Recap R1G1: Worth The Wait

Hey there sports fans! Your average gif posting, know nothing, yinzer wannabe from Scranton / Wilkes Barre has returned. Ung threw out his back while throwing it into yer mums so I got tagged in unexpectedly. Seems to be a theme there…

You knew it was going to be a long game from the puck drop given the history of these two teams over the last few seasons. You just didn’t know it was going to be THAT long.

The Rangers came out swinging. Literally and figuratively. MSG is a crazy barn and the ice was tilted to start. The Pens looked like they were on the back foot for the first. 5 minutes in DeSmith would make the first of MANY huge saves when Cock-O and Heidel walked off the boards and tried to shove one home. Yikes. Definitely the start of a net minder showdown.

I’m not going to dive too far into the first period but the Rangers would go on the man advantage around 11 min in and almost immediately make the Penguins pay. Didn’t look like DeSmith saw it. This would be the only goal of the 1st.

Other notable 1st period business would be Rakell going down the runway for the rest of the game.

I don’t know what is and isn’t a legal check and neither does the NHL, twitter or reddit so we’ll leave it at that. You can argue that it’s late, it’s high, it’s to the head and Rakell is already engaged with another player and has dumped the puck and is in a vulnerable position. Rakell is pinched already and he can’t go anywhere to avoid the hit and does what he can to avoid getting pummeled.

Would only be 2 minutes in the box after the Zebras walked back the major. The Pens failed to capitalize. 

Nothing of note really in the 1st other than me drinking 3 double Four Roses Small Batch at the bar. (bad idea)

This was an incredibly action packed period so let’s get to it. The Pens came out with a little more fervor but it wouldn’t amount to anything right away. After some prodding, DeSmith makes his first hiccup of the night and instead of catching and holding for a faceoff he drops the puck to a Pens player and the Rags jump on it.

Andrew Copp alone in the slot. Nothing DeSmith could do. 2-0 Bad Guys.

Shortly later Sid starts doing Sid things and LeTang gets on his horse. Tanger almost buries the 2 on 1 but in a scrum the Pens get it back in the corner through the scuffle. Rust walks it off the wall, every blue jersey on the ice puck watches Crosby. Snek all alone in front to shovel home the laser from Sid.

Guentzel (1) from Crosby (1), Rust (1) – 4:32 – EV

2-1… now we got a game people.

A few minutes later Sid gets a nice puck in the middle of the ice, holds up play into the zone and again the entire Rags defense is so fixated on Crosby, Snek slithers by unmarked. Head nod to Rust who makes two disgusting passes to Sid on both goals to get the play moving.

Guentzel (2) from Crosby (2), Rust (2) – 11:47 – EV

Snake ‘n Bake

At the end-ish of the 2nd the Rags would get another power play and the Penguins nuke a faceoff in the Rangers zone. The puck goes the other way and you know what happens next…

Zibanejad connects with Chris Kreider who is cutting at light speed into the zone. LeTang got burnt. Jake couldn’t keep up. DeSmith was left hanging while Kreider dekes his way to a one goal lead for the Rags. 3-2.

Since the Pens get all the calls eventually before the period ended there would be a solid amount of 5 on 3 time and the Power Play did what it needed to do and came up big.

Rust (1) from Malkin (1), Letang (1) – 18:30 – PPG

LeTang makes up for the lack of effort on the prior goal and calmly carries the puck above the slot. Tic tac toe Geno to Rust who again shovels home a chip shot for his 3rd point of the night. Wow.

Yes, you’re seeing that correctly. 25 shots in that period.

I’m going to fast forward through to the fun part.

3:10 left in the 3rd Cock-o gets a nice feed, drives to the net… a little too directly. Dumo can’t get the angle but gives him room to play. Cock-bag drives through the paint and through the crease knocking DeSmith completely out of the play. The Rags clean up the garbage.

BUT WAIT… flag on the play. Sully bats 100 for the year again and the challenge overturns the goal. MSG proceeds to absolutely MELT. What a fucking game.

Something I never would have imagined happened… The Zebras get it right.

The Penguins would get a few more chances and the 3rd would end all tied up. To OT WE GO.

First game of the post-season… why NOT have it go to OT. 

Back and forth and back and forth. Buttholes puckered. Posts were hit. DeSmith and Shesterkin put on a display. Fox and ZBJ were swarming. Carter and ERod built up some steam. This was a Penguins team that was ready to go all night.

The clock would tick down in the 2nd period and then something strange happened. The refs blew the whistle and no one knew why until Casey DeSmith made a trip to the bench. Equipment? Hopefully. We’re not that lucky.

With DeSmith headed down the tunnel the 3rd and sometimes 4th goalie on the depth chart (remember when we all thought losing Jarry was a shot in the chest for the Pens?) Louis Domingue would get out of his little hid-a-goalie hole at MSG and come in cold after 4.5 periods of hockey.

Immediately the Rags started shooting. Not greatly which probably helped LD warm up.

Domingue would do his best Fleury impression and hold the fort while the D and team actually kicked it up a notch to make sure the Rangers didn’t chirp him. He would make all 17 saves and give the team the spark it needed going into the 3rd OT.


My heart rate, balloon knot and rocks glass were ready.

5ish minutes into the 3rd OT and the Pens forecheck which had been solid for most of the night after the first period comes up big. McGinn presses and breaks the puck up. Then guess who shows up finally? Double K Kappy pulls out his wannabee veteran balls and coasts the puck around the zone, Marino pushes back into the slot.

The moment you saw him step into it you knew.

Malkin (1) from Marino (1), Kapanen (1) – 5:58 – EV

Geno with the redirect and you could hear the ghost of Henrik Lundqvist cackle in the rafters. STUNNED.

The Wrap Up –

• Sid and the top line put in a performance. Rusty w/ a 3 point game. Snek with 2 goals.
• The Rags are very good and very motivated. Can they bring it back after a nut crushing 3OT defeat? Is Shit-sterkin emotionally broken? Experience vs youth.
• What the FUCK happened to Casey DeSmith?
• I don’t have anything bad to say about LeTang. Dude played over FORTY SIX minutes of ice time last night.
• The post game with Domingue was awesome. Sully’s post game… he looked like he had just been in the Ukraine for the last two months.

What a victory. What a win. These are the games that catapult championships and sow belief into a locker room that you can make a run. Elsewhere in the league the upsets have started. This series could be a bloodbath or the Penguins could have ripped the sails of the Rangers right off their raft. We’ll find out more on Thursday.

For today… bless you Lord Starbucks. Hallowed be thy coffee.