The Penguins look to even the series tonight after losing in overtime by a score of 4-3 on Wednesday night. Puck will drop just after 7:30pm from the landfill known as the Coliseum.
Wednesday was a disappointing start to the series to say the least. The Penguins, aside from a select few (Phil Kessel, Justin Schultz, Erik Gudbranson and Matt Murray) failed to show up. The Islanders won in overtime by a score of 4-3 thanks to Josh Bailey's tally just 4:39 into the extra period. Pittsburgh could have trailed within the first 30 seconds had the Isles not been offsides. Tom Kuhnhackl channeled his inner Patrick Kane (minus the rape and beating up cab drivers thing) and rocketed one past Matt Murray. After a lengthy and I mean lengthy review, the goal was called back. Had New York scored there, the Coliseum would have erupted and the Pens would have lost by like 12.
Instead, we were dragged along all game thinking that the Penguins would catch up. Jordan Eberle got the scoring started, tallying his first ever postseason goal (playing in Edmonton will do that for you). Phil Kessel would even the score just over four minutes later but Brock Nelson would put the Isles back on top towards the end of the period. The lone goal in the second period belonged to Evgeni Malkin. His shot deflected off an Islander's stick to make it 2-2 heading to the third. The third period took years off my life but there was some good hockey played. The Isles would take the lead late in the third thanks to a Nick Leddy knuckle puck. The Penguins battled back though and with the goalie pulled and just under 1:30 to play in regulation, Justin Schultz fired the puck past Robin Lehner to make it 3-3. In overtime, Kris Letang tried to bring the puck in on a 1 on 3 only to turn it over which led to Bailey's overtime winner. Tough scene. Dumb play.
Some observations regarding game one:
Holy piss Olli Maatta is terrible and shouldn't see another shift this series or as a Penguin. He is absolutely terrible.
Maatta directly led to the Isles third goal by icing the puck in a situation that he didn't have to. On top of that, he made Tom Kuhnhackl look like Pavel %^&*$#@ Datsyuk. Just inexcusable play and honestly he's been terrible for a long while.
Erik Gudbranson is a warrior. Anders Lee tried a dangerous slew foot on Gudbranson halfway through the third. It looked bad but Gudbranson came back and finished the game.
Kris Letang may be an elite talent but his lack of awareness at times is unreal. Didn't see the winner? Watch this:
Jack Johnson appeared in all 82 regular season games for the playoffs but was scratched last night in favor of Maatta because the Penguins love the Gudbranson/ Pettersson pairing.
Speaking of which, don't be surprised if the Penguins throw the exact same lineup out there tonight. I'm sure that will cause some unrest online.
At least Phil Kessel, you know the guy that had a down year, knew the playoffs started. He was flying during Game One.
Olli Maatta just turned the puck over while I wrote this.
Honestly, Matt Murray played well considering he didn't have any defense helping him out. Brian Dumoulin looked very bad and that's a rarity.
Islanders fans are scumbags (fuck you Frankie Borelli) and their players dive more than any team I've ever seen. Special shoutout to Brock Nelson, who looked like JFK flopping around out there after he was barely touched. Yikes.
I'll end my observations on a positive note - the last time the Penguins lost a Game One in overtime, they went on to win the Cup.
It's 4/12 Day and I miss Mac Miller
Expect no changes to the Penguins lineup tonight barring anything drastic happening during the pregame skate.
Sidney Crosby was invisible in game one. I'm not a betting man but I would think he shows up in a big way tonight.
Matt Murray is 11-3 all-time following a playoff loss.
Hopefully Brock Nelson is o.k. He acted like he got shot last game so I wouldn't be surprised if he was out long-term due to death or something similar. Oh wait, he's playing...
Speaking of last game, why did Tom Kuhnhackl never play like this when he was a Penguin? He skated around Wednesday like he was on PCP laced with acid.
With his goal and assist in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime loss, Evgeni Malkin now has 13 career points in just seven career playoff games against the Isles.
Hot take here but the Penguins should do a better job of keeping guys out of the front of their net.
Matt Martin is a scumbag.
Those who say this game isn't a 'must win' are delusional. Game three is Sunday at 12:00pm. The Pens suck during day game so essentially this is a MUST WIN.
The Coliseum is a dump which I guess makes sense, considering it matches their fans.
It's still #FishSandwichSZN so when you go to your local church, be sure to say a prayer for the Penguins as well.