Monday, March 4, 2013

Penguins Game 23 Recap - Penguins 4, Lightning 3

-I think it was pretty fitting that before the game Steven Stamkos said that the problems that the Lightning have is finishing and an instance he gave was in a recent game against the Bruins when the Lightning got too greedy on a penalty kill with a tie score with only a few minutes left and ended up giving the Bruins an odd man break for the eventual game winning goal. It wasn't exactly the same thing tonight but what they did do was take a 2-1 third period lead and then let Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby touch the puck. Bad things happened. Penguins win. -Malkin was filthy sick tonight. He wasn't finding the back of the net early but he was getting unreal looks and just wasn't able to finish. He finally did when it counted. Big time goal. In his first game back since February 22 you could tell he had fresh legs and had good energy. He has been a little snake bitten this year so far but this was a vintage goal. He does it all and did it all night long. Really great to see him back and healthy. The power play looked worlds better and despite not scoring I really believe that Malkin being on the unit makes it that much better. -Crosby wasn't going to be outdone because, well, he loves to be awesome too. He joined up with Kris Letang for a pretty sick one-time goal themselves. Crosby is going to get most of the credit for this because of the finish but man, Letang has been deadly good in the offensive end. He cracked two pipes on the night and his passing has really been on mark. It was just as much on him and it was on Crosby for the goal but all told it was beautiful. -The Penguins really sucked in the second period. THey were really good in the first period and they were really good in the third period but they aren't always going to be overcome that. The defense was turning over the puck like Mark Sanchez does with the football and if it weren't for Marc-Andre Fleury the Penguins would have been in really bad shape. -Brooks Orpik has been brutally bad the past few games. While the first Stamkos goal wasn't all on him he was responsible and left the most lethal goal scorer in the league all alone around the paint. He is going to burry that every single time. He was also out to lunch a handful of other times and just generally looked a step slow. -Remember when people were questioning if Chris Kunitz was worth his contract? Whoa baby. He opened the scoring tonight and now has 12 goals and is among the league leader in points. Sure, it helps that he gets to play with Crosby and gets to play on a power play with James Neal, Crosby, and Malkin but he is so versatile and does so many things that being able to excel at it all and finish plays. More than worth his contract and now an integral part of the Penguins offense. -The Mark Eaton and Matt Niskanen pairing was so money tonight. Eaton isn't going to give you anything flashy but as I talked about earlier last week you know what you are going to get. Niskanen has turned in a nice top four option for the Penguins. It isn't always about the splash play but more often than not they are going to make the play. Something that will go largely unnoticed but is exactly what I am talking about happened with the Penguins leading 3-2 with about three minutes left in the game. Niskanen had an opportunity to pinch and get the puck around the offensive zone but if he misses it is a 2-on-1 the other way. Instead of trying to make that that play, which he probably would have made, he pealed back and didn't even give the Lightning a shot the other way. Knowing the game situation is huge and that is exactly what I am talking about.

-It wasn't pretty but with the Devils losing in regulation to Toronto that gives the Penguins two more points on the Devils and continues to put pretty on the other division teams. There are some obvious problems with the Penguins but at 15-8-0 there are still a lot of things going right. Wins are all equal. Flyers on Thursday.

No comments:

Post a Comment