Recap 51: Does The Torch Still Burn Giroux?

The Penguins ended their hiatus last night by welcoming the disgusting bums from Philadelphia into town. Nothing like getting home from a vacation and then opening your doors to the cheapskate uncle who never pays for anything. PS sorry for the delay, real-life got in the way. As expected, the Penguins put Justin Schultz back into the lineup. Dominik Kahun is still out with a concussion, and since you read our excellent gameday you know the rest of the story about the injuries. With Schultz in the team looked as such on paper:

I’m not a fan of scratching Riikola in favor of Ruhwedel on his off side, but I’m not the coach. Five minutes into this game, Sullivan was likely regretting the decision as well.

Sticks down, puck down, we were underway. It was nice to be back. Both teams took a bit to get their legs going and as such, we were gently eased back into hockey. After a pretty even 17 minutes Alex Galchenyuk continued his strong season by taking a tripping penalty with 2:08 left in the period. The Flyers powerplay went to work and after nearly 100 seconds of trying they broke through the Pens PK to make it 1-0.

Just ugly all around, kind of like Philadelphia. The period would end 1-0. The Penguins had 12 scoring chances for to 11 against at 5v5 in the frame.

The tale of two periods. The Penguins came out in the second period looking like the Penguins that tore up the league in January. Philadelphia was caught by surprise, and less than 4 minutes in it was Agent 101 cleaning up the garbage.

EVGENI MALKIN (16) Assisted by Hornqvist (9) & Rust (23) @ 3:55

Malkin just doesn’t give up, the man is ready to win and you can see it in his effort with and without the puck every night.

The Flyers responded by taking a penalty ten seconds later, and the Penguins powerplay set up shop. After a minute of trying, the puck eventually came to Sidney Crosby. Crosby, in stride, deflected the puck from his skates to his stick before sending a tape to tape pass through more legs than the Tour de France to hit Bryan Rust. 

BRYAN RUST (22) Assisted by Crosby (18) & Malkin (36) @ 5:16 PPG

I’m honestly not worthy of talking about this play by Crosby. Sid is personally responsible for more abuse cases in Philadelphia than Bill Cosby. This pass is just fucking disgusting. Rust hasn’t banged anything this easy since prom.

Following the goal, the Penguins continued dominating until Malkin was called for a penalty at the 7-minute mark. The Pens successfully killed this one, preventing the Flyers from gaining any momentum. Six seconds after the penalty the Pens got a favorable call on a bad tripping penalty to Travis Koocoocachoo. Bad call or not, the Penguins took advantage of the opportunity with the man advantage. This time it was the big three, Malkin, to Crosby, to Letang… chronicle it down as a goal.

KRIS LETANG (11) Assisted by Crosby (19) & Malkin 37) @ 11:03 PPG

I mean, is Sid just trying to embarrass Philly at this point?? This is another pass that is just insane to watch. Perfect, tape to tape, through traffic. Unreal.

Following this goal, the Penguins completely let off the gas. The Flyers took advantage of that and scored to bring the game to within one five minutes later.

If this was any other goalie I would complain, but since it was a perfectly placed shot in the corner I’ll just leave it as such. Though it wasn’t without trying, the penguins did not surrender another goal in the remaining minutes of the period. 

The team apparently did not get the message in the locker room that despite scoring three goals in the second, they started getting sloppy. Instead, they came out playing the same way they ended the second, as did the Flyers. Less than three minutes in this thing was tied up.

With 17:58 remaining to play, a betting man would’ve said this game was over. Somehow, with that how mostly being Tristan Jarry, the Penguins were able to escape the remaining onslaught unscathed. It was not a good period at all for Pittsburgh and showed how tough it is to regain momentum after it is lost. Everyone also says the Penguins can “flip a switch,” but that really only occurs at the beginning of periods. It is exponentially harder to flip it when the other team is constantly upping the pressure. Either way, the Pens escaped and earned a point as we went to overtime. 

3v3 with both Sid and Geno in the lineup? Yes please. Malkin and Rust started, not much doing except for Bryan Rust making a hell of a play in the offensive zone to strip the Flyers of the puck. This resulted in the Penguins keeping possession and getting a change. Crosby, McCann and Letang took over. McCann handed it to Letang, Letang cooly skates around the perimeter and handed it off to Crosby. Sidney Crosby brought down the hammer, again.

SIDNEY CROSBY (9) Assisted by Letang (22) & McCann (15) @ 0:55