Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pens v Sens (L 3-4 OT)

At least the Pens got a point out of the deal, right? Ugh. The Pens blew a 3-0 lead to lose this game in the last 4 seconds of overtime. These are the kind of games that make you want to vent your frustration by knocking on your neighbor's door and punching him right in the face without saying a word. (Uh, I should probably mention that I don't actually do that, nor do I suggest doing it yourself, unless you're looking for an overnight stay in the clink.)

The first and second periods were dominated by the Pens. The Senators, in fact, barely looked interested in playing at all. Only goaltender Ray Emery showed up for the first 40 minutes of the game. Without Emery, we'd be talking about a [Pens 10, Sens 0] game. [*Sigh*] Alas, Emery's goaltending held the Sens in a position that a comeback was within reach. The Senators basically spent the first 6 minutes of the game in the penalty box. Just after the opening faceoff, Jeff Taffe stole the puck from Dany Heatley in the corner. He passed the puck to Jordan Staal, who tried for a wraparound. The puck bounced off Emery and went right to Colby Armstrong. A Senator was all over Army, so he couldn't get a shot. A few seconds later, however, Army went 1-on-none towards Emery. Chris Phillips was a step behind and hooked Army in an attempt to stop him. MISTAKE. Just after the Pens' power play got underway, Petr Sykora fired a rocket from the wing on the short side of Emery. It happened so quickly, Emery never saw it coming. [Pens 1, Sens 0] Keep in mind, this happened less than two minutes into the period. Immediately afterwards, Nick Foligno took a hooking penalty. On the ensuing Pens' power play, Christoph Schubert chopped Staal's hands, but no call was made. The Pens didn't score on their advantage.


A few seconds after Foligno came out of the box, Heatley was busted for high sticking Evgeni Malkin. A shot from Sykora hit the goal post on the stick side of Emery, but the Pens didn't score on this power play. Right about this time, my dog got sick. (Ewwww!) While I was cleaning up my floor, I heard that Emery made a nice save on Geno, and Ty Conklin made a great save on Cory Stillman. I didn't see them, though, so I can't describe them for you. When I was able to start watching again, Schubert drilled Taffe into thte turnbuckles in front of the benches. Luckily, Taffe wasn't hurt, and Schubert was given two minutes for boarding. During the Pens' power play, FSN Pittsburgh cut to a shot of Le Magnifique - but Sid was nowhere to be seen. Again, Sidney wasn't mentioned at all during today's game. It's starting to worry me a bit. Has he had a setback?! Somebody needs to tell me!!! Back on the ice, the Pens didn't capitalize on their advantage.

A quick forehand shot by Mike Fisher hit the post by Conks, who never even flinched. Later, Conks attempted to play the puck. In the process, he turned the puck over to Andrej Meszaros. Conks scrambled to get back to the front of the net and made an unreal glove save on Meszaros's shot. WOW. Ryan Whitney then fired a shot that Emery blocked. Staal got to the rebound and fired a good shot as he was falling, but Emery made the save. I honestly don't know how Staal is not scoring. He's doing everything right, but it always seems like the goalies have his number. He's got to be getting frustrated right now. (Hopefully, he doesn't go punch his neighbor...)

Lady luck has been spitting in Jordan's eye lately.

Geno got the puck right in front of Emery after a bad pass by the Sens. He softly lobbed the puck right into the logo of Emery's jersey. Geno was not happy with himself, so he hit the glass in frustration. Speaking of Geno, here was the quote of the day:
[Talking about her son's nickname, Geno] It fits. Maybe we'll start calling him that, too. ~ Mama Malk
Then, as the first period ended, we got some news from Paul Steigerwald that should make everyone happy: Apparently, Natalia and Vladimir Malkin (who were in attendance at the Mellon) have been looking for a home in Pittsburgh because they love the city so much! WOOOOOOOOO!!! They are welcome to move to Pittsburgh and stay for the rest of their lives. It would definitely give Geno all the more reason to stay with the Pens! :) :) :)

Volchenkov was stuck to Geno like glue.

During the intermission, we learned that two area high schools, Bethel Park and Mount Lebanon, will meet for an outdoor game next weekend in South Park, Pa. The game will benefit a charity that funds juvenile diabetes research and is being organized in conjunction with the Penguins organization. If you have an opportunity, I highly recommend you go. I know it's not going to attract 70,000+ people, but I'm telling you - outdoor games are AMAZING and you should definitely go if you can. Besides, it's for a good cause, so get out there and cheer these guys on!!!

Former Pens assistant coach Pierre McGuire joined Steigy and Bob Errey in the booth for the second and third periods. (He was a welcome addition, in my opinion.) Early in the period, Geno was behind the net. Emery came around and tried to pressure him. Geno set Syko up on the open net, but Syko fanned on the shot. For some reason, there were several instances where Geno set Syko up and Syko either fanned on the shot or the shot was blocked by Emery. Just over 4 minutes into the period, Mad Max Talbot sent a nice pass to Army, who was skating down the wing. Mike Commodore tried to stand up on Army and failed. As a result, Army was able to get a solid slap shot on Emery to score. [Pens 2, Sens 0] Chris Minard (#39 in the black and gold) nearly got his first NHL goal, but Emery didn't let it happen. Then the Pens had an insane shift by Tyler Kennedy (whom Steigy didn't call "Tiger" - not even once - tonight), Geno, Kris Letang, and Ryan Malone. I still can't figure out how they didn't get a goal for their efforts.

