Saturday, February 23, 2008

Senators 4, Penguins 3 (OT)

I know the Sens are a good team, but this was a bad time to give up the extra point to a conference rival. The Pens need to win these kind of games if they want to win a round in the playoffs this year. In fairness, if they were down 3-0 and had tied the score, only to lose in OT, we might be thinking about things differently...

On to the recap!

First period:

The Pens took an early icing call, right at the end of the first shift. I was a bit worried, but they not only got the puck out, Armstrong took off down the ice for a backhand breakaway. He drew the first penalty against the Sens.

Sykora blasted one past Emery. Great goal. Pens lead 1-0.

The Sens looked like they had mud for brains, taking one bad penalty after another. The Pens were able to get a few good scoring chances on each power play (though not a ton of shots), but couldn't beat Emery.

Ray Ray looked pretty shaky early on, but solidified as the period went on.

Conklin made a few ridiculous saves later in the first. Make sure you check the highlights if you didn't see them for yourself.

This period had to be a victory for both teams. The Pens had the lead, but the Sens had weathered the storm (and Penalty Parade) and were only down by one.

Second period:

Army gave the Pens a 2-0 lead with a great slapper over the glove hand of Emery. This is the second time in two games he's been able to blast a puck past a goalie. That would be HUGE if he could find the back of the net more often.

The Armstrong goal was because Commodore tried to step up on Colby out near the red line. I could almost hear the Public Service Announcement going through my head: "This goal was brought to you by the bad judgment of Mike Commodore".

The Senators got into trouble in their own end again. Redden lost a stick and cleared the puck with his hands. Commodore decided that was the time to join the rush. The Pens had a 2 on none (Staal and Laraque) going back the other way when the Sens failed to get the puck deep. Taffe picked up the rebound and tossed it in over Emery, who was down. "This goal was brought to you by the continued bad judgment of Mike Commodore".

The funniest part of the entire goal was the replay they showed of Wade Redden. He had no stick, so he headed for the bench. He stood and watched as the Pens entered the Sens zone, and when Staal was about to shoot, he motioned for a change. That got him off of the ice so he didn't pick up the minus.

You had to know it wasn't going to be this easy to beat the Sens. Steigy and Errey usually aren't bound by such addictions to knowledge, and when you throw in Pierre McGuire... look out! They were so down on the Sens, that they had major changes being made, the coach John Paddock was going to be fired, and the city of Ottawa was evidently going to be wiped off the face of the Earth to save the rest of us the embarrassment.

That, of course, was the kiss of death, as the Sens scored two goals within five minutes. Errey and McGuire were nice enough to declare that this was now a hockey game. Thanks, guys! How about not burying the other team when there are still 30 minutes left to be played?

Third period:

Things were pretty dull, to be honest, for much of the third.

The Pens forgot that Dany Heatley was a 50 goal man, and decided that he could be left all alone, about 10 feet away from Conklin. When he got the puck, you immediately got that feeling like when you're kicked in the *ahem* midsection. You know the pain is coming, but it hasn't hit yet. Heatley doesn't miss from there. Tie game.

Most of the rest of the time was pretty slow compared to the rest of the game. Neither team seemed to want to take any chances, and the zebras put away their whistles.


The tedium that infected the third carried over into the early part of OT, until there were several furious rushes in the last minute or so.

Malone hit the crossbar and far post with a shot and the Pens had at least one other two on one chance.

The Sens ended the game when Alfredsson had the puck in the Penguins end with less than 10 seconds to go. You knew he would score when Steigy said something to the effect of "we haven't called Alfredsson's name all game!" Maybe if the announcers could keep from saying anything even remotely negative about the other team, at least when it's a big game... Anyway, Daniel buried the backhand chance with 3.2 seconds remaining. That hurts.

  • Malkin's point streak came to an end.
  • Gonchar, Letang and Ruutu were all -2.
  • Minard had a nice sequence in the second period with two good shots. He's going to have to do much more than that to get off the Wilkes-Barre Merry-Go-Round on the Pittsburgh side...
Next up: No rest for the weary - the Sharks are here Sunday afternoon at 3:00.

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