Big Lead Sports Bar

5/10/2009

AN EARLY MOTHER'S DAY GIFT

PENGUINS 4
CAPITALS 3
OT

The Penguins gave a premature present to all the Pittsburgh moms out there who've found themselves rooting for this collection of charismatic youngsters and seasoned veterans, with a dramatic, 4-3 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals last night.

The win puts the Penguins one win away from facing either Bill Cowher's Carolina Hurricanes or the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals. A potential classic Game Six will take place Monday night in Pittsburgh.

The series' most recent nail-biter was ended 3:28 into the extra period, when Evgeni Malkin's pass to Sidney Crosby was broken up by Washington's Tom Poti, sliding past Caps goalie Simeon Varlamov and sending most of the 18,277 in attendance home very disappointed. Except for Natalia Malkin, who is surely celebrating somewhere with Evgeni and Vladimir on this holiday.

Much like the other successful teams this town has sent deep into their respective postseasons, the Penguins have locked down the Capitals on defense, getting excellent two-way play from their forwards. Scoring is starting to balance out, as Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke found their way into the goal-scorers category for the first time this postseason. Players like Ruslan Fedotenko have raised their game exponentially, as the 30-year-old from the Ukraine scored once and peppered Varlamov for 10 of the Penguins' 42 shots on Saturday. The effort has been much more balanced than in games one and two of the series.

With the win, Marc-Andre Fleury improved to 5-0 in playoff overtime games, stopping 28 shots in the process. In a series where names like Ovechkin, Crosby, and Malkin continue dominate the headlines, Fleury has quietly won three games, including two in overtime.

The problematic Pens power play was a mere 1-for-2 in a game that featured only four power plays in all. The referees clearly made a point to swallow their whistles well in advance of the contest.

The Penguins' three-game winning streak is all too familiar for Capital fans, who've watched their team lose five series in which they've had a lead against Pittsburgh. Washington has blown 2-0 leads in two of those series (1992 and 1996), and potentially three if Monday night goes as the Penguins plan. And that would not only be a gift to moms, but dads, sons, grandfathers, and grandmothers all over the city and beyond.

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5 comments:

John said...

Here in DC, Cap fans think the Penguins got lucky with that last goal. But if Poti doesn't deflect that pass, Crosby stands a good chance of scoring.

-- Pens fan in DC

godohoky said...

I was at this game, which was the best game Ive been to since Game 5 in Detroit last year. And all I have to say that you guys dont already know is just how crappy the caps fans are. I was expecting to take some crap cause I was wearin a crosby jersey in a sea of red. But I heard two things. 1. That I suck. 2. That since Im a penguins fan I like Yanne better than hockey. Which was obvious cause I drove to Washington for the game. Also they came up with a hilarious chant while everyone was exiting the arena, "Unemployment". I guess this made sense because Pittsburgh is the only city hit by the crumbling economy. So all and all Caps fans are about as clever as Flyer fans.

Art Vandalay said...

I'm trying to figure out who was the blonde sitting next to Malkin's mom. It's not Alyonka. Her and her sister are shown in the crowd right after the Cooke goal.

Tom said...

The so-called hockey fans down here in DC are some of the most obnoxious I've ever experienced. They act SO entitled even though their team hasn't won anything...ever.

If the Pens don't win the Cup this year, I'm at peace with that. They got close last year and lost a lot of key contributors so a few pieces might be missing from a potential championship squad. However, the Pens MUST defeat the Caps because they will not only defeat this inferior team, but also their clueless, annoying fans so they'll go back under their rock and forget about hockey, which is what they were doing last few years ago.

Classic bandwagoning. These "fans" know so little about the game of hockey that when their team is getting beaten all they can resort to are lame stereotypes and generalizations about Pittsburgh and homophobic insults against certain players. Pathetic....

Steve said...

from what I've heard and witnessed in this series, I think it safe to say that Caps fans are the most ignorant and undeserving in hockey. I know Flyers fans will be upset to hear that but they've been dethroned.

Win or lose tonight, any Caps fans in attendance at Mellon Arena needs to be berated accordingly and their visit to the lowly, unemployed City of Pittsburgh be made a miserable one.

F-em!