Friday, April 24, 2015

With the Penguins till the end! Game 5

By: MF,

It's now or never for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they face elimination against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (MSG). The Penguins are 24-20 all-time in Game 5 situations. They also have a record of 10-4 all-time at MSG in the postseason. The Penguins have been able to limit the Rangers shots in this series. They have limited the Rangers to 26 shots or fewer in three of four games in this postseason. However, the Rangers have had golden chances and rarely let those chances slip by, so the Penguins will have to eliminate those types of chances on Marc-Andre Fleury.

This game will push the Penguins to their limits and offensive pressure for a full 60 minutes will be key to getting a win at MSG. The Penguins have scored an average of 3.05 goals in their last 21 games at MSG, which is a combination of regular and postseason statistics. In those last ten games, they have scored four or more goals. The Captain, Sidney Crosby has entered into a beast mode for these playoffs. He has been playing hard, scoring goals and getting plays going. Crosby will be appearing in his 100 career playoff games, which is only one game behind Evgeni Malkin and Tom Barrasso. This puts him in seventh for all-time playoff games played leaders for the Penguins. Another guy stepping up in the postseason is Patric Hornqvist, winger on Crosby's line (first line of the team). He has six points (three goals and three assists) in his last nine playoff games. Hornqvist has a three-game postseason point streak, which is the first time since April 26, 2010-April 15, 2011 (three games). The Penguins will have to pick up their game and one guy who will have to do that is Evgeni Malkin. There is a lot of talk of him not being 100%, but that isn't an excuse anymore. If he is injury, then he should sit, he is doing more harm than good. However, I think Malkin is in a bit of a funk and just needs one goal to get the beast going. Malkin is an offensive giant and once you wake him, then you better stand back and watch him wreak havoc.

Now offense isn't the only key to winning. The defense will have to be at the top of their game tonight and keep the Rangers at bay. Fleury has been unreal in this series and worked his butt off. He has allowed two or less goals in seen of his last 10 playoff games. Fleury ha a 2.24 goals-against-average and .921 save percentage. He will be big in net, but he will need help from the rest of the Penguins. The team has to stay disciplined throughout the game, but Ben Lovejoy has stepped up on the penalty kill. Lovejoy leads all National Hockey League (NHL) defensemen averaging 5:01 time-on-ice shorthanded per game. He has two assists in four games. Paul Martin is another top blueliner and he has two assists over his last three playoff games. Another guy stepping up on the back end is Ian Cole, who has two assists in four games. The Penguins defensemen have accounted for 42.9% of team assists.

No matter what the end result ends up being, I will be with the Penguins till the end whistle. Time to take out your lucky pennies, horse shoes, four-leaf clovers, rabbit foots and anything else!

This game will be close, but the Penguins have to stick with things. They have to stay disciplined and play a consistent 60 minute game. Let's take this back to Pittsburgh! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

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

Martin, Lovejoy
Scuderi, Cole
Dumoulion, Chorney

Fleury between the pipes!

Play By Play
Pens 1 Rangers 2 OT

0:00- It's with a heavy heart that I say, the Pens have been eliminated from the playoffs by the Rangers. Fleury was phenomenal in this series and unreal in this game. No words can describe what he has done for this team and he is truly our MVP. It's sad to see the Pens lose, but we will be ready next year with a fully healthy team and a great netminder.

9:14- Hagelin Scores. 

11:32- Martin with an unreal shot block.

14:09- Nail bitter...unreal pace for both teams.

15:40- Lundqvist robs Lapierre and Crosby!! UNREAL!

16:01- Great work by Dumoulion to keep the play alive in the offensive zone.

18:06- Fleury makes a save with the end of his stick on a shot by Kreider.

19:12- Sutter starts a play, but Lundqvist made the save. Great chance!

20:00- Here we are getting ready to start overtime! It is do or die for the Pens right now! LETS DO IT! Lets Go Pens!

3rd Period
0:00- This game is headed to overtime as this game is still tied at one.

0:24- Kunitz lays a punishing hit.

1:54- Amazing work by Hornqvist to enter the zone while being mauled down.

