OK, so first and foremost, there were lineup shenanigans as a result of Brian Dumoulin eating bad lobster or some such.
That puts MathIsFun with Tanger which makes me nervous even to type. But it also means that Feisty Friedman would stay in the lineup.
But the more important thing you’ll notice there is the absence of both Simon and Kapanen. I’m just as shocked as yinz are about Simon, who is one of Sully’s absolute favorites for reasons only he can fathom. Less surprising is that Krapanen was passed some nachos. When the entire organization shits all over a player for a week or so, it’s time to do something about it.
On top of that, he was replaced by uber-noob, Valtteri Puustinen. Give me a few games to come up with some nicknames for that one, if you please.
Alright, let’s get to this!
OK, so get this. I had a quiet night at the house. The Unglings were out and about, doing whatever Unglings do, and I wasn’t working late and was determined to make a night of it. Whipped up some high-quality leftover whateverthehellwasinthefridge and didn’t even pour a bourbon – I wanted to put forth my Best Effort for the cause.
So I get myself situated and turn on the telly. You know, the one that I recently cut the cord on – F U Verizon! And went to stream on Fubo…. only to see the internet was down for the count. This didn’t happen all week when I was working, oh no sireebob. It waited until I had some Me Time. POS. So I tossed the food, put the dogs out, and went to see The Batman instead. Which was wayyyyy too long and overly-dramatic for my taste, but still had some good parts. Zoe Saldana can climb my batpole any day of the week and twice on Sundays…
But I digress. Game on.
The game started slowly. Very slowly. Vegas is a bunch of big dildos, so they were trying to push the Pens around, because everybody knows that works, but Boyle is big and Carter is big and Malkin is big and Friedman is a gawddammed honey badger so it wasn’t working.
Sadly, nothing was working. For almost the entire period. Including two powerplays that apparently weren’t very special. Still, the boys were outshooting the shit out of the Ka-Niggits, which is always nice.
Then, with just over a minute left in the period, the Captain made a play.
Matheson (8) from Crosby (38), Rust (27) – 18:54 – EV
Find the late guy, and it helps when he can pick corners, with Matheson did with authority. Good stuff.
Nothing else doing before the first 20 would come to a close.
While it worked out to out-wait the Knights in the first, the Pens decided to try something different in the 2nd. The new look 3rd line pulled it all together for this one.
Carter (14) from McGinn (7), Puustinen (1) – 2:36 – EV
Sure, it was just a garbage cleanup for Carter, but did you see that lead pass from Puusi after he got a quick little board bump up from Tanger? Super quick and clean. Good instincts.
The boys didn’t have too long to enjoy it, though because not 90 seconds later there were a bevy of crossed wires, including a mis-matched D-pair (someone probably was changing) and it looked like 5 midgets trying to hump a doorknob, with EyeKill there to cleanup a rebound. 2-1 good guys.
That clip doesn’t show all of the Tom Fuckery the Pens were doing, but whatever, bad guys scored.
Precisely four minutes later, during some 4 v 4 actions brought about by Feisty Friedman getting into it with CarrieAirieyAye, the Pens would forget how to count and leave PeeTriangle open all alone. All tied up.
A suboptimal middle of the period would be worked out – the boys didn’t make any more mistakes – and we’d head off the ice knotted up at 2 after 40.
So. Would they own the turd or shit the bed?
Feisty Friedman decided for us.
Friedman (1) from Boyle (4), Carter (18) – 3:49 – EV
Again, when you find the trailer, it helps if he can pick his spot. You love to see it.
OK, cool, so that’s three goals all from people NOT named Sid or Geno or Rust or Jake. Good good stuff!
The Pens would keep pushing, but would also not take any dumb chances, letting the came come to them. This is a team that knows how to play with a lead.
Eventually the KaNiggits would get fed up and it was our good buddy CarrieAirieAye taking a stupid OZ penalty by hooking Marino. And the turkey was on the table (man I miss Mike Lange…).
The boys were ready this time.
Rust (20) from Guentzel (31) – 14:49 – PPG
Only Jake got the assist because the puck got hit by a random Knight, but what a perfect play. Low to high to high to low to middle to low to goal. Every dude touched the puck on the sequence, and only one bad guy got an accidental piece of one. Fappity fappity fap!
This one was well in hand, but what is a cake without icing, I ask you?
Rodrigues (17) from Letang (44) – 17:43 – ENG
Sure it was just an ENG, but maybe it was precisely what Rodrigues needed to get some confidence back and get back to scoring.
But more importantly…
- Jarry was tested and was strong. Had been 1-4-2 in last 7 home games, and while that mostly wasn’t his fault, nice to see a big win and a good effort.
- Letang was a +3 and didn’t make anyone swear.
- Secondary scoring was primary. That’s big.