If only the Penguins would have bought this type of effort in the first two games.
The Penguins played the right way in Game Three. The Bruins have played the right way the entire series. And Friday night it could all be over.
Maybe this was a heartbreaking loss, but when you think about it, it is more or less just disappointing. The Penguins aren't an up-and-coming team. They aren't some joke team. They were the runaway favorite in the Eastern Conference, the number-one seed. And while they played a really strong game last night, it doesn't matter much. The Bruins haven't trailed on the scoreboard in this series. Tuukka Rask looks like Patrick Roy on PCP.
Look at him. Completely gassed. It would've been a cruel injustice for this game to have ended on the Bruins power play stemming from Malkin's delay-of-game at the end of the first overtime. The guy has been by far the Pens' best forward this series when it comes to at least generating offense. There's not even really a close second.
But that's meaningless to even talk about because the Penguins offense in its entirety has completely disappeared. They have scored two goals in this series.
There are so many other things that don't make sense. The Penguins hit at least four more posts in Game Three. The power play, clicking so well this playoff season, had three chances in overtime to win the game, and it failed. The PP is now 0 for forever in the series. Desperately needed one last night.
And here is where we get down on our knees and praise Tomas Vokoun. What else could the guy have done last night? Vokoun has been the Pens' MVP this series, and that hurts to think about. The Pens are wasting their best playoff goaltending performance in years, and that really hurts to think about.
This was a game for big players, and the Penguins' big players couldn't break through. The Bruins' top players did. And now here we are. Friday night, the season could end just as it started: confusing and fast.
Now, of course anything can happen, but you can't watch the Pens fall behind 3-0 every year and cling to #pensin7 and #believe. Belief and Hope are great things, but reality is much more cruel. There's a difference between #believing the Pens could win Game 7 in Detroit and #believing the Pens can magically start scoring goals while the Bruins simultaneously have a complete meltdown. We've seen zero evidence that this will happen. But if the evidence slowly starts presenting itself, well, come talk to us after Game 5.
For now, we're recapping this game:
Pens were down 1-0 less than 2 minutes after the cryptkeeper came out to sing the anthem. Nobody covered Krejci as he came out from behind the net and banked one in off of Niskanen.
And we were already back to what Games One and Two were like. The Bruins were suffocating everything.
Pens were gonna have a power play when Morrow got interfered with, but Vitale evened it up by doing this:
After some shit, the Pens finally got their power play when Horton pulled down Orpik. There were some chances on that PP, but nope.
Vokoun had to make a big save on Krug after a Sutter turnover.
That was it.
Two minutes into the period, the Bruins started their parade to the box. Krejci went off for roughing up Letang. Surprised Letang didn't rip his shirt off and brandish a katana to even that up. That power play didn't score.
Not even a minute after that was killed, Adam McQuaid boarded Cooke. That's rich. Again, the Pens' PP didn't do anything, but Neal had like 20 shots and Beau Bennett almost scored some unrealistic goal.
A couple minutes after that was killed, Crosby won a face-off. It went back to Martin, who scooted down the boards and threw it over to Kunitz, and he punched it in. 1-1.
Paul Martin was oozing confidence in this game.
The last five minutes of the period were interesting. Pens were on another power play for too-many-men, and Gregory Campbell basically died on the ice after he blocked a Malkin slapper.
He looked pathetic, and it was hilarious. What wasn't hilarious was Malkin not shooting it at his face. Pens couldn't capitalize, and the Bruins fans cheered Campbell for some reason. Turns out Campbell broke his leg, which lolololol. He sucks.
Vokoun was making saves everywhere all period.
Malkin stole a puck coming off the bench and almost buried one.
Iginla went off for tripping, and the Pens killed off 1:20 in the second.
The Pens finished off the Iginla kill, and then Marchand and Kunitz jobbed each other and went to the box.
The third period was about one thing for the Pens.
The Penalty kill
They had to kill two tough penalties. One on Douglas Murrary and one on Pascal Dupuis. The Bruins didn't even get a shot on either power play. The plays leading up to each powerplay were just complete madness. End-to-end hockey.
Malkin hit the post
Right after the second kill in the third, Malkin picked off a pass in the Bruins' zone along the boards. He turned around, got to the center of the ice, and whistled one:
Rask didn't even see it. An inch to the right, and we're having an entire different conversation right now.
"An inch to the left, and it would have missed completely."
Curious move of the period
At the 8:00 mark of the period, Joe Vitale got some ice time. He kind of killed the shift. Have to wonder why he was in the lineup and not Jokinen.
The third period was how this entire series should have been. So disappointing to think about.
The pace for the first 15 minutes was completely insane. The Penguins dominated the play for a solid 10 minutes.
Kris Letang turned a puck over, and Nathan Horton got a breakaway. Vokoun stood him up and saved it.
The Bruins were the better team with under 5 to play. It resulted in Malkin throwing one over the glass, but the Pens killed it.
Jarome Iginla almost bought the house down with a sick move and drive to the goal. But Rask was somehow there again.
Another example of just how close the Pens were.
Pens were gifted a power play but again came up short.
Craig Adams was a menace in the overtimes. Could've bet he was gonna score the game-winner eventually.
But it wasn't in the cards.
The talk of the town will be the Jagr hook on Malkin that he basically gets away with all the time. Malkin's never been one to embeliish, so what you see is exactly what happened. Nauseating.
-- Crosby had his best shift of the series right before the Boston goal.
-- The Penguins could not win a big faceoff late in the game. Awful.
-- Last time the Pens lost three straight? Yea, last April.
-- Over the next 48 hours we'll hear a lot of calls for Bylsma's head.
That is a lot to digest at this point. Although we're sure Bylsma can find a job at NASA. He is very good at just looking at stars and not doing much about it.
-- Biggest questions will be could guys like Jokinen or Despres or Mark Eaton made a difference in this game. Limited impact probably, but shit.
-- The game winning goal was just an unbelievable play by Marchand and Bergeron.
-- Boston fans are still the worst:
Way to get your logo right. Idiots.