What a game! After scoring on their first shot of the game, the Penguins lost the lead on 2 separate occasions, and won it on a thrilling goal by Sid the Kid. The 4-3 win knots the series up at 1-1, with game 3 starting today at 6 P.M., a mere 24 hours after game 2 concluded. Gary “Senators-Killer” Roberts exerted his influence on the game, much like Ottawa did in game 1. With a goal and an assist, Roberts kept up his stellar success in Ottawa. Crosby’s goal midway through the 3rd period put the Pens up for good, and the passing was much crisper than game 1. Recchi took a great pass from Malkin (I don’t think Recchi took one pass cleanly in game 1), and fed Crosby a midair pass, which the Kid redirected off of the shaft of his stick and past Emery.
Yeah, my predicted score of 3-1 Pens was wrong, but the ultimate outcome was right. Fleury seemed sharper than he was in game 1, and the team was able to get the crowd out of the flow early on with a power play goal by Ryan Whitney (After a -2 rating in game 1, he needed a big game). I was trying to take a picture of the tv while the Pens were on the PP, and Whitney scored right as I took the picture. Perfect timing!
This is a short analysis of the game, because its always easier to overanalyze a bad loss rather than comment on a well-played game. Also, with game 3 starting in a mere 4 hours (less, actually), I’m preparing myself for the first playoff game at the Igloo since 2001, when the Pens lost to the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The win was a huge confidence booster. After the debacle that was game 1, there was a cloud of despair over Pittsburgh regarding the rest of Sid and Company’s playoff-opening round. The win, coupled with a charged up Igloo crowd only 24 hours later, can lead to good things. If the Pens can ride this momentum swing in Pittsburgh, then there is no way the Pens go to sleep tonight down 2-1 in the series. I’m not big on predictions, because anything can happen in a game to change the outcome (see Daniel Alfredsson’s breaking stick leading to Crosby’s go-ahead goal). However, I gave a half-assed prediction before the game yesterday, so I’ll pick the Pens to win 4-2 today (in honor of Jack Robinson Day in the MLB. Honestly, its going to be weird to hear “playing infield for the Dodgers, wearing number 42, its…Jeff Kent!).
The crowd’s involvement was huge in games 1 and 2, so if the Pens score early, I’ll be looking for the Igloo crowd to play a significant role as well. Here we go Pens, and despite the shoddy weather (its currently cold and raining…again), “It’s a great day for hockey! (Hope you’re proud, Badger Bob!)