Monday, May 18, 2009

Pens take Game 1


What a way to start a series. A win and a big game from Marc-Andre Fleury. We don't think the Pens played their best game but they held on to beat the Canes 3-2. By no means are we saying they played badly, we just feel they have more in them, especially from the defense.


The Staals would start the game on the ice together. In case you didn't know, they're brothers. Remember that. The game started out fast, no easing into this series. Both teams had chances and both goalies were good, especially MAF. He was sharp early and the game could have easily gone the Canes way by one or two goals without those awesome saves. How he does it we'll never know because we'll never have that flexibility or athleticism.

The Canes would take two penalties back-to-back to give the Pens four minutes with the man-advantage but the Pens wouldn't score. Then it was the Canes turn on the power play. Fleury would make some amazing saves to keep the score 0-0. Miroslav Satan would come out of the box and get the puck on a breakaway leaving him one-on-one against Cam Ward. We kind of held our breath and to be honest, didn't expect a goal there. But wow, what a move by Satan to score on Ward. Pens up 1-0.


Geno decided that one goal wasn't enough for the Pens. A little over a minute later Geno would put a backhander behind Ward to make the game 2-0 just like that. Mom and Dad were proud. Please tell us they'll be in Carolina too.


Marc-Andre Fleury was still on in the second period when he made another big save. But you knew the Canes were going to score eventually and they did with a little under seven minutes left in the second period. Pens up 2-1. But a little over two minutes later and you're getting nervous because it appeared the Canes scored again to tie the game. Not so fast. You can't come to the net and completely run over a defenseman and force him into the goalie and then score. Goaltender interference was called as it should have been. No goal. The Pens would have a power play but no goal.

This is where things get more fuzzy. We take notes or we'd be able to write nothing now because we'd forget pretty much everything. But then we start to suck at taking notes and have to think, WTF happened? Yeah, we know, fail. We should just live blog every game, we might be better at that.

As for some things we remember, Geno had a breakaway with over twelve minutes left in the third and was denied by Cam Ward. Unfortunately this wasn't much of a surprise because Geno, for whatever reason, just isn't good at one-on-one situations. Maybe he should just do the whole slapshot from in close like in last year's playoffs against Philly and work on that over the summer. We still love you Geno.

The Pens would get a power play and keep their streak of scoring a power play goal in six, now seven, straight games alive. Philippe Boucher would score to put the Pens up 3-1. The Pens would give the Canes a power play with a little over two minutes left in the game. Not a good move. This is the Canes team that likes to score big goals late, no need to give them more opportunity. Unfortunately they would get another goal to cut the lead to 3-2 with a little over a minute left. Fortunately, the Pens held the Canes off and won 3-2.

Series 1-0 Pens. Looks good to us.

- The game was pretty entertaining with some fast hockey but we don't think we saw the best out of the Pens. We won't speak on the Canes because we haven't watched them enough, but it's not like they played badly. The Pens defense could be a bit better and we expect the power play to look better as the series goes on. We also felt there were a few lazy, sloppy issues but nothing alarming by any means.

- Baseball is going to drive us absolutely nuts. We had to wait for what felt like forever for the Pirates game to end and then the post-game show to end. It's now midnight and the Pens post-game show just got over. We know people still like the Pirates and we always watch how they're doing, but when there's playoff hockey going on, we don't want to see Pirates baseball. Yeah, they beat the worst team in the NL, congrats. And even better yet, there's baseball Thursday and Saturday for the next games. Yee-haw! Just turn over to FSN after the game for the Pens post-game. Yeah right.

- Were we the only ones who saw a few "dirty" things going on? It wasn't a lot and we suppose it happens all the time but we guess we're in the mindset that we're not playing the Flyers or even the Caps. We should probably feel lucky for that.

- A little bit on the same line, Eric Staal decided to shove Fleury's stick away more than once before they scored their goal. Most people, including Fleury, thought that should have been a penalty. Yeah, we know, they can't catch them all but if it leads to a goal it's a little upsetting.

- We'll have to find the video of Marc-Andre Fleury in the post-game press conference. What an accent first of all, and second he was a little confused on whether to use the word bum when describing that late save on Eric Staal. No guarantees on tonight though, we have to go soon.

- Big Ben was in the house praising Sidney Crosby. Was it just us or did Ben look...a little chubby in the face? Someone been eating too much cheesecake? James Farrior was also in the house but of course Versus wouldn't show you that. Seth said in his live blog that Ben got a nice applause but Farrior received the better of the two. Hmmm? The Steelers, minus James Harrison, will head to the White House on Thursday. If you haven't read his quotes on this, we'll try to find them later. Kind of weird and doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

How are we supposed to wait until Thursday for the next game?! What a cruel schedule.

Go Pens!

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