Thoughts: Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 4 – Blue Jackets 4 Pens 3 (OT)

Blue Jackets 4  Pens 3 (OT)

Series Tied at 2.

By: Meesh Shanmugam (@HockeyMeesh)

Adams (1) (SH) from Sutter, Martin
Kunitz (1) (PP) from Niskanen, Martin
Neal (1) from Jokinen, Malkin

Game 4 Leaders

Shots: Kunitz (5)
Missed Shots: Crosby (3)
Blocked Shots: Martin (4)
Hits: Adams, Glass (5)
Ice Time: Martin (25:11) … Megna (9:53)
Faceoffs: Crosby (16/25) … Vitale (2/7)
CF% Rel: Maatta (+18.5%) … Jokinen (-16.1%)
Team PP: 1 for 4
Team PK: 4 for 6 (1 SHG for)

What an omen. (Credit: @myregularface)

What an omen. (Credit: @myregularface)

Series Leaders
Goals: Niskanen, Jokinen, Sutter, Gibbons (2)
Assists: Martin (8)
Points: Martin (8)
Shots: Neal (20)
Missed Shots: Crosby (9)
Blocked Shots: Martin (15)
Hits: Kunitz (16)
Ice Time/game: Martin (27:55) … Megna (9:10)
Faceoffs: Crosby (52/104, 50%) … (23/52, 44.2%)
CF% Rel: Malkin (+9.1%) … Sutter (-20.0%)
Team PP: 4 for 21, 19% (2 SHG allowed)
Team PK: 15 for 20, 75% (2 SHG for)

Goal Assessments through ECQ Game 4.

Goal Assessments through ECQ Game 4.

Player Assessment

How you know a team deserved to lose...Craig Adams is the only guy in the Good column. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

How you know a team deserved to lose…Craig Adams is the only guy in the Good column. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Craig Adams – Adams had the Penguins off to a quick start with a perfect wrister for a shorthanded goal just six minutes into the game. He only played a total of ten minutes, four of which were on the penalty kill (see last recap: PKers are playing better with less even strength ice time), but he was very effective when he was on the ice. On the penalty kill alone, he had a takeaway, forced a neutral zone turnover, won a puck race (what?) to the blue line for a good clear, and had a good poke check to force another clear. Meanwhile, he also broke up two passes in the defensive end at even strength. In a series that has been filled with unexpected depth heroes for the Penguins, Adams did his best to take his turn.

Stempniak has a lot of potential with how he is playing. (Jay LaPrete/AP Photo)

Stempniak has a lot of potential with how he is playing. (Jay LaPrete/AP Photo)

Lee Stempniak – Stempniak was one of the most visible players on the ice, which turned out to be good and bad at times. His puck pursuit in the offensive zone was easily the best on the team. He had two offensive zone pass interceptions (one on the PK) and also won two offensive zone puck battles along the boards, which is something the Penguins were generally terrible at. He had his moments in the defensive zone too with two good blocks, a smart stick lift at the crease, and also a defensive zone pass interception. Despite a plethora of good plays, Stempniak still made several mistakes. He had two failed clears, a neutral zone turnover, and also took a high-sticking double minor that resulted in the Blue Jackets’ second goal. His effort was also subpar on the game-tying goal as his man (Ryan Johansen) skated right past him through the Penguins zone and picked up the puck from Fleury unchallenged behind the goal line. If Stempniak just skates with Johansen as he should, perhaps we are laughing about an awkward Fleury moment instead of writhing in agony. For all of his good moments, the bad negated it completely.

Sidney Crosby – I know, I know, Crosby still hasn’t scored a goal. He still does contribute in other ways though (mind you, that’s still not enough right now). Crosby had an offensive zone takeaway, forced two turnovers in the offensive zone, intercepted a neutral zone pass, provided good defensive support on a failed clearing attempt, and also helped set the play in motion for Kunitz’s goal by winning the faceoff cleanly. Crosby was a solid 16/25 (64%) in the faceoff circle while the rest of the team was downright awful (below 33%). However, Crosby made several of his trademark mistakes still as well. He had two offensive zone giveaways on the powerplay, lost puck battles in both the offensive and defensive zones, and also drifted too far on his coverage on the tying goal. Dubinsky was Crosby’s responsibility at the end of the game and they skated side-by-side through the neutral zone and into the defensive zone. As Fleury lost the puck, Crosby drifted away from Dubinsky, leaving him open in the slot to tie the game. No one could foresee that the puck would bounce on Fleury, but constantly vigilant defense in the last minute of a one-goal game is a must.

