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Penguins 3, Ducks 2, SO

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (41-17-4) vs. Anaheim Ducks (43-14-6)

Time: 10:08 p.m.

Site: Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.

TV, radio: Root Sports, Prime (California), 105.9 The X

Here’s the official live summary.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog. Josh Yohe is on the scene for the Trib.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    We’ll, Peeps, on to ANA.
    I guess we’ll see if there is a bounce-back.

    Any word on Borts?

  2. Eric Bowser says:

    Well…. watched the last two periods, what a joke that was.

    Have a serious opinion about a certain player and what happened last night but I want to see how he and the team responds tonight against the Ducks.

    That was by far…. THE most physical game that I’ve EVER seen out of Joe Thornton.

  3. J Walter Weatherman says:

    They need to think about giving Crosby a couple of games off. He looks out of sorts, which is understandable, given the events of the past month.

    I’m just as concerned about the state of the defense. Orpik, and especially Scuderi, look really slow against fast, aggressive teams like the Sharks. I see that as a precursor to playoff hockey. Not good. Niskanen and Maatta are by far their best dmen right now. They better hope Martin returns by the playoffs and is in peak condition. The offseason decisions to sign Scuderi and Letang and not sign Niskanen are looking pretty ominous right now.

  4. Plan-o-gram must be moving today. Quiet on the thread this early.

  5. Rbilak says:

    Joe Thorton knows what the rest of NHL knows, beating the Pens is a matter of physical play that frustrates their stars. It is a simple formula that results in undisciplined penalties and too much “Globetrotter” hockey. Again, they may have gotten depth, but they are no tougher to play against than before. Pyatt, Gibbons over Harry Z is a complete joke. Tonight and next weekend will tell us a lot about this team in playoffs. Also, they are not without their two best defensemen. Their best defenseman is named Matta, and by far over Letang and then Nisky and Martin. That kid is incredible. He will go down with Coffey and Murphy as All-Time best D.

  6. aaron says:

    Hey everybody! Did you guys catch Disco Dan’s comment in the paper today? Not very encouraging to say the least!

  7. aaron says:

    But then the Sharks’ physical play took over, and the Penguins looked overwhelmed.

    “They play not only a physical game but a fast game,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “In the second half of the game, we just weren’t able to negate that.”

  8. poz says:

    I ‘m not smart enough to know the reason(s), but I see a team that cannot hold a lead. If I recall, the Pens lost two leads in the third against Montreal.

    I will watch tonight to see if Crosby responds after a horrible game last night. But that’s tonight.

    Long range, I don’t see how this team as currently constructed can compete for a Cup. Too many holes, many of them because of injuries and just bad luck.

    I’m glad the Pens didn’t mortgage the future in a knee-jerk reaction for today.

  9. J Walter Weatherman says:

    They’re probably the favorites against any team in the east, except the Bruins. They matchup horribly against the Bruins and I don’t see how they win a series against them. However, they’d be only the 5th or 6th best team in the west. I guess I’m saying that I agree with you – I don’t see how this team can compete for a Cup. If Letang and Martin were healthy (and playing well), I might think differently.

    I think there are many reasons why they can’t hold onto a lead, but teams that play “desperate”, or with aggression, tend to give them problems. The Pens D, specifically Orpik and Scuderi, start turning the puck over with regularity because they don’t have the speed to skate out of danger. I’m surprised more teams don’t play aggressively against them … like the Sharks, Islanders, and Bruins typically do.

  10. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    DK: Nothing to add. Just popping in to say this is a great start to the thread.

  11. aaron says:

    I’m not certain as to how the contracts work in the NHL, but I think Shero needs to dump Scuderi and Orpik in the off season and let the younger guys play.

    Malkin has quite a resume, but there is something about his mental makeup that grows ever more disconcerting. Starkey and DK have both written about the failure of Crosby and Malkin to step up in the biggest moments. Perhaps it is time to shake up things to the core and deal Malkin for a Kings ransom and get some size and grit in the top 6 forwards.

    As currently constructed this team’s highest hope is to just get to the Eastern finals.

    I don’t think any of these things will ever actually happen, but it makes for a good conversation.

  12. aaron says:

    I can remember last summer that it was nearly a forgone conclusion that Niskanen was the odd man out for a salary cut move. Thankfully Despres showed up out of shape and got booted down to WBS!

    How they manage to sign him this off season remains to be seen.

  13. 66sports says:

    I watch the Sharks regularly, and I agree with the earlier post that said Thornton is NEVER as aggressive as he played last night. The Pens looked overwhelmed by the Sharks which left me surprised as I don’t get to see the Pens very often. They seem soft when on national TV games.

  14. Sarah says:

    Orpik and Scuderi don’t just look slow.

  15. Sarah says:

    I see them having trouble against several teams in the East. No question Boston would own them.

