OK, let’s just get right to it. As anticipated in our gameday post, Pettersson would make his return to the lineup. I don’t know for sure, but this may well be the 14th different Penguins lineup at this point.
No, I’m not checking for you. I’ve got enough shit to do, TYVM.
Within the first two minutes, Chara decided to ‘set the tone’ and went after Blueger, eventually getting into a tussle after the whistle. In which his clownishly long stick would catch Teddy in the neck area. In Boston or Washington, Chara remains a giant-size piece of Serbian crap. Regardless, the refs let it go. On the ensuing faceoff, Chara hooked up Sid and THIS time they made the call. PP time.
OK, it’s true the puck was bouncing around a ton, but the Pens couldn’t control and gave up a couple crazy chances against, including one after a ridiculous carom off the boards behind Jarry. Shortly thereafter, another failed zone entry turned into another breakaway. Jarry would stand tall and Garth Halfwayin ran him over for his efforts. Another penalty and a 5 on 3 for the Good Birds.
THIS time, the Pens were ready. The puck not leaving the zone at all, great movement and a pass to Guentzel in the slot with a beautiful redirect OMG WHAT A CHANCE HOW DID THAT HIT THE POST, but it made it out and to the top of the zone and then back down into the slot again where Guentzel would snag it and find Sid Down Low and HE WOULD BANG IT HO…. OFF THE OTHER DAMMED POST !@#$@#!&@@^^@^!!!!!**^&.
Nothing would come from that powerplay, but damn they ended it looking like they knew what they were doing.
They would continue to keep up the pressure for the remainder of the first 10 minutes, displaying a shoot first mentality not seen ‘round these parts since the 8th grade picnic. Yes, I realize I’m no Mike Lange, but we haven’t heard him in forever so STFU.
In fact, they liked keeping up the pressure so much that they just kept doing it. Lots of stoppages in play, lots of faceoff wins, lots of shots.
After a few more minutes of that, there was some true up and down play. The Penguins were decidedly faster, but the Caps would turn up the dial as well and generate a few quality looks of their own. Most notably with about 4 minutes left and Ovie targeting a top corner blast that Jarry was able to catch with his shoulder (and perfect positioning).
At this point, the pressure was being piled on by the Caps, who even managed to pull ahead in shots.
Stats after one:
The opening faceoff would be won by some Crapital and Carlson would drive the net and Guentzel would hold on (illegally) for dear life. PK time.
For some reason that would make sense to zero people I can think of, Marino and Letang were the starting defensive pair. Thankfully, while I was angrily typing, there was a quick whistle and the pairing would change. The PK would play well, with Jarry doing his best impression of being the best penalty killer on the ice. No PP in the 5 hole this go around.
Not long after the PK ended, though, things went a little fucky.
Of course it was Sheary who, if he’d been wearing yellow tonight, would have fallen down WELL before getting that shot off. In other news, if he’s a new dad, is Sully a GRANDPA??? Wasn’t Sheary dating his daughter? Someone get me some facts on this. I TOLD YOU I ALREADY HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO, DAMMIT!!!
Then, because it sounded like fun, Geno would take a tripping penalty on the following faceoff. Geno, Geno, Geno…
The Capitals would have some great puck movement and a couple great opportunities, but Jarry would stand tall and no harm would be done. Aside from another assault on my blood pressure when I saw Marino – Letang on the PK AGAIN. The only excitement in this PK was a great chance by Tanev who was close but no cigar.
After that PK the Pens were tired, but still managed to get into the OZ wish some speed. Astonishingly, Ovie was surely literally flying and made a ridiculous back check (controller finally connected I guess). The Caps would push it down quickly to the other end and Timothy Jagoff would flip it through the crease and DAMMIT
Same spot as the Sheary tally, but I still don’t blame Jarry. He had to be deep again there since the puck was headed deep down the wing.
At this point, the Pens were being outshot 30-16. Which is fucktarded considering they were up 10-5 at one point in the first period. Happily, they didn’t let this stat get them down and started putting on pressure of their own.
One of the ways they did that was by moving Tanev up to Malkin’s wing. He responded by delivering a fantastic look, though he missed high and wide. The stage was set, though, and the next line would follow up with another great chance, this time from Matheson streaking into the zone. His attempt rebounded directly to him, but his second attempt went wide. HE, however, did not go wide and ended up bowling over Double V. Since that was a penalty in the first, it was a penalty in the second.
Pens would end the period on the PK and on their heels.
Stats after two:
Pens would open killing the end of Math-Is-Fun’s goalie interference which went great. At the next stop in play in the Pens DZ, Sully would send out a pairing of Letang and Pettersson. I don’t know why. If you know why, please let me know. Penshockeyblog@gmail.com attn: UNGABA.
Anyway, it was a shockingly stupid move as Petey and SUPER TANGER both decided that only one of their two guys should be covered. The Crapital with the puck noticed this and you could almost hear Eller laughing as the puck arrived on his blade.
I’m sharing the blame here. Pettersson should have stayed on his side, but his guy was skating REALLY close to Jarry, so handing him off there would have been dumb. Give him credit for sticking with his mistake. Super Tanger, though… just didn’t see what was going on. Shocker, I know.
If you thought it was crazy before this, … well … you were right. But it was also crazy now. Sully pulled out all the stops, putting Tanev with Geno some more and shortening his bench. Didn’t mean much, but it was fun to watch.
Then Oh! Sherry would make the mistake of getting between POJO and the goal line and POJO would park him into the net for funsies. Unlike when he was in Pittsburgh, Sheary falling down would yield a penalty.
More evidence of why the Craps have such a great powerplay, but also more evidence of a penalty kill gaining confidence. Neat.
The craziness would continue, until finally the Blueger line would get a good look… and ZAR would strike again.
Aston-Reese (3) from Blueger (6), Marino (2) – 15:05 – EV
Go to the net and good things will happen.
You know what else happened that was good?
Nothing. Zero other things. The Pens didn’t roll over and die, which was neat, but they just couldn’t break through. Unlike their greatest fan, Mia Khalifa, the Caps just weren’t going to go down four times in a row for the same group of guys.
- Jarry deserved better
- If you don’t have the puck, you can’t score
- POJO with a rough series but he’s a rookie
- 4th line is invisible
- WE need a Crease Clearer with Attitude