Gameday #9 Recap: Pens @ Capitals. Ovechkin: a mediocre number 8…

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Pens coming off a decisive win over the Devils last night. Washington beat the Flyers the day before and are in serious need of a jumpstart this season. NBC Sports pointed out that Ovechkin’s production has radically dropped off over the past few seasons…whatever. Full cap after the jump.

First Period

Martin scores a few minutes in on a shot from the point. 1-0 Pens

2 minutes later there some possession by the Caps in the Pens’ zone. Mike Green hits and complains about it, gets left in the  behind the play and gets left open. Letang doesn’t pick him up and Green takes a pass, one timer. 1-1.

Matt Cooke – scores goals by existing in front of the net. go figure.

2 minutes later Paul Martin takes a shot from the point and it hits off Cooke apparently. Confidence is blowing up . 2-1 Pens . Braydon Holtby (on the review) decided to play the body of Matt Cooke instead of the puck. Rookie mistake.

Back and forth on a pace that I would guess suits the Pens. Boychuck continues not to be Eric Tangradi.

Engo joins a rush, takes a pass from Malkin but Karl Alzner gets a stick on it. Engo continues to be much more valuable on the ice and not fighting Colton Orr.

Malkin might have gotten away with  a Delay of Game penalty, leads to, after the faceoff, a good chance for Crosby on the break. He gets hooked, which apparently isn’t a penalty anymore. Holtby makes a big save on Crosby who shot five-hole. Remember that.

Some 4th liners sustain pressure in the Pens’ zone. Get an icing. Gets a sakting clear and avoid  any serious damage (excluding their pride…).

Second Period

Opens with some back and forth, Dupuis throws a saucer to Malkin for a great chance but there was another great save by Holtby.

Chimera almost sneaks one by Vokoun but again Vokoun is sharp (as he has been all game.)

Crosby almost breaks out again against the d. No big deal.

Crosby looked to explode out against the Caps’ D all game.

Bizarre dump in bumps off the glass as Vokoun goes to stop it for a Dman and goes straight in the net. Honestly a terrible way to score. Oh, and somehow Boychuk goes off for boarding. Caps with good pressure on the man advantage. No clear by the Pens for 1:37. Penalty killed. 2-2 and Caps have momentum.

Boychuk with two wonderful chances after coming out of the box, blocking a shot, and taking a feed from Sutter. Letang fires one from the top of the circle and beats Holtby 6-hole. Great feed from Sutter. 3-2 Pens.

10 seconds later, great passing by Kunitz from the neutral zone sets up Crosby, back pass for 14 who roofs it. 4-2 Pens. Totally different game from 5 minutes before.

Ovechkin tries to take over, but as it turns out he can’t. Go figure. Caps come storming back. Despres takes a bad high sticking penalty. Pens go on the kill. Martin gets hauled down by Wojtek Wolski. 4-on-4 for 30 seconds. Pens go on the powerplay. Alzner breaks a stick on a clear and Malkin takes advantage by keeping the puck on that side of the ice. Cross ice for Kunitz. 5-2 Pens.

Third Period

Caps open up with sustained pressure in the Pens’ zone. One shot from the point, but saved by Vokoun. Pens seem cool and composed, but you have that feeling that if some offensive zone time doesn’t happen, then you’re gonna have a bad time.

Despres tries to clear and takes a penalty for Delay of Game. Caps looking to score, Pens being patient and Caps just standing around. Vokoun makes a save on Ovechkin and Ribiero. Eventually a rebound squirts to Ribeiro. Goal. 5-3 Pens.

Pens look like they might be turtling, not good. Kunitz comes in with a power move, somehow doesn’t go in.

Pens start looking for stretch passes out of the zone. Getting dangerous.

Back and forth. No flow of play. Caps with a few good chances. Ovechkin tries a toe drag and Vokoun trolls hard. Ovechkin tries to drive hard to the net and expects to score. Nope.

Really annoying how much the refs stopped play this period.

Vokoun makes another great save on some wrap around. Boychuk continues to hit the line with speed and make things happen. Looks threatening. Bortuzzo takes a penalty for high sticking. Caps get good pressure on the power play, but not much on net. Pens get a much needed clear, and finish with a kill.

Vokoun makes another sharp save on a Troy Brower redirect.

Crosby steals the puck of Carlson and it leads to a Pens Powerplay, the first full powerplay of the game. (Ovechkin for roughing, and Carlson for holding.) Neal almost bangs one home, same with Letang. Good movement and passing = good chances. Crosby finds Kunitz just outside the slot. Hat-trick for Chris Kunitz. 6-3 Pens. Great patience, great movement, stick on the ice. Good stuff.

Game, Pens. 6-3.

Notes/Thoughts

  • Powerplay looked better. Only saw three and a half minutes of ice time but passing was crisp, entrances were clean(er), shots were on net. 2/2 on the day. 
  • The only goal against that was decent was the Green goal. A goal off the stanchion and the Ribiero goal are throwaways. Legit outing for Vokoun.
  • Crosby: 3 pts. Malkin: 2 pts. Letang: 2 pts, 4 shots. Kunitz: 3 pts. Cooke: 2 pts. Neal, Sutter, Bortuzzo, Martin: 1 point. good distribution.
  • Boychuk looks way more at home than Tangradi and Kennedy. While that isn’t hard to do, he’s helping to create. We hope this continues. He had three shots and two chances today.
  • Kunitz hat trick was cool.
  • Joe Vitale was 8/11 in the faceoff circle. That’s sick.
  • 11 goals over 2 games. Good to see the offense is back, but this time around we want to see the D match it. I think the D did a good job this game and should continue to improve…hopefully.

Islanders in New York on Tuesday. Later.

 

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