Tuesday, October 13, 2015

There is no place like home

The city of  Pittsburgh / MF
By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are ready to get the first win of the 2015-16 season during their home opener against the Montreal Canadiens (Habs). It will not be an easy task for the 0-2 Penguins.

The Habs are one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) and have a tremendous start to the new season. The Habs are playing their fourth game of the season tonight and it's their final of a season-opening road series. The Habs have a strong defensive team and play a disciplined style of hockey. Not to mention, the team has the reigning NHL MVP and Vezina Trophy winner, Carey Price in their net. The Habs have also been blessed with some unreal speed and scoring to start off the new season. They have a total of 10 goals in their opening three games, which has been led by Tomas Plekanec (three goals) and Habs' Captain, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban (four assist each).

The Penguins will have to focus on generating more offensive chances and then making sure to capitalize on those chances. They must also put shots on net and pepper Price with pucks, while also getting bodies in front of the net to disrupt Price. In addition, Sidney Crosby has to put shots on net and get out of this shooting funk he seems to be in. I also think Mike Johnston should give more ice time to the other lines, who generate some good chances. They come out with fire and get things going, but then are sat on the bench for the rest of the period. One guy that stood out last time was Daniel Sprong, who looked like he was flying on the ice, when he got a chance to get on it. Better management of the lines seem to be in order.

Another spot that needs improvement in this game has to be the power-play. Seems like the same old story, but they do way to much passing on the power-play. Also, no one seems to be quarterbacking during the power-play. Some chances need to be made, but they don't lack fire power, just needs some fine tuning.

As for the defense of the Pens, Marc-Andre Fleury has been solid. He has made some unreal saves during games and kept the Pens in the games. However, the goalie can't do it alone. The Pens defense has been inconsistent to say the least. They need to keep guys out of Fleury's way and do a better job of clearing the puck out. Then at time the defense looks very good, but by the next play it all falls apart. Hopefully, they just need time to get the pairings on the same page.

The Pens will have to put a full 60 minute effort into the game and Fleury has to be a wall. They need to get ahead first and keep it, but even if the Habs score first, the Pens have to keep working at it. It's time to get the first win and the home opener is the prefect time and place to do so! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Consol Energy Center / MF

Kunitz, Crosby, Kessel
Perron, Malkin, Hornqvist
Plotnikov, Bonino, Bennett
Porter, Cullen, Sprong


Cole, Letang
Maatta, Lovejoy
Scuderi, Dumoulin

Fleury in the net!

Play by Play
Pens 2 Habs 3

Third Period

0:00 - The Pens fall to the Habs 3-2, which puts the Pens at 0-3 to start the season. Not the way to get things start, but maybe they are getting the losses out now instead of later. Optimistic thinking.

0:38 - Empty net for the Pens.

1:11 - Pens call a timeout.

1:58 - Crosby goes down to one knee on a shot, but Price comes up big!

5:03 - Some chances for the Pens, but nothing to take a second look at. Johnston tries to get things going by putting Malkin, Crosby, and Kessel on one line.

8:54 - The defense is lacking for the Pens. Paul Martin's presence is noticeable, knew it was a bad decision to let him go. A team can't put all its money into offense alone.

10:16 - The Pens power-play comes to an end after the Habs get a 3 on 1 chance. Fleury with a great save. Horrible power-play for the Pens, none of their passes were connecting.

12:19 - Smith-Pelly takes a tripping penalty and the Pens get a power-play chance.

12:39 - The Pens aren't playing like they did during the second period. They need to get back to work!

14:40 - Fleischmann scores. Plotnikov is hooked up on the play, which results in a turnover and the Habs get possession. The Pens have no defense back as everyone was looking for a call that never came. Fleischmann is wide open and puts it past the blocker of Fleury. 3-2 Habs

14:57 - The Habs have got some good early chances and Fleury has been

20:00 - Only 20 minutes of regulation left in this one! Things are tied up at two! The Pens have to continue to build off the second period and keep working hard! Lets Go Pens!

Second Period

0:00 - The horn sounds on the second period with things tied up at 2. Much better period for the Pens.

2:31 - Bonin gets a great second chance opportunity in front, but Price is able to keep the puck out. The fourth line is a hungry line.

6:38 - The Pens have come out to play this period. They are playing with a purpose and definitely took note from the first period.

9:51 - LETANG SCORES! Kessel tries to make a pass from behind the cage to Kunitz, but it goes off a Hab player! Letang gets the loose puck at the point and fires a wrist shot and it beats Price! 2-2 tie game!

11:15 - Pacioretty scores on the power-play. Pacioretty fires another hard shot and it goes past Fleury's glove. 2-1 Habs.

12:10 - The Pens are caught with too many men on the ice and Habs will get a power-play. Horrible timing as the Pens were getting some great chances.

13:12 - Kessel finds the puck in the slot area, but Price gets a pad on it!

14:28 - BENNETT SCORES! Lovejoy and Weise go down and end up blocking a shot! Bennett gets the loose puck and carries it all the way into the Habs' zone! Coming down the right side and blows one past the blocker of Price! 1-1 tie game!

16:02 - The Pens fourth line has been doing some hard work to get things going. Things are picking up for the Pens.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens have to get pucks on net and pester Price! Lets Go Pens!

First Period

0:00 - First period ends with the Habs leading the Pens 1-0.

1:37 - Sprong and Cullen work the puck into the Habs zone. Good hard working effort by the fourth line.

2:30 - The Habs are still spending way too much time in the Pens zone. The Pens are just having trouble getting the puck out cleanly and up the ice. When they finally do, the get chances and miss the net.

4:14 - Crosby comes flying down the wing, but Price denies him!

4:58 - The Habs are pinning the Pens in their own zone. The defense is having trouble getting control of the puck.

7:16 - The Pens are unable to capitalize on the power-play.

8:01 - Now it's time for a Pens power-play for 45 seconds.

9:16 - Time for some 4 on 4 hockey for 1:15 as Desharnais heads to the box for tripping.

10:01 - The Habs get the first power-play of the game. Plotnikov sits for interference.

13:42 - Pacioretty scores! Gallagher rushes into the Pens' zone and gains control of the puck. He finds Pacioretty open in the high slot. Pacioretty puts it five-hole. 1-0 Habs

15:02 - The Pens have had some good rushes, but haven't challenged Price in the net.

20:00 - The puck has dropped and this game is on! Lets Go Pens!

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