Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pens take 2-0 series lead

(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

Woooooooooooooo! What a game last night huh? Just when you think the Flyers might have gotten a win, the Pens fight back and win 3-2 in overtime. This was a great game to watch with tons of action with not a lot of stoppages. The Flyers obviously listened to their coach about being more disciplined, well at least until the end of the game, because there were no where near the amount of penalties as in game 1.

The Pens came out flying to start the game and got plenty of good chances in the Flyers' zone. They were swarming and it just felt like it was only a matter of time before they buried one in the back of the net. The game went over seven minutes without a whistle, which was plenty entertaining and all Penguins. Malkin would hit a post and there were hits all over the ice. It seemed like every Pens player on the ice were making big hits, one after the other. Who said the Pens can't be physical? The Pens had a power play but wouldn't cash in. Not long after that, the Flyers got a power play and it wouldn't take long before Scott Hartnell would deflect a shot behind Fleury, Pens down 0-1. Of all people to score. Hartnell would then pull something else on the ice. Sykora had a nice chance and Hartnell couldn't get back to defend so he threw his stick at Sykora to impede his shot. No call. WTF?! How could you not see that? One of several bad non-calls last night. Before the period was over, Marc-Andre Fleury would show why he's so important. He made two huge saves in a span of a few seconds. It's nice to have a good goalie, isn't it?

In the second period the play wasn't quite as fast, but the Pens had some chances early. You know the types, the ones that make you go AHHHHHH! The ones that just don't go in. Frustrating. Fleury would make a few more nice saves and there would be some 4-on-4 hockey before Bill Guerin would put one home to tie the game. Yeah! Dan Bylsma had just put Crosby and Malkin out on the ice together and they would each get an assist on Guerin's goal. Score is tied 1-1 after the second.

Just a few minutes into the third some guy named Powe would get a goal for the Flyers to put them up 2-1. We don't even remember ever hearing this guy's name and then after that goal, we heard it all night. We swear he was on the ice the entire rest of the game. With a little more than eight minutes left in the game, Marc-Andre Fleury would make a toe save that would rival his amazing save in game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals last year. Amazing. What do those people who think Fleury sucks have to say about that one? Nothing? Didn't think so. He gave a little jump after the save and was grinning ear to ear. Nice save Flower. Instead of that sure goal for Carter to put the Flyers up 3-1 and probably give them the win, the game was still in reach.

(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

Turns out that save would mean something. At 4:04 left in the game the Pens would get a power play. Now was the time to tie the game, the power play had to be clicking on all cylinders. And then it came. A pretty amazing goal considering what happened. Kris Letang took a slap shot that seemed to hit more than one person on it's way into the net. The last person it hit was Evgeni Malkin who got the goal to tie the game at 2.

(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

The Pens were flying after that and obviously wanted to end this game in regulation. But it wouldn't happen, the game was destined for overtime. And now, it's play until someone wins, no matter how long or how many overtimes it takes. Hold on. This is when you find yourself holding your breathe and feel your heart skip a beat every time a puck goes near the net. There was quite a bit of that on both ends of the ice. With 4:34 left in the first OT period, the Pens would take a penalty. On that penalty kill the Pens would take the puck down ice shorthanded and Biron would come out to challenge. There's an empty net and AHHHHHHHH! the Pens couldn't put it home. Biron ended up out at the blue line. WTF?! We didn't get to see that unfortunately but all we have to say is WTF?!

With 3:02 left in the OT the Flyers would take a penalty to create a short 4-on-4 before the Flyers would take another penalty at 2:35 to give the Pens 1:29 of 5-on-3 play. Thank you Flyers! With 1:31 left in the OT, Bill Guerin would squeeze a puck in between the post and Biron's blocker for the win. How exactly did he do that? He sized things up and what a perfect shot to make it through. Pens win 3-2!

- What was up with the Refs tonight? The game definitely was not called as tight as game 1 was and there were a lot of missed penalties we thought. We know, can't blame anything on the Refs and we're not, but it is a little ridiculous.

- The Pens were hitting anything that moved last night, especially early in the game. If the Flyers want to play a physical game, the Pens will play a physical game. And win.

- All we kept thinking later in the game was that Marc-Andre Fleury did not deserve to lose. He was playing great and made a highlight reel's worth of saves, especially the toe save a la game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals last year. He can take this team far.

- Mike Tomlin had some nice seats on the glass last night with his two sons. Tomlin had on a white Sidney Crosby jersey and his sons both had white jerseys as well although we didn't see which player. It's nice to see him supporting the Pens as the Pens supported the Steelers this past season.

- Speaking of supporting, FSN showed Dan Bylsma, Tom Fitzgerald, Kris Letang, Phillippe Boucher, and Ray Shero taking in a Pirates game Thursday on their day off. Again, nice to see the teams supporting each other.

- It feels great having a 2-0 lead on the series, especially with going into Philly on Sunday afternoon. The Flyers wanted a split and they almost got it. The momentum going into Sunday's game 3 is on the Penguins side, right where it needs to be going into a place like Philly. We can't wait to hear the Crosby sucks chants and all the Cindy Crysby and diver signs. We all know what happens when Philly is at it's best (worst). You get the best out of Sidney Crosby. Will they ever learn?

Go Pens!

P.S. Some members of the team have great beards started like Bill Guerin, Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, and even the owner himself Mario Lemieux. We hope to find some pictures soon so we can keep up with the progress. ;)

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