So I guess this is what it sort of feels like to be a Caps fan (except for the fact we win). Total domination all night by the Pens, and barely anything to show for. For a moment there it felt like the Pens were destined to make one bad play and let the Sens sneak one by MAF. But fortunately that didn’t happen. Instead, the Pens finally slid a puck past pack Craig Anderson late in the 3rd, and now we’re heading to the other nation’s capital nodded up at 1-1. We now have ourselves a Best-of-5 series to see who will dance for Lord Stanley.
A few notes here:
I’m not sure if Phil Kessel’s ever been this angry about anything in his entire life, but regardless, Malkin should consider pissing Phil off more often if he’s going to respond the way he did tonight. An angry Phil Kessel is an effective Phil Kessel.
Then, to top it off, who better than Geno to set Phil up with the game-winning goal?
Also, let’s not forget about MAF here. It’s getting redundant now, but the man continues to stand on his head. With tonight’s shutout he tied with Queen Henrik for most career playoff shutouts by an active goaltender (10). Not bad company even if the other guy hasn’t sniffed a Cup.
Sticking with the theme of the 2017 playoffs, it wouldn’t be a Penguins playoff hockey game if it didn’t come with any injuries. Early in the first, Dion Phaneuf pulled off his best Scott Stevens imitation and absolutely destroyed Bryan Rust with this open ice check:
It’s annoying that it was that asshole Phaneuf who was responsible for (most likely) another brain injury to Bryan Rust, but at the same time, it’s tough to argue that it wasn’t a clean hit. Phaneuf clearly didn’t target Rust’s head, and unfortunately, Rust had his head down. It’s tough to see a guy go down like that.
Another tough break came later in the period when Justin Schultz left the game with an apparent shoulder injury after check to the boards from Senators’ forward Mike Hoffman.
All in all, it was a big win for the Pens tonight even if it did come with a few casualties. Hopefully Rust and Schultz will be back, but then again, this team is loaded with the depth.
P.S. – For some weird reason Guy Boucher didn’t follow the game on twitter tonight like the rest of the world. Seems like he should’ve because his team wasn’t very good tonight.