RECAP 58: Under Fire. Pens Engulfed By Flames, Lose 5-4

RECAP 58: Under Fire. Pens Engulfed By Flames, Lose 5-4

Penguins

RECAP 58: Under Fire. Pens Engulfed By Flames, Lose 5-4

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This sport is the dumbest sport to ever exist and anyone that tells you otherwise eats rocks and has worms in their brains.

The Penguins controlled the puck for most of the game at 5v5, had 27 scoring chances with 11 coming from high danger areas, generated 9 high danger shots against Mike Smith on top of 4 rebound put-backs.

Despite all of that, they got outscored 4-1 at 5v5 and 5-4 in total.

All 5 of those goals against were bizarre as shit, having gone off a Penguin on at least 4 of them immediately prior to going in.  Because of this, the Penguins find themselves under fire and could find themselves outside of the 8 playoff spots come tomorrow’s game against the Rangers.

Such a dump, stupid, idiot sport.


LINEUP

With Malkin returning from his one game suspension, he got the honor of recentering the KGB line as he did in his return from injury against the Flyera, knocking Tanner Pearson out of the lineup.

After a decent run of games, Juuso Riikola got bumped from the lineup as well, joining Pearson and Simon upstairs as Schultz returned from his broken leg that sidelined him for 53 games, only to get shackled to John Johnson.  Murr vs. The World Mike Smith between the pipes.

First period

Pretty even start to the game as both teams traded off some looks.  First shot of the game came form Justin Schultz, looking smooth as hell on his first shift that even that hillbilly loser that only drinks Keystone Light would’ve been impressed.

At the other end of the ice, Calgary’s best chance came off a high tip that Murray tracked extremely well.

But just as you started to see that GIF show up on your Twitter feed, the Pens went down a goal because this sport is as dumb as it is stupid.

CGY – 7:06 – Mangiapane; A: Kylington, Ryan  1-0

Coming from a clean, controlled breakout, Calgary’s two defensemen bobbed and weaved to burrow through the neutral zone, get into the offensive zone, and get a bounce to get it in deep.

From there, the bounces continued to just go their way.  Letang couldn’t get it high enough up the wall, creating a board battle on the half wall that neither Malkin nor Bjugstad had a chance to win.  As Derek Ryan sucked them in, it opened up the space to work it to the point to Kylington for the shot that eventually went in off Mangiapane’s skate and through Murray.

This goal sucks so much ass and makes no sense but also Mangiapane without a doubt is the name of some stupid ass Italian dish so something like this had to be expected.  This is literally getting scored on by a sentient plate of spaghetti.  Watch below.

The point shot gets deflected off Bjugstad’s stick up high, bounces over and maybe off Letang’s stick, off Mangiapane’s skate, rocketed up off the ice and off Murray’s stick as he was tracking it, between his legs, off his left leg and trickled in.

About 8 minutes later, as the Penguins started to really get a foothold in the game, Marcus Pettersson delivered a monster hit on Austin Czarnik, stapling him to the boards after the Flame was caught with his head down.  Pettersson proceeded to get jumped by Sam Bennett for the clean hit, getting an extra roughing penalty for being a pissbaby in the process and giving the Pens their first powerplay of the day.

PIT – 17:41 – Guentzel; A: Schultz, Bjugstad  1-1

The Flames would kill off the penalty, but only just.  With the second unit taking the ice at the end of the PP following a clearance, Nick Bjugstad took the puck through the neutral zone and hit the line with speed, catching Mark Giordano on his heels.

He circled the wagons right as Tkachuk was released from the box from serving Bennett’s extra minor, feeding Jultz up high.  RTJ saw a lane and fired it towards the net, looking for that tip drill the whole way.

With Money Bag doing his thing in front of the net, you just knew he was getting his stick on it to send us into the intermission at 1 apiece.

First half of the period was all Calgary, but the back end was all Pens.  Shots for the period were 13-9 in favor of Pittsburgh, as were 5v5 shot attempts (20-17), shots (11-9), scoring chances (11-9), and high danger chances (5-4).

second period

CGY – 1:39 – Frolik; A: Tkachuk, Andersson  2-1

It took Calgary just 99 seconds into the period to get back on the scoresheet.  The weird goals against Murray officially became a trend, too.

