Monday, March 19, 2007

Penguins 4 - Senators 3: Motion Defeated!

First the Devils, and now the Senators. It's nice to know Sid and the boys can beat some good teams as they prepare for Sidney's first playoff run.

Sidney was the game's first start with 1 goal, 1 assist, -1, and 4 shots on goal in 19:26 of ice time.

The Penguins continue to get little efforts from the role players, as Jarkko Ruutu has turned himself into a go-to guy in shootouts.

From Yahoo!:
Jarkko Ruutu is the Pittsburgh Penguins' fourth-line winger, a player with 30 career goals in parts of seven seasons.

But now he has become a go-to guy in the shootout.

Ruutu's backhand move got the puck past goalie Ray Emery and Pittsburgh tied the Ottawa Senators for fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 4-3 win Sunday night.

"He'll get another shot, that's for sure," said Penguins coach Michel Therrien of Ruutu, who is 3-for-6 in his career in the shootout. "I asked him before how he felt, and he said, 'I feel pretty good about it."'

Pittsburgh's victory gives each team 92 points, with Ottawa having one more victory and the Penguins holding a game in hand.

Sidney Crosby and Ryan Whitney had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who have won five in a row, are 7-0-1 in their past eight and moved within two points of the New Jersey Devils for the Atlantic Division lead.

Daniel Alfredsson and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Senators, who are 4-0-4 in their past eight and 12-1-5 in their past 18.

Ruutu was used in the shootout for only the second time this season since replacing Evgeni Malkin in that role last week. Malkin is the team's leading goal scorer who has more goals in his rookie season, then Ruutu does in his career.

"I'm confident in (shootouts), and it's great when the coach trusts you," said Ruutu.

Five of the past eight Penguins games have been decided in a shootout -- including a 5-4 Pittsburgh win in Ottawa 12 days ago.

This game was decided by a move so slow and calculated by Ruutu that Therrien was compelled to say with a smile, "He took his time, let's put it that way."

"It was weird, man," said Emery. "He came down really slow, a guy like that who doesn't get many minutes coming down in the shootout, you know he's got something coming up. It was a funny move. I didn't know what to expect."

Hmm, so Jarkko Ruutu may have a use, after all??

BTW, Recchi with 0 goals in 13 games. Sidney better start dishing him the puck a bit more.

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