Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern Conference Final Game 6

Evgeni Malkin had promised a Pittsburgh victory tonight. Could they deliver?

Roster updates
Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy are in net again

Penguin winger Beau Bennett is out again, Conor Sheary is back, starting on the line with Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvuist.

First Period:

Tampa looks good to start with, but isn’t getting shots off when in the attacking zone. Five minutes into the period, Jonathan Drouin is gifted with a wide open net, thanks to Victor Hedman and Matt Murray. He puts it away, but under review, his back foot is in the air when the puck crosses the blue line. NO GOAL

The first penalty of the night goes to Evgeni Malkin for retaliating on a Ryan Callahan slash.

Unimportant, as the penalty is killed, but I found the video entertaining.
(see, funny:)

Late in the period, Anton Stralman makes an early open-ice hit, and goes to the box for interference. Then, teammate Victor Hedman bounces a puck from his end all the way over the glass 180 feet away over Penguins goaltender Matt Murray. That is strangely still a delay of game penalty (it sure ain’t a shot-on-goal). He also goes to the sin bin. Pittsburgh is given a 5-on-3. Now you may be asking yourself, “Hey, aren’t Hedman and Stralman Tampa’s best penalty killers?” Well, yes. Yes they are. Phil Kessel scores on an awkward Sidney Crosby pass during the 5-on-3. It’s 1-0, Penguins.

This is how the period would end. Most distressing for the Bolts may be the 7 giveaways, but they must also generate some shot attempts when they have possession.

Shots-14-4, Penguins.
Blocked Shots- 4-6
Hits- 6-7
Takeaways- 3-3
Giveaways- 3-7
Faceoffs- 4-16

Second Period:

The Bolts get a good shot early on from the Ryan Callahan line, but they are not sustaining offensive pressure.

Kris Letang would get the first even-strength goal of the night, with Hornqvist shielding Vasilevskiy.

2-0, Penguins.

Mid-period, Andrej Sustr whiffs on shot. Then Ondrej Palat goes to the box for slashing. At this point, I’m thinking this strategy of “playing poorly” may backfire on the Bolts.

To close out the period, Sidney Crosby dangles through Palat, Stralman, and Hedman, and goes five hole on Vasilevskiy. 3-0 Pens

Pittsburgh has largely kept the Bolts to the outside, but Tampa has also lacked finish.

Shots – Pens 12-7
Hits – 8-11
Blocked shots – 6-2
Takeaways- 1-1
Giveaways – 3-7
Faceoff wins – 16-11

Third Period:

Best play so far? Brian Boyle bangs out a pass to Braydon Coburn which is intercepted/deflected by Phil Kessel for a score – on his own net. 3-1, Pitt still leads.

But now, Tampa starts playing with urgency. Tampa is vastly out-shooting Pittsburgh right now.

With 7:17 left, Brian Boyle would snipe one, top-shelf corner. It’s now a one goal game – 3-2, Pitt still on top.

Matt Cullen would do Murray no favors in that situation.

Tampa can’t seem to tie it up. With 2 minutes left, Bryan Rust gets a breakaway and manages to juke Vasilevskiy, and it’s 4-2, Penguins.

Tampa goes empty net, and Pittsburgh scores the empty netter.

The game ends with a Pittsburgh win, 5-2.
The series is tied at 3-3, and game seven will take place in Pittsburgh.

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Position: Power Forward. Occupation: I am the Egg Man. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the Walrus.

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