Pens in trouble?
It’s a tough pill to swallow; being seconds away from taking a 3-0 series lead, giving up a tying goal, playing another period in a half and then losing. But is there reason to panic in Pittsburgh?
If Craig Anderson can stop 49 shots in game 4, 5 and 6, then the Senators deserve to win the series. Anderson was THE reason that the Sens won this game. Vokoun stopped 46 shots too, but he’s proved in his 5 game starts that he is solid. Anderson has now given up 4 goals, given up 3 and gotten pulled, and then gave up just 1 goal on 50 shots faced. I knew we’d see a different Anderson at home, but he played out of his mind.
Here’s what is scary… Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke were the only Pens to score a point last night. Meaning what? Just like any sport, every offensive team has an off night; even the Miami Heat don’t score 100 every night.
The Pens will have an off day today, practice tomorrow and then game Wednesday night. One thing worries me: Momentum. Having two days off helps the Pens. I think it’s going to be tough for the Sens to carry the momentum into Wednesday night. I don’t see it being a problem.
The Pens are still in control of this series. They still possess home-ice, they are still in the lead, and they still are the better team. Most teams and fan bases are content with a 2-1 series lead; Pittsburgh fans expect perfection and want sweeps.
So here we are, three games down, how many are left?
The Sens had to do everything in their power to beat the Pens. It took nearly an extra half a game. Their Penalty Killing is keeping them in games. After giving up 2 goals in the first game, they went 6 for 6 last night against the best Power Play unit in the NHL. If the Pens can fix that, Pittsburgh will be fine. The Senators are going to have a tough time repeating last night and I doubt they can do it 3 more times.
I’d like to think that the Pens will bounce back strong in game 4… Win… and then close the series out at home. But I expect a 6 game series; Coach Bylsma has never clinched a series at home. But we’ll see.
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The Hockey Guy