Penguins 4, Ducks 3: You Gotta Play A Solid, Complete Fifty Minutes Of Hockey

My brother is currently on a West-Coast Penguins trip, attending the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks games this week as a (jealousy-inspiring) birthday gift from his wife Chancy. After the second period of the Ducks game last night, we exchanged the following texts at the end of the second period after Crosby fed a wide-open Pascal Dupuis at the blue line and he proceeded to do what he so often does: do the farthest possible thing from scoring and spastically just fall down untouched. The exchange —

Me: Get used to that Crosby to Dupuis fall down at the blue line play on this trip

Mike: I told Chancy Dupuis is terrible. She said quiet, his brother could be sitting next to you

Me: Did the guy next to you get handed a drink then immediately fall down?

[Dupuis scores to put the Pens up 4-3]

Me: No way

Mike: He heard from his brother at the half. No way he has 3 goals. Ray Lewis stat

Long story short, the Pens got a go-ahead goal from Pascal Dupuis and proceeded to balance the karma by playing a suicidal last ten minutes against an extremely talented Ducks team and miraculously surviving. I wasn’t even doing my typical “have to make myself worried about the lead because I’m any fan” third period nervousness, I was past that and into “clearly Anaheim’s going to score, so hopefully they can just squeeze this one out in a shootout.” Thanks to a double pad-stack by Sidney Crosby, an improbable Fleury glove save on Saku Koivu (his typical Fleury “ridiculous save to make up for frustrating goal”), and about ninety lucky Pens bounces, they escaped with a 4-3 regulation win.

I have no idea how the Ducks are 4-7-2; every player on their team is 6’4″ and skilled, and Scott Niedermayer looks like he hasn’t lost a step on D. Jonas Hiller didn’t play impressively, but I can’t imagine the Ducks won’t crack that Top 8 in the West before the final 178 regular season games are up, and with their size and ability to create traffic in front of the net, I can still see them going far in the playoffs once they start fully clicking.

Also, Gonchar being out is no excuse for this Penguin power play sucking. It’s just not. Letang and Goligoski are two exceptionally qualified point men, and you have Sidney effing Crosby out there for two minutes with every man advantage. You could throw two cones out there at the wings and still at least go ONE for six on the power play.

Whatever, still another win. Let’s see if the Pens can play even worse in the final 10 minutes against the Kings and win by even more.

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