Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why I'm A Fan: PENS 3 Flyers 2 OT. Pens lead series 2-0

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Game 2 at Mellon Arena was one of those games where you felt proud and excited to be a Pens fan. The kind of exhiliration knowing that one save possibly saved the series being tied at one. And then capitalizing on it by tying and winning the game. If this game doesn't demoralize the Flyers, I don't know my own name. Just the sheer effort and work by the Pens equalized an even harder effort by the Flyers after a Game 1 played so poorly by them. I would've paid top dollar to be a fly at the wall at Mellon Arena.

You knew immediately that the Flyers were going to come out better and harder. However, early on the Pens still seemed to be the faster, more skilled and yes even more physical team, but Malkin hit the post early and the Flyers capitalize on a power play redirect by resident ass clown Scott Hartnell. 1-0 Flyers at the end of 1. Easily could've been 3-0 if it wasn't for Fleury. Philly had some momentum having the lead for the first time.

The second was more of a waiting game when the Pens were gonna score. They had some nice chances but either missed or Marty Biron was a little quicker. Then Dan Byslma stacked the deck, putting Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Billy Guerin on a line, which capitalized on a beautiful odd man rush with the goal scored by Guerin short-side Biron. Just a beautiful setup! The period ended 1-1.

The third started horribly for the Pens allowing a garbage goal by third liner Darroll Powe which Fleury should've saved. I just felt like the Pens were still in it if they got on the power play. Before the festivities though, the most amazing save of the playoffs thus far was made by Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. On a 2 on 1 break, Flyers star Jeff Carter puts a backhand pass to Joffrey Lupul which he saved and with a gaping net, Fleury makes an unbelievable right toe save with his body completely in the opposite direction. Save of a lifetime. I immediately thought the save on Mikael Samuelsson in Game 5 of the Cup finals last year. But they needed to tie it and after Jordan Staal draws a penalty, a new look Pens powerplay capitalizes with a goal off of Evgeni Malkin's foot. Tie game and overtime.

The OT was everything it lived up to be. Every rush was entertaining and the building thought the Flyers had momentum when the Pens got called for a penalty, but as they killed it, Philly's lack of discipline costs them as they took back to back penalties in overtime to put them 2 men down. All that happens next is usual playoff goat Billy Guerin coming through with the OT winner and chills going down my spine. Pens win 3-2 in overtime and take a HUGE 2 games to 0 lead heading to Philadelphia.

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The Penguins have got to capitalize and put their foot to the Flyers' throats this Sunday. I can't think of a worse way for Philly to lose. They had this game in the bag, and let the Pens crawl back and steal it.

Plus (+)
*Marc-Andre Fleury: Amazing game. The saves that kept the Pens only down 1 was nothing close to legendary status.
*Bill Guerin: his status as a playoff choker is slowly fading away.
*Jordan Staal/Tyler Kennedy/Matt Cooke line: Tons of energy tonight. Great work. Staal is a beast!
*Evgeni Malkin: Most quiet 3 point night though, but sometimes it shouldn't always be so flashy.

Minus (-)
*Ruslan Fedotenko/Petr Sykora: Did they know the playoffs started?
*Hal Gill: I always think one of these days Hal's slow skating is gonna burn the Pens in a game. I'm always on edge.

Game 3 in Philly is gonna be hostile, but we gotta pull the plug on this team early!

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