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Game 1 felt a little bit like a joke. The semifinals, now, feels like the center of a very dangerous storm. We’re used to an NHL where things are not what they seem, where we march through surreal forests made of light with strangers and enemies. The idea that we could be doing something right is very frightening and not okay.
NBC starts the broadcast by trying to do a graphic about Vokoun’s shutout streak (going on 60 minutes) so things might be getting back to normal.
God the speed of playoff hockey. And the NBC mics pick up the gasps of CEC so much better than ROOT. It’s like we’re right there. Hands on the glass. Crying and spitting.
PAUL MACLEAN SPEAKING WORDS: A FILM BY WERNER HERZOG
For the first time it really feels like the playoffs. Neal was wide open early on and while his shot was big and good and scary not much was going on.
Kris Letang is skating like God. Something feels just…right.
Sidney Crosby hopped on the ice and decided he was going to take a little stroll around Erik Karlsson. Karlsson was basically meaningless on that play. Bye bye. Sid Snipe. Anderson can’t even deal.
gif from Pensblog:
Couple of beats later you hear the iron when Malkin hits the pipe. KOUUUUNNN chants raining down for routine saves.
Pens get the first PP but it kind of makes the Pens look more human. Ottawa in their dicks. Looks more like even strength. Marc Methot gets a penalty for roughing after the next TV timeout though. Don’t get too comfortable boys.
Malkin almost scores but it dies dramatically short of the goal line. Pens get all kinds of confused retrieving in their own zone and they even allow a shorthanded chance. Come on assholes. Paul Martin keeps his chin strong and manly and manages to not let his pocket get picked behind the net. And also saves a sure shorty breakaway when three Senators attack him in the high slot. God damn, Paul Martin. Your balls.
Gene eventually hooks someone because the Sens are fighting back. C’mon Gene baby don’t you do us like this. Oddly the Senators power play doesn’t look as oddly impotent as the Pens one. Turris has all kinds of room down by the goal line. Wham bam:
fuck so, those power plays guys. Sounds like a turning point. Also hahahaha remember that “shutout streak” NBC good job NBC you figured out the secret.
Vokoun looks intense behind his mask, like he has realized the dream is up, and it’s time to do some more serious work.
But I mean we have Sid, which apparently Anderson finds difficult to deal with.
Sid beat him because his body language was faking pass pass pass. Anderson bought that little twitch.
Pens finding their legs again ever so slowly as a result of this moment in which Anderson has been exposed as average.
what a period, you guys
Early second, Karlsson completes his fucked up bildungsroman by hooking Neal on his way to the goal. GOOD JOB ERIK GOOD JOB ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE OKAY WE REALLY WISH YOU WEREN’T LIKE THIS WE WISH YOU WERE BETTER WE ARE SO SORRY THAT AN ACCIDENT BEFELL YOUR PERFECT BODY
PP city. Wasn’t even thinking about it because of how bad the last two were. They were that bad.
Sid wins the faceoff a bit dirty. Malkin to Letang up top to Sid at the top of the left circle to HOLY SHIT WHAT A SHOT.
This whole game so far has just been Sid proving that Anderson can’t do this right now. And who is this guy? Robin Lehner? We haven’t heard of him so he’ll probably play his balls off. Good for you, boo.
Lehner takes his first shot of his playoff career, an absolutely nasty little look from Dupuis after Cooke ran some kind of crazy cyle.
Never mind that 2-goal lead though. Colin Greening proves to be The Most Dangerous Senator by coming off and scoring an easy goal on the rush.
don’t even want to dignify with a real pic
Neal and Iggy get a ridiculous 2-on-1 and Lehner finds his legs by making an absolutely spectacular and terrifying save on Iginla. Some kind of 4 on 4 because Neil and Letang tried to throw each other into a ditch at recess. Was it only Southwestern PA Catholic schools that had ditches?
OH HEY SURPRISE AWARD
GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE’S SAC
Latendresse boarded Malkin. It wasn’t a vicious board or anything But a board nonetheless. Everyone saying Malkin dove. Kinda hard to dive when you don’t see the guy coming but whatever.
