Saturday, March 8, 2014

Penguins Game 63 Recap - Penguins 3, Ducks 2 (SO)

Sometimes you play a pretty bad game and you still win. They call that stealing a win. The Penguins stole a win against arguably the best team in the NHL and while they still gave up a point I don't think it much matters. Two points is two points. After getting soundly beaten the night before by San Jose the Penguins were outplayed for much of the game last night but Marc-Andre Fleury kept them in it and they were able to beat Jonas Hiller and TWO POINTS.

Fleury stopped 29-of-31 shots and he was seeing a lot of action. It really seemed like the Penguins never had the puck, and if you look at the shot totals you can probably see a good reason why it would seem like they never touched the puck. The Penguins had 17 shots, total, through 65 minutes of action and somehow they were able to score a pair of goals and win.

The Penguins had only three shots in the first period and four shots in the second period. The franchise low for shots in a game was 11 shots and for much of the third period there was a though they could match that. It was that bad.

The first shot of the game for the Penguins came 7:47 into the first period and it actually resulted in a goal. A Deryk Engelland goal. This season I have been pretty down on Engelland when Dan Bylsma has put him on defense but when he's played left wing on the fourth line I think he's been a pretty nice asset to have. He seems to know what he is doing and has six goals on the season so I really don't see much reason for him not to play the wing. I surely feel a lot better with him there than Chuck Kobasew.

Anyways, the Penguins never got behind more than one. Despite the Ducks controlling play and getting unlimited good looks they didn't take the next lead until a minute into the third period and that gave the Penguins some time. Sure, they hadn't got any shots but with guys like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz and company it only takes one shift to turn the tide of the game.

That shift came on the power play. The goal came from Malkin. Just a massive, massive goal around halfway through the third period. At this point you just prayed that the Penguins could stem the tide and get to overtime. They weren't going to score another goal and they really needed this point. They did that.

In overtime the Penguins carried play. Crosby looked like a man possessed to end the game and nearly did on a breakaway but Hiller was able to make the save. The Penguins just kept coming in waves but the overtime is only five minutes and it was to a shootout.

The shootout was pretty exciting. MAF made saves when he needed to and the Ducks scored when they needed to. MAF was the difference in this game. It is a drum that has been beaten over and over but the regular season doesn't matter for MAF in the eyes of, well, everyone. Games like this are why I still think he is going to bounce back and he stole two points for the Penguins. They don't need the two points in terms of making the playoffs or winning the Metro but they needed something on this West Coast trip and they got that.

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