Emery shuts the door on Geno.

But then, following one of many turnovers by the Sens, Staal and Georges Laraque had a 2-on-0 chance. Staal fired the initial shot that Emery blocked. Laraque couldn't quite take the rebound. Emery then pushed the puck out in front to put the puck back into play. Meanwhile, Taffe had appeared and grabbed the puck. He took a second to get a good grip on the puck. Then he went top shelf on Emery. [Pens 3, Sens 0] Immediately afterwards, the Sens turned the puck over to Malone in their own zone. He passed the puck to Geno, who passed it to Syko. His shot was just wide of the goal.

The momentum of the entire game shifted when Conks tried to play the puck behind the net. The puck hit Antoine Vermette, who was sans stick, but he was able to glove the puck down. He made a hand pass that was negated when the puck hit the skate of (I think it was) Geno in front of Conks. Stillman got there and banged it home. [Pens 3, Sens 1] Malone later put a huge hit on Anton Volchenkov, who had been all over Geno like a cheap suit for the duration of the game. The Sens were shorthanded for the fifth time when Schubert returned to the box, this time for holding. The Pens didn't score on their advantage.

Now, every time the commentators start talking about streaks, records, or strategies, I cringe because I keep thinking that they're jinxing the Pens. Literally a second after McGuire mentioned that the Sens are "finally pushing back" on the Pens, Heatley fired a shot that was blocked by Rob Scuderi's stick. The rebound, however, went right back to Heatley, who made sure he didn't miss the second time. [Pens 3, Sens 2]

Heatley scores.

With a little more than 2 minutes left in the period, Geno made a power move to get around three Senators. He got hooked by Daniel Alfredsson in the process, so the Pens had a few seconds on the delayed penalty. They didn't score, so Alfie went to the box. Geno yet again made another power move, hopping around Senators and putting the puck between their legs to get through, but Emery made the save on his shot. The second period ended, and the third would start with Alfie in the box for a whopping 10 whole seconds.

Geno uses his strength to get past everyone.

The third period started, and the Pens didn't score on their blink-and-you'll-miss-it power play. I almost got as sick as my dog did earlier when Geno went hurling into the boards. Luckily, he was unscathed. After two disciplined periods, Scuderi took the Pens' first penalty of the game. He was given 2 minutes for hooking. On the Senators' power play, Malone had a nice shorthanded chance, but he didn't score, and neither did the Senators. Both teams turned over the puck some more. Then Heatley, who was wide open in front of the net, scored his 30th goal of the season to tie the game. [Pens 3, Sens 3]

Heatley scores - again.
(We all feel your pain, Conks.)

Staal and Army later got a 2-on-1 chance, but Army's shot missed the net. On his next shift, Geno had a great shot get blocked by Emery. Malone was at the front of the net, but he was bothered by a Senator - so much so that he could not get to the puck as it trickled past an open section between Emery's leg pad and the goal post. Heatley then almost earned a hat trick, but Conks got his stick down just in time to keep the puck on the good side of the goal line. The play was momentarily reviewed, but it was clearly not a goal. Geno, who has come to deliver big in crunch time lately, had another amazing play. He dribbled the puck on the blade of his stick at his waist (exactly like Sid does in the video below at the 15 second mark) to keep possession of the puck, but he didn't get a chance to shoot.

Syko misfired another shot, and Volchenkov got away with both interference and holding on Malone in the last minutes of regulation. Geno came out for one last hurrah in the last 15 seconds, but he was pressured once more by Volchenkov. Geno tried to make a spinning shot, but he couldn't get enough mustard on it. The game ended with a draw.

The Sens dominated the overtime period early, but the Pens brought the puck back down towards Emery. Sergei Gonchar took a shot, and Malone again just missed getting to the rebound. There was an extended period of complete chaos in front of Conks, but he FINALLY managed to cover the puck. Geno and Malone got a chance together, but Malone's shot ricocheted off the goal post AND the crossbar. Then Geno fired a shot that just missed. Gonch made an insane diving steal as the desperation of both teams went up as the clock ticked down, but Emery wouldn't let the puck get past him. Then, just after Steigy and Errey mentioned that Alfredsson was quiet during this game, Alfie shot the puck at Conks. It bounced off Conks and right back to Alfie, who, like his teammate Heatley, made sure he didn't miss the second time. [Pens 3, Sens 4] The Sens had rallied back with a mere 3.2 seconds left in overtime to take the extra point.

Brian McGrattan celebrates the last second overtime win with Alfie.

Heatley and Alfie celebrate the overtime win.

The Pens face the San Jose Sharks tomorrow at 3:00pm Eastern. Hopefully, they'll give us some sort of news about Sid. GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!


Creative Commons License
The Sidney Crosby Show
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
(Based on all work at