Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pens v Isles (W 4-3 SO)

It was the Islanders' season opener. For the occasion, they had a rink sized flag held by a bunch of peewee players while the anthem was sung. (They even waved the flag at the appropriate time - it was too cute.) The Isles are a team in turmoil. They are facing the same situation we were facing just a few short years ago: the owner has threatened to move the team if they don't get a new arena. Isles fans, we feel your pain. Here's hoping your outcome is a duplicate of ours.

Siddo and Witt took the ceremonial opening faceoff. The fans booed our title man when he was announced. Tavares is clearly already a fan favorite - he was getting thunderous cheers whenever he touched the puck. We need a nickname for the Kennedy-Staal-Cooke line because they are unreal together. Moulson hit Flower and went to the box for interference for the night's first penalty. The Pens were unable to capitalize on their advantage. A bit later McKee was busted for holding. On the ensuing penalty kill, some jackarses in attendance were bouncing an orange balloon right in the camera view. The Isles were held scoreless.

Letang ran interference (so to speak, haha) on a ref in the Pens' own zone; meanwhile Siddo was cheating up ice. The puck made its way to Tank, who sent it to the Saint. He easily got behind the Isles' defense and sent the puck through the 5-hole into the back of the net. [Pens 1, Isles 0]

Jackman and Rupp dropped their gloves. It was a solid effort from both men ending in a draw. Sim hit Staal with his stick right in front of the refs after Staal pushed him off Flower at the end of a play. No call was made, but it was a sign of things to come. Witt stood up on Tank, just crushing him and sending him to the locker room. Geno and Super Duper didn't appreciate that, so Geno deliberately ran into Witt while Duper nearly bit off more than he could chew by starting a fight with the MUCH bigger, much nastier Witt. Seeing this, McKee raced in to take over for Duper.

The fight was another draw, but the Isles ended up with a 2 minute 5-on-3 during which Streit scored a goal. Tavares had an assist, making it his first NHL point. [Pens 1, Rangers 1] In the last 40 seconds of the game, the Isles rained down on MAF, but the Pens managed to make it to the end of the period with the tie in tact.

Tank returned to the ice for the start of the period. We were told that Siddo says he is getting comfortable with his new stick. (It's one piece versus his old 2-piece style that was discontinued.) Evidently he is: he made a nice shot for a good chance, but Roloson made a big save on our captain. Then we were told that Sid practiced his shot over the summer by filling the shaft of his stick with sand and firing shot after shot with the weighted stick to develop strength.

Flower made a great diving poke check to prevent Tambellini from getting a shot. Before they even had a chance to tell us who went to the box (it was Eaton for hooking), Tavares scored his first NHL goal. Later, a mistake would see Tavares in a 2-on-NONE. But Flower shut the door on him with a pretty save. Roloson had a big save of his own on Guerin a bit later. Is it me or does it seem like more and more sticks break every season? The ice was littered with Penguins sticks tonight. The end of the period approached, but this time it was the Penguins with the last second onslaught. The Isles thanked their lucky stars (and their goalie) that they were able to take their lead into the third.

Kuni was tripped by Park, and despite a great power play effort, the Isles blocked everything. Roloson stopped Brooksie on the doorstep. Siddo won a faceoff to Letang, who sent the puck to Eaton at the point. With one big swing of the stick, Eaton sent the puck through traffic into the net. With that assist, Sidney became the 6th fastest player in the NHL to reach 400 career points. WOOOO!!! :) [Pens 2, Isles 2]

We only got to celebrate for 17 seconds when Hunter got the puck past MAF to regain the lead. [Pens 2, Isles 3] From here, the already exciting game opened up. Rupp took an offensive penalty for holding a stick. The Pens killed it. Letang made a diving play to attempt to keep the puck in the Isles' zone, but he missed. This allowed a 3-on-1, but the Isles shot high and wide.

Geno got the puck to a wide open Gonch, who put the puck on net. Roloson was down, Witt was down behind him, and Gervais was on his way to help defend the net as Tank was getting ready to clean up the garbage. Gervais was foiled by his own momentum as the puck went off his skate and into the goal. [Pens 3, Isles 3] With just under 2:30 to go in the game, Guerin was called for slashing. The penalty was killed and so was the period. We headed to...

Geno and Gonch looked outstanding but couldn't past Roloson. A huge glove save on Moulson by MAF and a perfectly timed diving block by Letang sent this game to a...

The Isles chose to shoot first.
  • NYI-1. Tambellini's shot hit the corner of the post. Flower properly thanked the metal for the help. ;)
  • * PIT-1. Letang is money. The puck went on edge and rolled right over the line.
  • NYI-2. Tavares appeared in his first NHL shootout. His shot went about 2 miles wide.
  • * PIT-2. Siddo, with the game on his stick once more, showed everyone why he is the best in the NHL. He cooly approached Roloson and sent the puck through the 5-hole for the win. The puck hit the net so hard that Roloson's water bottle popped up.
We don't play again until Wednesday, when we face the Phoenix Coyotes. Incidentally, I have jury duty that day... Weak. :(

GO PENS!!!!!!!

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