Breakdown: Game 6 – Penguins 3, Panthers 2 (OT)

Published on October 20th, 2015

Ah yes, JJ. Our old friend.

How many times have the Penguins had the opportunity to bring Jaromir Jagr, the franchise’s second greatest player, back into the fold? How many times have they failed? No bitterness here, though. He appears to be having the time of his life in Florida.

And clearly, considering his body of work with the Panthers, he has plenty left to offer.

Jagr had an entertaining offseason as well, turning an attempt to blackmail him into an Internet joke.

I, for one, hope he really does play until he’s 50.

 

First period

No Daniel Sprong today. The third line was Bonino/Rust/Plotnikov and the fourth line was Cullen/Porter/Farnham.

The continuing lack of communication was evident early as Perron left a drop pass for Malkin that Malkin completely missed. It was the first of many turnovers by the Pens in this game.

Letang went down after taking a stick to the face and the refs looked the other way. Looked like it was Hornqvist’s stick.

Bobby Farnham came flying on to the ice on his first shift and laid a hit on somebody. It’s unclear how useful he is to the Pens, but it’s always easy to know when he’s on the ice.

Jagr almost scored as he grabbed the puck after a turnover and skated in alone on Fleury.

The Dumoulin and Lovejoy pairing is still a terrifying sight. The puck just gets stuck in the Pens’ zone when they’re on the ice.

Crosby crosschecked Jagr and managed to avoid taking a penalty. The announcers noted that it was the first time they’d seen Sid show some fire this season.

Sid forced Luongo to make a pretty good glove save on his next shift.

Maatta drew a penalty as Nick Bjugstad hooked him coming out from behind the Pens’ net.

On the ensuing powerplay, the Pens finally managed to check a few things off their list for this young season.

Sid ripped a shot from the right circle past Luongo’s blocker side.

It was Sid’s first goal of the season. It was the Penguins’ first powerplay goal of the season.

He nearly had another one on his next shift, but Luongo made a toe save on it. Perhaps most encouraging was Sid’s willingness to shoot. He drew a penalty trying to split Mitchell and Gudbranson and still managed to take a shot from his stomach.

The PP still looked good, with a lot of puck movement, but they couldn’t get another puck past Luongo.

Luongo was the main reason the Pens didn’t have 3 or 4 goals in the period. He made several key saves on Hornqvist and Malkin to keep the score at 1-0.

 

Second period

Early in the period, the Pens continued to look as offensively capable as they have yet this season. Kessel dropped a puck to a wide-open Kunitz, who shot the puck directly into Luongo’s chest.

Then the tide started turning back Florida’s way.

Kessel took a stick to the mouth and looked at a ref while pointing to his face. No penalty. Crosby’s took several more shots.

As the period waned, Bonino went to the box for hooking Jagr.

The Pens threatened to score a shorthanded goal with Cullen taking a shot. As the penalty ended, Trocheck nearly redirected Pirri’s slapshot past Fleury.

 

Third period

The Panthers came out looking like they wanted to get the tying goal. They ended up putting one past Fleury just 1:45 into the period on Smith’s deflection of Campbell’s slapshot. Scuderi looked like he was trying to lift Smith’s stick but may actually have been the one who redirected the puck through Fleury’s legs. After a video review, the war room determined Smith had scored on a high stick and the goal was waved off.

Pretty quickly after they took the goal off the board, the Pens added to their lead. Sid passed to Scuderi at the point. Scuderi’s shot bounced high off Kessel’s chest as Luongo swatted at it. Rebound went right to Kessel’s feet while Luongo was still standing up. Kessel was able to flip the puck over Luongo’s left pad for the goal. The Panthers’ bench started whining about something, but the goal stood.

Willie Mitchell got pissy at Farnham halfway through the period. Means Farnham’s doing his job.

Quinton Howden managed to corral a puck in front of Fleury and lift it over Fleury’s right pad as Letang was trying to slap it away. This one would stand and the score stood at 2-1.

Kunitz shoved a puck past Luongo, but the refs waved it off because they had lost sight of it. After review, the ruling was confirmed.

On the next play, Derek MacKenzie put a hard shot off the glass behind Fleury and got the puck back in front of the net. He buried it to tie the game.

With a minute left in the period, the Panthers really turned up the heat. Barkov dragged the puck around Bonino as he went down to block it and took a good shot. But then Huberdeau took a penalty and the momentum shifted again with 30 seconds left.

 

Overtime

The Pens started OT with a four-on-three due to the new overtime rules. Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Letang has to be one of the scariest powerplay units in the league.

They were having trouble getting possession of the puck and Jussi Jokinen took a shot shorthanded.

Once the Pens got established in the Panthers’ zone, you could feel the goal was coming. The fans were shouting for the Pens to shoot, but the players were moving the puck and looking for the perfect shooting lane. After a few near misses by Kessel, Malkin got the puck and ended it with a hard shot.

The refs reviewed it to make sure Crosby was onside when he broke into the Panthers’ zone. Ultimately the goal stood and the Pens took home the two points.

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