Here, the Penguins enjoyed some zone time, only to have their rim around to the near side picked off and turned up ice by Calgary.  Johnson is the lone man back with support tracking the 3 Flames forwards.  Johnson is completely incapable of matching speed here, getting turned around on Frolik’s neutral zone pass and allowing Tkachuk to hit the offensive zone with speed and a clear lane straight to Murray.  This is not an example of “being hard to play against.”

Tkachuk misses, but the Penguins are all out of sorts. Phil! is stuck trying to handle the shot as it caroms off the back wall, but is unable to keep it from reaching Rasmus Andersson’s stick in behind him.  Andersson ships it back behind the net for Backlund to circle out, go back to the point, and eventually have it come back to Andersson at the near point.

The Penguins are still caught out and chasing, giving Andersson a clean lane to get the shot in on net.  Murr makes the save, but the rebound comes right out to Frolik to bury it.

Leave it to some guy with frosted tips to miss the entire goddamn point:

Watch here as the shot comes in from Andersson.  Tkachuk and Johnson are battling in front of Murr and end up screening him on the shot.  Andersson’s shot actually changes its path too.  You can see it go off Johnson and drop right before it hits Murr, making it increasingly more difficult to deal with.  A shot you can’t see changing directions? Yeah, he isn’t controlling that shit.  Stupid, stupid sport.

CGY – 3:12 – Czarnik; A: Ryan  3-1

And under 2 minutes later, the Flames capitalized again off a Penguins mishap.  This time, after the Pens controlled the puck in the offensive zone for a bit, Calgary panicked cleared it, only for Letang to pick off a lazy pass in the neutral zone and turn it back north.

Here’s where the wheels fell off.  Cullen takes the pass, but has his head down, turning it over to Derek Ryan to hit the zone with speed and chip a pass over to his left to Czarnik to beat Murr.

Again, on the surface, you could maybe say Murray needs to make this save.  But look at the puck when Czarnik releases his shot.  It’s bouncing around like a superball on a roller rink and looks like it goes off Dumoulin’s outstreched stick.  In slow motion, you can really see it.  That end-over-end trajectory is insanely hard to deal with and points to it having gone off 8’s blade.

Shortly after this goal, Hamonic found himself in the box for tripping Hornqvist, giving the Pens another PP chance.

PIT – 6:52 – PPG – Crosby; A: Malkin, Phil!  3-2

This time, PP1 made good on their Be Good premise.  They zipped the puck around much better than the first go around.  Malkin played the trigger man, trying to force a couple of shots through that wouldn’t go, only for him to collect the last one and slip it down low to Crosby for yet another batshit insane goal.

Get all the way real with this.  Imagine being this good at literally anything in your life, then imagine being so good at it that you’re able to do that thing on a regular basis on the biggest stage and best league in the world.

Oh, and give Phil! 800 career points on this one too.  Seems good.

CGY – 16:02 – Hamonic; A: Monahan, Lindholm  4-2

But late on in the period, Hamonic’s ugly ass made up for his penalty, doubling the Flames lead once more.

Again, they hit the Pens after the Pens lived in their zone immediately prior to scoring a goal.  Point shot comes in, Smith deals with it and the Flames panic clear.

Gaudreau gets a bounce to go his way in the neutral zone as Dumoulin breaks up the clearance, giving Johnny Hockey the chance to get into the offensive zone and drop it back off to Lindholm hitting the line with speed.  Lindholm dances in here and throws a low percentage shot in at Murr to deal with, only for Monahan to collect the rebound and try to force a pass across to Gaudreau.  It misses everyone, coming out to Hamonic creeping in from the point to throw a wrister in through traffic to beat Murray.

Yet another stupid ass goal here.  Hamonic’s shot doesn’t even look like it’s going to hit the net until Guentzel reaches his stick out, getting a piece of it and deflecting it over Murray’s shoulder and right into the top shelf.  Unreal bad luck here, too.  Great deflection from Money Bag, though.

CGY – 18:31 – PPG – Bennett; A: Ryan, Backlund  5-2

Under a minute after Hamonic increased the lead, ZAR got hit with the lone roughing penalty in a post-whistle scrum, putting the Flames and their dangerous PP on the ice.

