Saturday, May 25, 2013

"I said NEAL!": Pens vs Sens Game 5, May 24, 2013

Pens fans got what they wanted most, which was a handshake line at the end of game five and the knowledge that Pittsburgh has advanced and now awaits the winner of the Boston-New York series.
The way it came about just made it that much sweeter.
A dominating performance resulting in a 6-2 win and a combined two game score of 13-5 after suffering an "emotionally shattering" 2-1 game three loss in double overtime.
A hat trick from a guy who a few days ago was being questioned about his lack of offensive production but now has five goals and seven points in his last two games.
Not to mention a mini-meltdown in the penalty box by the most hated guy on the other team.

Not a bad way to close out the series.

Check out the photos after the jump.



Requisite Pascal Dupuis playoff beard update pic:


First period:

Brenden Morrow opened the scoring with this shot off his skate/stick/whatever after some nifty passing by Eaton and Cooke.

The play went under review but the call on the ice was upheld.
Good goal.

The scoreboard, however, was not convinced.

It was just the beginning of a long night for Craig Anderson.

Sid went off for a questionable hooking call later in the period.
No problem, Pens killed it.

Second period:

Vokoun flashes the glove to make a save on an otherwise unspectacular night.

The Pens got their first power play of the night when Pageau went off for interfering with Craig Adams.

James Neal cashed in late in the power play.
2-0 Pittsburgh.

Hey, this is kind of fun.

Pittsburgh superfan Michael Keaton looks on from the first row of Suite 66.

Chris Neil went off at 11:15 of the second for interfering with Letang, and so began...


Knitting Lady had made a special sign for the game following Neil's run-ins with Murray in previous games, and knowing it was almost guaranteed that we'd see Neil in the box next to us at least once or twice.

Well, let's just say Neil didn't care much for the sign.  He spit his water out on the glass between us.  Or maybe he liked it, and that was his way of showing his appreciation.

In the meantime, Geno had picked up a holding call and Letang went on to score a highlight goal on the ensuing 4-on-4.  3-0 Pittsburgh.

You can look, but don't touch.

Neil continued to show his "appreciation" by squirting the rest of the water in his bottle at us.
Luckily, we stayed dry, but it got a lot harder to take pictures.
We call this one "Neil's Tears".

Back to the game, Murray went off for sending a puck over the glass.

Michalek put one past Vokoun just as the power play was expiring.
3-1 Pittsburgh.

Ottawa kept the pressure on but the Pens D made plays like this one by Mark Eaton, giving up the body to block Neil's shot.

Geno added a 4-on-4 goal late in the period to make it 4-1 Pens.

Third period:

Alfredsson didn't actually get a penalty, but he figured the Sens didn't have much chance of coming back so he came over and took a seat.

A few minutes later, Chris Neil went after Murray's manly parts.  Neil is probably lucky to have gotten out of the building alive after that.

With less than 10 minutes to go and the game somewhat in hand with a 4-1 lead, James Neal took over.

He scored his second goal of the night on this wrister past Anderson.

He completed the hat trick with a beautiful toe drag move a few minutes later.
6-2 Pens.

All that was left was to shake hands and send Ottawa home.

Stars of the game:

Missed the shot of Geno coming out due to some towel waving going on in front of us.

Down in front, Greg!

With the series over, that left only the celebration cake from Moio's Italian Bakery.

So the Pens have advanced to the conference final for the first time since 2009.
They'll face either the Bruins or the Rags.
Bring it on!