Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Means War! Game 4 in Pittsburgh!

By: MF,

Another playoff hockey night in Pittsburgh, but sadly the Pittsburgh Penguins are trailing the New York Rangers 2-1 in this round one series. Now, the Penguins can tie this series up with a win in Game 4 at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins are 26-27 all-time in Game 4s.

The Penguins have shown promise in the this series and have been doing well. However, they are down in the series 2-1. The Penguins have had some trouble in the opening of the games and getting to their game. Then for the games in which they loss, they started to come on a little too late. In Game 3, the Penguins had 43 hits, which was the most they have recorded since June 6, 2013 at Boston when they recorded 46 hits. A big positive for the team has been the faceoff circle. As a team, they have a faceoff percentage of 54%, which is fourth among current playoff teams. Also, they have stepped in from the regular season in their goals against average (GAA) per game and their penalty kill percentage. Their GAA per game in the regular season was 2.49 and in the playoffs it's 2.33. While, their penalty kill percentage in the regular season was 584.8% and has climbed to 85.7% in the playoffs. It shows an overall tightening up in their play.

The offense for the team has been stepping up in this playoff series and looks very promising. Our Captain, Sidney Crosby has three points (two goals and one assist) in his last two games and it tied for the team lead in points with Chris Kunitz. Crosby has been playing with a fire in him and really bringing it every game. Once Evgeni Malkin breaks the goal drought, the two-headed monster will be fully unleashed on the Rangers. The Penguins first line has been contributing every game and that is not just because of Crosby. Patric Hornqvist has five points (two goals and three assist) in his last eight playoff games. He finally scored his first playoff goal since April 29, 2012 and it was his first career playoff goal with the Penguins. Hornqvist even established a new career high of seven hits in Game 3. On a side note, Scott Wilson made his NHL postseason debut in Game 3 and skated a total of 6:50.

Not everything lies with the offense to get a win, but the defense has to hold their own. With the injuries on defense, the Penguins have been able to deliver. A newer addition to the lineup was Ian Cole before the trade deadline and he has become one of the best for the Penguins. Cole led the Penguins in time on ice during Game 3 with 23:22. Cole also has back-to-back playoff assists for the first time in his career. Another big guy behind the blue line has been Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been the team MVP all season long. Fleury has been playing great in the net and giving the Penguins every chance to win their games. Look for him to come up big again tonight.

As for the injury front, the only update from head coach Mike Johnston was that Derrick Pouliot (upper-body injury) was close to playing.

Tonight is a huge game for the Penguins and this is a chance to tie up this series. They have to come out with speed and passion! They have to take it to the Rangers and take away their speed! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Hornqvist
Perron, Malkin, Comeau
Spaling, Sutter, Downie
Wilson, Winnik, Lapierre

Martin, Lovejoy
Scuderi, Cole
Dumoulin, Chorney

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
Pens 1 Rangers 2 OT

0:00- The Rangers take Game 4 in overtime and take both games in Pittsburgh. Now the Pens face elimination in their next game. I hope they can pull through this one.

15:28- Hagelin Scores. The Rangers crash the net and Hagelin gets the loose puck to put it in the back of the net. 2-1 Rangers.

17:43- This is a back and forth overtime.

20:00- The puck has dropped on the first overtime of this series! Time for the Pens to take this game back! Lets Go Pens!

3rd Period
0:00- We are headed to overtime as this game is still tied at one a piece.

0:28- The Pens have a wide open chance, but Kunitz misses his chance.

1:39- The Rangers ice the puck.

2:58- Time is fading away and this game is still tied. All Pens' fans have 911 on speed dial as they are on the verge of a heart attack.

3:34- Ugly battle in the corner of the Rangers' zone with Downie and Sutter in the mix.

5:50- This game is a nail biter, heart raiser and intense game right now.

8:29- Malkin gets behind the defense and battles to get the puck on a rush, but his pass attempt is broken up.

10:00- Malkin has picked up his play in the last few minutes.

12:09- Malkin shoots out of a canon and backhands one on net. Lundqvist with the save.

13:32- Fleury has been the heart and soul of this team. He proves that every game.

15:58- Fleury makes a huge pad save! Great save!

17:05- Crosby makes an outlet pass to Hornqvist at center and Lundqvist makes a glove save.

20:00- Time for the third period! The Pens need to tap back into the momentum they had in the first period! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and this game is tied at 1-1.

1:51- Fleury makes another huge save as the Rangers come on strong.

2:45- Brassard Scores. Fleury makes the first toe save on Brassard, but can't get the second attempt as everyone crashes the net. 1-1 tie game.

3:35- The Rangers are shooting more on the rush into the zone and missing the net a few times. The Pens have to shut that down.

5:16- Fleury has been tested more in this period and stepped up to the plate.

9:45- Fleury denies St. Louis's wrist shot!

10:40- The Rangers have come on a little more and had some offensive zone pressure. Fleury holding down the fort.

13:08- That is all she wrote for the Pens power-play.

15:08- Malkin's line dominates and Perron draws a penalty. Power-play for the Pens!

16:25- The Pens kill off another Rangers power-play. Fleury was strong in the net.

18:25- A early power-play to start this period for the Rangers as Cole goes for boarding.

20:00- The puck has dropped to get this second period underway! The Pens have to stay consistent and keep the Rangers on their heels! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and the Pens have the 1-0 lead!

0:02- Power-play ends for the Pens. Malkin was awesome at the blue line.

2:02- Power-play for the Pens as Moore goes to the box for roughing. Lapierre is being attended to by a trainer.

3:48- Pens are dominating the play right now.

6:22- A successful kill for the Pens!

8:22- Right after the Rangers finally register a shot, they get a power-play. Comeau to the sin bin for hooking.  

10:07- The Rangers are still looking for their first shot of the game.

10:35- The Pens power-play comes to an end. Had a few good looks, but needed to shoot more on their one-man advantage.

12:35- Now the Pens will get a power-play chance as Stepan sits in the box for tripping.

13:23- Martin keeps the puck in the offensive zone and gives Comeau a chance, alone, in front. Lunqvist makes the save.

15:20- The Pens are made whole again.

17:20- Downie heads to the box for interference.

17:30- HORNQVIST SCORES! Dumoulin drops in the puck to get a play started! Hornqvist and Crosby work behind the net to outlet the puck to Lovejoy at the point! Lovejoy fires and Hornqvist redirects up front! 1-0 Pens!

18:45- The Pens come out with speed and get a shot on net. Much earlier then the last few games.

20:00- It's playoff hockey in Pittsburgh! Time for the Pens to come out with speed and take charge of this game early! Lets Go Pens! 

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