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Penguins blow yet another lead only to escape with 5-4 SO win

I’m gonna give everyone a heads up here.

If there ever comes a time, particularly after another one of these harrowing Penguin wins, that you don’t eventually read something from me, I’m here to let you know beforehand;  The Penguins will have done me in.

In tonight’s episode of “Try to Give Tony a Heart Attack”, after controlling most the game with a 3-0 lead, the Penguins let their collective feet off the gas and allowed the next four goals, two of those short-handed, only to score late in regulation and eventually win in the shootout over the Flyers, 5-4.

I’ve really run out of adjectives to describe it, it’s simply mind-boggling.  Five times already in this early season, the Penguins have blown leads that were either late in the game or at least two goals.  Fortunately for them, they’ve eventually won more of those game than they’ve lost, but that doesn’t make it alright.  Call it lack of a killer instinct, call it being lackadaisical, undisciplined, I’m open for suggestions.

As many games have started out this season, things looked great early on.  The Pens got on the board first after Kris Letang poked the puck away from Joffrey Lupul and directed it to Tyler Kennedy.  Kennedy skated into the Flyers’ zone and fed Matt Cooke, who fired a wrister from the left slot and past Martin Biron to make it 1-0 Pens about seven minutes into the game.

The Pens doubled their lead early in the second period when Evgeni Malkin fed Ruslan Fedotenko into the Flyers’ zone.  Fedotenko then left the puck back for Malkin, who then took the puck and made a nifty backhand shot to the top shelf to make it 2-0 Pens.

A couple of minutes later on a Penguins’ powerplay, Miro Satan gathered the puck along the boards and fed it to Sidney Crosby in the neutral zone.  Crosby then brought the puck in the Flyers’ zone, skated between the two Flyers’ defenders, and made nearly a carbon copy shot that Malkin had just done, a backhander to the top shelf.

It was 3-0 Penguins 3:51 into the second period.  No problem, right ??  But alas, us ‘Guins fans know better by now, don’t we.

About four minutes later the Flyers got on the scoreboard after Jeff Carter made a nice tip of a Scott Hartnell shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 3-1 Penguins.  Then the Flyers turned it up, and the Penguins dialed it back.  Only a minute later, as the Penguins were on the powerplay, SImon Gagne blocked an Alex Goligoski slapper and grabbed the rebound for a breakaway.  Neither Goligoski nor Malkin could stop Gagne, who poked the backhander past Fleury to cut the Penguins’ lead to 3-2.  Then again, on yet another Penguins’ powerplay, the Pens got caught somehow with four attackers behind the Flyers’ net, creating a 3-on-1 short-handed break.  Gagne got the puck again in the Pens’ zone, but this time he fired a slapper from the right slot to the top shelf past Fleury to tie the game at three.  The letdown was complete with only four seconds left in the second period on a Flyers’ powerplay when Kimmo Timonen fired a slapper from the center point that Lupul deflected high enough to go over Fleury and into the net to make it 4-3 Flyers after two periods.

Talk about stunned, eh.

It stayed that way until 2:33 was left in the game when Malkin came behind the Flyers’ net on a forecheck causing a turnover.  Max Talbot grabbed the loose puck, but lost it when he was attempting to shoot it.  Fortunately for the Pens though, Crosby was there to snap the loose puck past Biron to tie the game at four after regulation.

The overtime didn’t produce a winner, so it went to a shootout, where it took much longer than normal to finally get the winner.  Each team had six shooters before the game was decided.  The biggest chance for the Flyers came with Mike Richards, who was their second shooter.  Richards made a nice backhand/forehand move to a seemingly open net, but Dany Sabourin, who had come into the game after two periods, somehow got his stick down to stop the puck before it crossed the goalline.  Finally, the Pens’ sixth shooter, Goligoski, made a sick forehand/backhand/forehand move that finally eluded Biron.  Sabourin then stopped Hartnell for the win.

It was the fifth win in a row for the Penguins, albeit none of them have been what one would call orthodox.  Oh well, a win is a win, or so they tell me.

The Penguins will host the Sabres on Saturday night.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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