BRING IT, OVECHKIN.
Riiiiiight. I suppose I did ask for it. Every chance he got, Alex Ovechkin - BTW, have you seen this? WTF?!? - made a run at Geno Malkin. Early in the game, I looked at my husband and said, "If he keeps doing that, Geno's going to get pissed and do something stupid..."
UGH. The Pens really crapped the bed in the third period. Someone needs to remind the Boys that there are three periods in a hockey game. Also, the outcome probably could have been a little different had the all the penalties been called. When this game started, who knew the Caps were going to have four extra players on the ice tonight wearing stripes? Pathetic.
Pretty much as soon as he stepped on the ice, our title man split the Capitals' defense and fired a beautiful shot that Jose Theodore was able to stop. Miro Satan drew a penalty on Shaone Morrisonn for hooking. On the ensuing power play, Ovie threw his first three hits on Geno. After the last one, he went back to the bench chuckling (per Bob Errey, who spent the game between the benches). With 28 seconds left on Morrisonn's penalty, a frustrated Geno hooked Alexander Semin. Neither team scored on the 4-on-4, and even though the puck took a crazy bounce off Marc-Andre Fleury's skate and bounced in front of the wide open net - was that Rob Scuderi there as the substitute goaltender again??? - the Capitals didn't capitalize on their advantage.
Nicklas Backstrom got an amazing chance after he fooled everyone; everyone, that is, except SCUDS, who denied Backstrom with another great save. Geno took the rare opportunity to hit Ovie, but Geno brought his stick up prompting my husband to yell, "WATCH YOUR STICK, GENO!" at the TV. After the Caps got another good chance that MAF responded to by shutting the door, Semin was called for slashing. The power play barely got underway when Sid sent the puck to Geno, who fired a wicked one-timer from the blueline. Theodore blocked it, but the rebound went right to Alex Goligoski (lots of Alexes in tonight's game). Goligoski fanned on the initial shot, but Theodore got cuffed as Goligoski tried again. This time, the puck bounced off Theodore's glove, fell straight down, and bounced off his leg and into the net. [Pens 1, Caps 0]
I just need to mention that Siddo and Satan are starting to look like they've got a lot of potential. I can't wait to see what happens when they finally click... Anyhoo, Theodore thought there was going to be an icing call, and the Pens nearly made him pay for it. The Caps then turned the puck over in their own zone, forcing Theo to make a diving poke check. Meanwhile, Morrisson was busted for hooking. On the ensuing power play, Sid sent the puck to Geno, who fired a shot that hit Milan Jurcina and ricocheted right through Theo's 5-hole. [Pens 2, Caps 0]
With less than 4 seconds left in the period, Ovie cried to the refs after the Caps were assessed a penalty for having too many men on the ice - after having gotten away with it earlier in the game. The Pens didn't score on their micro-power play.
The first edition of Errey's Hockey 101 segments aired tonight. It was called "Orientation" since it introduced us to all the newest members of this Penguins team.
The Pens got the rest of their power play and then some - with 1:33 left on the too many men penalty, John Erskine was called for delay of game after he flipped the puck up and over the glass. Therrien used five forwards on the 5-on-3. Geno just missed on a chance and was shown dropping a stern F-bomb. No worries, Geno! With 6 seconds left on the 5-on-3, Petr Sykora banked one off Morrisonn that Satan was able to poke into the net. [Pens 3, Caps 0]
The Pens didn't score on their remaining power play. Eric Godard was given a penalty for slashing Ovie. The Pens were beasts on the penalty kill. But then after play returned to full strength, Satan accidentally shot the puck off a Capital's skate right to Tomas Fleischmann, who easily put it into the net. [Pens 3, Caps 1]
The highlight of the night (at least for me, haha) was the battle between Paul Bissonnette and Matt Bradley. The men were evenly matched in height and weight, BUT Biz-Nasty (as FSN reporter Dan Potash called him) ABSOLUTELY DOMINATED Bradley, who didn't even get one punch in. Bissonnette threw several punches, fell, got up and delivered one nasty punch that sent Bradley down in a BLOODY HEAP. To Bissonnette's credit, he immediately recognized that he effed that guy up and promptly let him go and backed off so the refs could tend to him. Advantage: Bissonnette all the way. Check it out for yourself (the announcers are jokes):
Ovie hit Geno two more times, once getting his stick up in Geno's face - no call. Then Ovie was stood up and punched in the face (thank you for that!) by big Hal Gill, who was on Ovie the way he used to stay on Jaromir Jagr. Geno, frustrated by the big target on his back, hit Semin from behind and was given a boarding call. Ovie rushed in to confront Geno, and a scrum broke out between the teams. The Caps didn't score on their advantage.
Then the stupidest thing the refs did all night happened: in one span of about 20 seconds, Semin crosschecked, then slashed, then hooked the Saint. At the end of the play, an understandably pissed Siddo confronted Semin. Gill skated over to seperate the two - let me repeat that, Gill skated over to seperate the two and was given a penalty for roughing. WHAT. A. JOKE. During the Caps' power play, Mike Green was called for hooking Kris Letang. Neither team scored on the 4-on-4. Then on the Pens' advantage, Ovie took yet another run at Geno, who was in the boards at the Pens' bench. He was able to duck at the last second and avoid the brunt of the hit, and someone on the Caps' bench (thanks to Errey's open mic) was clearly heard shouting, "He f*cking ducked!!! He f*cking ducked!!!" presumably to excuse their star player's douchbaggery. The Pens didn't score on their power play.
The 3rd period opened with a closeup shot of Ovie's white stick blade. He caught a glimpse of himself in Errey's monitor and started moving the stick around in circles. The Pens had a glorious chance when Satan was w-i-d-e open, but the puck rolled off his stick and he couldn't take a shot. Immediately following that, the Caps won the next faceoff and Semin scored with a flatfooted shot before any of the Pens even had a chance to move. [Pens 3, Caps 2] Scuds made a sweet poke check move on Ovie. A Capital got away with tripping Mad Max Talbot. At the 10:00 minute mark, Michael Nylander scored the tying goal. [Pens 3, Caps 3]
Fleischmann just missed poking another one in. Mad Max was tripped again and no call was made again. Then, with less than 5 minutes left in the game, Gill took a high stick and got interfered with at the blueline while the Caps got the puck to Boyd Gordon, who fired a shot that bounced out after hitting a pipe. The linesman called it a goal, but the ref said no. Nearly a minute would go by until the next whistle was blown and the play could be reviewed. It was shown to be a goal - a goal that wouldn't have happened had either the highsticking or the interference been called - and the Caps took the lead. [Pens 3, Caps 4]
With 1:13 left, Flower was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. Ovie iced the puck - a "bad, bad play from Ovechkin" according to Errey - so the faceoff went to the Caps' zone. Then the second stupidest move from the refs came when they called the puck out when Letang clearly kept it in. Whatever. The clock ticked to 0:00 and the Pens lost.
I will be posting a lot this weekend. I'm going to post pictures from the Flyers game tomorrow night (it might be late), and Saturday afternoon I'll be posting some more Roaming Penguins pictures.
The Pens host the Maple Leafs on Saturday evening. It's time for Sid to get goal 100.