Friday, November 20, 2009
Phillips, Sens Lay the Smackdown on the Pens 6-2
-For me there were a few highlights from this game: Godard vs. Neil fight, Cooke's hit on Donovan, and Geno's PP goal. All three were nice things to see, but they came at a time when the game was basically over. The Pens went 1 for 5 on the PP and instead of invigorating the offense, the PP seemed to take away the momentum from the Pens. They managed very few shots on those 5 chances and because of how solid Ottawa was playing, winning the special teams battle would've given the Pens a chance in this game.
-After the Staal goal (1-0 Pens) off a Dupuis feed, the Sens stormed back to score 6 unanswered goals and take command of the game. Unlike the Pens, the Sens got contributions from their secondary players. Carkner, Kelly, Phillips (2g), all had big goals. And last time the Pens visited Ottawa, Kovy and Alffy were invisible, tonight they were on their game. Kovy was swirving around as best Kovy can do, and his linemates Fisher and Foligno seemed to feed off his play. Michalek also added a goal.
-The Pens had their chances in the 1st period with three 2 on 1s where they couldn't even generate a shot. The Sens had much better puck possession and were creating positive shifts lines 1-4. Kelly scored a very important 3rd goal midway through the 3rd and the Pens never seemed to recover after that. Much to the dismay of Sens' fans, Cooke's hit on Donovan was legal and it wasn't dirty. Sens coach Clouston was arguing but the refs knew it was just Cooke being Cooke. "Steigy, Cooke's not gonna stop, you kidding me," Errey.
-The Godard and Neil heavyweight tilt was one of the best fights in a long time. They were both landing some punches until Godard unleashed a right hook which caught Neil on the face and lead to some blood. Fleury was not sharp tonight, Both of Phillips's goals were soft as was the Cheechoo goal. Expect to see a more focused Fleury Saturday night in Atlanta. On a night when the offense struggled to generate any momentum, the PP and Fleury failed to bail the Pens out. It happens. Lovejoy looked good on D, especially on the point on the PP. If Lovejoy's play keeps improving, could that make Letang expendable? Or maybe this is a nice showcase for Lovejoy, who knows.
-Look for tomorrow night's preview against the Russian national team(aka Atlanta)