The Penguins welcomed the Blackhawks to the Paint Can last night. Throughout the night the Penguins honored various veterans, and it was well done. For those of you who have served, or who continue to serve, all of us at pens.hockey want to thank you for your service.
No Jimmerson singing. No Kris Letang skating. No wins since ’92 cup against the Blackhawks should be a good one so let’s go.
If you were still coming off a college football high and missed the start of this game you didn’t miss anything. Let’s just say both of these teams were playing at a pace that made Olli Määttä fit in. Around and around they went, a few shots here and there, this was the November hockey we were used to. Fortunately, the Penguins weren’t down three after one for a change.
At the end of the first period, Patrick Kane to a beating a hooker penalty so the Penguins had an abbreviated powerplay to work with to start the second. In case you’ve been under a rock, the Penguin’s powerplay is about as successful as your second cousin going through their third attempt at community college. Needless to say, they didn’t score. Following the kill, Jack Johnson was called for tripping Dylan Strome followed shortly after by Brandon Tanev “boarding” Alex DeBrincat. Tough to say how the Penguins killed off the 5-on-3 with Jack Johnson in the box but they did it.
Following the kills, the Penguins were trying to push the envelope when Justin Schultz got caught pinching on the boards. The Blackhawks turned the play into a 3-on-1 and that is generally not going to end well unless someone messes up.
Before the Penguins could respond to the goal Patrick Kane was streaking down the ice and put a shot on goal that was just about perfect
I forgot Patrick Kane was in the league until like last week, now both Matt Murray and myself remember. Is Toews still playing these days?
If we’ve learned anything the last few games it’s that the Penguins are a much better team than the internet would have you believe, and a two-goal lead by a team as bad as the Blackhawks isn’t a death wish. The Penguins started gaining some momentum and finally started looking like they wanted to play. Ryan Carpenter smartly ruined the momentum by taking a penalty and putting the Pens powerplay back on the ice. After that two minutes of agony was over the Pens didn’t give up hope. With less than five minutes left Evgeni Malkin got on his horse and then made a beautiful pass to the insurance man, and he sold Corey Crawford a whole life plan
JAKE GUENTZEL (8) Assisted by Malkin (3) & McCann (5) @ 16:04
This pass by Malkin is the type of pass you take to Thanksgiving dinner to meet the folks. Tough to judge how good this play is by Malkin, however, since he was going up against actual top 100 talent in Toews in this one.
The goal lit the Penguins on fire but Corey Crawford was trying to finally earn his massive paycheck and the period would end 2-1.
The Pens came out flying in the third and you just got that little tingling inside that they were going to tie this thing up. The Blackhawks did their best to re-establish their two-goal lead early in the frame but Matt Murray was back to being Matt Murray. Did I mention Sidney Crosby left the game and was not on the bench int he third? Well, that happened. Five minutes into the period, Dylan Strome took a tripping penalty which effectively lost two minutes of game time for the Penguins.
After regaining some momentum following another failed powerplay attempt the Penguins started pressuring again. After Bryan Rust attempted a short side stuffing Evgeni Malkin sniffed out the loose puck and fed John Marino at the point. John Marino took the time of a five-year veteran while surveying the scene, and fed a perfect pass to Bryan Rust on the doorstep.
BRYAN RUST (5) Assisted by Marino (3) & Malkin (4) @ 10:57
This is just an excellent play by Marino, he takes his time and walks the puck in some to draw Chicago towards him, then fires a tape to tape pass through traffic to Rust. It is supposed to take years to build that type of confidence. John Marino is essentially what Derrick Pouliot was talked up to be.
The Penguins turned it up following the goal but just couldn’t get the game decided in regulation and we were off to overtime.
3v3 overtime with no Kris Letang and no Sidney Crosby, you would expect this one to be over quickly but the Penguins don’t die easily anymore. Chances galore both ways but neither goaltender budged and we were going to a shootout.
The shootout remains a letdown compared to the thrill of 3v3 OT but what can you do. The Pens were without 2 of their top 3 shooters in Letang and Crosby so they sent out Guentzel first, and though some think he needs Crosby on his side to be successful he managed alright on his own to put the Pens up 1. The Hawks used Toews in round one, the first time you probably heard his name called all night, and Murray stuffed him.
Malkin attempted the same move as Guentzel but no dice, followed by Patrick Kane using those great hands to tie things up. Jared McCann was shooter number three and he wasted no time ripping one by Crawford. The Hawks turned to DeBrincat and Murray shut the front door to secure the deuce.