Thursday, October 21, 2010

Penguins Slide By Preds in OT, 4-3

Three key players missing. Three leads squandered. Third consecutive overtime loss at home. As frustrating as the past three games have been, getting at least a point in the opening six games is nothing to scoff at. Just look at last season.

Now to tonight's game...

1st Period
  •  Talk about a fast start. Contradictory to Tuesday night's game, the Preds came flying out of the gate. More specifically, Jordin Tootoo came flying out of the gate. In 53 seconds, he dished out two solid checks, kept the puck alive in the offensive zone, and in the end zipped a backdoor pass across to David Legwand, who didn't miss. Just like that, Nashville was on the board, and the Bridge was rocking.
  • Nashville had multiple opportunities to expand the lead, including a power play opportunity which, much like the Washington and Calgary games, was horrific. Nashville escaped going into the first intermission tied as a potential tying goal was waived off as time had just expired.

2nd Period
  • I imagine Barry Trotz didn't want the period to start the way it did. Pittsburgh gave the Preds a little taste of their own medicine, tallying a goal 54 seconds into the period. I'd rather Shane O'Brien not try to poke the puck off Mike Comrie's stick, leaving Evgeni Malkin unmarked right in front of Pekka Rinne. Not exactly a good idea. Game tied.
  • At long last, a power play goal. Cody Franson scored on a slapper from the blue line at 8:03, snapping an 0-14 streak with the man advantage. It wasn't the prettiest of plays, but the end result was a sight for sore eyes.
  • Almost immediately after Franson's goal, Malkin boarded Tootoo into the boards. Of all people, Kevin Klein took exception. Luckily for Malkin, Deryk Engelland spared him a beatdown, and a scrap ensued between the two. Full marks to Klein for sticking up for Tootoo. How he ended up with an extra minor for roughing when Malkin clearly should've also been assessed a minor for boarding is beyond me. The Preds should've had a power play or at least two minutes of 4v4. Unacceptable decision making by the refs for the third game in a row.
  • Pekka Rinne looked sharp throughout the night. Unfortunately, he let in a bad goal. Sidney Crosby scored from a bad angle at 13:51, knotting the game once again. Pekka left just enough space for Sid to slip the puck through his pads. Most players probably wouldn't have scored that goal, but this is Sidney Crosby we're talking about here. He'll make you pay if you give him anything to work with.
3rd Period

  • At 5:08, Nashville once again re-took the lead. Patric Hornqvist received a beautiful drop pass from Colin Wilson and promptly wristed a laser beam past Marc-Andre Fleury. Hopefully Horndog treats us to more goals like that this season.
  • At they had already proven twice in the game, Nashville could not hold on to or expand their lead. At 12:56, Sidney Crosby struck again. Malkin did most of the work, weaving, twisting, and turning through Nashville's defense, and somehow got a shot on net, which Rinne blockered off to his right. 
          Right to Sidney Crosby. With a whole lot of net to shoot at. He didn't miss.

Overtime

  • Nashville just didn't look all that great in OT. I didn't see much in the way of hustle, and outside of JP Dumont's glorious opportunity at 2:37 that just couldn't find its way over the goal line, the offensive pressure was lackluster when compared to Pittsburgh. Kris Letang finally scored when his shot found its way through a screened Pekka Rinne, sending Nashville to its third consecutive overtime loss.
Thoughts

  • As a hockey fan, seeing Crosby and Malkin play tonight was a dream come true. No, I'm not a fan of either guy or the team itself, but there's no denying the talent those two possess. As a Preds fan, they were a nightmare. Every time one of those those two touched the puck and got near Rinne, I feared the worst. Those fears were confirmed tonight, as each Penguin goal had one or both of the superstars end up on the scoresheet. I'm not sure if having Ryan Suter in the lineup would've made a difference; we'll never know now.
  • With each passing game, Kevin Klein is slowly turning me into a believer. His play has improved tremendously thus far, and, coupled with the fact Dan Hamhuis is currently sucking it up in Vancouver, my constant demanding of him to be traded will stop... for now. Yet another reason why I am not a GM...
  • Alex Sulzer had a solid, quiet game in 18:23 of ice time. No bad plays or turnovers that I can think of right now.
  • Solid job by the PK tonight, going 5 for 5 tonight. Considering the opponent and Ryan Suter being out of the lineup, a job well done.
  • The power play, on the other hand, was decent, going 1 for 4. Scoring a goal was a huge relief, but other than that, the troubles of trying to set up the plays kept rearing its ugly head. Expect much of the same until Suter returns.
  • Steve Sullivan will eventually start burying these breakaways he's been getting. Imagine how many goals he could have through six games...
  • All in all, a solid performance from the Preds. They may have walked away with two points if not for the current injuries, but to still get a point against a talented-laden squad such as Pittsburgh is most impressive.
So there you have it; my first game summary. Hope it was ok, since this was my first crack at one. Hope I didn't put you guys to sleep, either. Comments/suggestions/criticism/corrections are all welcome. Please sound off in the comments below. Thanks in advance, and Go Preds!





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