Simply when it appeared the hockey gods had been smiling on our Penguins and every thing was going our manner…WHAM…we get hit with a triple dose of misfortune. Given our horrendous luck, I typically surprise if PPG Paints Area is constructed on an historical Native American burial floor.
The one factor this crew might in poor health afford has occurred…a crippling rash of accidents to our forwards. However I digress.
The Pens battled valiantly towards adversity and the Bruins at PPG Paints Area, solely to return up on the quick finish of a 2-1 rating. Within the course of snapping our six-game profitable streak.
If ever a crew deserved a greater destiny, we did final evening. As a substitute of succumbing to a daisy-chain of brutal occasions our guys displayed the guts of a lion and fought to the bitter finish. Win, lose or draw, I can’t bear in mind the final time I’ve been extra pleased with a Penguins crew.
We began taking hits earlier than the opening faceoff. Teddy Blueger, such a nice shock at third-line middle and a crackerjack penalty killer in addition, was scratched with an undisclosed upper-body damage. After the sport got here extra unhealthy information…coach Mike Sullivan introduced No. 53 could be out long term.
Issues downshifted from unhealthy to worse simply previous the six-minute mark of the opening body. Former Pens farmhand Jarred Tinordi…all 6’6” of him…flattened Evgeni Malkin with bristling test within the nook. When Geno regained his skates, the hulking B’s defenseman ran him once more. Grimacing, Malkin slowly exited the ice and made his technique to the locker room.
After gamely returning for an influence play, No. 71 exited once more…this time for the evening. This following an early power-play purpose by David Pastrnak that gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Once more, the Pens displayed their outstanding resilience. Following a pleasant bit of labor by linemates Kasperi Kapanen and Evan Rodrigues, Brandon Tanev pounced on a unfastened puck on the purpose mouth and slipped it previous goalie Dan Vladar to even the rating at 1-1.
As destiny would have it, Tanev and Tinordi would quickly play a pivotal function within the proceedings. At 12:57 of the second interval, “Turbo” noticed Tinordi lugging the puck close to middle crimson. Whether or not he had it in thoughts to avenge the hit on Malkin, solely he is aware of. Taking lifeless intention, No. 13 raced throughout the ice like a wild canine, closing on Tinordi with demon velocity.
Tanev leveled the large defenseman simply as he launched the puck. Tinordi slammed into the boards back-first and lie on the ice for a number of minutes, drawing the eye of each the Bruins’ medical workers and the officers. After watching replays of the incident, the zebras confirmed their preliminary name. Regardless of his vigorous protests that the hit was clear, Tanev was issued a five-minute match penalty and a recreation misconduct.
For all intents and functions the Pens had been now down three forwards, together with arguably their two greatest penalty killers in Blueger and Tanev.
What adopted was one of many gutsiest shows I’ve witnessed lately. With assist from Sidney Crosby, we snuffed out the foremost penalty and really practically scored a shorty. Mark Jankowski broke in alone on Vladar, however the rookie goalie bought a chunk of his shot, which glanced off a put up for good measure.
So shut and but up to now.
Sadly, Boston’s Trent Frederic had no such difficulties. Seven minutes into the third interval the rugged ahead took full benefit of heavy visitors in entrance of Casey DeSmith to attain on a wrister from the excessive slot.
The Pens battled valiantly until the bitter finish, practically beating Vladar from a scrum across the web within the closing seconds. Alas, on this evening, it was not meant to be.
An commentary. Whether or not we contend for the Stanley Cup or not, we’ve bought Stanley Cup character. And that bodes nicely for this group…now and sooner or later.
The Pens outshot Boston, 35-33. The Bruins gained the faceoff battle (58 p.c) and topped the black and gold in hits (46-40).
DeSmith earned the third star and made 31 saves in a shedding trigger. The primary star belonged to Vladar, and rightfully so. The rangy 6’5” netminder made a number of enormous stops in his NHL debut, none greater than his reach-back paddle save on Colton Sceviour halfway by way of the primary interval.
Chad Ruhwedel dressed rather than John Marino; Sam Lafferty stuffed Blueger’s spot. With Teddy becoming a member of Jared McCann and Jason Zucker on IR, pray Malkin’s not significantly harm.
Regardless of the loss, the third-place Pens preserve a three-point edge over Boston and a six-point lead over Philly. Up subsequent, the Devils on the Prudential Middle on Thursday evening.
*Remember to take a look at Rick Bukers books,
obtainable at TriumphBooks.com,