Three stinkin’ posts. Some of you smartalics in the audience might think the first sentence describes my last three musings on this site; however, it actually refers to the difference in tonight’s 4-3 overtime loss in Carolina.
Hockey can be a game of inches, in this case iron inches. Aside from a stretch in the first period when Carolina rattled off two straight to erase an early two-goal deficit, Pittsburgh dominated tonight’s contest. The visitors outshot the Canes 40-21 and had several glorious scoring chances, but could not put enough rubber behind Carolina’s young netminder Justin Peters.
To be more accurate, they were able to get some shots behind Peters but his friend – the pipes – came to the rescue.
Penguin goalie Brent Johnson awoke from an early-evening malaise to play fairly well, despite almost being decapitated by a Mark Eaton elbow in the third period. Johnson stoned Erik Cole on a clean breakaway that could have cemented the Canes eighth-straight home victory in regulation.
This game featured several exciting moments but lacked intensity. Maybe it is because the Pens seemingly had the game in hand and were just biding time until scoring the game-winner, or maybe it is because Carolina is on the outside looking in on the playoff race. Still a third option is the Penguins saving their bone-crunching effort for tomorrow night’s knockdown-drag-out spar in New Jersey.
Jerk the bell Cowher, your boys won for the second time in three tries against the Pens this season. The upstart Canes are making an admirable push at the end of what started as a nightmare season.
Hopefully tonight’s loss – although yielding one precious point in the standings – will put a sour taste in the Champs mouth for Friday’s nights fight.
Discouraging stat: The Pens have drawn only three total penalties in the last two games.
No. 1 Star: Brian Pothier, 1 g, 1 a. Lofted the game-winner over Johnson’s shoulder just 23 seconds into overtime.
Blew A Tire: Kris Letang, -3. Honorable mention to A P-sky. Only a -1 for the new winger but I thought he played with two left skates tonight. He never got it going.