3:36- The Rangers finally get some sustained pressure and pepper the net. Fleury holds strong and the Pens get a little luck. Way too close for comfort.

4:23- It has been all Pens, but they really need that goal. The Rangers have had great chances also, but Fleury has held strong. Something has to give.

6:42- Great offensive zone pressure by the Pens and kept the Rangers in their zone. The Rangers get a half change, then ice the puck.

9:12- The Pens are playing with determination and passion. Let's hope they keep it up and don't make any mistakes.

11:33- Now the Rangers ring a shot off the goal post. Exciting hockey, but it would be better if the Pens weren't facing elimination.

13:47- The Rangers kill off the Pens power-play.

13:52- Crosby rings one off the goal post!

15:47- Crosby battles hard at the side of the net and draws a tripping penalty on Girardi. The Pens bring out their power-play unit.

17:43- The Rangers block an unreal amount of shots, but the Pens have to push forward.

20:00- We head into our last 20 minutes of regulation in this game! The Pens have to crash the Rangers' net and be relentless! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- The second period comes to an end and the Pens have tied this game up at one.

1:50- Malkin comes flying into the zone and passes off to Comeau, but the play is broken up.

2:37- SPALING SCORES! Crosby fires a shot on net and the Pens crash the net! The puck goes off Spalings upper arm and Lundqvist ends up kicking it in with his skate! This is a tie game after a dirty goal! That is how you do it! 1-1 tie game.

2:50- Not much to say about any of the other guys at this point. Fleury has been the star and had the most action. Hopefully, they can give him a rest and get a few goals.

5:00- Amazing penalty kill by the Pens, thanks to the guy between the pipes.

7:00- Horrible time to take a penalty as the Pens were getting some things going in the offensive zone. Comeau to the box for holding.

9:06- The Pens get a 3 on 2 rush. Crosby fires the puck on net, which is saved by Lundqvist. Hornqvist crashes the net, but Lundqvist holds and even ends up in the net himself.

11:28- The Pens have had some offensive zone pressure going, but either Lundqvist makes the save or their shots are blocked.

14:47- What saves by the Flower. He has stood on this head to keep the puck out.

17:24- Fleury is single handily keeping the Pens in this game. Words can't describe what he has done tonight or at least not ones that haven't already been said.

18:09- The Pens power-play is over. Other news: Zuccarello will not return to the lineup tonight.

20:00- Time for the second period and the Pens have a power-play for 1:45 to start this one! The Pens have to come out with speed and crash the net! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- The first period ends and the Rangers have the 1-0 lead.

0:15- Brassard takes a late penalty for hooking and gives the Pens a power-play chance.

2:31- Without Fleury this team would of been done by now, most likely not even in the playoffs. He gives the Pens a chance every night and in every game. They need to take advantage of that.

5:13- Big penalty kill for the Pens as Winnik is set free. Fleury is a fortress in the net and is giving the Pens a chance to take control of this game.

7:13- Another power-play chance for the Rangers as Winnik is called for holding.

7:41- Crosby fires a shot that is blocked by Girardi, but at least they are shooting the puck!

9:56- The Pens third line of Perron, Winnik and Spaling get a great opportunity on net, but Lundqvist shuts the door...only barely.

12:48- One shot on goal for the Pens on their power-play chance and the Rangers are back to full strength.

13:22- Malkin battles to keep the puck in the zone and gets a chance in front, but Lundqvist robs him.

14:45- Fleury makes two unbelievable saves to hold the Rangers at bay. Bassard is called interference and the Pens will have a power-play chance.

15:36- Stephan Scores on the power-play. Boyle fires from the point and Stephan gets position on Scuderi. He jams in the loose puck after Fleury made the first save.

15:49- Spaling heads to the box for hooking and Pens head onto the penalty kill.

16:15- Cole pinches and gives Kreider a chance one-on-one down the wing. Fleury makes a great pad save.

17:21- Good start for both teams. Fleury makes a solid first save.

20:00- The puck has dropped at MSG! It's now or never for the Pens and they will have to play a disciplined and consistent 60 minute game! Let's take this back to Pittsburgh! Lets Go Pens!  

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