Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pens clinch playoff spot with win over Flyers...Face Leafs today

-What started out very badly for the Pens, ended up being a decisive 4-1 victory over the cross-state rival Flyers. After a bad angle goal just minutes into the game by Asham, the Flyers gained some clear momentum. All four lines were rolling and dictating play in the Pens zone. A couple stupid penalties later by the Flyers and the Pens decided to take control of the off. zone. And with under a minute left, Leopold's shot hit the right pad of goalie Backlund and came right to Kunitz for the easy goal, 1-1 after one period.

-After what looked to be a 2-1 Flyers lead off a Simon Gagne goal, became a 2-1 Pens lead off a Dupuis goal, his 18th of the year. Leino clearly ran into Fleury as the goal was scored and a ref from the otherside of the ice saw the play and after a group of refs got together to discuss, it was clear the goal should be disallowed. Nice. The Flyers continued to take stupid penalties, mostly by Scotty Hartnell. And the Pens entered the 3rd up 2-1 with a ton of momentum.

-Hartnell proceeded to take a couple more penalties, one resulting in a Fedotenko goal and another by Cooke. The Pens went on to win 4-1 after getting outplayed the first half of the 1st period. What happened? All 4 lines were creating some type of offense. Adams was banging, Talbot was getting his nose dirty, and same goes for Rupp. Staal has been playing some spirited hockey the last couple games, he was paired with Kunitz and Guerin.

-Low and behold, Ruslan Fedotenko might be starting his springtime ritual of heating up. He made a nifty assist on the Cooke goal and went hard to the net on his own goal.
Poni had a very strong game. Was hitting and creating space for the two speedsters on his line, Dupuis and Crosby. Fleury didn't need to make too many big saves, but he was there when he needed to be. The Flyers are in big trouble with Leighton and Carter out, and with Richards playing heartless hockey it'll be even tougher.

-The Pens face the Leafs at 5pm today. Luca Caputi returns and Poni will play his first game against his former team. The Leafs played spoiler to the Rangers and won last night. They have been red hot since the trade deadline. With Gigure in net, Phaneuf on the backend, and some talented youngsters named Bozak, Stahlberg, and Kulemin upfront the Pens better watch out.


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