by Tony on 12/06/08 at 07:50 PM ET
So does the saying go “You have to be good to be lucky”, or is it the other way around ??
Well, doesn’t matter. Jason Spezza, who along with linemates Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have been Penguin-killers over the years, got a fortunate bounce of the puck off Kris Letang’s skate for his 3rd goal of the game which turned out to be the eventual game-winner for the Senators, who held on to defeat the Penguins at Scotiabank Place, 3-2.
While I’m sure no one in the Vegas Gold and Black will use the term “tired”, it appeared to me that the entire Penguins squad, playing their third game in under 72 hours, was a step slow all game long. There were loads of errant passes by the offense, a lot of slow responses by the defense, and Pens’ goalie Dany Sabourin made some very questionable decisions.
However, let’s not try to throw a smokescreen up, the Sens deserved to win that game. They were the more aggressive team, they had the better jump, and were hustling to the loose pucks, whereas the Penguins rarely could get a decent forecheck going.
After a scoreless first period, things got heated up in the second. Spezza got things started for the Sens when he came down the right side and Sabourin came out to meet him and take away the angle. Sabourin stopped Spezza’s initial wrister, but the puck came right back to Spezza’s stick. By that time, Sabourin was way out of his net, giving Spezza the opportunity to make the relatively easy wraparound goal to make it 1-0 Sens about four minutes into the second period.
The Sens doubled their lead about five minutes later when Alfredsson applied some excellent cycling behind the net, then made a dish to Spezza all alone in front of the net. Spezza had time to fire a slapper from about five feet away that Sabourin couldn’t stop, and it was 2-0 Sens.
Chris Neil and Eric Godard squared off soon thereafter and engaged in quite the fisticuffs. After some jostling, Godard landed several solid right hooks on Neil to get the unanimous decision.
With the Penguins only on the second powerplay of the game, they finally got on the board on a great shot-pass by Sidney Crosby to the stick of Jordan Staal, who deflected it into the net past Sens’ goalie Alex Auld to cut the Sens’ lead to 2-1.
The Pens’ goal gave them the momentum that was unfortunately short-lived, as with only 39 seconds remaining in the second period Spezza had the puck behind the net and attempted to make a pass to the slot. However, Letang, who didn’t apply any pressure to Spezza, remained next to the goal which led to the puck deflecting off his skate and into the net to make it 3-1 Sens.
The Penguins penalty killers cut the Sens lead again, as Staal stole the puck and fed it to Evgeni Malkin in the neutral zone. Malkin skated in the Sens’ zone and fired a wrister to the short side past Auld to make it 3-2 Sens.
The last five minutes saw lots of pressure from the Penguins, but they couldn’t put any more pucks past Auld to give the Sens the win.
The Pens will now fly home and will host the Sabres at the Igloo on Monday night.
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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.
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