Sunday, May 11, 2008

Round 3 Game 2: Pens v Flyers (W 4-2)


I'm still pissed about it. THAT WAS A GOAL. UGH. But I guess I should shut up since we won, right? ;)

The Flyers weren't as sloppy tonight as they were on Friday, but it wasn't enough to pull off a win. The Flyers are reeling from the loss of Kimmo Timonen. They had another blow when, less than 5 minutes into the game, Braydon Coburn took a wicked shot to his face. He dropped like a stone. He had his gloves up to his face, and it quickly became clear he was hurt pretty badly as blood poured over his gloves onto the ice. The Pens fans in attendance cheered as Coburn got to his feet to go to the locker room for treatment, but since the trainers covered his face with a towel before Coburn moved his gloves, I was left with the impression that the injury was pretty serious and they didn't want us to be able to see it. He did not return to the game. Versus hasn't said yet what injury he has sustained.

Scottie Upshall and Tyler Kennedy went at it a short time after play resumed. Kennedy dominated Upshall early, Upshall fought back for a few good hits, but Kennedy finished him off with a few more hits of his own. They were both given 5 minute major penalties for fighting.

Tensions were running high in tonight's game. There were several scrums. During the first scrum, Big Georges Laraque took a roughing penalty for punching a Flyer in front of Martin Biron. On the ensuing Flyers power play, Pascal Dupuis danced around the Flyers defenders and found himself on a breakaway. Biron made a stunning save to rob Dupuis of the shorthanded goal. The Flyers didn't score on their advantage. Derian Hatcher put a big hit on Jarrko Ruutu almost at the same time that Jeff Carter took a penalty for tripping Jordan Staal. Biron had a good kick save on a shot by Ryan Whitney. The Pens were working hard on their advantage but Biron was making all the saves. A quick whistle was blown with 4 seconds left in Carter's penalty, and we learned that Mike Knuble was going to the box for crosschecking Staal. Sidney needed only 8 seconds to deflect the puck into the goal off Lasse Kukkonen's skate. [Pens 1, Flyers 0]

Hatcher then put a big hit on Ryan Malone. Ruutu sacrificed his body to block a Flyer's shot. Scott Hartnell was bothered by a Pen (I didn't see who) and denied a breakaway. He threw a hissy fit and had to be "restrained" by a ref. Versus showed a graphic of Sid's accomplishments this season, but it contained an error. They said he had 15 points in 11 games. But if they were counting this 11th game, they needed to add Sid's goal to give him 16 points total. The announcers then said that Sid's mom, Trina, was in attendance at the Mellon Arena on this Mothers' Day. It is only the 2nd playoff game she has attended.

Jason Smith and Dupuis were called for coincidental minors, interference and hooking respectively. On the ensuing 4-on-4, the Pens dominated. Then IT HAPPENED. The puck was trickling towards the goal line at the near post. Sid was behind the net and used his stick to poke the puck over the goal. Referee Dan O'Halloran ruled that it was not a goal. Sid pleaded his case, and so it went to the War Room in Toronto. After nearly 6 minutes of waiting, we learned that the no goal call would stand. As Pens Nation gets ready to riot, we're given the explanation that because there was not a definitive photograph of white ice between the puck and the goal line, it had to be ruled "inconclusive." Because of that, the on ice call stands. Tangible proof is needed to overturn the on ice call. Even though you can clearly see that the puck is over that goal, Biron's glove covers the white ice between the puck and the goal line. It is disheartening. Versus cut to a shot of Mr. and Mrs. Lemieux in their luxury box looking disgusted.

The remainder of the 4-on-4 expired without incident. With 1:25 left in the period, Upshall was nailed for holding. Evgeni Malkin broke his stick at the beginning of the power play. The pieces remained on the ice until the end of the period. The puck hit the pieces twice, one time being sent out of the zone as a result. The period ended with the Pens ahead by a goal.