The Pens did well to kill off the majority of the penalty, but then didn’t.  Following a clear, Derek Ryan lucked the puck up, slapping it around the boards for a far side pinch.  That one came back around, creating a 3v2 board battle in the Flames favor.  With Andersson pinching down the wall, Calgary was able to come away with it for Bennett to take control.

At the point, Bennett sucks Blueger and McCann in before dumping it back off to Andersson on the near wall.  This catches the Pens with 3 of their 4 penalty killers on the strong side, creating a mini 2v1 down low in behind them.  With Dumo caught up here, Backlund is able to pull out to the extended goal line to take the pass and hit Derek Ryan on the back door as Letang sprawls to take away the passing lane.  Blueger and McCann are scurrying back, Murray reads it, but Ryan puts it right back into the low slot for Bennett to finish off.

Again, what in the holy hell is this bounce here.  Blueger gets a piece of Ryan’s pass, McCann slows it down even more, Dumo is soaring in and gets a piece of Bennett, but with the stupid ass bounce off McCann’s stick, Murr is left for dead on his desperate save attempt.

The period finished up with some bullshit brawl after a faceoff because Hornqvist just went right at Johnny Gaudreau.  Somewhere in the skirmish, Giordano got split open but who the hell even knows.

This sport is weird and dumb.

third period

Because of that mess at the end of the 2nd, the Pens opened the 3rd down a man.  McCann got an extra crosschecking penalty to go along with his fighting major.  Gaudreau and Hornqvist each got roughing minors as well.  They also opened the period with Casey DeSmith in net to try to jumpstart the team.  Cannot under any circumstance blame Murray for any of the 5 goals he gave up, but haters and losers surely will.

Pens killed it off and, about two minutes later, Pettersson drew a hooking penalty after dancing around Hamonic.  Pens needed a goal to get back into it, and they did just that.

PIT – 5:42 – PPG – Malkin; A: Crosby, Phil!  5-3

Much like the first powerplay, PP1 was bad.  PP2 was okay, but the Flames did well to kill most of it off.  HCMS, though, shrewd as he is, got PP1 back out for the last 30 seconds and to make something happen.

Off another dump in, DeSmith set it up for Letang to lug up ice.  With the focus being on trying to slow Letang down, he saw a lane to hit Phil! and let him gain the zone.

Phil! cuts straight to the middle, drawing the attention of all 4 penalty killers, which meant they weren’t focused on other things.  Like Sidney fucking Crosby storming right up the gut to take the feed and quickly hit Malkin on the left side.

One-on-one with the goalie, you can bet on Malkin all day here.  What a passing play.

But then, ZAR found himself back to the box under 3 minutes later for hooking Hamonic in the offensive zone.  Bad penalty to take, but the Pens killed it off and got another powerplay of their own off some great Malkin Moves, drawing a slashing penalty from Bennett with 5:30 left.

Pens needed a goal to get back into it, and they did just that.  Again.

PIT – 14:41 – PPG – Malkin; A: Letang, Crosby  5-4

Off the opening draw to the powerplay, they wasted no time.  Crosby ended up losing the draw, but on the hard clearing attempt, Gene read the hell out of it like he was a professional speed reader, knocking Janikowski on his ass to turn the puck over, combine with Crosby and Letang before bombing one by Smith to pull the Pens within 1.

Elite screen from 72 here.  What a shot.

With about 90 seconds to play, HCMS got DeSmith out of the net for the extra attacker and with Malkin-Crosby-Phil!-Hornqvist-Letang-Schultz on the ice, they had at least 3 quality chances to pot the equalizer.

But they couldn’t find a way behind Smith, with the last chance sending Hornqvist into a frenzy after getting dropped by Hamonic harder than when Harry left Sally.

Game.

NOTES

  • Big Gene is back.  Look out.  Best player on the ice by a wide margin.
  • The powerplay is back, too.  They needed a game like this to start clicking again.  Look out.
  • So great and refreshing to see 4 back on the ice.
  • Expect a big game from Murr tomorrow if he gets the nod.  Can’t lay this one at his feet either way, but he’s due for a big showing after giving up 5 for the first time in nearly 3 weeks.

Pens are back at it in 30 seconds as the Rangers come to town for a 12:30 nationally televised NBC game before going to Jersey Tuesday, hosting San Jose Thursday, and heading to Philly Saturday for the Stadium Series.  LGP.

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