Pens-Rangers Game 5: Who's the Hoss?
Marian Hossa put on his most impressive performance in a Penguin uniform, scoring two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lead the Penguins into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Before the game started, things were much simpler than NBC made them out to be... The Penguins wanted to win this game, the Rangers had to win this game.
The Rangers came out flying, getting the first four shots of the game. Then, they remembered they were playing in the Mellon Arena, and the Penguins pressured Lundqvist while rattling off the next seven shots on goal.
During the Penguins' offensive assault, NBC announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick somehow discovers how to use the word "finesse" as a noun, verb, and adjective all in the same sentence... what a joke.
Jaromir Jagr took a penalty, but the Pens couldn't get anything going on the power play.
Jagr then drew two consecutive penalties, but the Rangers power play is nonexistent, and the Pens killed them both off.
After the power plays, the Penguins put their fourth line on the ice, and Gary Roberts went absolutely beserk. Roberts recorded three hits in about 25 seconds, and the Mellon-ites came alive.
Nigel Dawes got some good looks at the net at the other end of the ice, but pulled a Straka and missed the net both times. At the end of the first period, it was deadlocked at zero.
The second period opened with the Penguins' top unit buzzing in the offensive zone. Marian Hossa shot a puck wide of an open net, then headed to the bench in disbelief that he choked on a golden opportunity like it was dry chicken.
NBC showed a nasty shot of Chris Drury leaving the ice with a nice sized gash (that was actively gushing blood) on the side of his face. The replay showed that Drury took a high stick from Ryan Malone. Apparently, that isn't a penalty anymore, and no call was made.
The teams alternated chances on the power play, until the Penguins finally capitalized on the man advantage. Sidney Crosby hit Ryan Malone with a pass in the high slot area. Malone quickly shuffled the puck back door to Marian Hossa, who buried it behind Lundqvist to make it 1-0 Pens.
Michal Rozsival took his first of 43 penalties in the game on the ensuing shift. On the power play, Gary Roberts had a golden opportunity to put his team ahead by two, but was robbed by another incredible save by Lundqvist.
The Penguins returned to full strength, and at about the 12:30 mark of the period, Eddie Olczyk wonders if the fatigue effect will begin to set in on Evgeni Malkin, who had been on the ice for an extended shift after an icing call.
Ten seconds later, Malkin answered Edjoke's question by going coast-to-coast, pulling up in front of the net, and scoring on a sick backhand shot to make it 2-0 Pens.
Rozsival took another penalty on the ensuing shift, and somewhere a Ranger sportswriter accuses him of throwing the game.
Gonchar rang a heavy shot off the post on the ensuing power play, but we would head into the break with the score 2-0 Pittsburgh.
Just over two minutes into the third period, Lauri Korpikoski wins a sweepstakes at the Mellon Arena that allows him to suit up to play one shift for the Rangers. Korpijokeski makes momma proud, and rifles a shot over the shoulder of Fleury, making it 2-1 Pens.
Just over a minute later, someone told Scott Gomez that he used to be a decent hockey player in New Jersey, and it all came back to him. Gomez threaded a sweet pass through traffic, onto the stick of Nigel Dawes. Dawes buried it, and all of a sudden the Penguins lead had vanished. 2-2.
The rest of the third period was back and forth hockey, and it seemed whichever goaltender made the first mistake would ultimately cost his team the game.
Queen Henry made some unreal saves down the stretch. He robbed the Sykora-Malkin-Malone line at least four times in one shift.
Neither team could put the puck in the net, then your fifth grade English teacher makes an appearance holding a sign that reads: "IRONY's A BITCH."
Chris Drury (who had been cut by a Malone high stick in the 2nd period, and no penalty was called) gets his stick up into the face of Malone, breaking the skin. The referee's immediately blow the whistle, and call the four minute double minor penalty.
If I were Chris Drury, through all the injuries, unlucky bounces when I thought I had a goal, and no-calls that I fell victim to in this series, I would seriously investigate multiple conspiracy theories against myself during my free time this off season. Then I would consider jumping off of a bridge.
The Pens couldn't score before the end of the period, so we would go into overtime with the Penguins still enjoying the man advantage.
All of Penguins nation (or at least the four people I was watching the game with) were praying that the Penguins didn't score on this power play. The last thing we needed was to listen to the New York media/fan base complain that the refs were homers, and they fixed the game because Crosby is hott.
Brad Watson was the man in charge on the ice tonight, and he has officiated some of the most lopsided Penguin games in recent history; with his favoritism being toward the opponent in each instance. Numerous "Watson sucks" chants filled the Mellon Arena this season, so tonight was an honest mistake. A horrible, horrible mistake, but honest nonetheless. Watson hates Pittsburgh more than Don Cherry.
The Penguins answer our prayers, and don't score during the power play. For the next four minutes, the Rangers looked like the Mighty Ducks playing against the Hawks before Gordon Bombay took over behind the bench.
Tom Renney's gameplan for overtime entailed not gaining possession of the puck throughout the entire overtime period, and hoping than Lundqvist made all the saves.
Well, it didn't work. Sidney Crosby took the puck in his own zone, gained the offensive zone, and dished it off to Pascal Dupuis on the left wing. Dupuis fumbled the pass between his feet, before the puck eventually squirted out into some open space before it was found by... the Hoss.
Hossa let a wicked wrister go, Lundqvist never saw the puck, game over, series over, Pens win.
The Penguins advance to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will take on the Philthadelphia Flyers.
This was the first time in team history that the Penguins won all of their first five home playoff games.
The Rangers fell to 0-4 all time against the Penguins in the playoffs.
Ruutu was getting inside Jagr's head all game long... it's about time.
Henrik Lundqvist was the Rangers in every game this series besides Game 4 when Jagr decided to play some hockey. Hopefully the Rangers don't turn into the Devils and disregard playing offense because they have a solid goaltender. The Atlantic Division is boring enough with the Devils already.
Lemieux > Balboa.
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