Thursday, October 21, 2010

Game 8: Pens 4, Predators 3

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Penguins- 4
Evgeni Malkin (Comrie, Letang) 2-0:54
Sidney Crosby (Kunitz, Hutchinson) 2-13:51
Sidney Crosby (Malkin, Letang) 3-12:56
Kris Letang (Crosby, Kennedy) OT-3:49
W- Fleury (21-24)
Predators- 3
David Legwand (Tootoo, Ward) 1-0:53
Cody Franson (Bouillon, Erat) 2-8:03
Patric Hornqvist (Wilson, Erat) 3-5:08
L- Rinne (34-38)
A defining game can happen at any time in a season, even in October. The saying goes that great teams can win games without ever holding the lead. And that is precisely how the game went for the Penguins. They were ahead for exactly 0.0 seconds, yet it took them only 53 to fall behind. Each time Nashville scored the Pens had an answer. Evgeni Malkin scored the first for the Pens with an alert rebound that tied the game up early in the 2nd. After Franson put the Preds up again, Sid took things into his own hands with a beautifully place wrist shot from the side of the net that snuck past Rinne and into the net. Sid answered again with a laser shot late in the third on a play that Geno set up with some great stick work. This all culminated into one of the most exciting overtime periods any hockey fan could ever hope for. The Pens started out fast and Malkin logged almost a 2 minute shift at the beginning of the OT. Then things got really interesting when JP Dumont fired a shot off the post that dropped behind Fleury and just seemed to hang there for an eternity. The net was wide open and all Nashville would have needed to do was poke it home, put Pascal Dupuis came to save the day with a diving clear to prevent disaster. The Pens would roll from this momentum, and it would eventually set up Kris Letang's game winning blast that sent the Pens into a wild celebration and their first win in Nashville in the last 7 tries.

Game Changing Play
There are so many, but the dive by Dupuis was probably the most noticable because it directly saved the game winning goal.


Offense- B+ Good pressure for most of the night and the key players were making plays.
Defense- B- Not their greatest performance and too often they left Fleury out to dry, but they weren't horrible.
Fleury- A- Ok so his GAA won't be all that great but he made some incredible breakaway saves in the closing minutes of the game (and throughout) to preserve his first win of the season.
Powerplay- C Too inconsistent. Looked good, then slacked off.
Penalty Kill- C+ Overall they looked solid but they did let a goal past so that's a negative.

3 Big Points

-The Preds had Goligoski marked all night (although Alex did finish +2) so that freed up guys like Letang and Martin to make plays. Depth can really be a useful tool.

-This win does more for Fleury's confidence than anything. He was on fine form, and staked his claim to his team.

-Engelland is such a helpful guy to have out on the ice, because he defends his teammates (another fight tonight) and still plays solid D. But Lovejoy is good too..... Wow, I would say this is a photo finish position race.

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