Iginla keeps getting attacked and is basically doing everything but score. We’d love to see him get a goal. But Colin Greening is trying to win a beauty contest and Jarome is way too cute for the Sens right now. Whole Pens PP is a ballet of horror. No shots. Just rudeness and blunt axes.
Here is a short two-photo exhibit of Iginla being a beast but not scoring. We can feel him coming in this series soon.
PROTIP YOU GUYS: OTTAWA ATTACKS AT THE BLUELINE… …UNTIL THEY DON’T. Paul Mart finally able to let one rip after the PP expires. Tipped by Morrow. His first all playoffs. Finally his ass parked in front of the net paying off.
DUDE DID YOU SEE THAT
So, this Lehner guy is also average.
Sens seem intent on ruining this period for themselves though. Chris Neil, he of the celebrated 2000 PIMs, takes yet another couple. Sens still challenging, they seem to think they can do this all day. Hint: they can’t.
Nevertheless, Kunitz overskates a wide open shot and the Sens go the other way. Colin Greening with a semibreakaway and Koun makes the save of the playoffs to keep it out. Greening crashes into the net violently in the wake of his failure.
Tomas Vokoun is some kind of god. Really no other explanation. Curry has passed the torch.
KOOOUUUNNN chants still at level 45.
Dupuis attacking Jared Cowen the way a small yorkie attacks an overlarge stuffed animal.
next thing you know Cory Conacher with an absolutely insane burst of speed and a breakaway—Vokoun refuses to be intimidated. Absolutely nasty. Stood on his head, stacked the pads, what have you. That whole terrifying sequence seems to calm the Feelings down. And then the period ended.
The third is coming strong.
Iginla gets tackled in general and after a mad scramble Vokoun is out to lunch somewhere in the vicinity of Coal Center, PA (not by his own choice, it appeared to be kidnapping) meanwhile someone named Pageau poked it in.
This is not okay.
Orpik smears someone. That’s a bit of a boarding yeah, bro. Neil trying to actually eat people.
This is the Senators’ time. If they tie this game (1 for 1 on the PP so far, S% 100%, fuck) we could choke on our own semen all the way to hell.
Douglas Murray with the ultimate sacrifice to block a Gonch bomb. We all know how those can actually literally kill you.
Killed though. Thank the baby jesus.
Pageau is turning into a regular Volek out there. We could start crying blood.
Sens and Pens both buzzing equally. We’re literally seconds from disaster at every turn.
In a strange sequence, Gonchar was one on one with Douglas Murray. That’s some kind of matchup.
Neal caught Chris Phillips reaching for his tissues and stole the puck from him behind the net. It was an unbelievable pass to Malks who was all alone in front—but Lehner was ready with that save.
Iggy got a breakaway and you had the hot, metal taste of blood in your mouth, but Lehner came up and stopped that from even being a twinkle in the eye.
Commercial break and no one knows who is going to have a PP when the game comes back. It will probably be the Pens, because we’re playing with fire. Like five minutes left.
but no—it was the young, fair Cory Conacher who committed the deadly sin. i.e. Sid kinda dove a bit. We’ll allow it. We almost wish we could give the PP back because all they do is attack us and hurt us. We’re not afraid to admit our weaknesses.
We were right: that was another absolutely terrible power play. SURPRISE. One chance there at the end. Just one.
Pens come back strong though after Vokoun nearly fumbles a puck. mini 2 on 1 for Dupes and Morrow. Nope nope. CONSOL is whistling and dying and shouting and hurting and wailing.
Pens at least keeping Lehner in the net. Really nothing can be done. Lehner starts. . .stops…starts…stops…finally they get the extra man.
30 seconds. The way the arena is you’d think this was an elimination game. But it sure feels like one.
By a hair.
That’s 2-0. But we’re going to the Satan Pit next. (You may know it as Scotiabank Place.)
it’s a curious victory.
Sid has gained a serious lisp with his jaw surgery and possibly real facial hair.
Some seasons are storybook. Some seasons are like the beaches of Normandy.
You know how it goes.
Per Dave Molinari, Pens haven’t had a 2-0 series lead since the 2009 ECF.
you can actually see the moment that it happens