Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The quest for three begins

PPG Paints Arena / MF
By: MF, 

We find ourselves back in a similar position as the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoff begin tonight with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round.

There are some many things to say about this team, but either way, you look at things, this team has done great things. That shouldn't be forgotten as we, Pittsburgh Nation, have gotten a bit spoiled over the last two years.

With all that aside, the Penguins are focused on the Flyers and one game at a time. They need to put all their focus on playing their style of hockey, which can be difficult against the Flyers. These two teams are no strangers to each other and know how to push the other's buttons. The Penguins have to rise above that and play smart hockey. They know how to get the job done and all we have to do as fans is...3elieve in this team. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Guentzel - Crosby - Rust
Hagelin - Malkin - Hornqvist
Sheary - Brassard - Kessel
Aston-Reese - Sheahan - Kuhnhackl

Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
PENS 7 Flyers 0

3rd Period
0:00 - THE PENS TAKE GAME WIN WITH A DOMINATING 7-0 WIN OVER THE FLYERS! Crosby gets the hat trick and Murray earns a shutout! 

1:39 - Gostisbehere breaks up a chance in front for the Pens. 

4:38 - Another successful penalty kill for the Pens. Flyers are zero-for-four on the power play with zero shots during them. 

6:38 - The Pens have been doing great, but one thing that they can improve on is their penalties. Letang is the latest offender. He sits for high-sticking. Penalty killing time. 

9:19 - CROSBY SCORES! HAT TRICK FOR OUR CAPTAIN! Dumoulin with a point shot and Crosby redirects the shot from the slot past Mrazek. 7-0 Pens

10:02 - A very fast third period. Not many whistles so far. 

12:19 - CROSBY SCORES HIS SECOND OF THE NIGHT! Schultz fires a shot from the point and it ends up going off a body in front right to Crosby, who is stationed at the side of the net. He puts the loose puck into the open net. 6-0 Pens

12:48 - The Flyers are zero-for-three on the power play. The penalty kill has been on point for the Pens. In large part due to the performance of Murray. 

14:48 - Power play chance for the Flyers as Letang is called for slashing. 

15:02 - Sheary digs out the puck from the boards behind the net. He outlets to Kessel in front. He goes down to one knee to fire a shot. Mrazek robs Kessel. 

16:47 - Aston-Reese takes a hard hit at the blue line. That one hurt for sure. 

20:00 - We are back for the third period! Even though the Pens hold a commanding lead, they cannot afford to give the Flyers any hope. Lets Go Pens! 

2nd Period
0:00 - The Pens have extended their lead to 5-0 over the Flyers after two!

0:34 - Crosby puts the puck right in the blue paint for Letang. Mrazek holds down the pad to make the save and Letang ends up getting shoved away. Mrazek covers for a whistle. 

2:55 - Raffl is set free and the Flyers are back to full strength. 

3:30 - Solid save by Mrazek to deny Hornqvist.

4:55 - Power play time once again for the Pens as Michael Raffl goes to the box for hooking. 

5:02 - Kessel gets in behind the defense. Andrew MacDonald hooks up Kessel a bit as he tries to get back to help Mrazek. Kessel fans on the shot. 

5:41 - Malkin's shot just goes off the goal post. He had Mrazek beat. 

6:09 - Guentzel, in the slot area, fires a shot that is fought off by Mrazek. 

8:04 - Power play time expires for the Pens. Zero shots on that power play. They tried to get a little too fancy with their shots. 

10:04 - Back to the power play for the Pens as Laughton is caught slashing Malkin. 

10:59 - Elliot is finally chased from the net. Mrazek will replace him. 

10:59 - CROSBY SCORES! Guentzel carries the puck into the zone and circles behind the net. He outlets to Dumoulin at the point. Dumoulin fires a high shot. Crosby waits for the puck to drop below the crossbar and whacks the puck out of midair, on his backhand, past the blocker of Elliot. Unreal. 5-0 Pens

12:10 - GUENTZEL SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! A tic-tac-toe goal for the Pens. Sheary goes across the center to Brassard, who makes a pass across the front of the ice and right on the stick of Guentzel. Guentzel was all alone at the side of the net and directs Brassard's pass into the net. 4-0 Pens

14:06 - A perfect chance for the Pens to get back to their game as they will head onto the power play. Couturier is called for tripping. 

