Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pens v Flyers (W 3-2 OT)

We'll start tonight with something I never thought I'd ever say: Brian Engblom cut off his mullet!

It's gone, daddy, gone; this mullet is gone.

The game was telecast on Versus, so I hope a lot more of you got to catch the game! :)


Simon Gagne had a great scoring chance early in the game. Marc-Andre Fleury made the save, but couldn't cover the puck. Flyers captain Mike Richards was right there, but fortunately, he couldn't finish the job. The Pens had a few great chances of their own, in particular a nice one from Miroslav Satan, but Antero Niittymaki kept the puck out. Following a giveaway in the Pens' zone, Scottie Upshall fired a shot that ricocheted off the goalpost. Then, Riley Cote and Eric Godard clashed for the best hockey fight I've seen in a very long time:

As you can see, they were evenly matched in their brutality and ability to withstand the punishment, but the winner was decided in that last wicked punch. Advantage: Godard.

Sidney drew an interference penalty on Ossi Vaananen, but a little over a minute later, Sid was called for slashing a Flyer's stick. He was shown in the box saying the word "B.S." (uncensored of course), but on the replay, it was indeed a slash. Neither team scored on the 4-on-4. When the Pens became shorthanded, Jordan Staal was a freaking penalty killing beast and Mad Max Talbot had a beautiful breakaway that Niitty blocked. The game remained scoreless as the Pens reached full strength.

Mark Eaton had a great chance that led to chaos on Niitty's doorstep. In the insanity, a melee ensued. After the dust settled, Richards was given a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after he wiped his glove down Ruslan Fedotenko's face from behind and took him down to the ice. Richards cried to the refs all the way to the box, even though on the replay it was quite clear that he violated the rules. The Pens' power play was messy at best, so they didn't score on their advantage. With less than 2 minutes left in the period, Fedotenko was called for holding. Richards returned for his first shift since his unsportsmanlike penalty only to be greeted with thunderous booing in Mellon Arena. The scoreless first period ended.


Fedotenko still had about 40 seconds left on his penalty, but the Flyers didn't score on their abbreviated power play. Mad Max and Tyler Kennedy worked together for a fantastic chance, and the Saint and Pascal Dupuis had about 250 chances between the two of them (okay, that was a bit exaggerated, but I think it was 3 in a row), but the Niitty was just able to keep them from scoring. Versus told us that Siddo has averaged 1.37 points per game since his rookie season.

Andrew Alberts was given a delayed penalty for hooking. I think the Pens forgot to shoot the puck on their power play - it wasn't pretty, that's for sure. Obviously, they didn't score. Then, Matt Cooke was called for crosschecking. On the ensuing penalty kill, Flower made a sweet save on a quick shot from Joffrey Lupul, but in the process, Brooks Orpik got nailed with a slashing penalty. Thanks in large part to Mark Eaton's quick stick getting in the way of a pass, the Flyers didn't score on the 5-on-3. Then, with more than a minute left on the penalty to Brooksie, Rob Scuderi switched from defender to goaltender when he hopped in behind MAF, who had lain down in the blue paint probably thinking he was covering the puck, and kept the puck out. The Flyers didn't score on their advantage.

Petr Sykora returned in a big way. He sent the puck to Geno Malkin, who fired a sweet shot that had Niitty beaten as it went right between his legs - ONLY TO HIT THE EFFING GOALPOST. Glen Metropolit was called for high sticking Staal, and on the ensuing power play, Geno again fired an unbelievable shot that somehow HIT THE EFFING GOALPOST AGAIN. Immediately afterwards on the very next play, a Penguins faceoff win got the puck to Brooksie, who promptly fired the shot that gave him the 5th goal of his career breaking the more than 35 minute stalemate. [Pens 1, Flyers 0]

Thirty-two seconds later, Cooke made a sweet quick pass to Mike Zigomanis, who scored with a wrist shot. [Pens 2, Flyers 0]

After a few minutes that saw Upshall taking a nice shot that Flower stopped with a better save and Scuds coming up HUGE again with another big save in front of a wide open net, the crappiest final minute of a second period ever started. First, with about 45 seconds left in the period, Jeff Carter capitalized on a fortuitous bounce over Hal Gill's stick. [Pens 2, Flyers 1]

Twenty-one seconds later, a Flyers faceoff win got the puck to Kimmo Timonen, who fired a wicked shot that Gagne was able to tip into the net. [Pens 2, Flyers 2] WTF?!


Timonen took a penalty for hooking Fedotenko. On the ensuing power play, Geno broke his stick. He got mad (understandably after the back-to-back goalposts) and threw his stick. Uncool. Alex Goligoski was a master of keeping the puck in the zone during power plays tonight. Despite that, the Pens didn't score on their advantage. Then, Syko sent a pass to Staal, who was speeding down the middle. Staal was able to kick the puck from his skate to his stick, but it came about ½ a second too late as his shot hit the outside of the cage.

Scott Hartnell was assessed a penalty for highsticking my boy Mad Max. And during the Pens' power play, Vaananen slewfooted Siddo, who fell hard to the ice. >:O Vaananen wasn't called for it, and the Pens didn't score on their advantage. Then Ziggy was penalized for highsticking. Dupuis was a machine on the penalty kill, helping to keep the Flyers from getting a power play goal. Things got a little tense when Gill followed through and finished his check on Richards because the hit came a fraction of a second after the whistle.

Unfortunately for us, Steve Eminger backchecked TK like a champ to prevent him from getting a shot on goal after getting into the Flyers' zone relatively unchallenged. Scuds was called for tripping as he made a poke check. Just as the penalty kill got underway, the puck took a weird slide towards MAF. Daniel Briere nudged it with his stick forcing the Flower to move quickly to make the kicksave. The Flyers didn't score on their power play. Sid and Geno both work desperately to make something happen in their respective shifts in the last 2 minutes of regulation. (Geno went INSANE!) But alas, it wouldn't matter. We're heading to...


OT was full of great end to end hockey. Ultimately, it came down to the very last seconds of OT to end the game: Brooksie fired a beautiful looooooooong pass to Dupuis, who fired a wicked shot into the back of the net. Game. [Pens 3, Flyers 2]

The way it all worked out tonight was a little crazy - all regulation goals were scored in a matter of less than 5 minutes and the OT deciding goal was scored in the last 10.8 seconds of the OT period - but all in all, it was a great game. I'm so jealous of any of you who were there. ;)

This Thursday, Alex Ovechkin comes to town.

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


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