In another hard fought battle with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins were unable to come out on top as they lost 6-5 late in the third period.
The game itself seemed all to reminiscent of the past playoffs, and the emotions between players were just a tense as it has been in the past.
Yeah, everything was the same, just with a few new names.
The Pens found themselves up early with goals from both Matt Niskanen and Evgeni Malkin and then the Flyers quickly changed the game’s momentum following a Peter Laviolette timeout.
With two quick goals courtesy of Nicklas Grossmann and Wayne Simmonds, viewers could almost acknowledge the game was already turning into another one of those wide open Flyers-Pens contests.
Bad penalties, malicious rifts and cheap shots were all being displayed last night–but what Pittsburgh lost on was bad goals.
A lot of Flyer goals were resulted from defensive breakdowns, bad ricochets and poor puck control. Uncharacteristic of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and for some reason it almost always occurs in games with the Flyers.
Putting themselves down 5-3, and then ultimately tying the game at five on a Brandon Sutter wrap-around with minutes remaining in the game, a freaky Jakub Voracek shot would all but deflate Pittsburgh’s mojo.
What seemed as just a harmless puck being thrown on net, turned into the dagger for the Penguins, as Voracek’s third goal just squeaked by goaltender Tomas Vokoun with 1:31 left in the game.
The positives for Pittsburgh had to be when Malkin got out of his mini-goal slump, in which he also added an assist. But he ended up in the penalty box a lot, just like every time he plays against Philadelphia.
However, not to single out just him, there were a lot of unnecessary penalties taken by the whole team. Penalties that happen at the most unfortunate time.
Paul Martin played a great game with three helpers–including getting the puck deep on Sutter’s late game-tying tally. James Neal was able to record yet another power play goal along with an assist and Tyler Kennedy potted a goal himself, 5:29 into the third period.
Sidney Crosby, Matt Cooke, Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang also each registered a helper as well.
Same story with these two teams though.
When Pittsburgh decides to play it cool when they face-off with Philadelphia, their chances of coming out on top will be through the roof.
But they must learn to harness their emotions.
The Pens play the Florida Panthers in the CONSOL Energy Center tomorrow at 7 p.m.