Our friend Zoe at Puck Huffers brought this up about the game: the game felt just like every other Tomas Vokoun/Penguins game. Didn't even feel like a Caps/Pens game. Pens outshot the Caps, 41-19. 41 to 19. Games like that happen in the NHL.
There's no reason to get bent out of shape about losing this game. It's the fifth game of the season. No one should start getting irrational till at least the 20-game mark. Plus, the Caps looked horrrrrrrrrible. Like, really bad. Their two goals in regulation came on a bizarre play by Mike Knuble and a lucky deflection. The Caps generated no offense at all. But it was the Tomas Vokoun Show. He made 39 saves while being peppered all night. Wonder what the Caps players will think when they see the tape of the laziest goaltending of all time on Neal's game-tying goal late in the third.
Speaking of Neal, we're setting the record straight. We jobbed him relentlessly last year because he simply refused to hit the net. Having Malkin on his line certainly helps this year, but having an elite center on your line doesn't mean your shots are all of a sudden more accurate. Neal wasn't hitting the net at all last season. And now he is. We've made peace with this 100%. All aboard the Neal Train. Keep chirpin' if you want to.
Almost forgot. This happened:
What we think of it? In all the games we've seen Asham play in a Pens uniform, he's never given a hint of anything that would be deemed dirty or classless. Jay Feeble went after Letang and probably didn't realize Asham was on the ice. All Feeble had to do was skate to his bench and goad Asham into some penalty. The refs were looking for something to call on the Pens, and the Caps would've gotten it. Instead, Feeble is a moron; he drops the gloves and dances with ArronAsham. HUGE MISTAKE. The Caps get an extra 2 minutes because Feeble roughed up Letang and knocked his helmet off. Asham's gestures after the K.O. have nothing to do with concussions. If Asham had done it after some blindside hit, this would be a completely different story. But Feeble GOT KNOCKED OUUUTTTTTTTTT. He knew the risks when he dropped the gloves. Asham apologized after the game, saying he was caught up in the moment and the gestures were classless. That apology hasn't stopped Asham from being our favorite player right now.
When the Pens and Caps get together, you just have no idea what's going to transpire anymore. Last year it was Steckel. Looks like this year will be all about Jay Beagle...andArronAsham putting him to sleep. The December 1st game is going to have an amazing buildup.
You've probably already been smacked in the mouth with it, but the media and the Internet will be all over this today. Just hit up Asham in Google News.
The Pens haven't fought at all this season. But they let it be known that you're not gonna job Letang anymore. We think it was Errey who said Letang fought way too much last year. Them days are over.
Another huge thing from this game is that the Penguins came back in the third to tie it. Did that even happen last year? And Sid's cleared for contact. And Ryan Miller and the new-look Sabres are coming to town Saturday. Good time to be alive.
matt s., PowerMove6687, E-Skee, SK360, Nate K, Karl Alzner's mom, Dale Earnhardt,
What a jacket by 66. Three buttons? Impressive.
We saw early on that Ovechkin was gonna be on Michalek Island all night if Bylsma kept everything in order.
Malkin jumps on the ice, and everyone knows it. He gains the Caps zone and draws three Caps. He drops it to Sullivan, who dishes it over to Neal. Neal one-times it in. Last year, he fans on it or shoots it over the net. Watch the game tape.
1-0. Saying Sullivan dished it to Neal is really short-changing that pass he made. Man.
Letang tripped over his hair again in the Pens zone. Made limited sense.
The first time Ovechkin doesn't see Michalek in front him, the Caps get a scoring chance. Poor Ben Lovejoy. Beej stood tall to make a save.
Karl Alzner threw the puck over the glass, so the Pens got a PP. Maybe Karl Alzner was trying to hit @mdouglas830, who John Carlson called a mutant on Twitter after the game:
Solid work by both PP units. Killed, though.
The Capitals really looked kind of embarrassing as far as offense was concerned. They ended up taking another penalty. Halpern went off for slashing or something. We had no idea Jeff Halpern was even alive, let alone on the Capitals.
Pens PP again looked pretty sharp again. Nice balance of passing and shooting. Killed.
Caps ended the first by looking horrible, just like the rest of the period.
As bad as the Caps had been, it didn't matter when Mike Knuble got a chance to get in Johnson's mouth. 1-1.
After that, everything opened up big-time. Brent Johnson got thrown into making some gigantic saves. And the Pens were sniffing down at the other end. Sullivan and Kennedy both had solid chances but missed the net.
Brooks Laich sucks and takes a penalty by jobbing Malkin. Brooks Laich really sucks. Pens can't do anything on the PP. Maybe Laich thought Malkin needed a tired changed. Sucks.
Rest of the period was balls.
Brooks Laich is terrible.
Over the last few years, the Pens and Caps would be tied going into the third, and the Caps would score 2 quick goals and end it.
So basically we were waiting for it. And Mike Green and A.O. delivered. Green got a shot off. A.O. with a sick deflection. It wasn't immediately called a goal. Give credit to Bob Errey, who saw it right away. He never misses that shit. Don't hate him 'cause he's the messenger.
Count it. 2-1.
Both teams kind of dicked around for a while. Plenty of scoring chances for both sides.
And then, as they say, it happened.
Stunned pic snapped by John H. immediately after the fight. Hall of Fame material when you snap a pic of a stunned youngster.
Say what you want, but this is why fighting is good. What are players gonna do, just slash each other relentlessly until refs come in? It woke up the crowd. It got A.O. all jammed up. With A.O. dancing around like an idiot, the Pens got some great chances. Staal and Kennedy had a bizarre night. They just seemed off. Or maybe they're pissed Kunitz is making $17mill next season.
With about 6 minutes left, the Caps took a bad penalty on a Paul Martin trip. This power play was the first "stand up in your living room" type deal of the season thus far. The Pens set up shop. How good has Malkin been on face-offs in his own zone. The Pens miss a few chances, but then Malkin takes the puck. He creates room for Neal. Neal goes five-hole on Vokoun.
Finally the power play scored a huge goal. The Pens were swarming after the goal, too. They had a few good chances. Take the point.
Kunitz had a great chance to win it in OT, but Vokoun was there.
The Caps hadn't had a power play all game. Bad news, because you knew it was coming. And when it came, it was not fun. A.O. got tripped by Staal. Did A.O. dive? Maybe a little, but he is going to get that call.
The penalty kill does its best. But it's got to be tough for a penalty-kill unit to get tossed into the 4-on-3 fire like that. Dennie Wideman gets a saucer pass flying into the zone. He smokes Beej.
PAYD has the video from up close:
Game. Not sure why those two Caps fans behind Beej aren't celebrating.
The guy in the 29 blue MAF jersey with the "stand up and walk away."
-Didn't really miss Mark Letestu that much.
-TK and Staal didn't have a good night. Staal fell 8,000 times.
-Have to say it. Niskanen is playing some unreal hockey. Can't lie.