Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pens v Flyers (L 2-5)

If the Pens play the rest of the game the way they've just played the first period of the game, they might as well just pack up and go home with the loss right now. Oh, it's been ugly to say the least. Sidney's been getting booed if he even looks at the puck. Evgeni Malkin is playing tonight on a sore knee. Ryan Whitney is playing his first game after missing a few for a sore groin. And the cross state rivalry is alive and well - tensions are running high, and there have been a few scrums and a bloody face already. Here's what happened.

Thirty one seconds into the first, the Pens took a penalty for having too many men on the ice. About a minute into the ensuing power play, the Flyers managed to score a goal after Kimmo Timonen shot the puck and rang it off the post, but Marc-Andre Fleury couldn't find the rebound to freeze it and stop the play. Mark Eaton tried to clear the puck out of danger, but it bounced off the rear of MAF and over the goal line. Score = Pens 0, Flyers 1. Then, Mark Recchi and Erik Christensen tried to answer the goal with a 2 on 1, but Martin Biron denied Christensen's shot.

Malkin and Sid work against Biron.

Then Gary Roberts put a high hit on Smith and took a penalty for roughing. Again, about a minute into the power play, Mike Knuble got a goal after a sequence of shots. A Flyer took a shot, the puck almost went over the goal line, but Sergei Gonchar cleared the puck out of the paint but to Danny Briere, who shot the puck on goal. MAF was down on his stomach after the first chance and was unable to get up to defend the net because Knuble was practically sitting on MAF. Knuble got a stick on it, and the score was now 0-2. Later, Ryan Malone took a high stick from Briere. As the play came to a halt, Smith and Malone got into a fight. Malone was already bleeding from Briere's stick and was not able to fight back effectively after Smith pulled the jersey over Malone's head. Malone and Smith took fighting major penalties, and Briere was assessed 4 minutes because of Malone's wound.

For the first 3 minutes and 33 seconds of this extended power play, the Pens got NO SHOTS ON GOAL. It is at that point when Randy Jones got called for high sticking on Sid. The Pens would have 27 seconds of 5 on 3, and then 1 minute and 33 seconds more power play. UNBELIEVABLY, THE PENS WOULD GET NO SHOTS ON GOAL FOR THE REST OF THAT POWER PLAY, EITHER. To put this into perspective, do the math - the Penguins had 5 minutes and 33 seconds with at least one man advantage (remember - 27 seconds of that was a 2 man advantage) AND THEY DIDN'T GET ONE SHOT ON GOAL. Later, Brooks Orpik took a penalty for hooking. Jordan Staal got what could have been a good short handed chance, but he encountered the linesman along the way. The Flyers didn't score on this power play. Petr Sykora twice set up Christensen, but the 1st shot went just wide of the goal, and the second shot was not allowed in by Biron. The first ended with the Flyers (2) leading the Pens (0).

Sid gets a "love tap" from Timonen, who had a 4 point night.

The second period started with a chance for Malone on a wide open net with Biron down, but Malone couldn't shoot it because he was tied up. Just after, Darryl Sydor and Stefan Ruzicka got into a pretty big fight that ended up with Ruzicka literally losing his shirt. Both would take fighting major penalties. Later, Gonchar took a hooking penalty on a bad call that, when viewed on the replay in slow motion, actually showed Ruzicka holding Gonchar's stick. The Flyers scored 6 seconds into the power play on a shot from Mike Richards that was deflected in by Joffrey Lupul. The score is now Flyers 3, Pens still 0.

Malkin got a great chance to score, but Biron made a better save. Then, Sidney made a nice pass to Whitney, who carried the puck to the net on Biron's right side, drawing the Flyers defensemen along with him. This, of course, left Malkin out on Biron's left all alone with a wide open net. Whitney passed, and Malkin scored. The score was 1-3. Sydor took a delay of game penalty when he cleared a close call (courtesy of Briere - again) up into the protective netting. The Flyers did not capitalize on the power play. Crosby and Malkin finally! turned the switch on and were going nuts trying to score, but the Flyers defensemen and Biron wouldn't let them. The Pens got a great opportunity when Braydon Coburn took a penalty. Crosby got a chance but broke his stick on the shot. The Pens did not score on the power play. R.J. Umberger took a hard shot on goal that smacked off the cage on MAF's mask. MAF seemed stunned but unhurt. Then Scott Hartnell took a penalty with less than a minute left in the second period. With less than a second left on the clock, Gonchar fired a shot into the back of the net behind Biron. The second period ended with the Pens down by 1 goal at a score of 2-3.

MAF had a rough night.

The third period began with the Pens getting another power play chance early on when Briere threw his elbow into Rob Scuderi, but with a little more than a minute left on the power play, Malone took a hooking penalty to even the play at 4 on 4. Neither team would score. Later, the Flyers again went on the power play and this time, Briere scored his first power play goal of the year. The score was Flyers (4), Pens (2). The Pens got a chance to answer this goal when Hartnell took another penalty for hooking, but they would not score on the man advantage. In another bit of poor refereeing, Smith got away with slashing when he chopped his stick down hard on Sid's hands. Needless to say, Sid was less than pleased with the slash and the non-call and fired off more than a few F-bombs.

He got a bag of ice from the Pens' trainer while he was on the bench, but he was back out on the ice a few minutes later. The Flyers fans greeted him with a taunting "CROS-by, CROS-by" chant. The Pens pulled MAF with a little more than a minute left in the game. A huge fight erupted between the teams (Crosby ended up losing his lid over it; Malone and Coburn were escorted back to their respective locker rooms). That classy crowd gleefully chanted "Crosby sucks! Crosby sucks!" The Pens lost their faceoff advantage, and they seemed to be confused as to who would play center on the next play. As a result of the confusion, the Pens lost the faceoff and Hartnell fired the puck into the empty net. The remaining 50 seconds went by without a Pens score. Of course, I'm the one who opened my mouth - Briere did bring it. The final score was Penguins 2, Flyers 5.


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