Pretty big game this afternoon at the paint can which is only partly why I’m already drinking while eating cold, day old, In N Out Burger.
Jeff went through it all in Gameday already but we must start with the obvious.
Pens win today puts them in the driver’s seat for 3rd in the Metro and a showdown with the patron saints of PDO (Islanders). A loss and we could be staring down the Lightning on April 7.
Still no Letang. Still no Malkin.
ZAR and Rooweedle skated as well.
Phil up on the 2nd line.
I have always felt that Sebastian Aho is a made up name. It is the name of a person who hosts one of those Nick. Jr. shows where the guy talks down to the kids the whole time. Do YOU know which of these shapes is round!? Greg McKegg is like his stupid mailman or something.
Puck pops in front and Hornqvist has a chance all alone in front but shoots it right into McElhinney’s shoulder.
10 minutes into the period and not a lot going on. Rob Rossi had some shitty tweet about Phil but I don’t have time for this shit today.
Rust flips it deep from center and Johnson chases it down behind the Canes net. A. Johnson works it to Cullen who gets it in front to Wilson who tomahawks at McElhinney 4-5 times and somehow gets the puck in the net. 1-0 PENS.
Hold up though. The Canes challenge for goalie interference because that was the most garbage goal ever. Good goal though.
Pens flying off the faceoff and Sid almost gets another. Canes answer though. First De Haan sneaks in alone and tries to out wait Murray, but is denied by the pad. Then a deflection in front that Murr tracks all the way is swallowed up in front without a rebound. Having a good goalie is good!
Bob Errey sounds extra Canadian today.
Good series for Dom Simon turning over Slavin and just missing an open Bjugstad in front then Phil finds him in front but his shot is stopped and blown dead.
4th line day at the Paint Can today. Williams tries to take Dumo one on one but it’s poked away, A. Johnson quick ups to Cullen who’s joined by Maatta for a 2on1. Cullen waits and SNIPES. 2-0 PENS.
A pretty tepid period end with a bang. Hornqvist lays a big hit on Williams then is crosschecked from behind by Aho and gets up swinging. Williams jumps in to defend Aho and Hornqvist DDT’s him. 4on4 hockey.
4on4 last 8 seconds before Jake is tripped up. Pens will have almost a full 2 minutes of a 4on3 PP.
Guentzel and Schultz almost hook up on a 3rd goal, but it bounces over the cage. 1:26 of carryover powerplay time in the 2nd coming up for the Pens.
Really slow start for both teams ends in some fireworks. Pens are setting and controlling the pace right now though. Still 40 minutes to traverse, powerplay looming large.
Two good chances for Phil before some pandemonium. Crosby slapshot stopped then Guentzel rubs De Haan off a puck and he lands on his shoulder before being scurried off the ice. Canes down to 5 D. KILLED.
Crosby is everywhere, just tooling Van Riemsdyk behind the net.
Partial 2on1 for Simon and Bjugstad started by a sweet chip off the wall by Phil. Slavin’s able to recover and knock it off Simon’s stick fueling the twitter fingers of the losers who don’t know math.
5 D the rest of the way for the Canes.
Bad hit from Maatta on Ferland and he goes to the box for interference.
Pens strong on the puck throughout. Jack Johnson lays a big hit that gets the people going.
Pens start to shit their pants in their own end a little. Aho hits pipe. Canes maintain possession for their longest stretch today, but the Pens are able to keep things to the outside for the most part.
Murray looking very sharp. Challenging shots, not giving up rebounds. So of course dirtbag Justin Williams runs him. Murray pops up though, looks okay.
Canes really push the play towards the end of the period but the Pens hold onto their 2-0 lead. Will almost certainly have to be better territorialy to hold onto this one though.
Well that didn’t take long.
Hornqvist makes a quick chip to clear the d-zone and then wowie what a play by Simon here. Tips it past Hamilton then spins past him with ease without losing speed. Hornqvist’s hustle is rewarded when he skates hard up ice allowing Dom to find him with a sick no-look drop pass. Horny wires the one-timer.
3-0 PENS 47 seconds into the period. Huge goal.
Really strong game from Hornqvist this afternoon. Easily one of the most notable Pens the full 60.
Play drags as the Pens look to run out the clock. Slaven and Svechnikov are freed up for a 2on1, looks like Slavin has room near-post but Murray says no, again.
Canes really starting to bring it. An extended shift sees the Pens trapped in their own zone and ends with Niederreiter getting cross-checked. Pens heading to the PK.
Every Canes shot is looking for a tip or rebound; Murray’s in their heads big time. Canes win a face off and work it to Slavin at the point who shows tons of patience out-waiting McCann and Guentzel in his shooting lane and then pounds the point shot home, POWERPLAY GOAL CANES. 3-1 PENS.
Big time net front presence there for Staal too. Murray never sees it.
Already dreading the killer 3rd period holding penalty Gudbranson is gonna take in the playoffs.
Crosby line stems the tide with some solid possession that includes Sid globetrotting Staal around the zone.
3 minutes to go. Empty net for the Canes. Long shift for the 87 line. Ferland has two good cracks in tight, but Murray stands tall. Pens finally clear the zone and get the change they desperately need.
No timeout for the Canes because they blew it on the Wilson interference challenge in the 1st.
Hamilton slashes Hornqvist’s stick in two and heads to the box, but during the delay Dumo shoots the puck into the stands and takes a delay of game penalty. 5on4 for the Canes with the empty net, 33 ticks to go.
Pens are able to run it out.
Huge two points. PENS WIN.
- Pens now 2 points away from clinching.
- Justin Williams is an asshole.
- Strong night for the 4th line and Matt Cullen in particular. Two point night for #7 and was on the ice when the Pens needed to seal the W. First star as well.
- The great Dom Simon piece Jeff wrote got mentioned on the radio pre-game show by Steigy. Pretty dope.
- Mike Bales sighting on NHL Net.
- Pens scored more than 2 goals for just the 2nd time in the past 7.
- Playoff time is Hornqvist time.
- Gudbranson (19CF%) and Pettersson (20CF%) are buried in a crater somewhere in their own zone.
- Home and home coming up with Detroit on Tuesday/Thursday followed by finishing up the season, at home, against the Rags, Saturday.