by Tony on 12/24/08 at 01:47 AM ET
If it ain’t one thing, it’s another.
After watching the Penguins string together a couple of decent games filled with good work ethic, they pulled out the ‘ol hotdoggery tonight, and it bit them square in the butt-ocks.
Tampa Bay immediately turned two Penguins misfires into Lightning goals, put forth a very mediocre offensive effort and that’s pretty much all she wrote, as the Pens were blanked by the Lightning, 2-0.
As many games have been lately, this one was yet another frustrating loss, one compounded by numerous showboat moves and passes that translated in nothing but turnovers and no goals.
Evgeni Malkin, amazingly, actually made a blind pass back to Sidney Crosby while he was on a breakaway. And as it’s been going for the Pens lately, Crosby’s shot didn’t even get on goal.
There’s just way, way too many no-look passes, spin-a-ramas and extra passes and not nearly enough simple shots on goal, especially for a team that’s struggling like the Pens have been.
Tonight’s game itself was pretty wide open until the Bolts built up a 2-0 lead midway through the third period when they put a trap and a half on the Pens.
The game was scoreless until about five minutes into the second period when Petr Sykora came in on Bolts’ goalie Mike Smith and had him dead to rights with his backhand, but somehow he missed the net. As soon as the Bolts got the puck Paul Szczechura skated around the Pens’ goal and fed Matt Pettinger for the one-timer past Fleury to make it 1-0 Lightning.
It stayed that way until midway through the third period when Malkin came on his own breakaway. He also tried to go backhand, but Smith was there to make the save. The Bolts then grabbed the rebound, former Penguin Mark Recchi passed to Jussi Jokinen, who fired a wrister towards the goal where Szczechura was there for the deflection past Fleury to make it 2-0.
And that’s really all Tampa Bay needed tonight. They put the trap on after that, and the Pens didn’t make a serious charge.
- So much for taking it easy on Ryan Whitney’s first game back. He led all Pens defensemen with 23:16 of ice time.
- Ryan Malone made his first return visit since his departure. He didn’t score a point, but had a few run-ins with his former teammates. He ran Rob Scuderi into the boards in the third period, then Scuderi exacted revenge on Malone with a big check a minute or so later.
- Tim Wallace was credited with 6 hits.
The Pens are now off until Friday night at New Jersey.
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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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