Friday, April 17, 2009

Round 1 Game 2: Pens v Flyers (W 3-2 First OT)


TSCS recaps are back. :)

First Period
The much praised third line started the game. Jeff Carter got a quick chance early, but Flower made the first of about a half dozen remarkable saves. The Pens came out swinging. They were hitting anything that moved. At one point, Guerin and Siddo sandwiched Kimmo Timonen, who was still reeling from a big hit from Kuni in Game 1. Tank stole the puck at center ice and sent a beautiful feed to Geno, who hit the goal post. Did I mention the Pens were hitting everyone? Professional arse Scott Hartnell got booed anytime he touched the puck. The end to end action was compelling. It took exactly seven minutes before the first whistle was blown.

Brooksie delivered a crushing hit to Joffrey Lupul near the Pens bench. Seconds later, the arse returned the favor and drilled into Orpik. Meanwhile, Lupul got to the puck and was about to take a shot when our title man came sliding into homeplate in for the block from seemingly out of nowhere. Siddo successfully blocked the shot...and took out Lupul...and then took out Hartnell. It was a great move that was quite entertaining to watch. Later, Geno's stick was held up by Ryan Parent - right in front of the official, mind you! - but no call was made. Tanger was the victim of a high stick courtesy of Luca Sbisa after the former put a big hit on the latter. On the ensuing power play, Siddo hit the crossbar, and the Pens didn't score.

Only a short time later, Eaton was penalized for holding. It took the Flyers a mere seven seconds to set Harnell up for a deflection. [Pens 0, Flyers 1] On Hartnell's next shift, the Pens were on a 3-on-2 with Syko about to take a shot. Hartnell, who was behind the play, literally and obviously threw his stick at the puck to prevent Syko from getting a shot. Doing this should earn a player a penalty. For whatever reason, this time it did not. I know officials' jobs are difficult, but COME ON! WTF?! That was one of the worst missed penalty calls I've seen literally in years for the simple fact that it happened in the middle of the ice with no one else around to block the officials' view. Terrible.

Kuni was knocking guys all over the place. He just finished hitting Parent so hard that his helmet came off when FSN PGH showed a picture of his newborn son with a playoff puck on his blanket. Carter settled a bouncer at center ice and quickly turned it into a chance. Flower stopped the shot, but Orpik took an interference penalty in the process. The Flyers were unable to add to their lead. Flower made another incredible save after Staalsy gave the puck away right in front of the goal. As the period ended, Sid was about to hit Timonen, who promptly put his shoulder up and into our Captain. A scrum between the teams ensued.

First Intermission
There was a nice piece about Kuni becoming a first time father just before Game 1. Zachary was born at 9:14am, so the timing was perfect. The child was so big that his clavicle was broken during the birth. FSN also showed a picture of Gonch's weeks-old daughter, Victoria. Both are adorable. :)

Second Period
There was a much less intense start to the second. Tank played like a beast. He had more chances than anybody in the first two periods but just wasn't able to find the back of the twine. In another display of Pittsburgh awesomeness, FSN cut to a quick shot of Super Bowl winning Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin - wearing a Crosby jersey. :) A few seconds later, FSN showed footage of Interim Head Coach Dan Bylsma, hero GM Ray Shero, Tanger, and Boucher at yesterday's Pirates game. Very cool.

The Pens got a power play when Matt Carle slashed Gronk, but it was ruined when Siddo took a penalty for hooking Mike Richards (who spent the majority of the game on our Captain like white on rice). Neither team scored on the 4-on-4 or on their respective power plays. Scuds made a sweet diving block. Then a goofy play that saw the so-called "two-headed monster" (← ugh, I hate that nickname - I was hoping they'd go with "dynamic duo" or something a little better) sloppily trying to get the puck out of their own zone ended up with our Boys getting a 3-on-2 with Guerin, Siddo, and Geno. The NHL's top scorer passed the puck to Guerin, who absolutely buried it into the net. [Pens 1, Flyers 1]

If you forgot why we hate the Flyers so much, you remembered it right away when it was revealed that Carter subtly slewfooted Superstar. Of course there wasn't a call - even though Max fell back and hit his head. In the last five seconds of the period, Geno set Max up for a play that nearly put us in the lead. Unfortunately, Marty Biron made the save.

Third Period
Right out of the gate, our remarkable 3rd line tried to make something happen, but Staalsy shot the puck into Biron instead of the open net. The Pens made a series of 4 blocks (Gonch on Simon Gagne, Siddo sliding on Timonen, Guerin on Timonen, and Tanger on Danny Briere) but despite their efforts, Darroll Powe scored with a quick shot. [Pens 1, Flyers 2] Richards later gave Sid a forearm shiver as Siddo finished his check, so Orpik punished Claude Giroux. Flower made what Bibster rightfully dubbed "The Save of The Series" when he just barely got his right toe out to ROB Carter BLIND. It was spec-freaking-tacular!!! Even so, time seemed to be slipping away.

Then, with less than 4 minutes left in the game, Carter was nailed for hooking. On the advantage, Siddo had an open net chance, but I don't think he realized it because he passed the puck instead of shooting it. No worries, though - Tanger fired a shot that bounced off Braydon Coburn and then deflected into the net off Geno's knee. (That's why you take Geometry class, kids!!!) [Pens 2, Flyers 2] FSN cut to a shot of the Malkins (with Mama Malk rocking some fierce red highlights!) celebrating their son's accomplishment.

The last 3½ minutes of the period were the most intense by far. Still, both teams came up empty, so we headed to...

First Overtime
This is the playoffs, folks! We play 'til we win. ;) And that's exactly what we did. Early in the OT, the Pens fired shot after shot at Biron. Carter broke his stick and then proceeded to carry said broken stick to the bench with him - an NHL no-no that apparently is now okay. The Man Himself was shown watching over his team from his luxury box. He's got the beginnings of a playoff beard. With his dominance over everything else in life, I'm sure he'll be looking like these guys in about 2 weeks. ;)

Gill was called for the lamest crosscheck (he BARELY touched him) on an on-his-knees Briere [*coughDIVEcough*], even though not 2 minutes earlier, Andrew Alberts did it TWICE to Gronk at the other end of the ice. Whatev. Adams decided to take matters into his own hands and attempted to go shorthanded, but Biron came all the way out to the blue line to stop him. The Flyers were somehow able to keep possession while Biron settled himself back in his net. About a minute and a half into their power play, the Flyers evened things up for us when Mike Knuble was called for crosschecking Brooksie. Exactly 30 seconds later, the Flyers then decided to give us a gift when Giroux was busted for slashing and breaking Kuni's stick. We had a looooong 5-on-3 when Gill got out of the box. And then, with 1:31 left in the first overtime period, Guerin got a pass from Gonch and took it out from the side of the net for the GAME WINNING GOAL!!! [Pens 3, Flyers 2]

Oh, and I'm not 100% sure what happened, but the score sheet shows that Timonen took a misconduct penalty at the moment that Guerin scored that goal.

WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! 2-0 for the series!! I think we all know that's HUGE. :D

Sunday in Philly is going to be Armageddon. Start preparing for it now.

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

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