Malkin is battling through more and more situations, but I don't think he's 100% yet. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Malkin is battling through more and more situations, but I don’t think he’s 100% yet. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Evgeni Malkin – Yeah, Malkin still doesn’t have a goal either. He did record an assist though on Neal’s goal. He also intercepted passes in the neutral zone and defensive zone, dropped to the ice for a big shot block in the 3rd period, and won an offensive zone puck battle. On the negative side, Malkin had two failed clears and the turned the puck over once each in the offensive and neutral zones. He was also a horrid 4/13 in the faceoff circle, which led to several Columbus shots from the point. Malkin was skating well through the first period and even attempted to skate through coverage a couple of times, something we haven’t seen yet in this series. It looked like he wore down as the game went on though. It appeared to be another quarter-step forward in what is still an injury return for him.

Paul Martin – Martin had a Stempniak-like game with a lot of good moments but several bad as well. He finished with two assists (though one was a cheap assist that I didn’t count), helped out on the 3rd goal for, blocked two shots on the penalty kill, intercepted two passes in the defensive zone and one in the neutral zone, and finally had a nice poke check at the blue line to prevent a zone entry. Much of this was negated by two failed clears on the penalty kill, a neutral zone giveaway on the PK, losing two puck battles in the defensive zone, making a bad step-up that led to a breakaway, and losing two puck races in the defensive zone. He still came out as a plus on the goal ledger, but there were far too many uncharacteristic defensive zone turnovers that kept the Penguins in their zone for some long shifts.

Bad bounces don't define a team. The inability to recover from them does. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Bad bounces don’t define a team. The inability to recover from them does. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Marc-Andre Fleury – Yes, MAF now gets his own section because I couldn’t figure out what to do with him. His overall 63-minute game fit in Noteworthy. The last four minutes fit in Bad (or worse). The result is a section in between the two that leaves everyone questioning Fleury right now. Fleury was fantastic for 59 minutes of the game. He made several nice saves on the PK, stopped a couple of big chances in the slot in the 3rd period, and also had a huge poke check that ended a scoring chance on the crease. He finished the game with 42 saves on 46 shots. The third goal and the overtime winner were brutal though. I have no qualms with Fleury leaving the net with less than a minute left despite Bylsma saying he shouldn’t have. Fleury has done that several times before (even in this series), which makes it very difficult to believe that anyone on the staff ever really pushed such an idea on him. Also, I don’t buy into goalies changing their strategies in the last minute of a game. Goalies are crazy, that’s not the type of situational change they usually make. Regardless, the play bit Fleury in the ass. The puck bounced over his stick, he was unable to recover from it, and the tying goal ended up in the net. I have no problem with him leaving the net, but it’s still his fault that he wasn’t taking care of his #1 priority (protecting the net), even if it was due to a bad bounce. Moving on to the game-winner in overtime, that’s simply a puck that Fleury has to stop. Even though the shot may have been partially screened by Niskanen, it was all the way out above the faceoff circles and close to the blue line. He had plenty of time to read and react to that puck. It was simply a bad goal. Every goalie allows bad goals (see: Bobrovsky in this series), but the timing of Fleury’s have always been troublesome. I’ve now marked him down for being at fault for four goals in four games. In the regular season, that number was averaging .25 goals/game. It’s a small sample size, but he won’t get a much larger one if he doesn’t stop the bleeding in Game 5.

Columbus took Orpik's comments about not skating with the puck and planned perfectly for it. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Columbus took Orpik’s comments about not skating with the puck and planned perfectly for it. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Brooks Orpik – After playing possibly his best game in 2014 in Game 3, Orpik regressed significantly in Game 4. Columbus feasted on the times when Orpik was trying to start a breakout, dropping back into the neutral zone and forcing Orpik to wait for a passing lane that never showed up. The strategy turned into Orpik holding the puck for significant lengths of time in the defensive zone and several turnovers. I marked Orpik down for four neutral zone turnovers on attempted passes out of the defensive zone (three in the 3rd period). He was also knocked off of the puck twice in the defensive zone, made a bad step-up at the blue line that led to a breakaway, and he was also partially at fault for the first goal against as he got caught in no-man’s land covering no one while Jenner hung out on the crease in front of Fleury with no opposition from the penalty kill. The only good marks I had for Orpik were a defensive zone takeaway and a good block. Orpik might have to adjust to Columbus on an individual level more than anyone after Game 4, and he might have to gain some confidence carrying the puck very quickly if that’s the only clean option that Columbus will give him.