The second period began with 35 seconds left in the Upshall penalty, but the Pens didn't capitalize on their abbreviated power play. Sid and Marian Hossa had an odd-man rush together, but Sid's shot was blocked. Hossa was later called for holding. It was a delayed penalty, and when play was stopped, Hartnell tried to sell the refs on another penalty when he embellished (? that's putting it nicely) a tap from Brooks Orpik. (It didn't work.) The Flyers didn't score on their advantage, but just a few seconds after Hossa returned to the ice, Dupuis was called for interference. On this power play, Carter was able to tie it up. [Pens 1, Flyers 1]

Joffrey Lupul was shown messing with Geno. Hatcher then was called for hooking Geno. It was actually a can opener - the reason I mention it is because Flyers coach John Stevens was whining about it after the game. The Pens' power play began with a big faceoff win. Nine seconds later, Hossa scored after he cleaned up the garbage from a shot by Sergei Gonchar.

Kris Letang tried to block a shot by Mike Richards but accidentally deflected it towards Marc-Andre Fleury. MAF answered with a sprawling save to preserve his team's lead. Geno gave Daniel Briere, then Richards put a big hit on Geno, Orpik wanted a piece, and Hartnell got in Ruutu's face. It was starting to look like the refs might lose control of the game, but they eventually settled things down. Hatcher was given a crosschecking penalty, while Hartnell and Ruutu were given roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties respectively. During the Pens' power play, Geno gave the puck right to Richards for a breakaway. He got the shorthanded tying goal. [Pens 2, Flyers 2] The period ended 25 seconds later.

During the 2nd intermission, Versus reporter Christine Simpson told the story of Freedom, Pa. resident John Challis. He is a terminal cancer patient. He was at tonight's game and was given a tour of Le Magnifique's box. He met "the Kings of Pittsburgh" (his words) Lemieux, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Dan Rooney, Sid's dad Troy, and some other folks. He was a very positive young man with a great attitude. He has the phrase "Courage + Believe = Life" written inside his hat for inspiration. We here at TSCS wish him all the best.

The Pens still had 12 seconds left on their power play, but they didn't score a goal. Briere was later called for goaltender interference, a call that may have favored the Pens since it looked like Briere was pushed into Flower by Orpik, but the Pens didn't capitalize on their advantage. (Perhaps the refs were trying to make up for the non-goal call on Sid's second of the night?) The Flyers took yet another penalty after Biron pounded Ruutu, but somehow Ruutu was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for falling down. On the resulting 4-on-4, Letang made a bigtime pokecheck on Carter to prevent a breakaway chance. Neither team scored.

Just as the announcers were praising Philly for their lack of turnovers, Steve Downie gave the puck away to Scary Gary Roberts, who then passed it to BGL. He fired a shot to send the puck in deep. Roberts was there and made a backhanded centering pass that Mad Max Talbot sent behind Biron. [Pens 3, Flyers 2] MAX IS BACK, JACK!!!!

Immediately afterwards, the Saint sent a wicked backhander off the effing crossbar. A little later, Biron made a stupid turnover to Sid, who was at the blue line. Biron made a desperate diving save to keep his teams' hopes alive (and keep himself from earning the ire of his teammates). With 48 seconds left to play the game, Biron was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. MAF made a stop and froze the puck. The Flyers called for a time out. The song with the bells played - Friend of The Show Elizabeth D. identified it for us as being "A New Game" by Sam Spence. Friend Meredith was also curious what the song's name was. Click the play button to listen:

Play resumed and just 20 seconds after Biron was pulled, Sid battled for control of the puck and sent it ahead for Staal, who stormed past the Flyers' defenders for the empty netter. [Pens 4, Flyers 2]

Even though there were 28.8 seconds left, the Flyers' fates were sealed. PENS WIN!!!!!!!!!!

Game 3 goes to Philly.

*** LATE EDIT: Since Sid's stick just missed touching the puck, it would not have been his goal. The last Penguin to touch the puck was Sergei Gonchar.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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