Thursday, February 5, 2009

Malk-a-rama, Pens WIN!

(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

Wow, what a game. Or more like what a third period. After the second period, we were ready to get on here and start bitching about how many people on the ice were just plain sucking it up last night. And how the Pens were once again losing to a team that should be below them. We even entertained the idea of not watching past the second period but we just couldn't do it. No matter how the game is, we'll still watch, and we're glad we did last night.


Jeff Reed dropped the ceremonial puck at last night's game and got a nice applause. You could tell Jeff was all into it, which was nice. Another member of the six-time Super Bowl Champion Steelers was also there as Mario Lemieux's guest. You guessed it, Big Ben. He looked like he was enjoying himself. 


The Pens sure didn't come out on fire by any means and it was looking like the Pens we've seen a lot lately. Slow, lazy, and unmotivated. It seemed like another one of those games and after three Tampa Bay goals in two periods and no Pens goals, the slump was looking to continue.

One positive from those first two periods was the four minute power play that Tampa Bay had early in the game that the Pens managed to kill. There were a few good chances for the Pens, especially a five on three in the second period that didn't register too many shots and no goal. For the most part we thought most everyone looked pretty crappy, especially Satan and Whitney. Sidney Crosby doesn't appear to be at full speed either. We're not going to say it's lack of trying or it's a mental issue because Sid has never shown that in the past, so we're guessing the knee isn't 100%.

Then came the third period when Malkin decided that all this bullshit was over and it was time to show up and play. We've thought he's been the most intense and best player on the ice for some time, but tonight he turned it up another notch, which is almost scary. There is no doubt in our mind that Geno is the best player in the world right now. Period.

Malkin started off the scoring soon into the third period with 17:35 left. Geno stole the puck and got the goal to Dupuis who hit the post and the puck just sat in the crease. Geno didn't give up, saw the puck and put it into the net, 3-1 Tampa Bay. With 5:54 left in the third, Mark Eaton decided to get in on the fun and score a goal himself with the assist going to Petr Sykora. The Pens got a good break on that one as a TB player was attempting to send the puck around the boards when it hit the official's skate and gave the Pens a good bounce, 3-2 TB.

With 5:07 left to play in the game, Gary Roberts took a roughing penalty after hitting Matt Cooke in the head. Thank you GR! With 3:29 left, Sykora sends one home to tie the game at three with assists from Geno and Sid. The rest of the period ended to send the game into overtime, but not before Fleury would make a key save to keep it tied.

In overtime, Max Talbot didn't give up on a puck that was underneath Tampa goalie Mike McKenna and poked it into the net. GOAL! Or not. The whistle had blow, so no goal. Back to work. There were some decent chances for each team, but if you thought anyone other than Geno was going to end this game, you'd be nuts. With only a few more seconds left on the clock, Malkin the beast put the puck through McKenna's five hole and game over! Geno's celebration was a good one, and well deserved after all the work he put into that game.

It was nice to see Geno rally the troops like that. How can you not step up when he does? It would be embarrassing not to. Someone needed to light a fire under their ass and it was obviously Geno. He more than deserves that 'A' on his chest. Geno said the team talked after the second period and said, "Let's go, guys, we have to shoot the puck." Smart man he is. Look at what happened when they got pucks to the net, they scored. That's how you win hockey games. Geno also said, "I'm mad because we're losing." It's about time someone gets mad over losing. Let's hope that this time, this is the turnaround that the Pens need to string some wins together and move up in the standings to get a playoff spot. We want to be watching hockey into the summer.

The Pens next game is against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home at 7:30 on Friday. Time for back to back wins! Let's Go Pens!

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