The Penguins came out soft in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
The Pens gave up two goals in the first period, and could never climb their way all the way back. Steve Downie showed off his cuddle soft hands while finding a puck in a crowd, and putting it passed Fleury. A few minutes later Vinny Lecavlier tackled Kris Letang along the boards to spring a small two-on-one. Martin St. Louis never even thought about passing and went upstairs on Fleury for the 2-1 lead. The rest of the first period was a display of sloppy play by the Penguins. To say the officiating wasn’t very good would be an accurate statement.
The second period showed off the Penguins power play woes. It was the worst I have seen the power play in years. I actually prefer the Pens to be short-handed at this point. The Pens were the better team for the remainder of the game. They out-shot the Bolts by a landslide, but Dwayne Roloson was a marshmallow, and smothered every shot that came near him.
The ice was tilted for the Pens in the third period as well. The Bolts would get some great chances, but Fleury made some great saves to keep the Pens in it. Mike Rupp was on the half-wall when he put a shot over Roloson’s glove hand. Rupp’s goal was a reward for several great shifts in a row.
This game was a possible preview of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Some major things to look at about the Lightning: They run a 1-3-1 defensive trap, that allows some soft spots to enter the zone. When the Bolts lost this year, they lost big, so that 1-3-1, if penetrated can be a big liability. Steven Stamkos is not the player he was before. Last time these teams met he was awarded a penalty shot. It didn’t go so well. Stamkos Fail
About the Author
Written by Dustin Keener
My name is Dustin Keener. Born and raised a Pittsburgh sports fan. I Live in Northern Virginia, and went to college in the Pittsburgh area. I am very involved in the hockey community. I referee, play, coach, and read/write everything I can about the game. I am 24, engaged, and loving life.