Kris Letang – While Orpik struggled with even-strength turnovers, Letang saved his for the penalty kill. I marked Letang down for four failed clears on the penalty kill and a blatant giveaway as well. He also had a neutral zone turnover and lost a defensive puck battle. In the offensive zone, my only issue with Letang was that he passed up on a shooting opportunity from the right faceoff dot, opting to pass the puck towards the crease instead. For how shaky Bobrovsky has looked from that side, that really should have been a shot. On the good side, Letang forced two defensive zone turnovers with hits and also intercepted a pass on the crease. Overall though, the incessant penalty kill giveaways are unacceptable and were begging for trouble as Columbus took over the game.

Misc. Thoughts

Be careful of change for the sake of change, Scuderi was fine in Game 4. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Be careful of change for the sake of change, Scuderi was fine in Game 4. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Other Player NotesJames Neal finally got on the scoreboard and then ruined it by taking a needless interference penalty on the powerplay, which resulted in a Columbus goal. Brandon Sutter earned an assist and was good on the PK, but he struggled in the faceoff circle (5/15) and had two failed clears and two defensive zone turnovers. Finally, Rob Scuderi played his best game of the series with only a neutral zone turnover and a defensive zone turnover. He drew a roughing penalty and broke up three passes in the defensive zone.

Officiating – Many people were up in arms about the officiating (including the broadcast crew), but I only found one bad call in reviewing everything.  The Kunitz “dive” was an awful call as he was already awkwardly-balanced and was going to go down easily no matter what happened.  The referee basically ignored his positioning and just looked at the result.  As for the Glass “missed high-stick”, it was a follow-through, which is perfectly legal in the NHL.  It wouldn’t be called a penalty unless it was considered to be careless or unnecessary, but that was a normal follow-through for playing the puck hard around the boards.  No penalty was the right call.  Finally, after looking at a few replays of the Sutter delay of game penalty, it did look like Sutter lifted the puck straight into the netting.  The Penguins did, in fact, lose this game on their own.

Zone Entries – There was a stark difference in how each team was entering the zone, gaining puck possession, and why Columbus was dominating the play so much. Aside from three or four zone entries in the first period where Crosby and Malkin tried to carry the puck into the offensive zone (often deterred via hits or blocked shots), the Penguins spent much of the game getting the puck to center ice and flipping it over the heads of the Blue Jackets defensemen. The Penguins then pretty much lost every race to a loose puck and every puck battle, letting Columbus get the puck and start on their breakout. Sometimes the flip wouldn’t even get past the blue line, forcing everyone to drop back immediately.

Meanwhile, Columbus altered their zone entries frequently. Sometimes it was based on speed, where a forward would just carry the puck into the Penguins zone at full speed, backing off the Penguins’ defensemen and then either putting a shot on net or dropping the puck off to the point. Other times, the Blue Jackets would dump the puck in just like the Penguins were, but there was a much higher frequency of Columbus winning puck battles or even races to the puck. Often when the Penguins would get the puck in their own zone, they would try to clear it up the boards and receive little to no help from forwards on the clears, leading to a turnover around the blue line. Any time Columbus didn’t win a puck battle in the offensive zone, one of the forwards would dart back to the neutral zone, clogging up that area to slow down any Penguins breakout and often forcing neutral zone turnovers or those Penguins dump-ins.

The Penguins defense was frequently abused. (Jamie Sabau/Getty images)

The Penguins defense was frequently abused. (Jamie Sabau/Getty images)

While it can be said that the Penguins dump-ins became stale and Columbus was less predictable, the big factor in all of this is winning puck battles and races for the puck. Columbus had a massive edge in those categories. If you look at many of the offensive zone hits for both teams, Pittsburgh hits defensemen after they have moved the puck. Columbus had a much higher frequency of hitting defensemen who actually had the puck, which forced quicker plays and turnovers. Whether the issue is conditioning, effort, quickness, or straight-line speed (perhaps a combination?), that is where Columbus is taking over the play and creating their own luck and their own chances. The Penguins have shown spurts of these abilities in each game, but no consistency through 60 minutes. Even Columbus showed signs of wearing down in their attempts to play this way in the last 10 minutes of Game 4, but the bad puck bounce made it a non-issue. Right now, Columbus is quicker on the forecheck and quicker getting back into their zone to limit Pittsburgh’s options for a zone entry.

