Big Lead Sports Bar



Fans of defense covered their eyes last night as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators combined for eight goals in the second period of a 7-4 Penguins win that puts the Sens' playoff life one more push closer to the cliff. The eight goals in the second were one short of the NHL playoff record for goals in a period.

The Pens finally broke Ottawa goalie Brian Elliott, who was shaky throughout the series,  strong in the first period, and disastrous in the second, when he allowed three goals before being pulled in favor of Pascal Leclaire (who wasn't much better). Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't exactly Georges V├ęzina in goal either, but his defense seemed to let up a bit after the team built a lead - something that I'd like to see less of in the likely event that they go deep into the postseason.

Pittsburgh's offense was obviously led by Sidney Crosby, who has roughly 100 points in this series so far (OK, only 11 in four games - with his career high being 13 in a series), but it was nice to see the production distributed throughout the lineup. When Staal, Cooke, Talbot and Kunitz find the back of the net (in addition to the Malkins and Crosbys of the world), that's usually a good sign. The Pens actually had four players with at least three points; when you're playing that game, there are few opponents that can maintain that pace - and Ottawa is not one of them.

The series now shifts back to Mellon Arena for the possible elimination of the Senators, which would extend the Igloo's life for at least one more round. Gametime will be 7 p.m. on Thursday night, and I'm positive the crowd will give their team a warm welcome home after two crucial road wins.

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tola'at sfarim said...

to be fair to fleury the power play defense was horrible, and the judgement of some of the players to commit penalties and end up with a 5 on 3 twice.......

Christian said...

Indeed...When you have two minute-plus 5-on-3s mixed in with like 6 straight minutes of just being regular short-handed, you can't really blame that on the goalie.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Pretty solid all around. The Sens may have tallied 4, but half of them were on extended 5 on 3's.

They are really proving to be the goons most of us perceived them as.

Gotta get the next win with as little inury damage as possible.

Papa Eo said...

Granted the Senators dropped four goals on us last night, but I don’t put much of that on Flower. The only “soft” goal, in my estimation, was Alfredsson’s blast from the dot. Granted it was a snipe, but I thought Fleury could have gotten a blocker on it. The key last night was that when the Senators would cut the lead to two, (which happened what, 2 or 3 times?) not only did the Pens come right back to regain the 3-goal lead, but perhaps more importantly, Fleury made a couple great saves to keep it at two and give the offense an opportunity to regain control. He’s still not looking like Patrick Roy, but with Malkin and Crosby clicking on all cylinders, he doesn’t quite have to be. He’s been tough in clutch moments thus far (Game 1 not withstanding), and now hopefully he can have a good showing at the Igloo in game 5 so we can dump these goons and prep for the Sabres/ Bruins winner or else (c’mon Montreal!) the Flyers.

Steve said...

I didn't have a problem with Fleury's play at all. Also, in addition to the soff D, you know when a team gets up 4-0 early, the officiating will start calling the stuff that they've been holding back on all series (and all year basically). When the game is tied up and a real physical contest, you can practically pull out a gun and shoot another player, but being up 4-0, they started calling the hooks (that I thought disappeared from the rule book completely), like it was opening day of the post-lockout season.

But hey, I'm no expert, I don't have 20-sided dice and no I don't live in my parents long dead father would be happy to know that.

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

With the likeliness that Philly beats New Jersey, get ready for all of the stories about Marc Savard and Matt Cooke.