  16. Sarah says:

    They don’t just seem soft.

  17. Brandie says:

    They look old, slow, and lost at times. It may also be that you have a few that whee trying to do too much, which leads to playing out of position.

  18. Stuart says:

    If they continue in their current vein,I’m not sure the Eastern final is attainable.

    On the positive side there is time before the playoffs to get this ship back on course.

    Not sure what to make of Sid. Last night he looked like the caracture the Philly fans promote. He’s the Captain, but I think he talks to the refs too much. He looks like he’s whining and complaining all the time. It seem to have no positive effect on the refs. Mario put up with a lot of clutching and grabbing, but did his talking to the league office not the refs. Not long ago, Sid would up his game if he was being roughed. Now, not so much. Way, way, way to many risky cross ice passes. Let’s hope he can straighten things out.

    Stuart

  19. Rbilak says:

    Orpik is in final year, hopefully they realize it is time to go younger, otherwise the drafting of so many D was useless. As for Scud’s, let’s see if playoffs are better, otherwise option is a buyout. The front office has been beyond reluctant to use young players for years, imagine them w/O Matta. Martin has one year left and Nisky is UFA who is due for a huge raise, DE, also in last year. The playoffs really set up for interesting times. MAF play, Geno Sid stars or invisible, discipline, Dan refusing to match lines in playoffs when he did it in Olympics vs Crosby. Shero acquisitions, Martin, Letang, Voukon health. Can’t wait.

  20. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hi!

    It’s an old fashioned post, complete with avatar.

    Hockey talk has been great, in general, the last few weeks! Thought provoking stuff.

  21. Andrew says:

    Not sure how you define cannot hold a lead but, Penguins are:
    20-2-1 .870 (5th in the league) when leading after one period
    26-3-1 .876 (14th ) when leading after two periods
    29-3-1 .879 (2nd) when scoring first

    At worst they are average when leading after two, however they have the 4th best and 2nd best winning percentage when trailing after one and two respectively.

    They are 4-5-0 against western teams in playoff spot and 10-5-3 against eastern teams in a playoff position.

  22. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m looking, or rather listening, for Crosby to step up. Also imperative, obviously, that MAF shows up to Disneyland tonight.

  23. M.A. Fleury will be back in the lineup tonight so we’ll see if he does better than Jeff Zadkoff did last night.

  24. aaron says:

    I agree with your take on Did. He gets that pouty whiney look on his face like a four year old who just threw a tantrum. Forget the refs and step up and burn the other team. This team is just way too mentally and physically soft all around. Playoff hockey is a war of attrition and this team is not mentally constituted for any of that.

  25. Eric Bowser says:

    This game is on Crosby.

    The lack of effort in some spots last night can’t happen two games in row.

  26. aaron says:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for Stempniak on the top line instead of Gibbons? Aside from the obvious fact that anyone should be on the RW instead of Gibbons of course.

  27. aaron says:

    Never mind, apparently that is the top line they are going with tonight.

  28. Eric Bowser says:

    Since break, teams are 2 for 16 on PP against Pens.

  29. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens lines

    Kunitz – Crosby – Stempniak
    Jokinen – Malkin – Neal
    Pyatt – Sutter – Vitale
    Glass – Goc – Adams

    Orpik – Maatta
    Scuderi – Niskanen
    Despres – Engelland

    Starter: Fleury
    Backup: Zatkoff

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens are just way too easy to play against.

    Getzlaf able to easily cut into middle of ice, unleashes a hard wrist shot, and rebound is easily drilled into net by Corey Perry.

    1-0 Ducks.

  31. aaron says:

    Thanks Eric! Is Megna still hurt? I would love to see Megna/Z instead of Pyatt. Big body, but does nothing with it.

  32. Eric Bowser says:

    Megna is playing in the AHL…. no issues with his health.

    I’m not sure what the Penguins see in Pyatt….

  33. aaron says:

    I thought he showed some promise when he was in the lineup.

  34. Eric Bowser says:

    Geez…. another beauty by Engelland….

    *turns in hockey expert card*…..

  35. Barb says:

    Alright Engo – Scire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. aaron says:

    We have offensive defensemen. Take that statement however you choose

  37. Barb says:

    Well the puglists have arrived.

  38. Barb says:

    That should be pugilist.

  39. Barb says:

    All of a sudden the Pens have become very chippy. Maybe this will get them out of their funk.

  40. Andrew says:

    Embellishment is one of the dumbest rules in sports, either it is a penalty or it is not.

  41. Eric Bowser says:

    If Vitale doesn’t want to get called for a penalty for embellishment, he shouldn’t jump in the air like that.

  42. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens look slow, weak on the boards and unable to do anything because they are handling the puck like it is a hand grenade. 8 giveaways in the 1st period….