14:36 - The puck just slipt in half. Very bizarre. Nothing is safe when these two teams collide. The slow motion came showed the puck breaking after hitting Letang's skate as he blocked a shot.  

14:42 - Another solid save by Murray with traffic in front. The Flyers have come out to play this period and the Pens have to get things back under control. 

15:55 - Murray with a great glove save on a shot right off the faceoff win by Jakub Voracek. The Flyers with some pressure. Murray holding down the fort. 

18:10 - Laughton gets some time and space down the wing. His shot goes wide, glove side of Murray. 

19:59 - A little surprising to see Elliot in net to start. I thought they would pull him for Petr Mrazek, but you won't see me complaining. 

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens need to keep putting on the pressure, while also playing a smart hockey game. Staying out of the penalty box would be a good start. Lets Go Pens! 

1st Period
0:00 - That does it for the first period and the Pens hold the 3-0 lead!

1:48 - Some good pressure by Crosby, Kessel, and Guentzel who were on a makeshift line. Elliot ends up making a save on a point shot by Ruhwedel.

2:29 - Another solid penalty kill by the Pens. They held the Flyers to zero shots. Letang was impressive on that penalty kill effort.

4:29 - The Flyers are turning over quite a few pucks right now. They are trying to engage the Pens after the whistle. The Pens have to stay away from that kind of stuff. Malkin ends up taking a slashing penalty. Flyers to the power play.

5:51 - MALKIN SCORES! Malkin is released from the penalty box and gains control of the puck after it is lifted to the neutral zone. Shayne Gostisbehere drives Malkin to the outside, but that doesn't stop him. Malkin strong arms Gostisbehere and gets a backhanded shot off. He beats Elliot. 3-0 Pens

6:03 - The Pens penalty kill is successful.

7:15 - Flyers are now on the power play for 1:12. Penalty killing time for the Pens.

7:28 - Oleksiak and Simmonds exchange words and shoves. Simmonds is trying to fire up his team.

8:03 - A bad penalty for Malkin to take on the powerplay. He will head to the box for hooking and there will be some four-on-four hockey for 48 seconds.

9:15 - Now the Pens will head onto the power play as Travis Konecny is ticketed for tripping.

9:53 - HAGELIN SCORES! Some sustained offensive pressure by the Pens as they get a complete line change while holding the zone. Hagelin forces Couturier to turnover the puck to Sheahan. Hagelin goes to the front of the net. Sheahan goes to Hornqvist who fires a shot/pass on net. Hagelin redirects the puck past Elliot. 2-0 Pens

10:49 - The Flyers have had some quality chances and the Pens need to do a better job of shutting them down.

11:44 - I was a bit worried about Murray. He has fallen down in the blue paint twice now. However, he steps up for the Pens once again. At the side of the net, Scott Laughton was left wide open and he thought he had an open net to score, but Murray dives out to deny him. Spectacular save.

14:41 - Shots are 5-2 in favor of the Pens. Lots of energy both on and off the ice.

17:22 - RUST SCORES! FIRST GOAL OF THE 2018 NHL PLAYOFFS! Letang comes flying down the wing and fires a high shot on net. Brian Elliot makes a blocker save, but the rebound goes right to Rust in the middle of the ice. Rust quickly releases a shot that beats Elliot. 1-0 Pens

18:23 - Hagelin comes down to the slot to help out the defense. He stripes Wayne Simmonds of the puck and Schultz is able to clear the puck. 

18:44 - A great atmosphere at PPG Paints Arena. I can feel it through the television. 

20:00 - The puck has dropped and the first round of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs is officially underway! The Pens need to take it to the Flyers and put them on their heels early. Lets Go Pens! 

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