Penguins 1- Phoenix 4
After a poor 11 shot performance Tuesday night in San Jose, head coach Michel Therrien changed the lines in order to generate more offense. Thursday was a perfect opportunity while facing a Phoenix team that had allowed 19 goals in its previous five games. However, to say the Pens came out slow Thursday night in Phoenix would be an understatement.
It took over 15 minutes for the Pens to register a shot in the first, coming from former Coyote Mike Zigomanis on a penalty kill. The Pens were out-shot 12-2 in the first period, while Marc-Andre Fleury made save after save keeping his team in the game.
“We weren’t good at all; there’s no excuse for that.”
-Sidney Crosby (to Darren Pang, FS Arizona)
After the end of the first period, the Penguins had been out-shot 15-64 in their last 4 regulation periods. That had to change, and fast.
Early in the second, Evgeni Malkin made a play behind the Phoenix net, and tried to sneak the puck between goalie Ilya Bryzgalov’s pads. Unfortunately for Malkin and the Pens, the referee blew the whistle just before the puck crossed the goal line.
Seconds after Brooks Orpik exited the penalty box from an interference call, the Coyotes scored. A rebound came off the boards to Phoenix captain Shane Doan, and Doan snuck a backhand pass to Olli Jokinen in front of the net.
Phoenix GOAL- O. Jokinen (2); Assists- Doan, Michalek
The Penguins did not take long to respond. Just 11 seconds into the first Pittsburgh power play, Miroslav Satan scored on a diving rebound off the glass from an Evgeni Malkin slapshot.
Pittsburgh GOAL- M. Satan (5-PP); Assists- Malkin, Goligoski
Phoenix took advantage on their power play as well. After a Jordan Staal boarding penalty, a loose puck was controlled behind the net by Steve Reinprecht, who found Shane Doan in front for the score.
Phoenix GOAL- S. Doan (5-PP); Assists- Reinprecht, Mueller
*Sidney Crosby left the game with about five minutes left in the second with an undisclosed injury. At this time, there is little information about Crosby’s status. Reports are that Crosby had an x-ray taken of his ribs, but the team denied that report. The Penguins captain is currently listed as day-to-day. Please check back soon for updates.
“I had some discomfort. I decided that in the third period, it didn’t seem like I could do much. Honestly, I don’t even know what happened, I have to look at the tape. I haven’t seen anything yet.” -Sidney Crosby (courtesy Penguins.com)
What happened to Crosby is unclear. Television replays showed Crosby skate to the Penguins bench, sit down with a grimace and try to collect himself. Per team policy, the Penguins did not disclose details of Crosby’s injury. (Penguins.com)
Coming out of the period, the Pens had to feel good about their offense. After having difficulty getting the puck to the net, the Pens had 18 shots on goal in the second. They would have to find a way to take this momentum into the third period.
Midway through the third, Daniel Carcillo was called for boarding, and six seconds later off the faceoff, the Coyotes were guilty of a delay of game penalty, causing a 5-on-3 for 1:54. With 42 seconds left, Miroslav Satan took a hooking call, resulting in a 4-on-3 power play for the Pens. To make things work, Satan received a 10-minute misconduct as well for his reaction to the hooking call. With both Satan and Crosby out of the game, the Pens’ chances became dismal.
Meanwhile, another player managed to score his first NHL goal against the Penguins. Steve Reinprecht made a fantastic play to sneak past the Pens’ defense, and found an open Kevin Porter at the doorstep.
Phoenix GOAL- K. Porter (1); Assists- Reinprecht, Boedker
With a minute remaining in regulation, the Pens pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, which lead to an empty-net goal by Shane Doan.
Phoenix GOAL- S. Doan (6-EN); Assists- Tikhonov, Michalek
Game over. Pens lose 4-1.
Shots: Pens- 28, Coyotes- 30
Faceoff Wins: Pens- 30, Coyotes- 25
Power Play: Pens- 1/5, Coyotes- 1/4
E. Malkin: 0 G, 1 A, 10 Shots
Three Stars: (1) Shane Doan, (2) Olli Jokinen, (3) Steve Reinprecht
~Dan @ Pittsburgh Puck Talk