Almost a week after beating the Panthers 4-3 the Penguins beat the Panthers 4-3.
Incredibly enough the Panthers have played in 5 games leading in to this one and had failed to score first in any of them. A little pit of PUCK LUCK PUCK LUCK PUCK LUCK showed up to help the Panthers take their first first period lead of the season when a lob in couldn’t be cleanly played by Murray.
About a minute later Brian Dumoulin would break his stick blocking a shot, and the Panthers wisely attacked his side. Bob Errey tried to say the following pass was due to Dumo not having a stick and that it’s a lot easier to complete a pass without a defenders stick in the lane. I’ll agree with the second part.
Here is Dumoulins positioning progression as the puck went from left point to right point and back to the left point:
Crosby slides over to cover the center, and Dumoulin decides to check out his ass instead of looking to the left at his man. Had he still had a stick or not, the pass was getting through because the man was wide open and Dumoulin was not positioned between man and goal.
The Penguins continued playing the period like a team that had too much fun on the beach the day before, but Murray was able to keep the score at 2-0.
I was interested to see how Sullivan would handle such a sloppy first period. The last time we saw a first period start like that the game ended 10-1, the only difference is Florida doesn’t have Chicago’s fire power so the Pens escaped down by 2. Sullivan made an adjustment towards the end of the first and stuck with it in the second, putting Hagelin and Hornqvist with Crosby and moving Guentzel and Sheary to McKeggs line. Early in the period the Pens got a powerplay and it was just what the doctor ordered.
EVGENI MALKIN (3) Assisted by KESSEL (6) & LETANG (4) @ 2:14 PPG
It’s hard to tell if Kessel was going for Hornqvist or Malkin but the key to this goal is Malkin being in perfect position to clean up a scrap even if Hornqvist directs it on net.
Following the goal Mike Sullivan made a perfect coaching move and put out the 4th line. The 4th line had a perfect 4th line shift that resulted in 3 hits, a turnover, and Mr. Rowneys Neighborhood
CARTER ROWNEY Assisted by KUHNHACKL (3) @ 2:41
Ryan Reaves won’t get an assist but he was the one making the final pursuit and hit to force the turnover behind the net.
With a tie game the Panthers fell back on their heels and the Penguins brought the heat. If not for Roberto Luongo playing like he was 25 again the game could’ve easily been 6-2 at this point. The Panthers eventually had enough of the Penguins pressure and took a penalty, what happened next was an absolute display of dominance by the Penguins top unit.
SIDNEY CROSBY (5) Assisted by MALKIN (7) & KESSEL (7) @ 11:12 PPG
The Penguins kept the puck in the zone the entire time even after multiple clearing attempts by the Panthers. Letang was a master on the blueline, and Evgeni Malkin hooked up with his high-school sweetheart to give the Pens the lead. Malkin and Kessel casually have 7 assists each in 8 games this season.
The Penguins had a lackadaisical approach to the beginning of the third period, you could almost tell they were content with coasting into Tampa Bay. Unfortunately in today’s NHL there aren’t any free passes, even the worst team in the league can score on a team sleeping. The Panthers took advantage of the sleeping Pens and tied it up:
Not a chance in hell Murray can see this puck with that clusterfuck going on in front of him.
Somewhere in this timeframe Conor Sheary innocently ran into Luongo’s blocker hand, pinning it against the post and aggravating a previous injury. Reimer came in an was going out of his way to take shots at Penguin players whenever he could.
The game looked like it was going to go to overtime but the Panthers decided they wanted to end it in regulation so they took another penalty. The first powerplay unit wasn’t as dominant as before and after a clear Sullivan put out the B team.
CONOR SHEARY (4) Assisted by MAATTA (6) & SCHULTZ (2) @ 17:07 PPG
Great vision by Olli and just another perfect pass. Strong power move by Sheary to get to the front of the net also.
Olli Määttä with his 6th straight game collecting a point as he continues his rebirth season. The Pens would hold on and earn their third win in a row
- The Penguins with 48 shots, including 22 in the second period
- Sullivan rolled 4 lines for most of the night, it makes it easier when the team only takes 2 penalties. Greg McKegg recorded a season low and team low in the game of 7:54 TOI. Ryan Reaves was second with a little over 9 minutes which I feel is good usage depending on how he is used tonight.
- Tough to blame Murray for the goals and overall he made the big saves when he needed to, including in the final seconds
- The Pens powerplay is kinda hot right now:
Penguins @ Lightning
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fl. 7:00 PM EST. ATTSN
The Penguins play again tonight in Tampa. Niemi is most likely in net. The rest of the lineup is a game time decision but I doubt there will be any changes. I wouldn’t mind seeing Reaves sit and Wilson get in though since it is a faster team and Sullivan clearly doesn’t like playing Reaves against fast teams.
Tampa Bay has looked like the most threatening team in the East in the first 10 games of the season without a doubt. Kucherov scored in each of the first 7 games of the season and is playing at an unreal level right now. Stamkos (14) and Kucherov (13) are the top two point getters in the league right now, Crosby is leading the Pens with 10. Something that makes the Lightning a threat is their distribution, putting players like Johnson and Brown on the third line is very Sullivanesque in distributing the wealth. As good as the Lightning have been, don’t look now but the Penguins have quietly improved to 5-2-1 after a 1-1-1 start. Glad we didn’t burn it down after the Chicago game.
Niemi in net once again behind a team that played the night before, the Lightning last played on Thursday. The goal for the Penguins should be to scrape out a point, their only 2 regulation losses have been on the back end of back-to-backs so it would be nice to at least get a point out of this one.
DENNIS POTVIN IS A HoF HOCKEYPORN STAR Total Voters: 20
DENNIS POTVIN IS A HoF HOCKEYPORN STAR
Total Voters: 20