The Penguins are back in Philadelphia today for Game 4 of their first-round match up. The Penguins hold a one-game lead in the best of seven series. The Penguins look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead after a 5-1 blowout on Sunday. We look back on what helped the team find success in Game 3.
Sidney Crosby, knowing the Penguins couldn’t have a repeat performance of Game 2, had a phenomenal game, matching his record for most points in a playoff game with 4 (1 goal, 3 assists).
One of the crucial differences between Game 3 and Game 2 were the special teams. In Game 2, the Penguins powerplay was 0 for 4, as compared to 3 for 7 in Game 3. This is due in part to the team’s newfound willingness to get the puck on net, rather than passing the puck from point to point before inevitably somebody loses it. The penalty kill was much of the same, with a drastic improvement between Games 2 and 3, killing 6 for 6 in Game 3 as opposed to giving up 2 PPG in Game 2 on three chances. As always, this will be a key moving forward.
Mike Sullivan, ever trying to make things click, utilized the Penguins depth by shuffling around the top three lines at times during Game 3. Bryan Rust was relegated to the third line (which shouldn’t have come to a surprise, he was constantly lost during Game 2), Hornqvist was bumped up to the top line with Crosby, and Phil Kessel slotted in to the right of Evgeni Malkin. At least Crosby won't have to worry about playing with Hornqvist tonight.
Keys to the Game
One of the biggest things that the Penguins will really have to be aware of is the pushback. As awful as the Flyers are, the Penguins were caught off guard by them in Game 2 after embarrassing them in Game 1. Be ready to go when the puck drops for the first, we all suffered enough last year watching the Penguins get walked all over in the first ten minutes of every game last year in the playoffs, let’s not make that this year’s theme as well, Murray can only do so much. Don’t overthink on the powerplay, get the puck on net and make Elliott work for saves. The penalty kill must stay aggressive. With a win tonight, the Penguins will have a chance to win the series at home on Friday night.
Malkin scored his 60th playoff goal and 100th playoff assist on Sunday, he’s only the 13th player to reach both milestones.
No Patric Hornqvist tonight, he's out with an upper-body injury. What if the injury happened on that play he 'embellished?" Holy hell am I mad.
Expect Dominik Simon to play with Crosby tonight, replacing Hornqvist.
Per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh PG, the powerplay with Hornqvist in the lineup this season (counting playoffs) 72/275 (26.3%). Without Hornqvist 4/31 (12.9%). RIP.
The Penguins have also won 28/34 regular season games when Hornqvist scores a goal...so.
Brian Elliott had a save percentage of .808, which brings a smile to my face.
Crosby had his 5th 3-assist playoff game, tying him with Ray Bourque for 11th all time.
Has that piss-baby Claude Giroux done anything in this series? He's quit on every single play I've seen this series.
Speaking of Giroux, if the one-toothed wonder Sean Couturierejrsirija is unable to go tonight, Giroux will likely be centered by Nolan Patrick.
Speaking of being unable to go, has Wayne Simmonds played in this series yet? If so, haven't seen him.
UPDATE: Courturierfskfjadjkf is a game-time decision.
Putting pictures of Crosby on the urinals at Wells Fargo Center seems to be working well for the Flyers and their scumbag fans.
The Penguins all time in Game 4’s on the road is 21-17-1.
Old Posts from our site, heyyyyyfannnssss (4/11-2/15). Cute name, but impossible to remember.