Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Penguins Game 27 Recap - Penguins 3, Bruins 2

-One of those games where I am shocked I didn't dislocate my shoulder when I was celebrating the Penguins three goals in the final seven minutes of the game after being shutout for the first 53 minutes for a comeback win. Just awesome stuff.

 -The Pens gave up a pair of goals early, one of which while they were on the penalty kill which continues to be a problem, and another one off a pretty sneaky shot from Tyler Seguin. The Bruins gave some really nice pressure and pretty much dominated much of the first period despite only getting five shots on the board. It was all Penguins in the second and third period. It was much like the game against the Flyers except that the Flyers actually had some sort of offensive pressure for the final two periods of play.

 -Like I said in the pregame the Bruins are not going to be confused with a good offensive team. They do have some talent like Seguin but in the second and third period, with a two goal lead, they really didn't even look interested in trying to make it a three goal game. They were falling back into their shell and blocking a ton of shots. I mean they had 26 blocked shots in the game and netminder Anton Khudobin was really doing a great job of keeping the Penguins off the board. That strategy worked, until it didn't.

 -The Penguins didn't panic at all. At times over the last couple of years when the Penguins would get down they would panic to get a bunch of goals back at once and eventually give up a lot of odd man chances. Tonight they didn't do that. They stuck to the Dan Bylsma system and even against a team that was suffocating at times it finally clicked and finally payed off. Chris Kunitz got on the board at the 13:42 mark and then Brandon Sutter tied it up under a minute later at the 14:33 mark. Sutter then picked off a pass from Dennis Seidenberg (that was a pretty horrid turnover) which turned into a 2-on-1 for Sutter and Sidney Crosby and rather than pass it off to Bing he beat Khudobin under the arm. Ballgame.

 -Just a great job by the team of not abandoning what they do. It didn't come in the second but the momentum shift was significant in favor of the Penguins. They completely controlled play in the second period and it carried over to the third period. While the Bruins had a two goal lead it really seemed like the Penguins were the better team. It finally paid off and got two regulation points.

 -Somewhat underrated is that the Penguins won only 4-of-24 faceoffs at one point in the first period but went on to win 24-of-38 to finish the game. I know that I often harp on faceoffs in the recaps but they are largely important. The Bruins controlled play in the first and winning nearly every faceoff went a long way to helping them do that. Sutter was the only Penguins player who won more than half his attempts (9-of-15).

 -The penalty kill is really starting to become a problem. The Penguins did a good job of staying out of the box and only had to kill two Bruins power plays but the first goal of the game came on a Zdeno Chara one-timer where Marc-Andre Fleury was being screened. The Pens have done a pretty terrible job at clearing the crease and someone being in the crease was a huge reason for the Chara shot finding the back of the net.

 -Chris Kunitz with his 18th goal of the season. What a machine.

 -While the Penguins miss Jordan Staal on the penalty kill Sutter has done a really nice job overall. He now has eight goals on the season. Not really sure what I expected from him offensively but he has brought a little more to the table than I probably expected at this point.

 -Kris Letang with 27:49 of ice time and had eight shots on goal. Letang just keeps getting better. Big time performance tonight.

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