Seems like I haven’t been on here for the Penguins recap in some time. Oh, yea, that is because I haven’t. Well, I am not here with good news, the Penguins dropped another one to a upper echelon team losing to the Rangers at the CONSOL Energy Center. Just bad times for the Penguins lately. This is the Pens’ third straight loss while the Rangers are rolling on a four game winning streak.
It seems like every Penguins loss I talk about the same thing. I could probably just copy and paste the line “the Penguins started off fast in the first period and just lost interest and really got handled the rest of the game.” It was that kind of game tonight for the Penguins as they dominated the hockey game for the first 18 minutes but unfortunately this is a 60 minute game.
Like I said the first 18 minutes of this game was all Penguins. They were up 11-1 in the shots but all of that changed in the last two minutes. The Rangers got a few shots and with a little over a minute and a half to play and then they won a faceoff and threw a puck at the net and Brad Richards was there to clean up the garbage. Going into the intermission was a gut shot to the team, in my opinion, for how badly they dominated but were still tied. It was all Rangers from there.
Brandon Dubinsky scored a shorthanded goal three minutes into the second period on a feed from Ryan Callahan on a 2-on-1 and then Derek Stepan scored a goal in the third period when Marc Andre Fleury came out to play the put near the left circle and whiffed when he tried to backhand it away from Marian Gaborik and the puck went right to a defenseman (forget who) and as they tried to clear it gave it right to Stepan who threw it into the empty net.
Outside of Boston (who is on another planet right now) the Rangers are the best team in the Eastern Conference and they are going to be there till the end. Even thought they were outshot 38-21 they were in total control and Hendrik Lundqvist was outstanding in completely shutting the Penguins down. The goal he gave up to Lovejoy was pretty soft but after that he was spectacular. It’s not as if the Penguins didn’t get any chances, they were just stopped by Lundqvist and a lot of those chances were prime scoring chances. He was named the number one star tonight and it was most deserved.
The Penguins had another disallowed goal tonight. Might lead the league in that category. It was a James Neal shot that beat Lundqvist and looked clean at real time but on the replay you can see that Kunitz did run the interference. I think what got called is Kunitz kicking Lundqvist’s stick out and really throwing him off balance. I could see it being called a goal but no problem with it being waved off. You can bump into the goaltender, just can’t do it.
Some more bad news out of Penguins camp when Jordan Staal went down with a knee injury. Late in the third period Staal went knee-to-knee with Mike Rupp and went down in a lot of pain. It didn’t look good on the replay and Staal couldn’t put any pressure on it as he skated off the ice. It didn’t look like it was anything intentional by Rupp in away way but that doesn’t make the injury any less serious than what it might have been. Just add it to the list of injuries.
Just not good times for the Penguins. They play the Devils in like five minutes and then need to step up in a big way and get three points.