Statement? I don't think so. Payback? Not yet.
Simply put, it was a do or die situation for Pittsburgh and they stepped it up. As in the rest of the games of the series, the goal tending was shaky at best for both teams. Bryzgalov was pulled and Bobrovsky didn't fare much better. Fleury was able to survive due to the enormous lead in front of him otherwise I thought Coach Bylsma was going to sit him too in favor of Brent Johnson. The Penalty Kill, again, for both teams was atrocious. There was a lack of solid defense on both sides of the puck. But if you like offense, this was fun to watch.
13 total goals in one game...That makes 51 goals in four games. Probably not a record but it should be.
I realize it was only one game but if they can keep up the fast paced, mistake free (at least in the last two periods), intense game going, we might have extra innings in this one. I'm still not convinced they can but tonight's' performance certainly showed that they have the ability.
As an editorial comment...the refs played this one tight. I think word came down from Toronto that they were to call each and every penalty no matter how ticky-tack it may have been. There was no "just let them play" mentality in this game. There was hardly a five minute span without a call being made tonight. Pavel Kubina, Wayne Simmonds, Zack Rinaldo, Matt Cooke, and Joe Vitale were all assessed 10 minute misconduct penalties with Kubina, Simmonds, Rinaldo, and Cooke all being tossed from the game. Rinaldo and Kubina were justifiable. Simmonds initiated the contact on Cooke and his jawing afterword is what got him tossed. Cooke was the retaliation match penalty. So either of those would probably have been left alone in any other situation. Regardless, I think the message was sent that the officials aren't going to allow a repeat of Game 3 and quite frankly, I'm thankful for that. There were 100 penalty minutes in this game.
Way to restore my faith in humanity, Pens. At least for another day or two.
Tonight's 3 Stars...(hopefully not for the last time)
1 Goal, 1 Assist, 12:10 Ice Time, and he chipped in on some pivotal plays. Pretty good for a D-man.
Finally gets on the playoff scoring board, 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 20 minutes of Ice Time and best of all, he was a +4, bringing him back to even for the series.
A hat trick will do that for you. 3 Goals, a +2, and almost 23 minutes of Ice Time. Staal was a workhorse tonight and they really needed that.