Friday, April 30, 2010

A Powerful Performance

by Jan Snyder
Pens Take Game 1 by a score of 6-3

In a game filled with power play chances, the Pens made the most of their opportunities, scoring no less than four power play goals. Add in Guerin’s empty netter at the end, and that leaves only one even-strength goal scored by the winning team.

Okay, we all knew Halak couldn’t keep up what he’d been doing against Washington. But as the Habs played on, as late as Wednesday night, the Pens have been resting and itching to get back on to the ice. Plus the Canadiens traveled a few more times and were definitely still dwelling on the remarkable game seven they played.

Fleury was by far the fresher and better goalie tonight, facing 28 shots. No one star shined as brightly for the Pens tonight, but 13 different players factored into the scoring.

Coming up with big power play goals were Gonchar, Staal, Letang and Goligowski. The even strength goal came from Craig Adams, on a nice set up from Cooke and Dupuis, and Guerin just sealed the deal with the empty net goal at the end of the game.

Gionta scored a power play goal for the visitors, as it began obvious that neither team should take penalties.

Crosby managed his usual two points, assisting on the first and fifth Pittsburgh goals. He got cut on the chin by a high stick, went off for some work on the cut, and was back with the team in no time. The same can’t be said about Jordan Staal, who sustained some type of leg or foot injury. We’ll learn more about that as time goes on. As for Sid, the stitches add a little character to his wispy beard!

Another strike against Montreal was the loss of Markov when he and Cooke collided and he obviously hurt his leg.

So after giving up five goals, Halak, the hero of the series against the Caps, was pulled in favor of Carey Price. One would think that with a couple of days rest, Halak would be ready to go again. Or will they start Price in the next game? We’ll see on Sunday.

Good line from the Versus announcer tonight. He mentioned that Gonchar was the quarterback of the Pens’ power play. “Right now, he’s the number one quarterback in Pittsburgh, with Roethlisberger’s problems.”

So the second race to four has begun! Hopefully, the Pens will keep it going on Sunday afternoon on NBC.


Random Thoughts:

• I was happy to read that Buffalo signed Lindy Ruff again. He’s such a mainstay for the Sabres and a great coach.

• Since Buffalo is now out of the playoffs, Ryan Miller was able to shave off the awful mustache he was wearing. He looked like a pirate or something! But sad to see a great goalie like him out so early.

• Maybe the Caps need to bring in a veteran to help Ovie learn to be a better captain. That plan sure helped Crosby when Guerin came in and helped out. At first in his career, Sid had Mario has a mentor, but when 66 was forced to retire a second time, bringing in a steadying influence for Sid turned out to be a great idea. Keep in mind that Sid and Ovie are very young captains – they each needed a little seasoning.

Vancouver against Chicago promises to be a nasty little series. Can’t wait for it to start.

Flyers or Bruins? I’ll be interested to see which of those two teams come out on top of this series too.

The Sharks are up on the Red Wings 1-0 already. Who will come through in that one? Every time I think Detroit is fading, they come back.

Anyone who doesn’t watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs is sure missing something special.

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