Thursday, January 6, 2011

Game 41: Pens 8, Lightning 1



Malone-Stamkos-St Louis

Penguins- 8
-Evgeni Malkin (unassisted) 1-0:07
-Chris Conner (Lovejoy, Cooke) 1-2:23
-Tyler Kennedy (Letang) 1-7:17
-Chris Kunitz (Crosby, Dupuis) 1-7:42
-Chris Kunitz (Goligoski, Letang) 1-18:56
-Mark Letestu (Kennedy, Goligoski) 2-12:54
-Chris Kunitz (Goligoski, Letang) 2-19:49
-Alex Goligoski (Conner, Lovejoy) 3-3:38
Lightning- 1
-Adam Hall (Thompson, Tyrell) 3-2:25


Pens- Fleury
W- Fleury (31-32)
Lightning- Roloson/Ellis/Roloson/Ellis
L- Roloson (18-23)
ND- Ellis (15-18)

Pens- 2/4 (5:38)
Lightning- 0/2 (4:00)

1st Period
-GENO SCORES 7 seconds into the game off a faceoff breakaway. Roloson had the initial poke check but Geno buried the rebound. What a start! 1-0 Pens
-Sid with a great chance on a breakaway of his own. Takes a hard shot. Roloson stops him.
-Now Tampa is buzzing. Fleury stops about 3 rebound chances.
-Lovejoy fires from the point. Deflected off Conner's skate behind Roloson. No kicking motion so the goal stands. 2-0 less than 3 minutes in and this is exactly the kind of start the Pens needed after a big letdown followed by a long break.
-Letang starts the rush. Kennedy very patient and fires it through the 5 hole. Trickles in behind Roloson! Roloson out, Ellis in. 3-0 Pens
-Still announcing TK goal. Kunitz takes it down the left side and wrists it right past Dan Ellis. Great shot. 4-0 Pens.
-Tampa Bay timeout.
-Conner rings one off the goal post at 11:30 mark. Clearly beat Ellis but Dan was saved by the pipe.
-Sid line out. Sid is trying to get himself on the board as well but Ellis all of a sudden looks sharp.
-New buzz line with a solid shift with 3 minutes to go. Good puck possession. Conner is possessed tonight,
-Gagne rams into Fleury with 2 minutes to go. Fleury knocked back into his net but the puck stays out.
-Pens powerplay. Letang with a beautiful spin pass to Goligoski. Goligoski fires it off the stick of Kunitz and in. Kunitz on HT watch. 5-0 Pens with 1 minute to go.
-Downie takes another penalty. Pens will start the next period with a minute of PP time.

Notes: Best period of the season as far as I can remember. Hit them before they even knew what was going on and never stopped. The new lines look great, especially the new buzz line. Chris Conner is unreal so far. I don't think I'd be out of bounds to call this one long gone already. Pad your stats a bit, rest up for Montreal tomorrow.

2nd Period
-Roloson back in net to start the period.
-Lightning kill off the rest of the Pens powerplay.
-Lovejoy trips up Stamkos on a semi-breakaway. Penalty shot called, should have only been 2 min. Stamkos loses an edge on his penalty shot attempt and harmlessly slides across the Consol Energy Center ice while Fleury easily scoops up the sliding puck. It's been that kind of night for TBL. Still 5-0 Pens.
-Rupp and Downie take 2 min minors. 4 on 4 now. Tampa looks better but Fleury is holding the fort.
-Orpik with a great centering pass at the end of the 4 on 4. Kennedy just pokes it wide.
-Kunitz breakaway at the 10 minute mark. Tries to go backhand but Roloson closes his legs.
-Letestu with beautiful hands. 2 quick stick moves and then he goes straight to the top with the backhand! 6-0 Pens
-Fleury with a great save on Malone with 3 minutes to go in the period.
-Another Goligoski shot. Another Kunitz redirect. This time it was a very impressive hands play. Hat trick for Kunitz. 7-0 Pens

Notes: Just going through the motions. Sick move by Letestu and great to see Kunitz get his 2nd career hattie. Pens defense still rock solid. My only concern is that this game may get a bit ugly and with Asham, Engelland, and Godard scratched I wonder who will have to keep Downie from his usual dirty tricks.
3rd Period
-Now Ellis is back in goal.
-Hall redirects one past Fleury. Oh well. 7-1
-The entire Pens team rushes up ice and develops into a 4 on 1. Chris Conner with a nice drop pass to Goligoski and Alex wires a wrister past Ellis! 8-1 Pens
-Michalek and Malone mix it up behind the net. Orpik steps in to help.
-Bergenheim runs Adams behind the play and then runs to the penalty box instead of stepping up to fight Craig.
-Fleury with a great shorthanded save on Adam Hall. Pens look lazy, but why not at this point...
-Some hitting, some shooting, but no goals.
-Its over. 8-1. See you tomorrow!

Notes: Kept it clean. Would have been nice to see Fleury get the shutout but I don't think he's that upset. Bylsma was still coaching them rather hard from the bench and made sure that the defense stayed sharp throughout the third. But it was pretty much a victory lap.

Final Thoughts and Notes:
-I know the first thing that comes to everybody's mind when they see the scoresheet is "Where's Sid?" He did get 1 assist but that was it. Sid looked pretty good in the beginning of the game but really was absent in the final 2 periods. I don't know if he was just taking it easy because of the circumstances or if he was still hurting from that Steckel blindside hit back at Heinz Field but either way Sid was nowhere near 100%. It's obviously not a big deal tonight but we'll see how he does against the Habs.
-Alex Goligoski's best game of the season. He looked confident back on the powerplay and set up both of Kunitz's deflection goals with beautifully placed slapshots. He also got a goal of his own later on a breakaway and his defense looked good.
-Chris Conner really made a strong case not to scratch him again any time soon. He was absolutely flying out there and his stats back him up (not to mention he should have had another goal but it hit the post).
-Kennedy made the best of his golden opportunity next to 2 of the game's best. The Bolts defense concentrated on 71 and 11 all night and allowed Kennedy to make plays.
-Cooke fit right in on the buzz line.
-Kudos to Fleury and the defense for staying sharp all night.

Line 1: A-
Line 2: A
Line 3: A+
Line 3: A-
D1: A
D2: A-
D3: A
Fleury: A
Powerplay: A
Penalty Kill: A

"We had no juice, nothing, and they had everything."
-Tampa coach Guy Boucher

-This one never changed. Pens dominated from the first drop of the puck.

My 3 Stars:
1. Alex Goligoski
2. Chris Kunitz
3. Marc Andre Fleury

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