t a fluke.
Kapanen (2) from Rodrigues (4), Zucker (3) – 19:04 – EV
What a laser beam of a shot, top cheddar. That’s what a little bit of confidence can do for a goal scorer.
The second would start pretty choppy, with lots of faceoffs and stoppages. Five minutes in, Teddy KGB would get frustrated after losing a faceoff to Gaudreau and hooked him up. 2 minutes in the sin bin. But again, the PK stood strong blocking four of the first five shot attempts of the kill. A couple did make it to Jarry after that, but nothing he couldn’t handle.
More pretty even play for the next seven minutes or so until Jake remembered that he, too, is off the schneid and that he, too, is a goal scorer.
Guentzel (3) from Rust (1), Matheson (3) – 13:34 – EV
Another goal-scorers goal, top corner, helpless Talbot.
On a side note, Jake scoring won everyone a free Big Mac and half off a chocolate shake. And we wonder why half the people in this country are ‘plus’ sized…
A couple minutes later, the Wild would return the favor, with yet another fortunate bounce.
Pens were chasing a bit there, but credit the Wild for an excellent cycle. Also, yet another deflection and nothing Jarry could do. And that would do it for the first 40 minutes.
The third would open up a little tighter, for both teams. Not a lot of chances were taken and there was lots of NZ play.
Just under 7 minutes in our buddy Scotch Dewar would trip up Matheson and the PP would have a chance to shine.
And this time, they almost did. They had a couple shots miss, a couple shots get blocked, a couple shots get saved, but kept it in the OZ almost the entire two minutes. Right when you started to hear Jarry whacking his stick to denote the end of the powerplay, the sea parted and Kapanen sailed to the top of the circles and proved to everyone that he really is back in the saddle.
Kapanen (3) from Rust (2), Letang (5) – 8:45 – EV
If you’re going to do it, do it right. To say the Penguins badly needed meaningful contributions from Kapanen would be putting it mildly. He finally delivered. Let’s hope the train keeps rolling.
Speaking of the train keeping on rolling, the Pens were now up 2 with 11:15 to play in what had been a pretty even contest up to this point. Time to push for the win, right???
Or, and hear me out, they could just sort of hang back and play to not lose. Because nothing bad ever happens when you play like that.
Things got boring and bogged down, but the Wild never gave up. Then, with 4:30 left, Minnesota would pull the goalie and make things interesting. Too damn interesting…
I can’t find a clip of it but this is one Jarry should have had. Yes, he was screened, but Spurgeon was WAY out and shooting glove. Jarry just missed it. 4-3.
Talbot would head back out and the Wild would use their renewed confidence to hem the Pens in their zone. The clock was ticking, but not fast enough. Eventually, Talbot would head off again. Surely they couldn’t get another 6-5 goal…
My buddy blames Letang, who was trying to kill the puck behind the net and nearly succeeded. But it popped out to an open spot off of a great Rust block and Hartman was there to tear out the hearts of the home fans with two seconds left. Vomit.
OT is always fun. Up and down, back and forth. I didn’t see it. Nobody scored. Wheeeee.
Jarry had a pretty good game. Of the four goals, I only really hang one on him – that third from way downtown. He made 36 saves, ffs. And some of them were BIG.
But it just seems like when you NEED Jarry to pull it out, he just doesn’t. And he didn’t in the shootout, with a beauty of a shot from B-Jugs zipping top blocker side.
- Up by two with five minutes to play and the other team leaves with two points. Woof.
- I said it above, but the Pens desperately needed Kapanen to turn the corner. Looks like he has.
- Marino with a couple more brain farts. Needs to stop
Until next time, my friends.