After being shutout at home on Saturday Night, the Penguins traveled to the Retirement Sunshine State to take on the Florida Panthers. Florida’s biggest move in the offseason was signing Sergei Boobrovski to replace James Reimer and Roberto Luongo. Besides players, they also picked up Joel Quenville in the offseason. Florida has been pretty average this year sitting at 3-2-3.
The Penguins rolled into the game looking to bank some points with the threat of having to play the Lightning on Wednesday night. They rolled out their injured lineup, but not their most injured lineup. A slightly less injured lineup than last game. Dumoulin still out, McCann in.
JJ-Gudbranson 3rd defensive pairing. Woof.
Did anyone know that we’re injured?
Those are some league leading numbers
Is it too early to award the Calder?
This was not a period of hockey to watch if you enjoy smooth hockey with perfect passes and beautiful plays. This was the hockey to watch if you want the game to be over as quickly as possible. There were very few shots, no penalties and not many whistles. The two teams were celebrating Halloween early giving the puck away to the other team every chance they could. Pittsburgh got an early chance with a 2 on 1 for ZAR and Blueger; no dice. Florida then got their own odd man chance and managed to hit a crossbar. JJ-Gudbranson were both auditioning for a position in the press box.
The only major chance for the rest of the period was Simon set up by Crosby from behind the net. He had a wide-open net and managed to shoot the puck directly into a stick in the only covered portion of the net.
Second verse, same as the first. The first half of this period was identical to the first period. Before you knew it, we were already 10 minutes through the period.
Some guy named Acciari crossed the blue line surrounded by Penguins and threw one on net from way out. Murray blocked it up in the air then crouched down perfectly so it could go in off his back. 10/10 for style. 0/10 for goaltending.
63 Seconds later, the penguins got another 2 on 1. Blueger curled and dragged past the defenseman, fed Guentzel, who passed it back over for an easy tap in. We’re all back even.
Teddy Blueger (2) Assisted by Guentzel (4) and Simon (4) @ 11:57
After this disruption from our previously scheduled quick hockey game, we went back to trading turnovers and odd man rushes. Murray made some big saves to keep this game tied.
Late in the period, a pass from Letang went up the wall in the zone, it was tapped to Blueger who overskated and before you know it the Penguins were trapped with a 3 on Letang situation. Before you know it, the puck was in the back of the net.
Florida didn’t post any gif of the goal, so you’ll just have to imagine it from my crystal-clear description.
Florida got a power play with 30 seconds left, but nothing would happen.
After the Penguins killed the penalty, the game settled back into not much happening. 11 minutes into the period, the Penguins got their first powerplay of the game. The first line killed the first minute of the powerplay chasing the puck down the ice. After they changed, the second powerplay managed to get set up. ZAR had a wide-open net and hit the post. Almost as soon as the penalty ended, Florida got the puck and Huberdeau deflected it between Murrays legs for a 3-1 lead.
Following this goal, the Penguins got another odd man rush from a turnover (so many turnovers). Guentzel fed Hornqvist and he forced the puck over Boobrovi’s pad. 3-2 bad guys.
Patrick Hornqvist (5) Assisted by Guentzel (5) and Crosby (9) @ 14:25
After this goal the Penguins were buzzing. They got a few good chances but nothing would go. With 2 minutes remaining, they pulled Murray. 1 minute later, Florida scored on the Empty Net. With the Penguins fans filing out of the building, there was no one left to watch as the clock ticked down to 0.
- Crosby’s line is carrying our team. I’m not even sure if the other lines were playing tonight.
- JJ-Gudbranson = Double Woof
- The ice looked terrible. I’m not blaming the loss on that, but it definitely contributed to the ungodly number of turnovers for both teams.
- The Penguins played a team with a similar style to their own and got beaten. It was two teams waiting for the other to make mistakes, and they sure did. Florida just managed to capitalize more.
- We’re going to need to find some goals for tomorrow night. 2 goals in 2 games isn’t gonna cut it against Tampa. Especially when they look as tired as they did in the later stages of this game.
Game 11: Invading the Bay
Tampa rolled through the regular season last year, making minced meat of just about everyone unfortunate to get in their path. Their reward for their efforts? A historic sweep at the hands of the *checks note and giggles* Columbus Blue Jackets.
A few changes to the Tampa roster were inevitable. They were going to be bringing back Stamkos and Kucherov, which helped, and Hedman continues to be the stud on the blueline. But there were a lot of free agents to deal with and only so much money. So how do they look now?
On the blueline, Anton Stralman, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are all gone. Up front, Adam Erne left, and J.T. Miller was a Cap casualty. In other words, they’re really not in too bad of shape.
The good news: the Lightning are coming off a 6-2 shellacking against the Avalanche. That same Avalanche team that the Pens played against so well and whupped up on last week.
The bad news: Pens are coming off a tough loss to Florida yesterday and are tired. And injured. There were rumblings that Bjugstad could get back in the lineup, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Jarry will be in net. Sid will be pissed off. Jack Johnson will continue to suck.