Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pens v Rangers (L 0-4)

If you'll recall, Jarrko Ruutu was assaulted by New York Islanders' Chris Simon last Saturday in New York. Jes found a video clip of the incident in which you can clearly see Simon trip then stomp Ruutu, as well as 2 other incidents showcasing Simon's lack of self control through his career. Check out his post over at Hockey Rants. The National Post looks at Simon's behavior and tries to figure out why he acts so stupidly in this article by Mark Spector. Simon has since taken a leave of absence from the Islanders and is due in Canada to speak with the NHL about what consequences he will face. It's only my opinion, but I think he should be banned from the NHL. He's going to seriously injure someone if he's allowed to keep playing. His 25 game suspension taught him nothing, so he needs to go - end of story.

Sid gets the puck in front of Girardi.

The Pens were back in New York tonight, this time facing the Rangers. Just before the start of the game, we learned that the Penguins and the Flyers are considering playing an outdoor game less than 25 miles away from my home at Penn State's Beaver Stadium!!! My husband and I looked at each other and confirmed plans to get tickets without saying a word. :) Ryan Malone was out tonight due to "flu-like symptoms," and both Maxime Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury are still out with high ankle sprains. The Rangers started the game with a scoring chance less than a minute in, but Dany Sabourin covered it up. The Rangers were relentless, though, as in the next minute, Scott Gomez scored with a little help from a fortuitous bounce. Just a minute or so later, Sidney almost got it right back as he squeezed past the Rangers defensemen for a breakaway chance, but he shot the puck wide of the goal. This latest missed chance on a breakaway by Sid obviously got to him as he was shown minutes later leaving the ice and pounding his stick down in frustration. Brandon Dubinsky almost scored with a redirect on a shot by Marc Staal, but Sabou got the save.


Later, Crosby stole the puck at neutral ice and quickly went towards Henrik Lundqvist. He took a hard slapshot that bounced off Lundqvist's chest and right to Sergei Gonchar, who just didn't react quickly enough to do anything about it. The Rangers, of course, took possession and developed a 2-on-1 against Darryl Sydor. It was Sydor's stick that broke up the centering pass and prevented the Rangers from scoring. Then, Evgeni Malkin had an insane play that had him beating all the Rangers players on the ice - all of them! - to get a shot on Lundqvist, but Lundqvist blocked Geno's shot just in time. The first penalty of the night went to Kris Letang for holding. The Rangers didn't score on this power play. Proving that a background in baseball does a goalie good, Sabou made a nice glove save on a shot from Gomez. The Rangers' first penalty went to Paul Mara for interference on Gary Roberts. This power play was awful. The Pens repeatedly dumped the puck in deep allowing the Rangers to gain possession and clear it out all the way to Sabou. Needless to say, they did not score. Jaromir Jagr got a great chance, but the Pens did a fantastic job of preventing him from getting a good shot off. With less than a minute left in the period, Chris Drury gunned a shot that hit Sabou squarely between the eyes. The shot was so hard that play was stopped to make sure that Sabou's mask was okay. The period ended with the Rangers leading by a single goal.

Geno pwns everyone - except Lundqvist.

Early in the second period, Colby Armstrong was up-ended and sent crashing head first into the boards, but since FSN Pittsburgh was favoring the full ice camera view tonight, it was difficult to see exactly what happened. The Rangers weren't assessed any penalties and Army wasn't hurt. But just a bit later, Brooks Orpik was called for interference for a hit on Ryan Callahan. The Rangers did not capitalize on this advantage. Just a few minutes later, Letang took another penalty, this time it was for boarding. The Rangers didn't score on this opportunity, either. Sidney had his own insane play when he plowed into M. Staal to gain possession of the puck, which led to a give and go with Ryan Whitney. Sid geared up and took a shot that somehow Lundqvist blocked. Sid was incredulous as he remained on the ice on one knee at the boards and shook his head in disbelief. As he returned to the bench, it appeared that he dropped the F-bomb. The crowd showed its appreciation by chanting "Henrik!!! Henrik!!!"

Sir Sidney had a frustrating night.

At the mid point of the second period, Martin Straka redirected a shot by Gomez into the back of the net. Just like that it was Pens 0, Rangers 2. A few minutes later, Adam Hall took a penalty for tripping. Gomez banked a shot off Whitney's skate to make it 0-3. Later, Roberts plowed into Lundqvist as he attempted to get to a rebound, but instead he earned a penalty. The Rangers didn't score on their power play. Roberts turned the tables and drew a penalty by agitating Colton Orr, but the Pens couldn't capitalize on the advantage. The second period would end with the Pens having only 5 shots on goal through two periods of play.

The Rangers celebrate one of their four unanswered goals.

The third began with Letang losing control of the puck in front of Sabou. He ended up having to sacrifice his body to prevent yet another Rangers goal. Letang later drew a penalty on Blair Betts, who hauled Letang down by his face with his free hand. The Pens didn't score on their power play. Then Ryan Hollweg had a breakaway chance, but Sabou stopped his shot. Hollweg made the stupid decision to hit Whitney in the back of the head. The cheap shot prompted a scrum between the two teams. Hollweg was assessed a roughing penalty, but the Pens didn't score on this power play (do you see a pattern here?). Hollweg proved that he is a stupid meathead yet again when he charged Whitney seconds after being released from the penalty box. Tyler Kennedy took exception to this hit on his teammate and drilled Hollweg in retribution. Play was stopped, but Hollweg and Kennedy went at it after Hollweg hit Kennedy with the butt end of his stick. After the dust settled, Petr Sykora was in the box for 2 minutes, and Hollweg and Kennedy were both hit with 10 minute misconduct penalties. Since there were just over 9 minutes left in the game, they both were done for the night. Only 45 seconds into Sykora's penalty, Army took a penalty for holding on Jagr. At one point during the 5-on-3, Jordan Staal lost his stick, but Hall was able to get the puck and clear it so J. Staal could get to the bench. Just 1 second after Sykora's penalty ended, Drury scored a garbage goal to increase the Rangers' lead to 4 goals.

Sid skates against Jordan's brother Marc.

Roberts drew a penalty on Jason Strudwick, but - wait for it - the Pens didn't score on this power play, either! Lundqvist made some ridiculous saves to keep the Pens scoreless during this power play prompting another "Henrik!!! Henrik!!!" chant from the crowd. As FSN went to commercial, the Rangers crowd was rocking out to "Sweet Caroline." Ugh. Near the end of the period, Nigel Dawes took a shot at Malkin. Crosby didn't appreciate that move, and he let Dawes know it. The play continued for a few more seconds, and as both the Saint and Dawes went to their respective benches, they continued to exchange words. Sid dropped a few more F-bombs prompting commentator Bob Errey to exclaim, "Can anyone read lips?! Ha ha ha!!!" Despite the fact that the Pens registered twice as many shots on goal in the third as they had in the first and second periods combined (and after 3 more instances of the "Henrik!!! Henrik!!!" chant), the game ended with Lundqvist earning a shutout against the Pens. Incidentally, the Pens had not been shutout since 02-27-07 when they were prevented from scoring by Martin Brodeur.

Lundqvist was the man of the night.

Next up for the Pens: a visit to the Boston Bruins on Thursday at 7:00pm Eastern.


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