Big Lead Sports Bar

4/17/2010

PENS BOUNCE BACK TO EVEN THE SERIES


The Pittsburgh Penguins rallied nicely from a disappointing Game One performance with a physical 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night, evening the series at one game each as it goes back to Ottawa for a pivotal Game Three on Sunday.

Friday night was yet another signature game in the storied career of Sidney Crosby, who scored the Pens' first goal, swept away a sure Ottawa goal on an Anton Volchenkov shot that crept inches from the goal line, and set up the Penguins' second goal, crossing the goalie trapezoid three times and dazzling the Mellon Arena faithful before dishing the puck to Kris Letang for the game-winner at 15:48 of the third. The Letang setup was a trademark Crosby moment, one that's destined to be on some future "Best Of..." list for years to come; but more importantly, it ended up winning the game for the Pens.

The Penguins raised their play on a number of levels on Friday, first and foremost on defense and between the pipes, where Marc-Andre Fleury pitched a shutout after a hiccup 18 seconds into the first period, once again displaying his uncanny ability to rebound from a bad outing. The Flower would stop 19 of the mere 20 shots he faced, besting Senators goalie Brian Elliott, who finished with 29 saves on 31 shots in his second career playoff start.

Play was undoubtedly more spirited in Game Two, with the Penguins dishing out a whopping 52 hits as opposed to 38 in Game One. Unfortunately, Senators defenseman Andy Sutton felt the need to jump at Jordan Leopold and hit him with an arm to the head, instantly sending Leopold to the ice and out of the game. Of course, there was no penalty, as the NHL was apparently playing his game under the long ago-established Garage League rules.



As of this writing, Leopold is being evaluated, but he has had concussion issues in the past. This clearly does not fall under the 'good news' category. But Max Talbot would show his disapproval for all things Senator at the end of the first period, when he squared off with Zack Smith. 



Even with the win, nitpickers can look to the continued absence of the third line on the scoring sheet and the potential loss of Leopold as reasons to fret. But as I like to say, a win is a win is a win. And this was quite a win.

*Sorry for the extreme lateness - my power was knocked out moments after the game last night - so I'm going with the "better late than never" approach to this post. Not a good year for Allegheny Power in my neighborhood.

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2 comments:

the nigerian nightmare said...

I'm sorry, but people are overreacting to the Sutton hit. Even Orpik said it was a clean play. Yes, he caught him with the elbow, which was tucked in. The reason his elbow hit Leopold in the head was because his head was down. Lesson: Keep your head up. With his history of concussions, really hoping this doesn't mean Leo is out for an extended period of time.

Dominic Errico said...

Yeah I've watched this quite a few times and no matter how much I want to scream it was dirty, It's just a wickedly violent collision.

Sure he could have seen that Leopold had his head down and was clearly focused on the other guy, but it's hockey.