Thursday, May 15, 2008

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

WOW. The Flyers came with a desperation that I think most of us weren't sure they were capable of mustering. They completely dominated the first period, which was enough to give them the win.

Hey, Upshall, what's this about?

The first period of this game was painful to watch. It was do or die for the Flyers, and, well, they brought it. The Flyers shuffled their lines up, and it seemed to be pretty effective. Early on, Marc-Andre Fleury had a big save on Scott Hartnell. The Pens and the Flyers were mixing it up at almost every whistle. Martin Biron had to scramble to make a save on Sid, who had just made a sweet move to steal the puck in the Flyers' zone.

The first penalty of the night went to Danny Briere for tripping Jordan Staal. Just before the power play got underway, Jeff Carter got away with a little prick move on Evgeni Malkin as the Versus jagoffs basically said Geno deserved it. These two announcers are the worst. Neither one of them could hide their hatred for the Pens. It's absolutely ridiculous. I thought they were supposed to be unbiased for the playoffs! They're just awful.

Anyhoo, back to the Pens' power play: Mike Richards got a shorthanded breakaway. MAF stoned him, and then Marian Hossa had a great chance that Biron stopped. The Flyers had another chance as Briere's penalty ended, but MAF made a wicked save on that to keep the game scoreless. Then things started to go south for our Boys of Winter. Joffrey Lupul fired a shot that was deflected by the blade of Hal Gill's stick. [Pens 0, Flyers 1]

Sergei Gonchar was called for holding. With just 3 seconds left on Gonch's penalty, Briere got a garbage goal. [Pens 0, Flyers 2] Kris Letang was called for clipping. On the Flyers' power play, Richards and Gonch, who had an incident earlier where Richards finished a check just after the whistle, mixed it up again. Richards punched Gonch in the face which prompted both teams to erupt in a scrum. Gonch, Mad Max Talbot, Hartnell, and Richards all went to their respective boxes for roughing. For some reason the crowd began a chant of "CROSBY SUCKS!" despite the fact that he wasn't even on the ice. Whatev. The Flyers didn't score on this power play.

Versus then showed a clip of Dave Mustaine from Megadeth showing support for the Flyers. (I didn't know he was a hockey fan.) MAF made a save but the rebound was in dangerous territory. Pittsburgh native Penguin killer RJ Umberger was there, but he missed on his shot as Gill took him down during his shot.

Then Brooks Orpik was called for roughing. Carter scored another power play goal for the Flyers to give them a comfortable lead. [Pens 0, Flyers 3] The Saint and a Flyer (I didn't see who) had a few words which prompted another "CROSBY SUCKS!" chant from the crowd. The first period mercifully came to an end.

The crowd started the second period by chanting "CROSBY SUCKS!" to the same music during which Pens fans typically chant "LET'S GO PENS!". (Clever.) There's not much to say about the second period. There was a scoreless 4-on-4 after Petr Sykora and Scottie Upshall got into a fight and were given roughing penalties, though I should mention that Flower had to make an acrobatic save to prevent Briere from scoring again. Later, Briere and Jarrko Ruutu collided. After Biron made another nice save, Sid was knocked down in front of him. What do you think happened next? "CROSBY SUCKS!"

Geno was getting his own fair share of the boos from the boo-birds, especially after Carter was called for tripping him. On the ensuing power play, Sid backed off in front. Jason Smith then hit the Saint, and as play was whistled down, the two had words. Smith was overheard taunting Sid about backing off and the crowd started chanting - wait for it - "CROSBY SUCKS!" The Pens didn't score on their power play.

With less than 2 minutes left in the period, Syko was called for a weak slash on Briere. The Versus jagoffs were quite pleased to see the Flyers go on the advantage again. It seemed like they wanted to have, like, ten thousand of his babies after Versus showed a montage clip of Briere highlights. Seriously. What a pair of lame asses!! The Flyers didn't score on their abbreviated power play, and the period ended.

The Flyers didn't score on the remainder of Syko's penalty. The stupid announcers made a few craptacular jokes that don't even bear repeating. Biron's hopes for a shutout were dashed when Staal poked his own shot into the net. [Pens 1, Flyers 3]

Ryan Parent made a cheap shot move on Sid (no call) and the two of them had words all the way back (and across) their respective benches. Staal went on another end to end rush that required 2 Flyers to stop. A little bit later, Staal stunned the entire Wachovia Center when he scored his second goal of the night from a nice centering pass from the corner. [Pens 2, Flyers 3] Staal = BEAST!!!

At the 1:22 mark, MAF was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. Fifty seconds later, Lupul nailed the empty netter. [Pens 2, Flyers 4] Then the Flyers gave the Pens more of the nasty stuff: Upshall charged, a melee ensued, Ryan Malone and superdouche Derian Hatcher did the man dance (and contrary to what the Versus announcers said, Hatcher did NOT in fact stop punching Bugsy until the refs came over, despite the fact that Hatcher was holding Bugsy's jersey up and over his head, blinding him), and the Pens ended up with a power play with a mere 14 seconds left in the game.

Right off the faceoff, Richards went after Sid. Oddly, the goal horn sounded and the crowd did the "CROSBY SUCKS!" routine. Finally, things calmed down long enough to end the game.

They may have managed to stay alive for another day, but we're still up in the series 3-1. The Pens bring it home for Game 5 on Sunday.

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

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