On Sunday in Philadelphia, the Penguins were trying to weather the storm in the first period, as the Flyers were giving Pittsburgh all it had, and the Wells Fargo Center was ready to explode if the home team had taken the lead.
The Penguins were taking some punches, but goaltender Matt Murray kept the score sheet clean. Then, at the midway point of the opening frame, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins struck (and never looked back in Game 3).
“How did that happen so fast?,” you might say. The Penguins are very good at transitioning to offense quickly using an aggressive forecheck and pinching from their defensemen. Brian Dumoulin’s pinch here translating directly to offense is a perfect example.
It started out as an innocent dump-in from the neutral zone with Patric Hornqvist leading the forecheck for the Penguins.
As Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov were back deep to retrieve the puck, Hornqvist followed to force a play.
Provorov moved the puck to Gostisbehere as Hornqvist pressured him.
The puck moved behind Gostisbehere and along the corner towards Michael Raffl, off screen at the moment.
As Raffl attempted to play the puck at the half wall, all of a sudden, Brian Dumoulin enters the play from the blue line to try and force Raffl to make a play.
Instead of just forcing Raffl to make a play, Dumoulin makes a play himself, moving the puck forward to Crosby and Hornqvist, who are still deep in the offensive zone.
All of a sudden, it’s a 2-on-1 and Crosby passes to a wide open Hornqvist in front of the net.
Provorov is trying to get back into the play. Everyone (myself included) is currently yelling at Patric Hornqvist for not shooting the puck here.
But we are all dumb. Sidney Crosby owns us (much like he owns Philadelphia) again and goes skate to stick and catches Brian Elliott out of his net for a wraparound.