Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/03/14 at 08:58 AM ET
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Seven games into an increasingly skittish postseason, there is still no persuasive evidence that the Penguins intend to put three really professional periods together on any given night.
One or two, maybe, and possibly a couple of minutes of an overtime period here or there if it’s not too much trouble, but 60 minutes or more doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
Friday night arrived along with an engraved invitation from the league office, as the New York Rangers were scheduled to play their third playoff game in four nights, their fourth in six, in fact.
They were tired. They were vulnerable. They were the battle-ready equivalent of a drunk stumbling into a dark alley.
And, of course, they’re ahead in these Eastern Conference semifinals, 1-0, after the Penguins somehow got out of their way in Game 1.
“We’ve got to find a way to capture something earlier,” said Lee Stempniak, who back-handed Beau Bennett’s exquisite drop pass into the Rangers net in the second period to start a wasted Penguins comeback. “We have to put a couple of solid shifts together. We came out a bit flat and they played well. We’ve got to get a better start.”
added 9:34am, from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Say this for these Penguins: They aren't easily embarrassed.
“I thought we were pretty solid all night.”
That was the assessment of Rob Scuderi. He was singularly responsible for the giveaway that led to New York's overtime goal by Derick Brassard, the one that lifted the allegedly exhausted, energy-depleted Rangers, 3-2, past the allegedly rested, revved-up Penguins in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoff series Friday night at Consol Energy Center.
“I think when you play well, you trust the next one's going to go in.”
That was the assessment of Sidney Crosby, asked about his own performance.
He went a 12th consecutive playoff game without a goal, mustered only three shots, went 6-13 in the faceoff circle and posted a minus-3 rating. He was on the ice for that overtime goal, and that should be taken literally: He was prone behind Marc-Andre Fleury when the Rangers continued to run rampant after it wasn't clear that Brassard's shot had entered the net. For good measure, Benoit Pouliot buried yet another, marking perhaps the first two-goal overtime victory in NHL history.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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