What a hockey game. This was easily the best Penguins game of the season and might have been the best game in recent memory to watch. The Penguins could have lost this hockey game and I still probably would have said the same thing. Both teams played hard, both goaltenders were good and there was a ton of skill on the ice and it was really just a joy to watch. If you know of a person that just doesn’t like hockey you should have them watch that game and then ask them to tell you with a straight face that they don’t like hockey. Unreal stuff.
The first period was unlimited power play opportunities. There were six penalties called in the first period and five of them were by the Kings. 12 minutes of power plays. The Penguins didn’t get any in its shootout loss to the Kings so I guess the NHL got the memo that they needed a few power plays.
The Penguins got on the board, finally, on a power play after the Kings almost killed off a complete 5-on-3 power play when Steve Sullivan finally found the back of the net. Honestly it was a nice shot by Sullivan from a weird angle but this was all on Kris Letang. Letang got the puck around the left circle, faked a shot and let Kings player who went down to block it clear the lane then give another pump fake to freeze Jon Quick before dishing it Sullivan. What a play by Letang.
Anze Kopitar scored a goal to tie it halfway through the second period and then Simon Gagne gave the Kings the lead with just over six minutes remaining. I feel almost responsible for this as I did call the Gange goal in the pregame. He always kills the Penguins.
With as good as Quick was playing I thought this game was over. Then, it happened.
With just minutes left to play Chris Kunitz finished off an unreal shift with Jordan Staal and got a wrap around backhand goal on Quick. Just a sick goal. Tie game.
The Penguins won it in the shootout as Kopitar was the only Kings player to score a goal. Letang scored a goal and Kunitz ended all of it with his patented move that includes a fake shot to open up the five hole and then slide it into the net. Bob Errey called the move before Kunitz even started and that is exactly how it played out. Unreal job by Errey.
-Marc Andre Fleury is a big time goaltender. Both of the goals were not even close to being on him and he was excellent all night. The Kings had its own 5-on-3 and Fleury made some big saves and late in the third period he stayed calm and just made the plays to give the Penguins a win. In a game against Quick it was going to take a big performance to beat them and that is exactly what MAF gave them.
-The Penguins have used 10 d-men so far this season. We are 15 games into the season and have already used 10. Only six play per night. Alex Picard and Robert Bortuzzo both made their debuts tonight and both played around 10 minutes and played some pretty good hockey. The unit as a whole did a pretty good job against a really good Kings team. Kris Letang played over 32 minutes which was almost five minutes more than anyone else played. What a beast.
-Jordan Staal made all the difference on the PK tonight. The Penguins killed all four power play attempts by the Kings and if you watched the PK at all you can tell how much of a key piece Staal is to that unit. He also was key in setting up the game tying goal when he outworked a King for the puck around the net and just had an all around solid game.
I am way too tired to think of anything else. Just a great hockey game. Five days off for the Pens. Will we see Sidney Crosby soon? Hopefully.