Monday, December 08, 2008

Pens v Sabres (L 3-4)

The Pens are facing the Sabres again. (Is it just me or does it seem like they've faced the Buffaslugs once a week since the season started?) Here are some game day pics from a few Friends of The Show to get this party started.

First, we have a few pictures from the Pens' loss to the Rangers on 12-03 from Friend Bobby T. (the Friend who coined the acronym IFHSA™):

Next up are a few shots from the Pens' domination of the Hurricanes the very next day from Friend Julia M.:

The Pens defeated themselves tonight, most infuriatingly with their inability to make the Sabres pay with their power plays.


The first penalty of the night went to the Sabres for having too many men on the ice (a penalty the Pens were all too familiar with last season but fortunately haven't been as careless about recently). Maxim Afinogenov served the penalty for his team. Alex Goligoski hit the goal-i-post (the Versus announcers' joke, not mine) after Siddo set him up. The Pens didn't score on their advantage.

Siddo and Geno, on separate lines, made several beautiful centering passes to their linemates, but for some reason their linemates kept fanning on the shots. Ales Kotalik fell in the Pens' zone, giving the Pens an odd man rush. The announcers thought he may have a skate issue, and he left the ice for a bit. Thomas Vanek stole the puck and headed 1-on-none towards Dany Sabourin, but he shot wide after he was hooked up by Brooks Orpik. On the ensuing penalty kill, Siddo was hauled down when Drew Stafford held his arm and pushed him, but no call was made. Fortunately, the Sabres didn't score on their advantage.

Petr Sykora passed the puck to Geno, who passed it to himself with a slick move between his own legs. Geno then sent a quick pass to Ruslan Fedotenko, who promptly scored his 6th goal of the season. [Pens 1, Sabres 0]

It didn't take two minutes for the Sabres to come back and score the tying goal after a 2-on-1 gave Derek Roy the unassisted goal. [Pens 1, Sabres 1]

Later, the recently called up Ben Lovejoy broke up another Sabres 2-on-1. Just as 1+2+3 always equals 6, Syko (from behind the net) to Geno (with the beautiful centering pass) to Raggedy Ruslan (going hard to the net) = another goal. [Pens 2, Sabres 1]

Geno nearly lost control of the puck in his own zone. Strangely, it led Jason Pominville to take the world's stupidest hooking penalty. With 19.6 seconds left on the ensuing power play, Vanek lay down on the puck and tried to draw a whistle. He succeeded, but only because the refs assessed him a delay of game penalty. The Pens didn't score on their abbreviated 5-on-3 due in large part to the fact that Andrej Sekera and Ryan Miller sandwiched their bodies together to create a wall that stopped Syko's shot.


The Pens had 3 seconds left on the 5-on-3. That came and went, and while they were working on their power play, Jochen Hecht took Gogo down by tripping him. This gave the Pens 1:15 with a 2 man advantage. Siddo got the puck and patiently waited for Kris Letang to get into position for the goal. [Pens 3, Sabres 1]

The Pens still had 48 seconds with the advantage, but they did not capitalize on it. A speeding Saint Siddo nearly got a breakaway. His initial shot was blocked by Miller, but Sid's quick reflexes enabled him to get to the puck and center a pass off the rebound. The next marker on the scoreboard, however, came after traffic in front of Sabou allowed Kotalik the opportunity to score. [Pens 3, Sabres 2]

The Pens got an early Christmas present from the Sabres in the form of a self-inflicted, full two-minute 5-on-3 opportunity after Vanek was called for interference, and someone on the bench (head coach Lindy Ruff?) was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct violation. Nathan Gerbe served the extra penalty, but all was not well in Steeltown. The Sabres got a HUGE boost by soundly killing the penalty. LAME. To make matters worse, a few minutes later the puck was loose in front of the net. Sabou couldn't cover it, and Daniel Paille banged it home to tie the game. [Pens 3, Sabres 3]

With just under 2 minutes left, Paul Gaustad nearly killed Lovejoy with a devastating (although clean) hit into the boards. Geno took exception to that and took his frustrations out on Clarke MacArthur with a hit and a punch. Both Geno and MacArthur went to the box for coincidental roughing penalties, but Geno was hit with an extra 2 minutes for crosschecking. The ref instructed Geno to head to the dressing room, and the extra penalty was served by Syko. The Sabres didn't score on their abbreviated power play.


Both goalies had to scramble to make saves early on. On one end, Sabou was actually down and out of the crease while Mark Eaton saved the day. On the other, Miller robbed Miroslav Satan with an ugly glove save by trapping the puck on the ice just before it crossed the goal line. Sid got a respectable backhand chance after schooling the Sabres on puck possession. Matt Cooke avenged his teammate Lovejoy with a freight train hit on Gaustad. (It was a bit late, but no call was made.) Vanek capitalized on a rebound and beat Letang to score what turned out to be the GWG. [Pens 3, Sabres 4]

Gogo was hit with a penalty for hooking, but the Sabres didn't add to their tally. Then Siddo drew a tripping penalty on Roy. Siddo made a series of nice spinning moves to protect the puck at the blue line, and Roy stuck his knee out and took Siddo down. The Pens did not score on their advantage. The Pens got yet another chance with a man advantage when Gerbe was caught high sticking a Penguin. And yet again, the Pens didn't get a PPG. With about a minute to go, Sabou was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. The Pens played all the way to the horn - and after. They kept banging away at the puck, and eventually it did go into the twine, but it was a few tenths of a second too late. The Sabres didn't appreciate the Pens' tenacity, and a scrum ensued.

Oy. I always hate losing, but it has a little less sting to it when we've been outplayed. These losses that are (mostly) our own fault are really tough to swallow. On a side note, Ruff earned more of my respect near the end of the game when, after the puck left the ice and went into the Sabres' bench, he took it and lobbed it softly over the glass to a group of Pens fans. :)

Wednesday, it's off to New Jersey for Satan (and the rest of the Pens, of course) to face the Devils!

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

Labels: , ,

Creative Commons License
The Sidney Crosby Show
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
(Based on all work at