Friday, March 09, 2007

Penguins 3 - Devils 4(SO): A point! A point!

One point for Crosby and one point for the Pens.

It's a start, I suppose...figures Sid gets a point and then gets stoned in the shootout :(

Sid's statline - 22:03 of ice time, 1 assist, EVEN, 4 shots on goal, and 12 for 19 on faceoffs.

During what could prove to be their final visit to Pittsburgh, the New Jersey Devils hurt the Pittsburgh Penguins' division title chances.

Patrik Elias had the deciding goal in the shootout as the Devils extended their Atlantic Division lead to eight points with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

"We always get up for these games; they're big games, four-point games," said New Jersey center Travis Zajac, who had a third-period goal. "If we want to stay ahead of them in the standings we've got to keep winning. We always find a way. It was a good team win."

Andy Greene had his first career goal, and Sergei Brylin and also scored for the Devils, who had lost three in a row but have reached 90 points.

Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar and Michel Ouellet scored for the Penguins, who had won three of four but fell two points behind Ottawa for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race in losing to the Devils for the second time in 10 days.

"It's always better to get two points with the win, but New Jersey has a good team," Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "And the guys didn't quit, they kept playing until the end and we were able to get a good point."

The game took place while the Penguins' owners, state and local politicians and NHL officials were meeting across the state in Philadelphia in talks aimed at funding a new arena for Pittsburgh. If talks collapse, the team could end up relocating in Kansas City or another city after the season

Fans in the sellout crowd of 17,132 started a "Save Our Pens" chant less than a minute into the game, and there were a handful of banners hanging from the balcony seating ranging from being anti-Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell or anti-Kansas City to pro-Penguins and pro-Pittsburgh.

Those fans went home unhappy when the left-shooting Elias skated far to his right on Fleury as the final shooter in the shootout. He skated from Fleury's left to his right before flipping the puck past him.

"I just wait if (the five-hole) opens up," Elias said. "Or if he keeps sliding, I cut it back. I think it's pretty hard for the goalies if you have (those options)."

New Jersey's Martin Brodeur stopped Pittsburgh's Erik Christensen, Malkin and Sidney Crosby to earn his 40th win of the season. Brodeur has won 40 games for the sixth time and became the only goaltender to win 40 in consecutive seasons on multiple occasions.

"Every time you win 40 games or get to these certain plateaus, they're pretty special," Brodeur said. "There's not many guys that are able to say that."

More sad news: Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien's father died Thursday. Michel will leave the team, for a short time, to attend the funeral.

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