Saturday, February 7, 2009

Letang is on fire, Pens win

(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

As we all know, the Pens' playoffs started a while ago and they need to win if they want to get into the playoffs. The teams in front of them also have been winning so there is no room for mistakes at this point. What better team to beat that one who is worse than you. Oh yeah, with the Pens that hasn't been a given. But last night, the Pens stepped up and came out flying after their come-from-behind win over Tampa Bay Wednesday night.

The Pens were on fire right from the start, getting some good scoring chances early on, taking a 3-0 lead in shots. Now this is what we want to see. Fleury was also hot early, making some good saves, including denying Pittsburgh native R.J. Umberger. The Pens were fighting hard in the offensive zone and were finally not hanging out all day in their own zone. Lookin' good!

Later on, the Blue Jackets came on and took over a little bit, surpassing the Pens in shots. With 5:55 left in the first period, Bill Thomas took a slashing penalty and it was time for the Pens to kill it, and they did. Around the 5:18 mark of that power play for the Blue Jackets, Fleury made a huge save, something he did quite a few times last night. We have on idea how he's that flexible, or how he makes those toe saves, but we're sure glad he does. The Pens took another penalty before the period was over, but successfully killed that one as well. Zero to zero going into the second.

With 15:30 left in the second period, Umberger got called for hooking and the Pens were on their first power play of the game. And then the unthinkable happened. They scored on a power play! With 14:27 left in the period, Letang scored the Pens first goal with a lucky shot off the back of Blue Jackets' goalie Dubielewicz and into the net.

Not long after that, with 11:35 left in the second period Petr Sykora put the Pens up 2-0. Letang wasn't done yet, with 4:52 left in the second, Letang took a backhand pass from Sidney Crosby, lined up his shot, and let it go. Goal! His first goal may have been lucky, but this one was anything but. Great shot and it's nice to see him scoring. This was his second two-goal game after his two goals against the Rangers. Pens lead 3-0. And before this period was over, Fleury would make another great toe save to keep the Blue Jackets off the board.

The Pens started off the third by taking a penalty for a puck going over the glass, but they killed it with no problems. They weren't so lucky on the next one. Geno was sent to the box for a high stick, and with only a few seconds left on the power play, Tyutin scored. Pens up 3-1. The Blue Jackets pull their goalie at the end of the game, giving the Pens a chance for an empty netter. Gill got the puck in the Pens zone, passed it to Dupuis, who gave it to Crosby for a long range empty netter to give him a three point night. Pens win 4-1.

- Marc Andre Fleury was excellent in net. He made several huge saves, including a couple of split, toe saves. He definitely robbed the Blue Jackets on several occasions.

- Jordan Staal was looking better on the ice last night. He didn't get any points, but he looked better than he has been.

- Kris Letang has really brought up his game. He looks good on offense and defense.

- We love Luca Caputi. He looks to have real promise.

- Where is Alex Goligoski?

(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

We couldn't resist on this picture. Even though things don't look so good right now for the Pens, they definitely aren't out of the playoffs. And we can always dream, right? How cool would it be to have a Super Bowl Champion and a Stanley Cup Champion in the same year? Very. And we always are willing to take a minute or two to laugh at the Pirates and that sign couldn't be more right. It's unfortunate, because the owners don't really have any interest in trying to make the team any better. Get good players and trade them away. No fun. It's a shame though because baseball games are fun in the summer and PNC Park is so beautiful.

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