Courtesy of Moon Golf Club

View from Ice Level: Had his Phil


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Phil Kessel watches his final chance away from John Gibson. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

For two periods, every goal was scored in front of me — at the end of the ice the Penguins shoot at twice. That gave the Penguins' faithful hope that another game could be won in the third period after the Penguins themselves blew a 2-0 lead.

In the third period, it looked like Phil Kessel was about to add a sixth goal at that end of the ice, tying the game in the process.

Zach Aston-Reese feathered a beautiful pass from the boards, playing Kessel into space with room to make a move, but he couldn't settle the pass completely.

Kessel's attempt with a rolling puck was thwarted by Whitehall native John Gibson, frustrating Kessel to the point that he hopped away from the cage, raised his festively taped candy cane stick, brought it down with force over the stick of Jake Dotchin, and left it on the ice with a crack in it.

You can't fault Kessel there. He did a really nice job getting the puck from skate to stick blade and just couldn't slow the play enough to make a move or get a top quality chance.

Regardless, with 4:06 left to play, the Penguins' leading scorer chose to snap his junior flex twig, forcing him to abandon it while down a goal in a game the Penguins previously led by two. He's arguably made better decisions than that.

It doesn't quite look like it was a move inspired by frustration in the GIF above, but looking in Kessel's eyes as it happened ... I could tell it was.

A sixth goal was scored, but not at the end of the ice the Penguins needed. Ryan Getzlaf netted one with Casey DeSmith watching from the bench and the Ducks had all they'd need.

Since the rest of the game's goals were scored in front of my position, though, I thought we'd take a look at those:

Kicking off with Evgeni Malkin who opened the scoring on the night. Opposite his normal halfwall position, Malkin settled for a wrist shot in space instead of waiting on a one-timer as he would from the other side of the ice:

[caption id="attachment_740775" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Evgeni Malkin picks his spot. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_740776" align="aligncenter" width="640"] I am score. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_740777" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Celly time. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

Then, it was Bryan Rust's chance to lay it on the hometown netminder:

[caption id="attachment_740778" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Bryan Rust bangs in another goal. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

That grinder finish for Rust marked the final time the Penguins would celebrate at either end of the ice, however, as Adam HenriqueKiefer Sherwood and Ondrej Kase would score the next three at my end of the ice:

[caption id="attachment_740779" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Adam Henrique's blast finds the net behind Casey DeSmith. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_740780" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Kiefer Sherwood hits the glass with a leap after tying the game. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_740781" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Casey DeSmith drifts to the corner with his eyes closed as the celebration continues on the glass. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_740782" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Ondrej Kase receives a big hockey hug after giving the Ducks their first and only needed lead of the game. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

There's typically a pattern to the road team's goals. Since I'm focusing on shooting the defensive side of the action, or looking for that spectacular, you end up with a lot of team celebrations and dejected goaltenders. In the case of a Penguins' loss, however, this is perfect.

These are the storyteller images, or so I like to call them. You can look at the final three photos there at the top of the site on any given night and know what happened in the game.

We already know Phil didn't tie things, and our Dejan Kovacevic gets to use a storyteller to assist in his column.


[caption id="attachment_740764" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Penguins vs. Ducks, PPG Paints Arena, Dec. 17, 2018 - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

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