Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pens v Flyers (L 1-3)

You just know it's going to be a doozy of a game when highlights from the teams' last meeting are set to an apocalyptic opera song. First though, Sid had a pregame interview with Dan Potash. He said that his point streak is the result of luck. He also said that he felt like the Pens are trying harder on the power play while Ryan Whitney is out nursing a groin injury.

Okay, 28 seconds into the first period, Joffrey Lupul scored after Saint Sid proved he is indeed human and turned the puck over in the neutral zone after being hounded by R.J. Umberger. I thought to myself, "Oh. It's going to be one of those nights..." Coach Michel Therrien was shown wearing a poppy on his lapel in honor of Canada's Remembrance Day which is the equivalent of the U.S. holiday Veteran's Day. Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey told us how Sid had seen the poppy and requested one for himself. They then went into a story about how Sidney got a bag full of gifts for former Penguin Jay Caufield to thank him for skating with the team over the summer. We also heard about how Maxime Talbot, Georges Laraque, and Adam Hall delivered warm pizza to the cold fans in the Student Rush line.

Mad Max, still rockin' the fu manchu, hands out some pizza.

A small scrum ensued after Scottie Upshall fired a shot on Dany Sabourin WELL after the play was whistled down. Less than six minutes into the first period, Jeff Carter shot the puck up under the crossbar and scored. The Flyers increased their lead 0-2. A bit of a melee occurred when Ryan Malone put a late hit on Upshall. Ironically, the Flyers ended up on the disadvantage after all was said and done with Brooks Orpik going to the box for the Pens and Braydon Coburn and Jason Smith going to the box for the Flyers. The Pens did not score on this man-advantage. Sidney, Evgeni Malkin, and Malone charged towards Flyers goalie Martin Biron. Sid shot the puck hard. Biron stopped it but could not control the rebound. The puck sort of sat in front of Biron for a second or two, and Malone grabbed it, but before he could get a chance, a Flyers defenseman picked his pocket.

Crosby drew a penalty when he was hooked by Lupul, but the Pens didn't score this time either. Lupul got possession of the puck when he emerged from the box. It was a 3 on 2 chance in favor of the Flyers, but Sabourin made the save. Then, it looked like Malkin was about to start down towards Biron on a breakaway, but he and Kimmo Timonen became entangled and both men went down. Sir Sidney was there to pick up where Geno left off. He got possession and charged forward with Malone to his left challenged only by one Flyers d-man. He made a textbook pass right between the defenseman's legs to Malone who had to make little to no effort and the puck went in the net with only 36 seconds left in the first period. The War Room in Toronto was called because it appeared that the puck went in the net off Malone's skate, but it didn't matter - the goal stood. With 8 seconds left, Petr Sykora tried to set Hall up to tie the game, but Biron said "NO WAY." The first period ended with the Flyers leading with a score of 1-2.

The second period started with a fight between Orpik and Umberger only 40 seconds into it. It looked like Umberger ended up with a cut on his forehead after the two men were separated. Later, Darryl Sydor had a great chance but rang the puck of the post. The Penguins began playing with a bit more desperation. In the midst of it all, Malkin was tripped up, but no call was made. Later, Mike Richards scored when he got the puck and carried it towards Sabourin after Sid was knocked down following an attempt to score on Biron. The score was Pens 1, Flyers 3. Later, the score wasthisclose to becoming 1-4 when Danny Briere had the ultimate chance on a wide open net with Sabourin way out of position, but Briere shot the puck just wide of the goal and bounced the puck off the post on the outside.

The only Pens goal of the night.

Rob Scuderi went to the box for interference. With 1:16 left in the power play, the Flyers' Mike Knuble got called for interference to even things up. Neither team would score. Later, Sid drew a penalty on Timonen, but the Pens weren't able to capitalize on the power play. With just over 2 minutes left in the second, Orpik took a penalty for upending Briere. The Flyers did not increase their lead during this power play. The second ended with the Pens trailing the Flyers 1-3.

In the third period, we learned that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was in attendance tonight. He sat with Mario Lemieux in the owner's box. Also in attendance - but not in the owner's box - is the 30 Games in 30 Nights guy, Steve Williamson. (This guy is my hero, by the way.) He's trying to go to 30 different arenas in 30 nights, and he's blogging about his experience. Back to the game, Malkin was busting through when Knuble hauled him down. They did not score on this chance, either. Later, Briere ended up taking a penalty for holding. With less than 30 seconds left in the Pens power play, Mark Recchi took a penalty for a hit from behind that was almost boarding. During the Flyers power play, Sid got a great chance for a shorthanded goal on the short side, but he shot just wide.

With five and a half minutes left in the third, FSN cut to another shot of Mario in the owner's box. Let's just say he didn't look pleased. The Pens kept getting great shots on goal, but Biron kept getting the saves. With 1:30 left in the period, Sabourin was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. Just as he left the ice, Coburn was called for interference when he knocked Crosby down. At one point during this power play, the Pens had essentially a 6 on 3 because they had the goalie pulled and Simon Gagne broke his stick. Incidentally, Gagne was not assessed a penalty when, instead of dropping the broken stick, he threw it at Sidney. It didn't matter anyways, as time ticked down and the period ended. The Flyers exacted a little revenge for the 8 game sweep last season, and the final score was Pens 1, Flyers 3.


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