Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pens win in a Fleury, series 3-1


The Pens beat the Flyers 3-1 last night to take their series lead up three games to one and will head back home for game 5.

Wooooooo! How does it feel to be up three games to one in the series? How about beating the Flyers in Philly and quieting the crowd? How about going home to play game 5 for a chance to win the series in five games? Good, huh?

The Pens didn't play their best game last night, but you wouldn't know it looking at the score. Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show by making 45 saves and holding the Flyers to one goal up until there was only a little over eight minutes left in the game. And those eight minutes were pretty crazy. Fleury stood tall against the Flyers and made save after save, many of them highlight reel worthy. Can you think of a better played game by Fleury other than game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals last year? We can't. He was seeing everything and making every save. How did he make that save when the puck came off of the boards and up next to his right post without even looking? Nuts. If he can continue to play like this, it will be awfully hard for the Pens to lose whether they play their best game or not. You heard that the Flyers thought they had Fleury figured out, right? Yeah, it sure looked like it.

The Pens may not have dictated the play but with Fleury's help, they did what they needed to do to get things done. The Pens gave the Flyers eight power play chances in which they couldn't even score once. That's not to say that they didn't any get shots off, but once again, Fleury stole the show and was the Pens' best penalty killer. But the Flyers figured MAF out. Yeah.

The first period was scoreless with both teams having a couple power play chances. The Pens also had a couple almost goals, including Sykora's open net miss. We weren't the only ones that screamed at the TV on that one were we? Sykora just can't get a goal. If he is hurt, it's obviously showing. But that miss! Ahhh! He must have bad luck because we don't know how that doesn't go in. We also saw some line switch-ups including seeing Malkin on Crosby's wing.  Dan wanting to be aggressive and get the first goal in Philly maybe? Nah.

The second period would see some scoring. The Flyers had a power play early in which the Pens would kill. At the end of that power play, the Flyers would turn the puck over and Chris Kunitz would get the puck to Matt Cooke who had just come out of the box. Cooke would get it back to Kunitz who then make a cross-ice pass to Sidney Crosby who was charging to the net. Crosby would fall going to goal but still managed to get his stick on the puck that would go into the net, while he followed. The goal was reviewed but held up. The Flyers are probably still complaining.


The second goal came not long after the first when Tyler Kennedy scored his second goal of the playoffs on a nice backhander. Cooke would get his second assist on as many goals for his first two points of the playoffs.


The Flyers would finally get a goal after all those shots with a little over eight minutes left in the period from Daniel Carcillo. The rest of the period would be a wild one with the Flyers trying to tie the game and the Pens trying to hold on to their lead. As one would expect, the Flyers would pull Biron for the extra attacker and with 51.3 seconds left in the game, Craig Adams would get possession of the puck and pass it to Talbot who would gain the red line and shoot it down the ice and into the empty net. Someone can score an empty netter?! Who would have thought! Pens seal the win 3-1 to put them up in the series 3-1.

- Tyler Kennedy has been really impressive. He's scored two goals, he's great at working the boards, and he's all over the ice. He may be kind of small, but he plays big and he's not afraid of anyone.

- It's so nice to see Jordan Staal playing so well. He really blossomed after Dan Bylsma took over and he's just gotten better and better. He may not always show up on the score sheet but he's definitely showing up on the ice. His defensive skills are awesome.

- Marc-Andre Fleury obviously didn't like it that the Flyers thought they had him figured out because after a lackluster game 3, he came out last night with a mission and he accomplished it. He by far was the best player on the ice last night and just stole the game for the Pens.

- Sidney Crosby makes big time plays in big time games, period. He really steps up to the task. Those Crosby sucks chants probably didn't hurt his motivation either.

- Geno had his first game of the playoffs without recording a point. He still leads the playoffs with seven, with Crosby right behind him now at six. We really don't think he played badly at all, just didn't get on the board last night. It happens. Although if Petr Sykora would start producing, it would help Malkin out a lot.

The Pens can clinch the series Thursday night at home. Not only would we rather the Pens clinch as soon as possible, but let's save ourselves from another game on NBC while we're at it. Game 6, if necessary, will be Sunday at 3 p.m. on NBC. Game 5 is Thursday night at 7 p.m. on FSN.

Go Pens!


Pippi said...

I really hope Sykora can magically turn on next game. His missing of a sure goal really made me scratch my head. Being out shot that much is not a good thing. We simply cannot just count on Flower to carry the team all the way. The defense must play better! I again prayed hard last night and actually had to step away from TV for the final 5 minutes before the empty-netter (too intense for me) and rewind my DVR to watch the replay. I love that Pens call a white-out for next game. Let's finish it on Thursday at home! I pray for not only a win, but more importantly a dominant one in Pens style so we will not have many questions going into the next round.

Faceoffs and First Downs said...

Sounds good over here! Tonight's game should be quite the nerve racker. Go Pens!