Stunning collapse: The Sequel
The last time Boston traveled to Consol Energy Center, the Bruins scored five times in the third period to turn a 4-2 deficit into a stunning 7-4 victory. Obviously, the Bruins as a whole are not as good as they were that first game.
Because this time, they scored only four times in the third period to turn a two-goal deficit into a stunning victory. Then again, they did it in about five seconds rather than the whole 20 minutes.
After only occasionally threatening Marc-Andre Fleury's goal, Boston scored four times in the last 3:23, twice on the power play and once into an empty net, to embarrass Pittsburgh again, 4-2. Zdeno Chara got it going with a power play goal, then the Penguins' defense decided to take the rest of the night off, giving Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi acres of time and space in front of Fleury to score the goals that put Boston ahead.
Boston hadn't gotten a power play goal in five games. It got two against the supposed No. 1-ranked penalty killing unit. Well done, Penguins, who have now lost three straight games and five of the last six, and another in regulation. They couldn't even get a loser point out of this collapse with three minutes left.
A lesson in Three Stars selections: They probably would've been Mike Rupp, Kris Letang and Fleury (28 saves) 3-2-1 until that last three minutes. No Bruin did much of note at all, then the collapse happened, and Recchi ended up the game's top star even though he spent six minutes in the penalty box, including when Letang scored. Hey, the Bs won, so they deserved more of the stars. Certainly no one besides Fleury really showed up for Pittsburgh.
Oh, Tuukka Rask made 23 saves, including a whopping two in the third period as Pittsburgh really did all it could to choke away the lead by not bothering to possess the puck at all. Gregory Campbell's empty net goal ended up giving him three points.
Yeah, I feel like discussing more hockey.
--St. Louis had a lesser collapse. Kyle Turris and Taylor Pyatt had a goal and assist in the last 10 minutes and Phoenix turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 victory. Lauri Korpikoski also had a goal and assist and Jason LaBarbera made 33 saves. Matt D'Agostini had a goal and assist for the Blues.
--Jimmy Howard had his own epic fail, allowing four goals on 10 shots in 14 minutes and was yanked in Detroit's 5-4 loss to Colorado. Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist, David Jones scored once with two helpers and Peter Budaj made 26 saves. Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom had two points each for the Red Wings.
--Nikolai Kulemin's third-period goal snapped a tie and Toronto knocked off Los Angeles, 3-2. James Reimer made 28 saves.
--Christ, where should I start after that abomination?
--Fleury deserved so much better. He made at least a half-dozen fabulous saves when his defense hung him out to dry. This loss was not his fault. His defense abandoned him a few times too many.
--I really don't know how you leave a 500-goal scorer alone right on top the crease.
--Which also brings up again how undisciplined the Penguins are. Hey, coaches, try instructing your players how to not take penalties.
--I wonder how many games Pittsburgh's power play has to blow (either win a game outright or seal a win) before GM Ray Shero realizes the current personnel isn't getting the job done. We're up to at least 12 and counting with tonight. The Penguins had a power play midway through the third period that could've taken the life out of Boston by making the score 3-0 and failed epically.
--Of course, he doesn't believe he needs to make a move. He feels he just needs to get everyone healthy and the Penguins will be fine. Yeah, sure. Of course, he also doesn't have the cap space to make a move, but he also doesn't have the balls either.
--Yeah, the power play scored in the game, but look. It's one thing to have a power play that at least is a consistent threat. The Penguins barely threaten to get across the red line, let alone set up in the attacking zone and actually score. When they do score, the penalty killers should feel shame. Lo and behold, that third period power play was the worst of the night.
--I have some friends who I consider morons for believing Fleury's Stanley Cup win in 2009 was a fluke. I sure don't hear them say the same about Evgeni Malkin, who has been invisible the last two seasons. It'd be nice if he shows up at some point during this season. Maybe he's saving it for the playoffs.
--Cue Jim Mora's "Playoffs?!" rant.
--Here you go.
--I called him out on Twitter but here's a special "Eff you" and a "Please get the hell out of Pittsburgh" to the insensitive douchebag who screamed "You suck, Chara!" during a moment of silence tonight for the shooting victims in Arizona. Way to put a blackmark on the city and fan base, you fuckwad. What part of you thought that was going to be funny?
I don't feel like talking any more.