RECAP 13: Release. Pens Secure Solid 6-3 Victory vs. Caps feat. Pearl Jam

RECAP 13: Release. Pens Secure Solid 6-3 Victory vs. Caps feat. Pearl Jam

Penguins

RECAP 13: Release. Pens Secure Solid 6-3 Victory vs. Caps feat. Pearl Jam

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Pens-Caps: Part 3 of 8 from the Paint Can.  Good to be back on a regular schedule following a tumultuous two weeks filled with COVID and front office fireworks (read Geoff’s Hexy breakdown if you haven’t already).

  • Side note: Get used to it.  The NHL’s transparency and preparation for COVID is on par with Robinhood’s for day traders beating them at their own game.  Everybody’s winging it. 

To the task at hand.  The Pens badly needed a comfy W following another miracle OT win on Thursday vs. the Pain in the Ass Islanders.   Two points is nice, but earning a playoff spot while winning only 8.3% of your games in regulation is about as realistic as my chances with Ana de Armas.

Sup

Compounding the issue is the Bruins/Flyers already pulling away in the division, while the “bad” teams like the Devils/Sabes stay within striking distance.  It was always going to be hard.

Let’s go.

1ST PERIOD

It was bittersweet to see Pierre McGuire calling this game from the glass when most fans felt he should have been watching from the Mario suite.  He is elite on TV and would have been even better as a GM.

Letang got abused by Ovechkin immediately and Pens went to the kill.  No blood on that one, but then Zucker took another.  Well done boys.

WAS Goal (PP) – Kuznetsov (2) A: Shultz [5:18] 1-0 WAS

Bad bounce off Dan Marino’s stick, but you get what you deserve.  Ridiculously terrible start.  Special teams are by far the most serious issue for this team – it ain’t that complicated.

Pens followed it up with a couple long shifts in the Cap’s zone and eventually cashed in.

PIT Goal – Rust (4) A: Matheson, Crosby [10:29] 1-1 

 

Unbelievable pass from the Penguins’ most prolific defenseman Mike Matheson.   Rust continues to find himself in dangerous positions.  Can’t teach it.

Right after you finished up shotgunning a Busch Light, the Penguin’s 2nd best D-man put an innocent shot off Vanacek’s pads.  Tanev took a break from playing drums for Korn to tap in the rebound.  Magnificent.

PIT Goal – Tanev (4) A: Ceci, Blueger [11:01] 2-1 PIT

 

Watch Tanev give props to Ceci.  Love to see it.

Letang did some cocaine and got into it with Anne Hathaway as the period ended.

2ND PERIOD

Matheson made an unreal play to break up a potential Anne Hathaway breakaway at the start of the period.  Pens are lucky to have him for the next 4 years.

Extra Credit for Anyone who understands this one

Shortly after, Washington capitalized on a goofy play in front.

WAS Goal – Vrana (4) A: Oshie, Kuznetsov [3:26] 2-2

Give Jarry the assist – weird play.  Nice job by Vrana to get some sauce on an awkward backhand.

Not long after, POJ drew a high sticking penalty and the Pens went to the Peep.  In a twist that would make M-Night Shamalyanananan blush, they actually converted.

PIT Goal – Rust (5) A: Letang [6:44] 3-2 PIT

 

Nice play by 87 to win the faceoff and open up the lane.  Sick feed by Letang to get it to Rust, who ain’t missing from there.  Don’t let him get hot.

Around the 11 minute mark, Letang panicked and realized the Pens hadn’t taken a Too Many Man or Delay of Game penalty yet, so he flicked one over the glass to ease everyone’s concerns.

Jarry did a nice job covering up a dangerous puck on the PK when Blueger’s stick broke, and the Pens killed it.

On the next shift, the Crosby line went to work and brought home the bacon.

PIT Goal – Guentzel (5) Unassisted [10:44] 4-2 PIT

Watch Rust fire it over to a streaking Guentzel in the slot all in one motion.  What a player.  Also, for those keeping track at home – that’s Ceci and Matheson making the play at the blue line.

Crosby took a tripping penalty but for some reason Ruhwedel served it.  Killed in pretty harmless fashion.

Things got boring until Washington cashed in on a seemingly nothing play.

WAS Goal – Backstrom (7) A:  Ovechkin [17:49] 4-3 PIT

 

I mean what the fuck. Malkin just cannot allow Backstrom, who he has great position on, to lift his stick and get that puck on net.

The goal seemed to jam up the Capitals who were buzzing in the last 2 minutes, but the Pens held on and carried a 1-goal lead into the third.

3RD PERIOD

Jarry made a couple big saves on a dangerous first minute from the Dick Panik line to start the period.

Cody Ceci made an unreal defensive play in the slot to poke away a chance and then found himself on a 2-1 with Crosby, but didn’t convert.  Good pace.

The most exciting thing to happen for the next 15 minutes was seeing that Capital One commercial and realizing Samuel L Jackson has been the same age for the last 30 years.

The Pens were in lockdown mode as the Caps tried their best to find the equalizer.  They pulled Vanacek around the 90 second mark, but Zach Aston-Reese iced it with a well placed empty netter from his own blue line.

PIT Goal – Aston-Reese (2) A:  Letang, Jarry [18:57] 5-3 PIT

Crosby would add about as gorgeous of an empty netter as can be scored on an empty net.

PIT Goal – Crosby (5) Unassisted [19:11] 6-3 PIT

Thanks Dad Chad.   Ballgame.

RANDOM THOUGHTS:

  • Colton Sceviour is not a real NHL player.  Mark Jankowski may not be either.
  • Malkin line generating more chances, I think.
  • Goaltending still feels so meh.  Jarry wasn’t terrible and made some good saves, but seemed out of position on a goal or two and coughed up some questionable rebounds.  No clue what to do with that position.
  • The Crosby line is cooking
  • Overall, nice to finally get a W with a little breathing room.  A nice Release, if you will…

Thanks for reading.  Chirp me on Twitter @GooeyHockey

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