Going into to the third period, it all looked too familiar.
The thoughts of last year's five-game season-saving road trip started to settle in, but for all the wrong reason: Could this five-game road trip be the collapse of this year's Penguins?
Not even close.
The Pens got yet another huge goal from Pascal Dupuis.
And a vintage blast from Sarge Gonchar.
If that goal didn't catapult you out of your seat, nothing will.
MAF was stellar, and the penalty kill came through....and so did the powerplay.
With all the struggles of the powerplay, the penalty kill is this year's best-kept secret.
On the road, under five minutes to play, clinging to a one-goal lead, shorthanded...
the penalty kill again rose to the occasion.
Couple that with the fact that the Pens also got a huge powerplay goal, and you can walk away from this game with a good feeling.
They also won the game without Evgeni Malkin in the third.
He took a shot off his foot and did not return.
And now the Pens head back to New Jersey, for one last game with the Devils.
St. Pete Times Forum
Know the Enemy:
The road trip hasn't been going all that well so far.
A game in Tampa Bay is a good chance to get back on the winning track, unless the Pens are looking past this game to the Devils and Bruins games coming up.
Ryan Malone will not play today.
We heard a rumor that he has an upper body injury from carrying his wallet for too long.
Antero Niittymaki will be in net for the "Bolts":
If we were actually surprised or mad about what Don Cherry has to say, we shouldn't be running a blog anymore.
The only interesting thing from this shit show was Cherry actually said he had a run in with Cooke last year after a game in the Eastern Conference Finals.
We said what we had to say this week about the Cooke hit, so whatev.
We also thought Rob Rossi actually made sense for the first time all year:
If players aren't comfortable with the possibility of serious head injuries, if they don't like it that violence has been and will be a part of the NHL, they should consider switching professions.Danger is part of the deal. [TRIB]
Also, there seems to be some notion that Malkin and Crosby should be afraid of the Bruins taking cheap shots at them on Thursday.
First off, Crosby and Malkin probably aren't afraid of anyone. If they were, they wouldn't be in the NHL.
Secondly, Cherry alluded to it, and it was brought up about Bill Guerin speaking up about the Cooke hit. We wouldn't be surprised if Guerin is the first player to Cooke's defense on Thursday.
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Had to change to the score because we failed at that.
Guess it's Karma from us blasting FSN on Twitter last night for this epic mistake:
[Thanks to DayWalk3rz]
B. Wow, how does that make it past anyone?
When you see Disco pissed off, you know it might be better not to even say anything at all.
The interference on MAF for the third goal doesn't bother us.
The ejection of Craig Adams doesn't bother us.
What really bothers us is Kovalchuk celebrating like he actually did something.
Know the Enemy:
From their gameday:
"It's one of those 4 point swingers. While the offense was certainly firing on all cylinders the other night, the defense had noticable lags. Pittsburgh is a much more potent team offensively than the Rangers and the Devils will need to concentrate and those defensive lags tonight. The Penguins are 4-0-1 since returning from the Olympic Break so to say that this is a hot team would pretty much be spot on."
A huge divisional game for the Pens.
The Devils sit four points behind the Penguins, but they have played two fewer games.
The Pens have played Snooki to the Devils' angry gym teacher in a bar this entire season.
New Jersey is 4-0 against Pittsburgh this year.
The Devils have outscored the Penguins 14-2.
The last two games have been shutouts for Brodeur.
This is the first time the Penguins will play against the Devils with Kovachoo in the New Jersey line-up.
He has three goals and five assists in ten games with the Devils.
It's also Martin Skoula's first game against the Pens since he was traded:
"I was part of the organization for a couple months and I just want to show them that they made a mistake trading me."
-- Martin Skoula
We've been alive for a while now.
And these kind of losses still sting.
Thankfully, we only have like 8 minutes to cry about it.
As for the game, just think -- Next year when Jason Peters is parking your car outside of Mallorca for you, you won't have to tip him. He has stolen enough.
To be fair, the Canes have been actually a much better team of late.
They're as hot as it gets, winning 9 of their last 11.
But honestly they weren't even in the same building as the Pens last night.
The Pens outshot them, 40-21, and hit about nine posts.
But the Pens got a point. Never discount points in the NHL.
But oh baby. Friday night is a big one.
First playoff game of the year.
It is hard to take things seriously, though, when this YouTube is in your vicinity:
South Park parodied this in a teaser for their upcoming season. HERE.
Then, as with any YouTube video of significance, someone parodied it themselves. HERE.
And of course there's a remix music video of it.
The Penguins and one-and-one against the Hurricanes this season.
In Octobert the Pens won 3-2 in a shootout in Carolina and the Canes came away with a 3-2 victory in Pittsburgh in December.
It's the beginning of a five game road trip for the Penguins.
Bill Guerin will be back for the Penguins.
Brent Johnson will be in net.
Justin Peters will play for the Canes.
The Staals are brothers.