Sunday, March 16, 2008

Penguins 7, Flyers 1

Great win for the Pens, in dominating fashion. Malkin had four points (he's back within two of O-Face) and so did Sykora. Dupuis had three assists.

Fleury played well, with only a few noticeable rebounds, and the Pens were there to clean those up. To be honest, this could have been a Ty Conklin game. Goaltending looks strong right now.

Oh, and the Flyers suck.

To the recap!

First period:

The Pens were hit with an early penalty (too many men). The Flyers didn't look interested in playing and didn't do much with their power play.

The Flyers were shooting across the front of Fleury's crease during the first period. I'm not sure if that was intentional, or if it just worked out that way.

Malkin put the Pens up 1-0 with a ridiculous goal. When I say "ridiculous", I'm not talking about on Geno's part - it was a completely soft goal by Biron. We can only thank Marty for his efforts.

Somehow, Ryan Whitney earned a roughing call. If I'm Michel Therrien, even though my team is short handed, I'm applauding Whitney for showing me some emotion. Having said that, I still don't know what he did - NBC didn't have the original play and they made no effort to show the replay.

James, Minard and Taffe came onto the ice (Chris Minard sighting!) and kept the puck in the offensive zone quite effectively for an extended period. They didn't really threaten to score, but they certainly ate up some time.

Sykora scored on a beautiful pass from Dupuis for a 2-0 lead. This one wasn't on Biron - it was all about the pass by Dupuis coming down the left wing. He sent it straight across to Sykora who was at the right post to punch it into the net. Great goal, and great to be up 2-0.

Riley Cote tried to shake things up shortly after that with a big hit on Sykora. Malone immediately did his best punching bag imitation, going after Cote and hanging on until the hurting stopped. I give Ryan a bunch of credit - Cote is way above him in fighting, but he stuck up for Sykora.

Late in the period, Malkin took a hit from Richard's skate around the head / neck. It didn't look bad until you watched it on the replay, and then you have to wonder how Richards' foot managed to get up around Malkin's head...

Going to the second, the Flyers have a little more than half of a power play remaining.

Second period:

The Pens killed off the remainder of the penalty. Fleury made a few nice saves with the left foot on Lupul.

Tyler Kennedy scored on a nice backhand shot over a fallen Biron. That was it for Marty, who left with no parting gifts.

The Flyers started their usual dumb penalties when Thoresen hits Letang well after a whistle for icing. The Flyers are shocked that the ref would assess a penalty on that (shocked, I tell you!) Edzo and Pierre fill us in by saying that there are lots of refs who would let that go. That's really sad.

The Pens don't score on the power play. Little more than a minute later, Mike Knuble gets a deflection past Fleury by going hard to the net and beating Brooks Orpik for position. Nice goal by Knuble.

A few minutes later, just when you thought the Flyers might get back into the game, the Pens struck in rapid succession.

First, Malkin had his second goal (and third point) of the game and then Hossa got his first goal as a Penguin (and 27th of the year). Before you knew it, the Flyers were down 5-1, calling timeout and crying into their hankies.

Just to show they understood Coach Stevens message, the Flyers took another dumb penalty (shocked, I tell you!) Coburn puts his arms out into Malkin, blatantly obstructing him when Geno was entering the offensive zone without the puck.

Either Stevens didn't speak English in his timeout speech, or the Flyers didn't understand it. Personally, I think it was a bit of both. Something in the water across the state that makes it difficult to play hockey or hold a public office...

The Pens out shot the Flyers in the second, picking up the pace a bit, 16-9. Hossa got away with a pretty obvious obstruction call too.

Third period:

All told, it was a pretty uneventful third period. There wasn't much in the way of shenanigans, other than one frustration penalty taken by Mike Richards. He plastered Connor James, prompting Chris Minard to make everyone aware he's on the team by grabbing Mike Richards and dragging him into a 10 minute misconduct immediately. I say "misconduct" because that's what the refs called it, and you couldn't really call it a fight. It was good to see Minard stand up for James.

Sykora scored his 25th of the season by fanning on a shot attempt, gathering the puck and putting the next attempt over the left shoulder of Niittymaki.

Gill got his first goal as a Penguin when his shot from the point was redirected by the stick of a Flyer past Niittymaki. That was nice to see.

The Pens out shot the Flyers again in the third, 16-10. Thanks to the Flyers for packing it in early today.

Notes:
  • Hossa will be awesome with the Pens. He was worth paying the price. He gets back defensively, he is really quick on his skates and he passes better than you'd think. Oh yeah, he can score goals too. Great addition and it's nice to finally see him for a full game.
  • Whitney made a great hustle play to help out against a two on one with six minutes remaining in the game. That was really encouraging to see. With a five goal advantage late in the third, you might think a guy wouldn't bust his butt like that, but Ryan did. Good for him.
  • Gonchar is the Man on the blue line, and he does it every game.
  • No power play goals today - I didn't realize that until I looked at the box score...
  • The Flyers suck right now. Wow - you didn't think they'd be this bad.
  • The Pens have put up 7 goals in back to back games. Impressive.

Next up: Off to the Garden on Tuesday to play the Rangers. The Garden has been good luck for Pittsburgh teams lately...

1 comment:

Matt said...

Not to be repetitive from my e-mail but from this casual fan's perspective, it seems like this season the Pens have not missed Crosby when he's out.

Now, he's most of the reason I started following the Pens again, but it appears they play more as a team when he's out. This may be a fault of the coach. Who knows, I don't know much about hockey strategy.

Maybe I should have aired my points 2 weeks ago when I saw Mario at Sanoma Grill (sp?).