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All Even: Special Teams Haunt Penguins

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm sure everyone has heard the stat of the night by now but in case you didn't:
The Penguins go 0 for 9 on the power play and the Bears go 3 for 4 with the man advantage.
That's your game in a nutshell. The Penguins couldn't convert on their opportunities and the Bears did tonight, which is why they will play the winner-take-all Game Five tomorrow night in Wilkes-Barre.

Brian Strait, who left Wednesday's Game Three in the second period and didn't return, was out of the lineup. So too was Nick Petersen for personal reasons. Philip Samuelsson and Matt Rust replaced those two, respectively. It was Brad Thiessen vs. Dany Sabourin in net.

Now onto some key moments that really changed the course of the game.
  • Late in the first period, while the Penguins were on a power play, Geoff Walker gets pushed into goaltender Dany Sabourin and gets tagged for goalie interference. Clearly a makeup call. While four on four, the Penguins Alexander Picard misses and open net on a 2-on-1 chance and the Bears come down the ice and have a puck go in the back of Thiessen's net off of Cameron Schilling with 2:36 left in the period. The second odd bounce goal to get the Bears off and running in back to back games.
  • In the second period, Boyd Kane slew foots Joey Mormina in the corner wall of the Pens defensive zone and Mormina gets called for interference. The Bears score on that power play as well and take the 2-0 lead.
  • Alex Grant got the Penguins within striking distance with a great shot fake and pass to Jason Williams who tapped it into a basically open net late in the second but ultimately the unsuccessful power play tells the tale of Game Four.
Have to give the Bears some credit. They backed themselves into a 2-0 series hole and have evened things up with two big wins in front of their home crowd. The home team has won every game of the series. The team that has scored first has won every game of the series.

Here's to hoping I was right all along about this series. I predicted the Penguins in five before the series started in my series breakdown post. Game Five is Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre.

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