Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pens make series 2-1

(Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

Wooooooo! What a game. The Pens by far outplayed the Caps but once again, Varlamov kept them in it. How many chances were the Pens going to miss out on? So frustrating! It was nice to see them dominating play, but at the end of the day all that matters is the score. Thank goodness Kris Letang scored the goal in OT. We don't know how much more we could take. Our hearts were pounding out of our chests. The Pens just did not deserve to lose that game. Especially when the Caps' first goal was what it was. Eh, we don't even want to talk about it.

But we kinda will anyway. To start the game, less than two minutes in, the puck took a weird bounce off the boards behind Marc-Andre Fleury and came out right to Ovie. 1-0 just like that. What a mood killer. Right away it seemed like it might not be the Pens night once again.

Later in the first the Pens started putting the heat on Varlamov and steadily taking over the game. Crosby had a nice chance at the end of the period but then some idiot got scared and decided to dislodge the net on purpose by pushing it. Uh, hello?! The Pens would get a power play and this is where we started writing CHANCES! AHHH! in our notes and that would continue throughout the night.

The power play transferred into the second period and the Pens had some good chances but they just couldn't get one behind Varlamov. But with 10:31 left in the second period, the Pens would finally get a goal. Talbot created a nice chance and passed the puck to Feds on a 2-on-1. Feds tried to pass the puck to Talbot but a defenseman blocked that with his stick. The puck bounced off his stick and right to Feds who put it behind Varlamov. Talbot and Letang with the assists. The Pens would get a couple more power plays but would fail to score.

The Pens had another power play that carried over into the third but they would fail to capitalize once again. Although they were still putting the pressure on Varlamov. We would once again be writing CHANCES! AHHH! The Pens got a power play with 5:50 left in the third and guess would step up? GENO! He was doing things all night but none better than his power play goal. Crosby and Gonchar got the assists but Bill Guerin deserved one for screening Varlamov on that shot. Pens up 2-1 and all they have to do is play smart and keep the Caps off the board. Not so fast. Versus announcers made us believe the Pens were getting yet another power play, which was awesome because with 2:28 left, that would just about run down the clock. Here's the not so fast part, Backstrom would bounce a puck off of Fleury's pad and into the goal. Tie game. Ah crap.

Overtime is where you start to hold your breath. Sudden death. Next goal wins. The Pens would get a power play early on in the first overtime period because of a delay of game. Once again, they had CHANCES! but nothing was going in. By now we're freaking out. We can't handle all this. Way too nerve wracking. With 8:37 left in the first overtime period, Kris Letang would hit a slapper that would bounce off a Caps defensemen and behind Varlamov. Game. Wooooooo!

- The Pens out-shot the Caps 42-23. Hard to believe the game was as close as it was with stats like that. Maybe the Pens are starting to get to Varlamov. With that many shots, game after game, they should.

- Kris Letang didn't look good all night. Every time he got the puck he was fumbling with it, fanning on shots, and not handling passes. And then he comes up with the game winner. Amazing. We forgive whatever he did the rest of the game.

- The Pens truly outplayed the Caps. They were dominate all over the ice. This game should have been a blowout, but their goalie kept them in it. Hopefully the Pens can keep getting a lot of shots on him and maybe he'll break.

- Geno had an amazing game. We don't think he's been horrible like some other people, but he obviously was tired of hearing that he sucked because he sure stepped up. Mom and Dad Malkin sure were happy for their son. And Malkin owning Ovie during the game: priceless.

- Speaking of Ovie, this video is a must watch. We're sure there's better video but for now this is what we have. Ovie complaining during his press conference and acting like a big, whiny baby. Pathetic. Have you ever seen Sidney Crosby act like that? No. Get over it Ovie, you were outplayed. Which also brings to light that he was pretty quiet last night. Rob Scuderi did a good job defending him.

- Brooks Orpik sending Ovie flying?! AWESOME! Ovie goes for the hit and Orpik shows him who's boss. Not much better than that.

- Max Talbot brought some life to Geno's line. We liked it.

- What a nerve-wracking game. But we'll take those the rest of the series if it means the Pens win.

Last night's game was really promising. The Pens dominated even if the score doesn't make it seem like it. If the Pens can keep getting a lot of shots on Varlamov, a couple are bound to go in. If the Pens only put a couple of those chances behind him, this game would have been over. The momentum has shifted and the Pens need to keep it on their side.

Go Pens!

And Remember:

We have some Versus hockey stuff to give away! We'll randomly select a few winners to receive a Versus hockey merchandise pack. If you're interested in entering please send us an e-mail at faceoffsandfirstdowns @ with GIVEAWAY as the subject. Please include your full name and address where it can be sent. We'll pick the winners Wednesday at NOON so please send your e-mail before then. Thanks!

EDIT: We will take entries until THURSDAY at NOON. Also, if you don't want to send your full address to enter, send us an e-mail and if you are chosen we will contact you to get your address.

Also our 350th post!

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