Back when the Pens traded for Chris Kunitz, we asked our friends and now-retired Ducks blogger Earl Sleek and Kings blogger Rudy Kelly to describe Kunitz:
He’s not out of place on a top power play unit, but doesn’t exactly demand the time either. For a center-strong team like Pittsburgh, though, it should work out – he’s adaptable enough to ride shotgun on any of their centers’ wing.
He's not that great offensively and mostly leeches off great players.
Yep, that's Kunitz pretty much. What a weekend for him. He followed up a 4-point performance against the Devils with a visit to hat-trick city with a stop-over at Braden Holtby's mouth.
The game was different from what we've seen so far. It was high-intensity, but then everyone realized how big of a mess the Caps are. They look like a team just thrown together. And why in the world did they ever fire Bruce Boudreau? Maybe the team is just uncoachable.
It's a big win because it was against Washington. Big game on the Isle Tuesday night.
Neal and Wolski were going at it before the puck even dropped. It was a sign of things to come in a chippy first period.
Ovechkin decided it was time to show up and started hitting everything: Orpik, Crosby, and Despres. The Red were Rockin'.
That gained momentum was all for naught. Crosby answered with probably the cleanest faceoff win of all time. The puck went back to Martin, and he threw it at the net. It hit something and got past Holtby.
Boychuk was a presence all game. He found himself on a breakaway but just couldn't finish.
Letang and Mike Green later had a Battle of the Hair. Letang decked Green below the goal line, and Green looked like he actually retired from the NHL. He finally got up, while Letang had completely forgotten about him. Some Cap feeds Green a pass, and he buries it.
Some back-and-forth **** after that for a while. Then the Pens scored another goal from the point. This time, Cooke got a piece of it on its way in.
First time Matt Cooke has done anything all season. Think about it.
Play got real chippy toward the end of the period. Pens were answering the Caps blow for blow.
Big play early in the second period. Despres got stuck in the neutral zone fishing for a puck. Sutter hung back to cover for Despres and was able to kill a scoring chance even though the puck almost went in.
The Pens had seemingly escaped a fluke goal. Too bad they didn't.
Some idiot for the Caps dumped a puck in around the glass. Vokoun went out to play it, but the puck took a one-in-a-million bounce off the glass and headed straight for the net.
Listening to Eddie Olczyk say "that can't happen" on the NBC broadcast was awesome. You know what else can't happen? Eddie Olczyk's coaching career. What a dick.
Some of the Pens went back to tap Vokoun on the pads after the goal went in. They would bail him out. It didn't look good, though. Boychuk went off for something right after that. Vokoun stood tall, and the Pens killed it.
Pens had to get Vokoun's back after that fluke goal, and they did in grand fashion.They went on a 3-goal spree over 7 minutes. Kris Letang got it started. He walked in, showed great patienc,e and snapped one past Holtby.
Kunitz scored some goal less than a minute later. Bylsma went for the kill shot, and it paid off. He threw Malkin and Crosby out on a double shift with Kunitz. Malkin started the play with a breakout pass to Kunitz. Kunitz dropped it to Crosby, who gave it back to Kunitz. Goal.
About six minutes after that, someone actually tried to touch Paul Martin. Penalty. Big-time powerplay, and it came through. This play was too sick:
It helped that a Caps player broke his stick. The Pens took their time, and Malkin saw Kunitz flash open. Just a nasty finish.
Yawn for most of the third. Pens were feeling the back end of a quick back-to-back turnaround. They were really fortunate they had built up a solid lead.
But you know who was fresh? Vokoun. It was up to him to stem the tide and save everyone's bacon. He made some big stops. Except when the Caps scored on a power play.
Vokoun really couldn't do much there anyway.
It was all clock-watching from there on out. Caps were gonna pull Holtby, but Crosby made some unreal play. It eventually led to two Caps going off and the Pens getting a 5-on-3. It turned into Operation Kunitz Hat Trick. Crosby fed it to him on a silver platter with 7 seconds left.
-- Bortuzzo. All day. Every day.
-- Tyler Kennedy. Awful again.
-- Adam Oates looked like he wanted to jump off a cliff for most of the game. Solid suit/shirt/tie combo, though.
-- A.O. looks lost and defeated.
-- Orpik made a goal-saving block that won't show up on the stat sheet. It was toward the end of first period we think.
-- Crosby getting better every game.
-- Martin and Orpik's world right now.
-- TK 9:51. LOL.
-- Tanner Glass played well, with some solid hits.
-- Pics of the steps and some Stunneds getting posted Tuesday morning.
-- Game pics from USA Today and Getty.