Monday, September 22, 2008

Pens v Lightning (L 4-5) Exhibition Game

1WingAngel and Nicole G. - our twin Friends of The Show - went to Saturday's exhibition game against Tampa Bay. They were nice enough to send in an awesome recap along with pictures of the action!

The Good News:

Dupuis played really well yesterday!

Dupuis charging after the puck - amazing!!! (Click to enlarge)

Pesonen is a good addition to the team - He can skate fast and nailed at least one assist.

Godard (#28) can fight - He bloodied up Lightning #33, David Koci, in a beautiful fight that got the crowd to our feet.

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Sykora was amazing to watch - He was intense, fast, and racked up two goals and an assist or two.

Jordan scored our first goal 51 seconds into the game with an assist from Sykora. He was also pretty aggressive when the puck was by the Lightning's net.

Goligoski looks like a worthy addition to the Pens - He really helped our Boys keep the puck around the Lightning's net and nailed an assist.

Sidney tying his skates

Orpik is baaaack! - Everyone was excited to see him be a great defenseman during this game. He got a few good checks in.

Our main man was, of course, unbelievable. - Sidney constantly created opportunities by the net that the Boys unfortunately didn't capitalize on. In the third period, however, he stole the puck in a turnover by the Lightning's end, charged past a few defensemen, and dumped the puck in underhanded as a well-needed goal to tie the game. As soon as Sid got the puck & started skating for the goal, we *knew* he wouldn't let us down!! Sad to say, I was too hyped to get the camera. -_-;;
[snoop: That's TOTALLY understandable. I have no action shots from the Winter Classic. I only took pics between breaks because I just wanted to drink it all in while they played, and it can be distracting if you're worried about getting a great picture.]

A Saint and a Flower

The Bad News:

Max wasn't there. :(

Roberts and Malone stayed in Tampa. (Chickens.)

Gonchar was injured badly - He was cleanly checked into the boards by Koci, who was promptly pummeled by Godard, and skated off the ice favoring his left arm, not returning for the rest of the game. Still not sure what that means for the Pens now.
[snoop: Here's an update on Sarge from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.]

Line up - check out Sid taking one last shot on MAF! (Click to enlarge)

The refs were just plain mean - Orpik received a penalty for what was clearly a good, clean check. Sidney was also sent to the Sin Bin for a bad slashing call. They also took away a goal by the Pens that would have tied us earlier. Unbelievable.

Our #33, Ryan Stone, should stick with playing hockey - His fight wasn't so good with no blood, no victory, no cheers - and that's what I got a video of.

Pesonen at the faceoff

Fleury was not himself that night - It just was not his game (This made 1wingangel very sad, Fleury's her favorite guy!). He let in four goals, two of which he actually appeared to kick into the net as he dived, which drove us into a five-minute Sudden Death Overtime.

Sidney at the faceoff

During the overtime, the Pens did a pretty good job with keeping the puck in Tampa Bay's end, but none of their shots ever seemed to find the net. Even Geno appeared to be reluctant to fire his amazing slapshots when he had the chance. The Boys just weren't themselves, they didn't seem to have that fire in them when they needed to. They passed the puck around much more often than they tried to score. In the end, it was down to a shootout to determine the winning team. Satan was selected first, and charged the net, but missed. Then Tampa was up, selecting #36 Jessi Jokinen, and Fleury was bested by a fake-out. Next, Geno was called to get us a point, but was too slow and hesitant, and missed as well after trying to fake a slapshot (in the video, you can hear 1wingangel shout "Come on, Geno!"). The next Lightning, first-round-draft-pick Steven Stamkos, also got past Flower and the game was over. Poor Fleury was clearly frustrated with his effort, as he slammed his stick down while heading onto the runway.

Best street in the 'Burgh! (Click to enlarge)

Overall, despite the loss it wasn't a *bad* game. The Pens were on fire during the first period, and Sidney & Satan look like a good match-up. And, of course, Sidney scored the goal we all came to see. Man, was it awesome. To see highlights from the game, and to give you a better sense of what happened than what I typed, go to PensTV to watch the highlight reel (click on "9-20-2008 Highlights").

Many, many, MANY THANKS to 1WingAngel and Nicole for doing my job for the day! ;)

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