How does Pittsburgh adjust to this? The defensemen have to be more willing to carry the puck out of the zone to force movement out of Columbus when their forwards drop back to the neutral zone. Pittsburgh’s forwards have to cover the boards better to help defensemen who are immediately pressured on dump-ins. We might see a lot of scenarios where Malkin/Crosby/etc come back into the defensive zone to carry the puck through the neutral zone or help on the breakout. Also, Pittsburgh has to start dumping the puck into the offensive zone with a man already in motion towards the offensive zone to chase down the loose puck. There was far too much standing around in the neutral zone, which led to flat-footed chases into the offensive zone that were doomed to fail. And with all of it, the entire team needs to stop forcing plays and forcing passes. No team can cover 100% of the ice and the Penguins need to start taking what’s available rather than forcing the puck where they want it to be.

Identifying the Problem – Everyone wants to place blame on a player (Crosby/Malkin not scoring, Scuderi not as good as anyone wanted him to be, Fleury for bad goals, etc.), but the entire team isn’t playing up to their abilities. There are literally 0 players who have been good in every single one of the four games; they all deserve blame of some sort, as does the coaching staff for these lackluster efforts we are seeing. Finger-pointing is meaningless without even one player being a star in this series. Even Martin has had his turnover problems and I marked Niskanen down for more bad than good in this game. It’s pervasive throughout the lineup. This loss may be the embarrassment the entire team needs for their mentality. On a quick glance through the schedule since the Olympic break (now 28 games), I counted four games in which the team really played a strong 60-minute game that combined talent and hustle. That’s on both the coaches and the players, and it’s impossible to take this team seriously until they learn how to do that. Losses haven’t gotten the message through. Maybe pure embarrassment will.

Cancelled Practice – I know many were up in arms about practice being cancelled, but I don’t believe this team would have gained much from having two practices leading into the next game. First of all, their problem is their mentality. No individual practice will teach a team how to play a complete game. As much as we all have joked about flipping the switch, it certainly won’t happen in a practice. Second, cancelled practices often still include watching tape, discussing strategy, working out, etc, so don’t write it off as an off-day. Third, what hurts more after a complete, embarrassing failure – getting back to work and putting it behind you or being forced to dwell on it? Finally, with how quick Columbus looks in comparison to Pittsburgh, grinding down their own legs is probably not going to help anything. No one builds conditioning in two days, so the team is better off getting a day of rest to heal up instead of hurting themselves further.

Someone should put this on Fleury's bedroom ceiling. (Jay LaPrete/AP Photo)

Someone should put this on Fleury’s bedroom ceiling. (Jay LaPrete/AP Photo)

Series Outlook – Going back to the generic series roadmap (never a problem until you lose at home or it’s Game 7), both teams have traded home losses to bring things to where they should be at 2-2. This series has been weird enough that either team could have swept by now with how the games have played out. Sergei Bobrovsky still has yet to steal a game, which concerns me. Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Fleury’s mentality going into Game 5. Don’t even consider Zatkoff for Game 5, because not only does Fleury have the best abilities/talent to win a game, but the franchise has to learn what the future of their goaltending will be, even if it’s the hard way. Columbus has momentum heading back to Pittsburgh and they have absolutely no fear after that comeback in Game 4. Pittsburgh, in many ways, still looks afraid to lose. I honestly have no clue what to expect in Game 5 as it could range from a defining and resilient moment for this Penguins team to the beginning of the end of several eras. Just remember, it’s a best of three series now, and both teams have shown resiliency and the ability to make a comeback. They both know they are capable of it. That’s not just Columbus, that’s Pittsburgh as well. I have no reason to believe that Pittsburgh can’t do it in Game 5 just as they did in Game 3. In a best of three with home ice advantage, I’m still picking Pittsburgh.

