For a "meaningless" regular season finale, this one had some pretty decent storylines.
James Neal had a pretty good game after missing eight straight recovering from a concussion. We finally had a chance to throw those giveaway Pirates hats we've been carrying around for a while.
Tanger entered the game just two points behind PK Subban for the scoring lead among defensemen. Pretty impressive feat by itself, not even taking into consideration that he was doing it in seven fewer games or that his even strength point production is at levels normally unheard of for a D-man.
There were more Staal brothers than you could shake a hockey stick at, and I think one of them used to play for us or something.
Oh yeah, and our starting goalie became a new dad yesterday.
Oh man, almost forgot Paul Martin. He returned after a 12-game absence, but that's kind of the story of Paul Martin this season. He's just there making solid plays, getting the job done without really standing out. Or something like that. I don't know, but I didn't get any good pics of him tonight. I'll just toss this one up from earlier in the year because hey, he deserves to be here.
Not to mention the fact that the Pens entered this one on a two-game losing streak, and guaranteed first seed or not, I can't imagine any team wants to head into the playoffs dropping three in a row.
Check out the rest of the photos after the jump.
Let's get it on!
This looked like the battle of who can make the best tough guy face. Calling it a draw.
To answer all the requests for more Tyler Kennedy close-ups:
These guys are pretty good together.
Yep, Neal scores.
Seems like one of those acquisitions that could be talked about for years to come.
Kunitz really couldn't believe he didn't score.
So many good chances.
The Pens slapped together a five goal third period and Flower kept the Canes off the board in the final frame to secure the win.
Then it was time for the Pens to come back out and give away their jerseys.
Though not to me, so who cares, except for the glorious photo opportunities this tradition creates.
And the best part of all, hello SOCK PICS!!!!
We entered the game having only four guys on the current roster who hadn't yet held the sock.
That magic number is now down to one.
We're coming for you, Mr. Murray.
And this will be the sock that takes us to the Stanley Cup.
So, the shortened season is over.
It was fun. Knitting Lady and I improved our fan record this year to 7-0.
Not to mention eight straight wins going back to last year, and 20 out of our last 22.
Hopefully we can bring some of that good luck to the playoffs.
LET'S GO PENS!!!!!