Friday, April 15, 2011

Back To Square One. Lightning 5, Penguins 1

Well if the first game of the series was how the Penguins were going to win the series against the Lightning then the second game of the series is how they will fail. The Penguins got dominated in the first period of play and spotted the Lightning three goals and could not come back in a 5-1 defeat.

If you only watched the first period of play you would probably wonder how the Penguins even made the playoffs. There were bad chips and uninspired play and anything the Lightning wanted to do they got to do. Very few Penguins chances and it looked really bad. Letang played maybe his worst period of the season and everyone was literally stunned. I had no idea what was going on and sure, I was pissed, but I knew coming in the Lightning were going to come out strong and try to take control of the game and get even, and they did.

Outside of the first period I truly think that the Penguins were the better team. Down 3-0 they cracked the scoreboard with a Craig Adams goal about nine minutes into the second period and you could just feel the life and energy come back into the team. The Lightning started the second period messing around and it bit them as Roloson misplayed a puck and Adams capitalized.

To say that the Penguins dominated the second period would be a true understatement. They had unlimited chances to get even more into the game but they just couldn't capitalize. James Neal whiffed on a beautiful chance in front and Mark Letestu rang a pipe, both with the score 3-1, and that seemed about it. The Lightning got an insurance goal with like 14 seconds left in the period after Orpik took a penalty, which basically sealed the deal for the game. The third was trap city and even though the Penguins got some shots they never really threatened Roloson.

Overall I am upset because this wasn't the Penguins game. The bad start really set the tone for the Lightning tonight and it was a pretty steep climb for the Penguins. I really didn't see the Pengiuns sweeping this series and I knew that a bad game was going to happen but it still doesn't make it sting any less.

Fleury was less than stellar tonight. He, along with much of the team, seemed pretty lethargic and any time you give up a three spot in the first period it is going to be tough to come back from. MAF is pretty good in bounce back games and I expect him to be in top form when he comes on the ice Monday night in Tampa Bay.

I don't really think I need to say this but the Penguins power play is just tough to watch anymore. None of their power plays tonight looked good and that might be the reason they lose a couple more games this season. 0-7 on the power play isn't going to cut it. When the Penguins cut it to 3-1 they had power play chances to cut the lead to one and they failed. It is spots like that when you need a power play to come thought. They didn't and it killed them tonight. One or two goals from the power play and the Penguins maybe win this game. I shouldn't be shocked that the power play was this bad after watching the Penguins this season but still somewhat frustrating.

All told the series is 1-1. Could be a lot worse for this team. If you ask me the Penguins played one bad period in two games. So one of six period the Penguins were noticeably out played. I will take that every day of the week. Does it bother me that the one bad period they had cost the team a win? Yes, it does. But if the Penguins go down and win two in Tampa Bay then people will not even remember this game was played. Even if the Penguins come back tied 2-2 in the series it would not be terrible. I think people get too caught up in one period and one game. It is a seven game series and there is a lot of hockey to be played. The Penguins will come back ready, we have seen that throughout the season. Disco will have them ready.

The Pens going to Tampa now, if you didn't hear. The Penguins were one of the best teams in the league with 24 road wins, the fourth most in the NHL. Disco will rally the troops and this team seems to play better when they have something to prove. Would not shock me for the Penguins to come out strong on Monday and play an inspired game. The world is not ending as some people on Twitter may want you to think.

Not a pretty game, but there is a lot more hockey to be played in this series. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Come back strong on Monday.

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