Thursday, April 21, 2011

Neal Before Us. Pens Take a 3-1 Series Lead Home

Since James Neal netted the OT winner, get used to this, because it isn't going away:

More on that later.

Right out of the gate, this game didn't feel like a playoff game at all. You could legitimately hear individual fans during the broadcast. Steiggy and Errey pointed it out about a bajillion times. The Lightning had a bit of a bounce for the first few shifts, but then their world fell apart. Not surprising who the catalyst of that was.

Short side. No room. What a goal. Not sure where we'd be this year without TK.

After Kennedy's goal. Tampa Bay pretty much went home. They were playing with the enthusiasm of a 15 year old doing chores. Pens getting to every loose puck, putting a body on every member of the Lightning. Were it not for some stellar saves by Rolly the Goalie, the game would have been over pretty early. No idea how many shots we had in the first 30 minutes, don't care, it was a ton. The first period ended with the crowd silent and the Pens in control.

Second period was more of the same. Arron Asham and the Fourth Line (who sounds like a band that needs to open up for Huey Lewis and the News) turned in a ridiculous shift, followed by a supremely awkward goal where Asham puts a shot on net, and it apparently hits off somebody's penis, and then goes under Dwayne Roloson and in. Everyone sits back and waits for the Penguins to score 20 more goals at this point.

But that doesn't happen. Pens get chance after chance, but no dice. And then all hell breaks loose. St. Louis makes an amazing play and bashes one past Fleury.

Gotta be honest here. It's hard to dislike this guy. Undrafted, undersized, and a future HOFer. He's the little midget that could. This series would have been over in Game 2 if it weren't for this guy. He makes everyone in Pittsburgh clinch their buttholes when he touches the puck. Hell, I get concerned when St. Louis picks up a puck in practice. What a player.

St. Louis' goal woke up the slumbering crowd and electrified his team. Bad puns everywhere. Nobody was thinking that two goals would win this game, and with a bit over three minutes left, that thought came to fruition. Sean Bergenheim and St. Louis camp out in front of Fleury. Somehow the puck squirts in. That feeling is what it must be like to be a Caps fan. Talbot gets obliterated somewhere in here. He was fine. Let's go to OT.

After a couple of tense moments, OT levels out, and for the most part, the Pens dictate the play. Not surprising, the Lightning are old and upset that they're missing Modern Family on ABC to play extra hockey. Solid show, by the way. Double OT in your face. Petr Sykora buys Domino's pizza for the intermission.

Second OT starts and for some reason, Staal inexplicably dives headfirst into the boards. No clue why, he was having a great much to live for. He ends up being fine. Tough dude. And two minutes later, he factors in on this:

What a moment for Neal. Props to Steiggy and Errey for actually throwing out some good juju for once. Potentially a back-breaking goal for the Lightning.

That being said, you're an idiot if you don't think the Lightning are going to come out flying on Saturday. Can't wait.

Tons of sentence fragments in this post.

End it, Pens.

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