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After all the pregame hype of a team-requested whiteout, the biggest thing fans will remember from a lifeless Game Five performance by the Penguins might be the weather-induced blackout in the second period on FSN Pittsburgh.

Following a first period in which they outshot the Flyers 15-5 yet had nothing to show for it, the Pens virtually packed it in, managing just 13 more shots the rest of the way and yielding three Flyer goals. Once again, Philadelphia got production from role players such as Claude Giroux (nine regular season goals) and Arron Asham (eight regular season goals) in their successful takedown of Pittsburgh.

The Sykora/Satan debate proved to be a moot point. Marc-Andre Fleury came back down to Earth. The power play was an o-for, falling to 4-for-29 (13.8%) in the postseason. The role players didn't score. The stars didn't score. This was disappointing on every conceivable level for a Penguins fan.

Now, instead of getting some rest for the second round, the Penguins have to travel back to Philadelphia, which is a scenario no one wanted to think about. It's definitely not the end of the world, but if you had a choice, you'd rather have the series over.

Most prognosticators had this series going either six or seven games, so this circumstance shouldn't be a complete surprise. But the way the Penguins played last night showed that they must show a serious increase in energy and desire if they want to close things out on Saturday. Because at this point, the only thing worse than having a Game Six is having a Game Seven.

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Steve said...

This series will ultimately be decided by the PP. The PK has been the only thing the Pens have going for them this whole series and the Flyers will give them at least 5 or 6 opportunities with the extra man on Saturday. If they can get a couple PP goals and at least match the Flyers intensity 5 on 5, they'll win. If they go 0 for..., they lose and the Flyers have absolutely everything going in their favor to win game 7.

I'm picking Gonchar to be the deciding factor tomorrow and he better have a great game for a change, or I won't mind much seeing him pulling another teams sweater on come this summer.

It's time for our stars to play like stars and win the games they have to win and that's why Gonchar is here...not to baby sit Malkin, or pad his career stats during the regular season. Saturday needs to be the Pens game 7...period.

Steve said...

I was going to throw in the Belushi classic "Germans, Pearl Harbor..." thing from Animal House but I think I've made my point.