  43. Comrades, you do realize that anaheim is a great effin team right?

  44. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Over/Under on Pens shots on goal this game: 10

    Anaheim is one of the teams in the west that is clearly better than the Pens right now. Hawks, Blues, and Sharks are the others. I’m still not sold on the Avs, but it could definitely be argued they’re better than the Pens too.

  45. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Maatta with a rare bad play – tried to do too much and turned it over, leading to a 3-1 for Ducks. Fleury keeping them in the game.

  46. Andrew says:

    No question they are great, not sure they are best like thier point told says. Ducks have the highest PDO in the league and the 10.6% shooting percentage is due to regress.

  47. Jim S. says:

    Tough to play San Jose one night and Anaheim the next. Two very tough opponents in their arenas, 3 hours later than the Pens are used to playing. Not making excuses, just saying it is a tall order if you are on top of your game.

  48. Due is a dangerous assumption…

  49. Ya doesn’t get much more taxing than these 2 teams back to back. All in all we’re in good shape for a road game. Watch for sid or sutter to seal the deal.

  50. Andrew says:

    highly likely then

  51. Andrew says:

    Can the Malkin line not take another defensive zone face off, they are a debacle in the defensive zone.

  52. DJ says:

    Nothing to add. Just popping in to say . . .

    Hey, wait a minute.

  53. DJ says:

    Need to pull this one out for their pyche.

    Somebody step up.

  54. DJ says:

    Another quality play by you know who.

  55. Aaron says:

    If I have said this once this season I have said it 1,000 times….REALLY, ORPIk? REALLY?!??!

    Can someone please explain why we have Maata playing the offside on defense instead of his natural left D spot? Great idea…let’s take the player who is playing the best right now and mess around with him….for kicks to see what happens. Sure…lets!

  56. DJ says:

    I guess you knew who then.

  57. DJ says:

    Nice patience on the PP.

  58. I knew Jandy would fall asleep and miss this one. 10 AM comes early!

  59. DJ says:

    . . . and their psyche too.

  60. aaron says:

    A little late on my part, but beautiful shot by Geno on the PP!

  61. aaron says:

    When in doubt just yell “Orpik” at the TV and more often than not you will be okay.

  62. DJ says:

    How is that not interference on Malkin? Ugh.

  63. aaron says:

    How confident are we the pens pull this one out in regulation?

  64. aaron says:

    Wow….it should be apparent that Maata is not at his best on that side.

  65. aaron says:

    C’mon Sid! You are way overdue for a huge moment!

  66. Andrew says:

    Overall solid third period for the Pens, given the first two, and it being back to back games.

  67. DJ says:

    Depres another solid game tonight. Two in a row.

    Take note, Dan.

  68. JohninOshkosh says:

    Nice job by the Super Duo to tie this one up after falling down 2-1. Could have folded, but did not.

  69. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good first period against SJ last night and good third period against the Quacks tonight.

  70. aaron says:

    They kept after it and MAF kept us in it.

  71. aaron says:

    Wow! MAF just committed grand larceny!

  72. DJ says:

    Fleury . . . wow.

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    This one ends in a shootout at Disneyland.

    MAF shows why this team should never be discounted in the SC playoffs.

  74. Andrew says:

    Cannot argue with that tonight.

  75. aaron says:

    I think the Olympics took a lot out of Crosby…..he has not fared well since the Olympic break.

  76. aaron says:

    Okay…..I take it back lol

  77. aaron says:

    Wow!!! Beautiful 2nd save!!!

  78. aaron says:

    Geno….. Wtf?!?!?!

  79. aaron says:

    Big time save Fleury! Big time bounce back win. Wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it!

  80. :scratching head:

  81. DJ says:

    Sick stickhandling by Sid in SO.

    Needed that extra point.

  82. Wild Bill says:

    Great job to persevere and win this game the night after a tough loss. Well done.

  83. aaron says:

    Indeed. Nice job guys!

  84. JohninOshkosh says:

    All in all, a great job on the left coast at two very difficult venues.

    Now, the transcontinental flight back to the nation’s capital and a meeting with their old rivals, the Caps.

  85. Stuart says:

    Monster called it with Sid and Suter coming up big in the SO.

    Sid was better but not at top of game.

    Stuart

  86. chethejet1 says:

    Avs have scoring and speed. I think they are going to be very tough in the playoffs. Not sold on ducks as one line seems to be it. Chicago assuming Hossa is ready to go and St Louis are very good. Man the west is loaded. I think SJ, Ducks, Chicago, St Louis, are better than Pens. Avs, Minny and Kings are with them. In fact Dallas and Coyotes are almost as good.

  87. The Pens won a shootout they needed to win last night! And it’s about time!

  88. Dejan’s friend Colin Dunlap concedes that Disco Dan needs to coach better. And he definitely does. Also, Colin says that M. A. Fleury needs to play better in the playoffs, which he does as well. And, hopefully, he will as well.

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