Sunday, December 13, 2009

Geno Supreme-O Strikes Big in OT, Pens edge Cats 3-2

37 seconds into OT all those terrible PPs on display during the game were now an afterthought, thanks to Geno.
After Leopold went to the box for a hold on Staal, the 4 on 3 PP was bound to be an automatic goal, right? Not so fast considering the Pens were 1-6 on the PP tonight and 1-14 in the past four games.

Geno's top corner roofing was a thing of beauty. It helped to have Billy G standing in the crease providing a lovely screen, something he was doing all night in front of Vokoun. The Panthers are a hard working team. And they have to be with Booth out of the lineup and with no other real stars on their roster. It seems like Ballard plays the whole game for them and deservedly so. I'd love to have him on my team, can play in any situation. Not sure Crosby would like him though.

The Pens 2nd line came through tonight. Dupuis made a fancy dipsy dangle for his 9th of the year to tie at 1-1 in the 1st. Fedotenko was scoreless in the past 13 games until Geno fed him a nice pass in the 2nd. On the play Rupp took out two Panther D-men so Geno had some time to find Feds who was parked right in front of Vokoun. 2-1 Pens after 2 periods. But the Panthers wouldn't go away.

As the Pens PP just ended in the 3rd period, the Panthers leading scorer Stephen Weiss (14th)
scored an empty net goal after Johnson initially stopped McCabe on a breakaway. The Panthers pepppered an impressive 31 shots in this game, 29 of which backup Johnson stopped. He's been everything the Pens could ask for as the number 2 to Fleury. The defensive coverage wasn't good last night and the 1st Panthers goal was evidence of that. Reinprecht and Olecz were caught standing tall around Fleury instead of lying on the ice.

As usual the Pens mustered 40 shots against Vokoun AGAIN tonight, 37 he stopped. Without him in net they'd probably lose every other game 5-2 or 5-1. The Panthers play hard but they can't generate any off. zone time, can't hit, can't fight, and have no "passion" or energy type guys. Not sure what their GM is thinking. They could use a Ruutu, Talbot, Neil, or an Avery. They did have 31 shots which is impressive in itself considering I can't remember a single one (other than the goals).

The Pens outhit the Panthers 34 to 13, Wow. Numbers don't lie folks and I'm pretty sure 20 of those hits were registered on poor ole' Michael Frolik, hehe. Orpik absolutely crushed him in the 3rd on an open ice hit. Then he hit Dvorak pretty hard. Talbot and Adams were banging and crashing Ballard and so on. The physical play is all part of Bylsma's "investment" philosophy and wearing teams down as the game progresses. The Panthers can thank their solid d-men and Vokoun for earning them the point tonight.

Tuesday night we'll be seeing Scotty Hartnell and company make their first trip to the Mellon. 1-4 under Laviolette thus far, sheesh. That's what happens when 95% of your team is North American, they'll never learn.


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