Fleeting Thoughts – Forget Steigerwald when you’re watching these games on Root Sports, Bob Errey has been downright hilarious. The shock in his voice for some of Pittsburgh’s mistakes have made me laugh out loud because you can tell that, as a former player, even he can’t comprehend what is going through the heads of the Penguins at times. My favorite in Game 4 was a Paul Martin neutral zone turnover, described as “I…he just passed it right to him?!” Errey’s baffled commentary really is perfect for this team right now. … Is Sidney Crosby so worried about discipline and staying calm that he has suppressed his competitive fire completely? No crease battles, no fight-back after the whistle, Crosby has looked calm even when getting hit long after the play is whistled. Of course, I will complain if he takes a stupid penalty after the play, but that was always something acceptable because Crosby was so competitive that you had to expect that out of him. I haven’t seen the same fire in him at all, and that concerns me far more than what his goal total is. … Evgeni Malkin said before the series that Bobrovsky does not play the puck well. The Penguins scored a goal in Game 1 as Bobrovsky left his net to play a puck but couldn’t do it, leading to a turnover. Despite these facts, the Penguins seem reluctant to throw the puck on net from far away and many of their dump-ins have been into the corner. It’s almost like this team ignores strengths and weaknesses because they already have a plan in mind. Is that a coaching issue? Perhaps. But these players are all smart enough and skilled enough individually that it’s on them too. No matter what the system and plan is, players make decisions, not the coaches.

Goal Assessment

First Goal For (Adams)
On the penalty kill, Marc-Andre Fleury stops a loose puck and Paul Martin picks it up to take it behind the net. Martin backhands it up the boards and it goes to James Wisneiwski. Wisniewski tries to play the puck at the point, but the puck caroms off of his stick and goes towards the middle of the blue line. Brandon Sutter, who was hovering around the middle of the zone, skates up to pick up the puck and exits the defensive zone with speed. Sutter carries the puck through center ice with Craig Adams on his right side as both of them skate past Wisniewski, creating a 2-on-1 against Jack Johnson. Sutter carries the puck into the offensive zone and makes a backhand pass to Adams on his right just above the right faceoff circle. Adams corrals the puck as he enters the right faceoff circle and then rips a wrist shot that beats Bobrovsky far side over his right shoulder.
Players contributing to the first goal for: Sutter (4), Adams (1)


Goal: Adams - By @JustPuckIt

Goal: Adams – By @JustPuckIt

Second Goal For (Kunitz)
On the powerplay, Sidney Crosby cleanly wins an offensive zone faceoff in the left faceoff circle back to Paul Martin at the left point. Martin passes the puck across to Matt Niskanen at the right point as Chris Kunitz moves to the front of the net. Niskanen takes a stride forward and steps into a slapshot that is going just wide of the net, but Chris Kunitz deflects the puck on the edge of the crease and it goes past Bobrovsky’s left arm.
Players contributing to the second goal for: Crosby (5), Martin (7), Niskanen (6), Kunitz (4)


Goal: Kunitz - By @JustPuckIt

Goal: Kunitz – By @JustPuckIt

Third Goal For (Neal)
Paul Martin retrieves a cleared puck behind the Penguins net. He waits for help and then passes the puck up to Jussi Jokinen in the middle of the defensive zone. Jokinen exits the defensive zone with the puck and then flips it up the right side boards for Evgeni Malkin entering the offensive zone. Malkin skates the puck along the boards, through the right corner, behind the net, and through the left corner before stopping and passing the puck to Jokinen in the slot area. Nikita Nikitin gets in the way of the shot and the puck bounces into the high slot. Both Jokinen and RJ Umberger reach for the puck, with Jokinen getting his stick under Umberger’s. As Jokinen reaches for the puck, James Neal moves from behind the net to the bottom inside corner of the right faceoff circle. Jokinen outreaches Umberger for ther puck and taps it towards Neal, who one-times the puck past Bobrovsky’s glove.
Players contributing to the third goal for: Martin (8), Malkin (4), Jokinen (4), Neal (2)


Goal: Neal - By @JustPuckIt

Goal: Neal – By @JustPuckIt

First Goal Against (Jenner)
James Neal is in the penalty box for interference. James Wisniewski starts with the puck behind his net and skates it half way through the Blue Jackets zone before passing it up to Mark Letestu at center ice. Letestu skates the puck to the Penguins blue line and chips it into the left corner of the Penguins zone. Ryan Johansen skates down the left side with Brandon Sutter and is able to reach out with one hand to poke the puck along the boards to the right corner of the zone. Boone Jenner gets to the puck first in the right corner and tries to chip it up to the right point. He’s originally stopped by Lee Stempniak, but gets the bouncing puck and moves it up to Jack Johnson at the right point. Stempniak pressures Johnson and forces him to make a quick pass to the left point for Wisniewski. Wisniewski is then quickly pressured by Sutter and moves the puck to Letestu in the middle of the zone. Letestu is then quickly pressured by Paul Martin, so he throws the puck towards the net, where Boone Jenner is standing by himself in front of Fleury since Brooks Orpik shifted away from the crease when Wisniewski had the puck. Letestu’s shot hits Boone Jenner in the thigh and pops up over Marc-Andre Fleury and into the net.
Players at fault for the first goal against: Neal (2), Orpik (4)

