If we are going to win a game it has to be this one.  Because if we don’t, nothing else really matters except the bottle of Early Times taking up the passenger seat of your truck as you try not to drive the wrong way down the turnpike.

Vokoun city.

let’s go.

Early on, Brian Strait is still bitter as all fuck and attacks someone.  The Isles try to get the Pens to attack them back because they are also petulant children but no extra penalties will come.

The Pens PP looks a bit hungry but the best moment is Vokoun coming out to prevent Cizikas from getting a minibreakaway.  The Koooounn chant is a reality.

Then James Neal takes a penalty and we’re not sure why because we have to watch a choppy NBC stream in a darkened room.  The Pens let Tavares get a quality chance and on the very next shift the seas part for Okposo.  Just skates right through two Pens d-men.  Don’t even care about their names.  (Orpik and Martin seriously.)  Vokoun shuts the door.

Crosby hits someone and Pierre goes all Dad Mode and says “I’m not sure they want Sidney Crosby playing that way” and we’re all “we’re pretty sure Sidney Crosby has been his own coach since he was 15.”

Joe Vitale gets a shift so it’s no wonder that the Pens crash the net and almost score, right?

The Koun chant is getting a serious workout.  Which is somewhat worrisome.  But at least they’re not scoring right?

Potash talks at intermission about bringing speed to the lineup with Joe Vitale and Tyler Kennedy.  But insists on bringing us Tyler Kennedy:

Early second Crosby has a backhand chance streaking down the wing all alone but he misses.  This was after Letang tried to have a redemption shift.

Pens finally get deep off of one of those stretch passes or whatever and Kunitz has the best chance of the whole night.  But Nabby and Visnovsky made it happen.  Vitale has another perfect shift.  Iginla almost takes Nabby to Shake Shack.  Sutter gets a bit excited and does some gorgeous little head fake to gain the zone.  We seem to be waking up from a long slumber. . .could something happen here?

66 lurking.

This also seems to suddenly be a goaltending battle.  Big save after big save.  Goalies are also keeping their teams relatively calm.

Letang looks hungry.  He tries some insane pass to TK who is somehow onside cherrypicking and gets a break.  He goes high glove on Nabby.

Holy fucking shit.

The Pens have life but what happened next is utterly unexpected.  Pens are having a great shift and it ends up at the point with Douglas Murray.  You think he’s gonna shoot for the pads or just get it deep.  Instead it kind of pops into the air. . .and as Nabby looks up at it, gently swats at it, it goes off of him and into the net behind him like the most deadly of butterflies.  So it’s 2-0 and Douglas Murray has two goals in the playoffs.  You read that right.  YOU READ THAT FUCKING RIGHT.  If we weren’t shaking so hard. . .

Tomas Vokoun is still in John Tavares’ mouth.  Tavares makes some kind of insane move and Koun has it like it ain’t no thang.

Few minutes later Sid is in business at the other end.  Skates through like eight people.  Gets free.  Rocket shot.  ROOT shows Fleury on the bench absolutely loving this shit.  Laughing and loving the universe.

The weak among us, such as myself, actually started weeping.

Here is the move.  Hickey is completely brutalized.

Here is a look at the shot.  And dat ass.

“After” shot of Nabokov.  yep

Meanwhile Crosby is all:

Sid just went down the runway after blocking a shot with his toe after the Isles have a real shift.  Maybe this is the end times.  Letang is however playing less like an escaped inmate.  Oh and then Sid came back because ain’t nothing wrong with him.

Vokoun is still dialed in.  Unbelievable save on Brad Boyes in the final minute of the second period.  God. 

The third is one of those do or die things.  Hold the fort for 20 minutes or just resign that you are never as nice or cool as your mom said you were.  Every time Vokoun freezes a puck or even handles the puck there are KOOOOUUUUNs raining down.

Sid stole a puck at the Isles’ blueline with help from Iggy.  Wow.  That was so close to being another moment during which we had to fan ourselves to avoid passing out but not quite.

MARTIN VS. MARTIN CAGE MATCH and the Isles’ Martin goes to the box.

Early PP Isles forget to pressure up high on their PK like at all.  Crosby passes to Letang completely uncontested above the left circle.  That was some kind of pass that seemed to defy the laws of physics.  It wasn’t even from the direction we thought it was coming from.  WELP.

That made it 4-0.

oh hi

Nabby to the bench.  Kevin Poulin says hey.  Isles get a few shots in from the point and Vokoun is, again, an enormous wall of man.

Murray got overexcited and took someone down.  no idea why it’s a penalty.  But whatever.  Pens will have to kill it.  pens will have to not implode.  Koun.  and the PK still up in your dick.

With exactly two minutes left in the third, the Pens are going to get a PP.  So yeah.  Bye.  The PP we send out is literally Vitale, Adams, Morrow, Letang, and Martin.

AND MURRAY IS PLAYING FORWARD says Errey.  errey can’t breathe.

And neither can we.  Except from our warmest wombs.

The Pens look normal again.  We know not to trust all sorcery but we have to say that at least mentally, the Penguins seemed to adjust well to the pressures of idk needing to win a hockey game.

It’s not going to be easy.  Nothing ever is.

There’s still one more win to get, assholes.

Go Pens.


About Zoë

from Fayette County, living in Boston, chronically fussy. Writing about the Penguins, the CWHL/women's hockey, and hockey/sports media criticism.