After a nail-biter of a triple OT game and a push back ‘blow-out’ of sorts, what would happen for Game 3? The boys did their job, returning home from the Big Apple knotted up at 1-1, and turned it into a best of 5 with home ice advantage. Time to take advantage, amirite???
But before we get to the main event, how’s about we check in with the unofficial Penguins Historian in what we like to call…
OK, so what I’m hearing is this happens a lot. Noted.
Well shit, Bob.
In other fun news, Jason Zucker would get the green light, so that was pretty neat, hopefully…
But still no Dumoulin, dammit.
Let’s do this!!!
The boys were READY. Including Brock…
McGinn (1) unassisted – 1:57 – EV
Is there a better example of ‘just throw it at the net’ than this? Trick question. The answer is no. This is the best example ever, or at least today. Strong start.
OK, so it WAS a strong start, but then Krapo Kracko would do a thing and bam, tie game.
Generally it’s a good idea to cover both sides of the ice in the defensive zone. Or so I’m told. I can’t skate so for sure don’t listen to me.
A minute after this, JuiceIn Brown would do a dumb and the Pens would have a powerplay. Oh great, we thought, sarcastically – here comes a wasted two minute. Luckily for us, BJC doesn’t process sarcasm – he just scores.
Carter (1) from Rodrigues (1), Matheson (2) – 8:18 – PPG
Who knows if he pushed it in on purpose himself or not, but I do know that if he’s not standing there in Shit’s Kitchen, that goal doesn’t happen. Good job all around. 2-1 Good Guys.
Since New York is full of punks and thugs, in general, 40 seconds after that goal Andy Crap would smack Zucker in the kisser with his big hard wood, which is a no-no. BTW, it’s important to note here that Zucker was on a muthafukkin’ TEAR here. His energy level was through the roof and he was definitely using it to great impact. Back to the powerplay.
And unlike the last game, the PP wasn’t soft and flaccid. It was FULLY ERECT.
Rodrigues (1) from Matheson (3), Domingue (1) – 10:31 – PPG
Was it a lucky bounce? Of course it was. But you make your own luck in this league, as we all know. 3-1 good guys and looking good doing it.
Some back and forth for a bit, but the home team was owning the chances and playing the right way. Lots of good opportunities and good decisions.
Playing the Right Way leads to Good Things, almost always. And this was one of those times.
Rodrigues (2) from Boyle (1) – 15:15 – EV
First and foremost, how’s about that hit from Boyle to separate puck from dumbass? Faptastic and exceedingly rare for a Penguin.
But DAYUM that rip from ERod. When he’s on target, he really can rip em. You love to see it.
A few more minutes would happen before the horn, but the boys in black had this one solidly in the black through 20.
After owning the first and taking advantage of their opportunities, all the boys needed to do was Keep It Up. After all, they chased the Vezina trophy favorite after 20 minutes in his 3rd playoff game. No problem, right? Uh…
I don’t know what you call it, but in my book it’s called they just stopped trying. Instead of a tenacious forecheck, like they had in the first, the boys just started sitting back and waiting for something to happen. Do that long enough, and something will happen. Specifically, if Fukkin’ Frank is on the ice, something BAD will happen.
What is it with nobodies and scoring against the Pen? Makes no sense. 4-2, and not time to panic, but dammit.
A minute later and suddenly…
Was it a ‘goal-scorers’ goal? Yes, even if that saying is stupid. After all, every goal is scored… by a goal scorer. Yet somehow we all know what that means and it applies. Artimmy has slowed a bit but that bastard can still pick corners. And suddenly it’s Pucker City population Every Damn Pens Fan.
After that, things would chill a bit. The Pens would play less stupid for a good while. Shit, ERod would even draw a penalty. And considering the PP was 2/2 to this point, things were looking up…
On the powerplay, Tanger would get the puck and… well, he would do a thing. A thing that’s hard to describe, so I’ll just show you the play and let you decide how to describe it.
We all know he’ll call it an ‘unlucky bounce’. But we also know what we just saw. And it wouldn’t matter. Tie game with doubt officially sown.
The last 4 minutes would play out in mostly stunned silence, but nobody else would fuck up or step up so…
All tied up after 40. The momentum swings were massive and obvious to everyone with eyeballs on the game. So what the hell would happen in the last 20? Pucker up, buttercup.
And pucker we did. Neither team really owned play – it became a true test of wills, and both teams were waiting for the other to mess up. To add some spice, Geno decided to trip a guy early on. With the Rags playing as well as they had been on the PP, this seemed like a Bad Plan.
And yet… the PK stood firm, remembering that they were Very Good all year long and this was really still part of that same timeframe so why not Do The Thing? Penalty Kilt.
A few minutes later, Dan Ton would fuck around and find out, slashing serial penalty producer Patty Nomouth for reasons none of us will understand. If you thought your bunghole was tight BEFORE that play, let me assure you you had no idea. Game 3? Tied? Mid-way through the 3rd with everything on the line? I might never poop again at this rate.
And yet the boys managed to do the thing, yet again, and thwart the Rags attack. Back to full strength.
The funny thing about killing penalties is that it actually can be a momentum builder. It’s not usually instantaneous, but more like a snowball rolling down a shallow hill. Getting bigger, reminding you that you DO know how to do good things. That you are capable for scoring when you need to, as demonstrated a mere 30 minutes earlier. You could almost feel the belief building again, which is a feeling all hockey fans know and savor. That slow build up of confidence that is otherwise imperceptible to the five senses.
Louis felt it, as you can see here:
That save reminds me of something… just not sure precisely what…
Anyway, Good Things were building for the home team. You know who else felt that feeling? Our old friend Danton…
Heinen (1) unassisted – 11:02 – EV
That may have been OFFICALLY unassisted, but Geno was there doing the dirty work to make that play happen. And Heinen made the most of his opportunity.
The air seemed to be let back into peoples lungs at that point. Or maybe it was the bourbon. Either way, the tension ratcheted down at least a notch or two, which was great.
Except that down it was a one goal lead with 9 minutes left. Ugh.
Somehow, the Pens would remain calm and not do anything stupid. Get the puck deep, don’t over-pinch, clear when you had to, make a save on an outside shot… just generally play sound hocky.
With about 2:30 to go, GalAnt would pull his goalie. Stupidly, it turns out, because Jake was on the ice…
Guentzel (4) from Crosby (4), Matheson (4) – 17:46 – ENG
A minute or so later, the icing would offically be put on the cake with the beloved Chili Goal from BJC
Carter (2) from Crosby (5), McGinn (1) – 18:53 – ENG
Did… did you see that pass from Sid? I mean, did you REALLY see it? I think you should click the link and watch it again. Maybe two more times, just to be sure of what you saw. Remember – he’s ‘old’ now, at least for hockey. Holy shit that guy.
- Great first, garbage 2nd, great 3rd. OK.
- Secondary Scoring. Finally.
- Letang… please don’t. Please
- Sid has no quit.
- LOUIE-LOU-EYE… Oh baby.
Kids, the boys are up 2-1. They now have 4 chances to win 2 games, with 2 of those chances at home. After a season like they had, with an ‘aging core’ and all of the general insanity, if you’ve had told me this 3 months ago I would have been thrilled. Turns out, I’m still thrilled.