Just hours after shipping out Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy, and a couple of picks to bring in Frank Corrado and Mark Streit to get that defensive help they need, the Penguins surrendered 3+ goals in back to back regulation losses.
But the 4-1 scoreline is deceptive. Last night was not a 4-1 loss for the Penguins. They controlled most of the play and the puck (64-51 shot attempts in favor of the Pens), particularly from the second period on. But Scott Darling, who sounds like he should be a Rocky and Bullwinkle villain, was far and away the difference maker.
But without Letang, Maatta, Daley, or Murray in net, losses against top Western Conference teams are just fake news anyway.
First period felt like it was all Blackhawks with the Pens looking exactly like a team that played and traveled the night before. Biggest highlight came when Grown Ass Man Ron Hainsey sent Rasmussen into orbit and Ian Cole pulled him into the bench.
Perguins started coming to life late on after killing off a Schultz tripping penalty, which included a classic Fleury flash of the leather.
Yeah, you read that right. Fleury wasn’t traded at the deadline. Maybe now that that isn’t hanging over his head, he’ll stop being fucking terrible.
As much as the first period was as boring as Jonathan Toews’ personality, the second frame opened up with more good looks than an SI Swimsuit edition. Fleury in particular was forced to make a couple big saves early. Crosby took an obscene pass and rang a shot off the pipe. Perhaps the Hawks best chance of the first half that didn’t go in came from Hartman undressing the ever-loving hell out of Cole, but getting stoned by MAF.
Perhaps the Pens best chance of the first half that didn’t go in came from Kessel picking Kane’s pocket and setting up Sid for 2 more Darling Denials™.
That is until the 8:49 mark when the Hawks would open the scoring. Panarin-Schmaltz-Kane hemmed the Pens in following a draw in the Pens end. When they were finally able to get the puck out, Schmaltz chased down a tired Guentzel and stole the puck off of him, sending Kane and Panarin in on a 2v1. That shitbird isn’t missing there. 1-0
Fleury’s strong game continued with about 5 minutes left to play, making a trio of saves that kept the Pens afloat enough to even the score two minutes later.
Two minutes later, the Pens would get the equalizer. Kuhnhackl and Rowney with the pressure to force a poor Chicago outlet up the wall. Hainsey jumping in and drawing two Hawks to him like he was Sidney goddamn Crosby opened up the lane to feed Wilson. Backhand-shelf for Scotty Don’t. 1-1
As it looked like we’d have a 1-1 game heading into the third, the Hawks would score the eventual game winner with 23 seconds left. Tough clearance from Cole allowed Panik and Keith to double team Hornqvist like he was on the casting cough. Panik At The Disco with a goal of the year candidate with that filthy move to walk Malkin and bury it. 2-1
Darling was forced to make 17 saves in the 2nd period, but it was his 13 saves in the 3rd that earned him his paycheck. All signs point to Scott Darling moving on to be a starting goaltender somewhere in this league next year, not unlike the path Cam Talbot took. And holy hell, did he put on a damn show in the 3rd and shut it all down.
And with 3:08 left, Shithead McScumbag would deal the Pens the dagger blow. Panarin with the plays to make it all happen, jacking Malkin of the puck and stealing Ruhwedel’s lunch. Schmaltz turned Cole inside out on the 2v1 to put it on a platinum platter for 88. 3-1
That fuckface added an empty netter to secure his hat trick because fuck Patrick Kane with a soldering iron.
- Probably one of the best games Fleury has played this season.
- Blame me for this. I benched Darling in one of my leagues expecting the Pens to score about 18 goals after the Dallas loss.
- Pens didn’t get a single PP on the night. K.
- Did Toews play?
- Ron Hainsey had himself a nice game. Played the third most minutes of all Penguins D and was a positive possession guy.
- Won’t complain about Derrick Pouliot’s 13:54 of ice time. 64.29% shot attempt share at 5v5.
Pens head back home to host the Bolts Friday night before hosting the Sabres Sunday evening. Do it.