taken from Savage_Beast over at Pensblog. thank you!
Jesus. Welcome to the NHL Playoffs Mr. Stamkos. That hit pretty much set the tone. Orpik looked possessed all night, and Stamkos disappeared after that, with only 1 SOG the entire night. Although the Pens brought the physicalities early and often, The Bolts were actually outshooting the Pens after the 1st period. But any chances they had were voided by Marc-Andre Fleury. MAF's play didn't miss a beat, and the Flower's head is swelling with confidence right now.
From the 2nd period on, the Beloved owned the game. It was apparent that the early hits were taking their toll, and their cute little 1-3-1 trap would only hold up so long. Besides Ryan Malone skating around like he actually mattered, little was heard from the talented forwards from Tampa. Vinny had probably their best chance on the night (with a pretty little between the legs manuever), but Fleury was better.
Although the score was Nils after 2 periods, there was a strong sense that the Pens were taking over, and Tampa Bay was wearing down. It would have been kinda sucky to lose this one.
3rd period, some guy named James Neal shows up in a Penguins sweater. Not sure where he came from but he looks like a keeper. He takes the pass from Paul Martin, who made a great play pinching down the left boards before dishing it back to Neal, who makes this nifty little slap pass to Kovalev. Buries it.
EC isn't the the type of blog to toot its own horn, but someone on these pages said yesterday the 1st goal would be HUGE MAJ (or something like that). 18 seconds later, Arron Effin Asham (not to be confused with Craig Fuckin Adams). Buries it. What a beast. Game.
BTW: what the hell is Dominic Moore celebrating?
I was going to say it was a perfect game. But then I look at the Power Play stats. 0-6 on 9:32. If we can ever get that thing going, we will be a very dangerous squad. Maybe that'll have to wait until 87 puts down the headset and returns from the rafters. But as long as they play the way they did last night, this Pens team will be a-ok.
My 3 Stars:
#1 Star - Fleury. On top of his game. The Flower's head is so big right now. We're talking Chris Neil big. Again (in Jay Caufield voice), Fleury is going to be difference in this series. Crazy faced Dwayne Roloson simply can not outplay MAF in 7 games. And if the Pens continue to own the majority of shots and chances, we'll get through.
#2 Star - Brooks. The hit on Stamkos set the tone. And Orpik has a history of shutting down the Lightning stud. #44 and the rest of the D-corp are key #2 to winning this series. And along with partner Letang, as well as Michalek / Martin, these guys were studs all night. Orpik also assisted on 2 goals.
#3 Star - tough call. A great team performance, with big ups to Neal (1 A), Kovalev (1 G), Kunitz (EN), Staal (A, 6 SOG). But I'm gonna give it to Arron Asham. The Bolts didn't even have a chance to get out of stunned mode before Asham started flying around the ice. The coast-to-coast effort was an opportunistic effort that my pizza stealing dog would appreciate. He was also part of a great night for the 4th line. Happy 33rd birthday to Arron Asham.
Props to the fans in attendance last night, as well. As a season ticket holder, I've been pretty disappointed all year with the lack of enthusiasm in the new building. Last night, I was really impressed.
ROOT Sports. Just like FSN...will you please tell your director to STAY ON THE GAME CAMERA!!!!!!!!!!! How many scoring chances do we have to miss before you realize the quick takes to all your other ice level cameras SUCK. Use them for replays you F*$*@N DOUCHE NOZZLES. I'm so sick of this shit. Your 2nd, 3rd, 8th, and 9th cameras are not enhancing the action for us fans during live action. And they are not why people are tuning in. THEY SUCK. STAY ON THE GAME CAMERA, PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE OF SWEET BABY JESUS CHRIST. STAY ON THE GAME CAMERA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finally: we preach the sheer awesomeness of the Pensblog here all the time. We have no affiliation, and I don't even know who these dudes are. I do know it's great stuff and pretty essential reading for any Pens fans out there. Another great recap from last night's game. We highly recommend it. Bookmark it. Do it.
Around the rest of the NHL:
The Pens win, along with all other games were meaningless as well. Apparently, Alexander Semin and the Washington Capitals just won Game 7 of the Finals. Season is over.
Starring Will Forte as Ryan Malone and Ryan Phillippe as Jordan Staal...