Gameday 7 Recap @ New York Rangers

penguinsvsrangers

Pittsburgh Penguins (4-3-0) @ New York Rangers (3-4-0)

Pens at the Blue Shirts tonight. Must win game for both teams. It’s a shame that the Rangers didn’t show up. Big win going forward towards the Devils at home on Saturday. Full recap after the jump. 

First Period

Pens came out of the gate with more energy than they had at any point in the Islanders game. First shift from Kunitz-Crosby-Duper was solid, built up a lot of zone time right off the bat.

Geno-slapper-from-the-right-short-boards© goal. Classic.

The second shift was way more impressive. Puck came into the defensive zone Despres knew what to do, went straight for the body. After he had taken out his chief opposition for the puck he broke it out up the wing for Jeffrey, unlike Tangradi and Kennedy before him he caught the puck cleanly. Pens working it around in the offensive zone, comes back out to Despres, again, he knows what to do. Dishes it to a wide-open Geno waiting on the door step, buries it. 1-0 Pens.

Simon Despres is a new player with Kris Letang, maybe it’s because they can communicate in French to one another, but he has so much more confidence with Letang. From start to finish, Despres made this play happen, and it wouldn’t be his best achievement of the game.

The Rangers really like to play on the edge. After their first line got shutdown by the Pens’ fourth, Rick Nash got a stick up high on Tanner Glass. The power play didn’t score but they at least held the puck in the offensive zone for most of the 2 minutes.

Play was mostly back and forth throughout the rest of the period. The Pens did a pretty good job of insulating Vokoun, but nonetheless, he was always in position when it mattered.

At some point Robert Bortuzzo fell and shook the Earth in the d-zone, nothing came of it but it was the biggest blemish on an otherwise solid debut.

As the period ended Mark Staal started hacking at Geno around the net. After Lundqvist stopped a shot Staal kept hacking at him after the whistle, eventually hauling him down. Somehow the ref decided that they were both guilty of roughing. 4-on-4 as the period ended.

Second Period

Pens PP goes to work early in the period after some Ranger gets jammed up and lays out Crosby. Good puck movement I guess? Crosby and Letang played catch a lot, but that was about it. Killed. (Think back to Andrew’s post from yesterday…Crosby at the point…consider that.)

Vokoun made a big save off some deflection. Whatever.

Solid all night.

Things started to get chippy. Matt Cooke took a penalty after getting a cheap hit from some Ranger. PK comes out and draws a call on Del Zotto. TK tried some move, almost looked cool. Nash has a short-handed chance. Penalty over.

Carl Hagelin tripped someone I guess. PP comes out again. Everyone’s hoping that things stop looking awful. Malkin on the point with Letang. King Henrik makes a great save on Malkin. Killed.

Dupuis hauls someone down. PK comes out. Vokoun made some big saves. Killed.

Malkin has a great 2-on-1 with DJ, bad pass. Wasted.

Crosby gets a breakaway and doesn’t score. Big save by Lundqvist. Follow up  for Crosby to Kunitz, but its redirected wide. Devastating.

Pens go on the man advantage I guess. Period over.

Third Period

Pens start on the PP, the Real Deal capitalizes on a beautiful redirect.  2-0 Pens.

Back and forth for a while, Rangers getting chances only off turnovers.

Vokoun gets lucky – a big shot from the point that rings off the post.

Pens go on the PK. Rangers buzzing, puck bounces strangely and Dupuis chases it down and feeds it Despres on a break. 3-0 Pens.

Goal. Good for Despres.

Halpern goes to the box for obstructing Neal. PP comes out. Lots of commotion, nothing really happened. Again.

Back and forth, no real progress either way.

Game. 3-0 Pens.

Thoughts/Notes

  • TK was way less noticeable. 
  • PP still looked terrible. Again, I’ll refer you back to Andrew’s article from yesterday. There was at least some attempted cycling going on towards the end of the third period. I want to see the PP hit the line with speed, get the puck deep, and make the other team’s PK work for their kill. Right now, they’re just blocking shots.
  • Vokoun with a big shut-out. Dude looked solid. Hopefully this pushes MAF.
  • Second and Third periods looked way better than the past two games. Solid play. Not spectacular play, but it was a good enough for the W tonight.
  • Bortuzzo looked decent in his limited minutes.
  • Still lots of back passes that weren’t connecting. It looks like some of the kinks are getting worked out, but overall better.
  • Surprised that Rick Nash didn’t score another meaningless goal.
  • Still mad that Crosby didn’t bury his breakaway. Terrible move idea #1: “I know, I’ll just throw the breaks on and try to beat Lundqvist over his glove. That’ll work.” Nope. It didn’t.
  • Good to see Despres get on the score sheet.

Devils on Saturday. Later.

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