Second Goal Against (Johansen)
Lee Stempniak is in the penalty box for high-sticking and Brandon Sutter is in the penalty box for delay of game, creating a 5-on-3 penalty kill. A shot from the point goes wide and ends up in the right corner of the Penguins zone, where Jack Johnson gets the puck and moves it down to the back boards for Brandon Dubinsky. Dubinsky holds the puck as the Penguins stick to a tight triangle formation and he passes the puck to the top of the right faceoff circle for Johnson. Johnson moves back towards the blue line and over towards the left point before passing thepuck to the right for Dubinsky, now at the right faceoff dot. Dubinsky holds the puck and passes it back to Johnson, who holds it before passing it back down to Dubinsky, now at the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Dubinsky gets the puck and passes it past Brooks Orpik to the front of the crease for Artem Anisimov. Anisimov doesn’t get a clean shot off as the puck trickles into the crease. Ryan Johansen is waiting at the back post though and taps the loose puck into the net as Craig Adams doesn’t have a chance to get to him in time.
Players at fault for the second goal against: Stempniak (2), Sutter (1)

Third Goal Against (Dubinsky)
Artem Anisimov picks up a loose puck in the corner of the Blue Jackets zone and passes it to David Savard in front of the net. Savard throws the puck up the left boards to center ice for Jack Johnson, who backhands the puck along the boards into the Penguins zone. The puck goes behind the net and Marc-Andre Fleury goes behind the net to stop it. The puck hops over Fleury’s stick though and is picked up by Ryan Johansen, who skated past Lee Stempniak to get to the loose puck. Johansen quickly backhands the puck towards the slot before Fleury (still out of the net) or Stempniak can block off his passing lane. The puck gets to the slot for Brandon Dubinsky, who was Sidney Crosby’s responsibility. Both Kris Letang and Crosby try to dive in front of the shot, but Dubinsky threads the needle and puts the puck into a wide open net with Fleury out of it.
Players at fault for the third goal against: Fleury (3), Stempniak (3), Crosby (1)

Fourth Goal Against (Foligno)
Olli Maatta takes a slapshot in the offensive zone that is blocked by RJ Umberger. The puck flies up in the air and is caught by Nick Foligno, who centers the puck to James Wisniewski exiting the Blue Jackets zone. Wisniewski can’t control the puck and Maatta pokes it away from him at center ice, but it goes to RJ Umberger at the Blue Jackets blue line. Umberger passes the puck to his left back to center ice for Foligno, who is picking up speed through the neutral zone. Foligno enters the Penguins zone against Matt Niskanen and takes a wrist shot from two feet inside the Penguins blue line that gets under Fleury’s glove.
Players at fault for the fourth goal against: Fleury (4)

Penalty Assessment

Jokinen (hooking): Good-Necessary, skates back into the defensive zone after a turnover by Orpik and hooks Boone Jenner going to the net to prevent him from getting a rebound in front.
Kunitz (unsportsmanlike conduct – diving): Bad Call, it appears that the referee calls Kunitz for embellishment (to go with Savard’s slashing penalty) because Kunitz goes down after his stick gets slashed. However, Kunitz is already awkwardly balanced when the slash occurs, which is why he goes down.
Neal (interference): Bad-Stupid, skates towards James Wisniewski and interferes/knocks him over as Wisniewski is skating towards Lee Stempniak in the corner to pressure him as he holds the puck on a powerplay.
Stempniak (high-sticking): Bad-Careless, gets his stick into the face of Nick Schultz as he tries to lift Schultz’s stick on a pass that didn’t make it to him in the neutral zone. Schultz is cut, making it a double minor.
Sutter (delay of game): Bad-Careless, gets a puck on the penalty kill behind the Penguins net and lifts it straight into the netting for a delay of game penalty.
Niskanen (tripping): Bad, follows Brandon Dubinsky in the defensive zone as Dubinsky protects the puck and Niskanen gets his stick into Dubinsky’s right skate to take him down for a tripping penalty.

Next Game: Saturday, 4/26, Game 5 vs Columbus, 7pm
Series Tied at 2.

Thanks for reading!