Pens Vs Lightning Grades
Even Strength Offense: A
They generated a ton of scoring chances. Garon was playing maybe the best game of his life before he got hurt. The Pens were peppering him with shots, but other than Kunitz early, nobody was able to beat him. Luckily for the Pens, he got hurt and Lindsuck came in. He was fighting the puck all night long, but they couldn’t get anything past him, either, hitting couple posts and having a puck roll along the goal line in the process. But then, Sid, Letang, and Geno went to work. All made absolutely brilliant plays for two goals. Geno’s was just spectacular as he intercepted a pass and skated through about the whole Lightning team. Then Sid also intercepted a pass, let Letang do the work, and then finished in grand style.
Even Strength Defense: C
It was better than the last game lol. But somehow, Stamkos was left alone in front to bang home two rebounds. I’m looking at you, Brooks. They also allowed a fair number of quality chances against the high-powered Lightning.
Power Play: D
They had a few chances, but rarely got the puck on the net. It looked like they were going for the highlight-reel goal rather than simplifying.
Penalty Kill: A
They only gave the Lightning one shot in four minutes of PP time.
When do you blame the goalie and when do you blame the defense for rebounds? I tend to blame the defense for not tying guys up, but Fleury gave up one rebound goal that was a bit weak and another when Stamkos batted the puck out of the air. The way the Pens play defense, goalies are under pressure to never spit out a rebound because the puck will end up in the net. Anyway, Fleury had another very solid game. It’s getting reminiscent of last year, when Fleury was great almost every night and Johnson couldn’t stop a beach ball.
The only thing really lacking was the finish. They just couldn’t put pucks past the Tampa Bay sieves until Geno and Sid went to work late. They played a solid two-way game, getting lots of good chances and limiting Tampa Bay’s chances.
And now, the rest of the story…
A brilliant pass for the first goal and a great combo play with Letang for the third one.
Maybe the rest did him good. he was flying out there. His rush for the goal will be on highlight reels for a long time.
James Neal: A
Ten shot attempts, and he finally got one to go on the empty-netter.
Kris Letang: A-
What a great patient play to keep looking for Sid on the third goal. But he also had a brutal giveaway to Stamkos early on where Fleury bailed him out.
Chris Kunitz: A
Where did this sniping ability come from?
Deryk Engelland: F+
He gets the “+” for taking seven minutes in penalties, thus removing himself from the ice. Maybe he’s smarter than the coaches? Another lovely -2 last night.
Ray Shero: F
Please explain to me why Beau Bennett was sent down yet Tyler Kennedy continues to steal money every night.
Early on, Fleury stopped Stamkos after the Letang giveaway. HUGE save. Maybe not his best, but likely his biggest.
This usually gets awarded to its namesake, but last night, geno stole it from him. On the PP, he received a cross-ice pass and had a wide open net. Inexplicably, he tried to pass back to Kunitz on the other side of the crease. They ended up not even getting a shot on goal out of it.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.