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Blog : IPF's Penguins Review

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
Wanted to get this up last night, but I couldn't.

Blog : IPF's Penguins Review
Tonight the Capitals came into Pittsburgh to face the streaking Penguins. The Penguins had won 9 games straight coming into tonight. Marc-Andre Fleury started in net for the Penguins, while Braden Coltby started for the Capitals. Here’s what I saw
In the first period, the Penguins came out hot. They dominated the first 6 minutes of the game, and then the game seemed to even out. The Penguins were better in the offensive zone than the Capitals were, holding the puck in the zone longer, and getting more scoring opportunities. The Penguins had MANY scoring opportunities in the first period. The Capitals had a few, but they were quickly shut down by Marc-Andre Fleury who has looked very sharp through 1 period. The Penguins had 1 power play during the period, from an early interference penalty, but nothing good came of it. I would say the power-play still needs some work. It has been getting better in the last few games though. It has been much more aggressive. The Penguins put good pressure on the Capitals when the Caps were in the offensive zone. The Penguins did not allow the Capitals to get too many good shots off, and they forced them out of the zone very quickly in this first period. Something the Penguins have been struggling with recently is the penalty kill, and the Penguins had to kill one at the very end of the first period. Beau Bennett was called for tripping with 20 seconds remaining, but nothing came of the first 20 seconds. The Penguins also showed great puck movement throughout the first, more and more as the period progressed.
First Period Stats
· 11 Shots for Pittsburgh, 10 for Washington
· 14 Hits for Pittsburgh, 8 for Washington
· 6 Face-offs for Pittsburgh, 9 for Washington
Jack Hillen (WAS) 2 minutes for interference at 1:35
Beau Bennett (PIT) 2 minutes for tripping at 19:40
In the 2nd Period, the Penguins started off on the penalty kill. The came through and stopped the Capitals to start out the 2nd period on a good note. The Capitals seemed to move the puck better on the power play in the 2nd than they did in the first, and the Penguins didn’t apply the same level of pressure when on defense as they did in the first period. When the Capitals scored the first goal of the game at 8:04, off the stick of Alexander Ovechkin, there was no worry. The goal was kind of a goal that you couldn’t do much about. Fleury blocked an iniatial shot, and the rebound bounced right back to Ovie, and he put it in the back of the net. That was a power play goal for the Caps, an issue the Penguins have been having as of late. The period was pretty much played out evenly. Both teams had puck possession, entered the offensive zones well, and got some big shots off. Both goalies held strong, especially Fleury, who has been very sharp tonight. At 9:11, the Penguins went on the power play. The Penguins had good passing, but not having Kris Letang is really hurting our power play. The Capitals weren’t respecting our defensemen as scoring threats on the power play, making it harder for our forwards. The Penguins really couldn’t get enough shots off to start the power play, but then they started applying some pressure, and right at the end of the power play the Penguins finally found the back of the net and tied the game. The goal came off the stick of Paul Martin at 11:07. The rest of the period wasn’t much to talk about until the end of the period. Joe Vitale took a penalty at 19:12 for tripping. This would for the second straight period give the Capitals a power play to end and start a period. For the 48 seconds that the Penguins were on the penalty kill, they spent a lot of it on offense, getting a good look at a short-handed goal, and ultimately, burning valuable clock time to close out the period.
2nd Period Stats
· 13 Shots for Pittsburgh, 11 for Washington
· 14 Hits for Pittsburgh, 8 for Washington
· 15 Face-offs for Pittsburgh, 10 for Washington
8:14 Ovechkin (WAS) (12) (Power Play) Assists: Brouwer; Ribeiro
11:07 Martin (PIT) (6) (Power Play) Assists: Crosby; Bennett
6:49 Kunitz (PIT) 2 minutes for Tripping
9:11 Chimera (WAS) 2 minutes for Hooking
19:12 Vitale (PIT) 2 minutes for Tripping
The third period began, and both teams came out excited, but a little on edge. You could tell that the game had that nervous type of energy. There wasn’t really a whole lot of room on the ice, and it made both teams play a little sloppy. But after a few minutes, both teams settled down. The Penguins finished off the penalty kill to start the third period. Soon after, Sidney Crosby came down the ice and made an acrobatic play that should have drawn a penalty. Sid is just too good. The plays he makes are breathtaking, and this was just another example, one in which he came up short. Seven minutes into the period, Matt Cooke took a bull**** boarding penalty, only to be accompanied by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to make it a four minute penalty. The Penguins kept the pressure on during the penalty kill. The fans were very loud and energetic around this time in the game. The Capitals couldn’t keep the puck in the offensive zone long enough to get good looks at the net during that power play. The penalty kill was really good there. That’s all really, it was very good. The energy from the fans had to help, as it got louder and louder as the penalty kill went along. By the time it was killed, the place was rocking, and not long after, that energy helped the Penguins when they got a 3 on 2 opportunity as Matt Cooke came racing out of the penalty box. The Penguins would score on the play off the stick of Matt Niskanen. If you’re like me, you did some sort of crazy celebration that you can’t even describe when that puck found the back of the net, and probably woke your little ones up with your scream ( little brothers in my case). After that, the game was really just a blurr for me. I was too excited. In general, this game was a ****ing great one. Matt Niskanen had an impressive game I thought, and a big shout-out to Sid on his milestone career 200th multipoint game. The Penguins have won 10 in a row now. I live and die with this hockey team, and recently, I have been doing a lot of living. I’m excited and ready for the Islanders. Are you?
3rd Period Stats
· 12 shots for Pittsburgh, 8 for Washington
· 2 hits for Pittsburgh, 2 for Washington
· 9 face-offs for Pittsburgh, 12 for Washington
11:58 Niskanen (PIT) (4) Assists: Crosby; Cooke
7:49 Cooke (PIT) 2 minutes for Boarding (BULL****)
7:49 Cooke (PIT) 2 minutes for Unsportsmanlike conduct
19:57 Laich (WAS) 2 minutes for Interference
Official 3 Stars
3rd Star Braden Holtby
2nd Star Matt Niskanen
1st Star Marc-Andre Fleury

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