Saturday, 26 November 2011

Game Twenty-Four: Pens v. Habs

A little late arriving to this one, joining the game with 7 minutes gone in the first, game tied at one.

First Period:

- Juicy rebound off a Cole wrist shot leads to Pacioretty's 10th goal of the season. 2-1 Habs.

- Got the feeling would could see 9 or 10 scored tonight. Lots of jump on display by both teams' offense so far.

- Habs really aggressive to the Pens' net, Darche nearly putting his team up by two.

- Really, Pens D being way too lax allowing traffic towards Fleury.

- Price flashes out the glove hand to snag a hard slapper from the line. He's pretty into the game, more so than usual. And why not? Habs need this one to avoid going 1 and 3 this week.

- Neal with a silly slash on Subban, the crowd cheers. For what? To see this hapless PP?

- First line was very sharp. Excellent puck control. Cole very high percentage chance taken away by Fleury. Plekanec has great vision and playmaking abilities which benefit his spot at the line, but that's largely mooted by his easily stopped slapper. Plekanec is a sniper, not a power shooter. Martin simply must end this strategy. It's not working. 23 games and counting is more than ample evidence.

- Pens pressing late in the period. Habs can't afford to give up those killer late goals, especially against a team like Pittsburgh.

- So a one goal lead through 20. Canadiens will certainly be pleased with the result, but they probably felt the same at this point in the game against the Flyers. No more 2nd period bombs, guys, or Crosby will eat you for lunch.

Second Period:

- Hmm. If I was a betting man I'd say that isn't a goal. Let's see what Toronto says. It sure looks like Kunitz directed the puck in off his glove.

- League taking a long look at it. Fans in Bell Centre think it's no goal.

- And it's no goal. Correct decision, in my opinion.

- And for good measure Price stops Kunitz on a break seconds after puck is dropped after terrible turnover by Plekanec. I guess it's just not meant to be for Kunitz. At least on that shift.

- Pacioretty took pretty hard elbow to the head in front of Fleury. Seems like he's okay.

- For the most part, the Habs have done well checking Crosby. Having the last change helps, so Martin happy to send Plekanec out when needed.

- Pacioretty and Cole make a great team. One seems to always know where the other guys is on the ice. Its been creating great chances. These two really ought never be broken up.

- And there we go. Pacioretty finds Cole who goes high glove side, just like Pacioretty's goal in the first. 3-1.

- Made a prediction early in the week the Pens would break the Habs PK streak. Will I be right?

- Nope. At least not yet, thanks to some pretty nifty saves by Price.

- Moen looked a lot like Crosby swooping in from the wing and nearly scoring in spectacular fashion.

- Can't keep that line in check forever, I suppose. Dupuis unstoppable turnaround shot off the crossbar. 3-2.

- Price stones Malkin (from Crosby). He (Price) continues to be a difference maker in making his team very competitive against the League's best.

- Subban tackled on a breakaway. How was that not called?

- Maintaining lead through 40. Habs have been the (slightly) better team, although the Pens outshot 16-5 in the 2nd. The big key has, of course, been Price, but the defense and backcheckers deserve some credit for limiting chances off rebounds. They're giving Price the first shot (mostly unobstructed which is also very nice) and protecting the crease. Should be a most interesting 3rd.

Third Period:

- Kostitsyn's first game back, he's got a lot of rust to shed. More or less totally ineffective tonight.

- Pens aggressive start to the period. They want to tie this up ASAP.

- Dupuos penalized for holding the stick. Everyone in crowd thought it was against the Habs until Dupuis entered the box.

- Wow. Controversial play. Kunitz gets a breakaway courtesy a lazy play by the ref (Hasenfratz) who deflected the puck off his skate to Kunitz. It appears he scored a legit goal but it's waved off ... by the same official. Huh!

- Habs simply cannot sit on this with 13 minutes left, and yet they're doing just that.

- Price save of the game off Malkin courtesy a great setup by Crosby. Gets deserved standing O.

- Habs PP just horrid. Price called on to make two more great glove saves with the man advantage. And now Eller has ended it all with a mindless interference call in the Pens zone.

- Habs now 43 for 43. Just 10 away from tying the record.

- Cole blind behind the back pass behind the Pens net right on the tape of Pacioretty's stick. How he knew Pacioretty was there is beyond me.

- Six and half left. I just can't see Habs holding on to this.

- Huge gaffe by Weber who fails to protect his wing, and the gate is opened wide for Staal who tucks it under the crossbar. Huge gaffe. Game tied.

- Letang bleeding all over the ice after he was hit hard in open ice by Pacioretty. Skate blade maybe? Looks nasty.

- Nope. Looks like it was Pacioretty's elbow. Probably a broken nose. Habs very fortunate they don't have someone serving 5 for Pacioretty.

- Emilin might be able to hit, but he can't stickhandle.

- Well the holding the lead for dear life strategy certainly didn't pan out, what to do about overtime? Shut it down and pray for a shootout?


- Weber has not had a shift since the Pens tied the game.

- And the second I post that, Weber steps on the ice.

- Markov has not had a shift since the Pens tied the game (hey worth a shot).

- Pens score after it appeared that Price had more than secured the puck. Letang the winner but really, the play should have been blown dead. Blah. Bad officiating may have cost the Habs an extra point.

- Gill and Weber were on the ice for the game-ending goal. Have at it with that strategy.

- Post-game report, Letang indeed had had his nose broken, but came back to the bench in overtime, and of course, scored the winner with a pin implanted in his face. Pretty gutsy stuff.

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