There were highlights, and there were lowlights in last night’s 6-5 OT win over Boston. A productive first period and a dominant third period sandwiched a genuinely awful second period. The Penguins hope that becomes a microcosm of their season as they chase number three.
The lowlights began early. Matt Hunwick, who was a last-second substitution for Ian Cole, should have grabbed some popcorn. Hunwick didn’t bother Ryan Spooner, who isn’t a physical net-front player, which led to an early deficit. Hunwick needed to see Spooner sooner and take the body. I’m not sure how the Penguins will score this one— Either, Jake Guentzel had more time to play the puck and erred by chipping it ahead to the Bruins forecheck–OR–Conor Sheary needed to be stronger on the wall. That’s the result of a hodgepodge third line.
In the second period, the goal which could have been the backbreaker: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang zipped a cross-ice pass to nowhere and no one, except David Pastrnak. Letang took the net-front player, but Dominik Simon–who raced back into coverage–also took that net player, which left Pastrnak open to eat Jarry’s lunch. Jarry was down on the paddle and was eerily reminiscent of Matt Murray in the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals. Like Murray in 2016, Jarry did not adjust to the shooter. Jarry stayed down. The shot was high. Goal.
Riley Sheahan. You know it’s that kind of night. Sheahan could do more of this. Should do more of this. He has a goal scorer’s shot. The goal was the third “iffy” goal by Rask, but the Sheahan effort stands. Crazy, crazy game:
And the game winner. For bloggers with more time or stats geeks who want the most excellent stat–find out how often the Penguins take control of the puck to begin overtime and don’t give it back. It seems they have done that several times. They allow for line changes, they control the puck–and the talent of Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel (I’ve heard he’s won the Stanley Cup twice?) was on full display:
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