Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pens win again but don't make it easy

(Tom Mihalek/Associated Press)

You really didn't think the Pens would make this easy, did you? The Pens beat the Flyers yesterday 5-4 (sound familiar?) on a lucky break by Pascal Dupuis and Sidney Crosby. If they haven't given you several almost-heart attacks by now, you must be a true believer or just really strong of mind. The Pens definitely don't want to let you settle down during a game.

Right away the Pens are on the power play after Hartnell cross checks Sergei Gonchar. We know we're not the only ones who can't stand that guy. It's just so fitting he plays in Philly. But the Flyers weren't done yet, Timonen got called for roughing and it was a 5-on-3. The 5-on-3 didn't last for too long though as Staal got called for tripping after a beautiful dive by a Flyer that we forgot his name. And they say Crosby dives. Sheesh. Those penalties were killed by both teams, no goals.

With 9:29 left in the first period the Flyers score first on a goal by Lupul. As much as the Pens like to make you worry, it was early enough and they were playing well enough for us to not panic after the first goal. Yes!

Not long after that Cote and Godard went at it and we were ready for a good fight. Unfortunately, it wasn't too exciting. It was bear hugs all around until both landed a couple of punches and fell to the ice. Not too exciting.

With three something left in the first, Fleury made a huge save on Richards to keep the Flyers within one. He also was money in the last seconds of the first period.

After a pretty good first, the second period is where it got good for the Pens. Just seconds into the second, Crosby scores a nice long range goal that's all wrist. Beautiful. Assists by Fedotenko and Malkin. Will someone please tell the Kid to shoot more often? That was a nice goal and one you don't see from him often unfortunately. Game tied 1-1.

With 14:16 left in the second the Pens go on the power play after Carter is called for a cross check. Could the Pens score this time? YES! With 12:46 left Gonchar takes one of his great slap shots and Sykora and Malkin get a stick on the puck to redirect it into the net. Pens up 2-1.

With 7:51 left in the second the Pens score again. This time it's Fedotenko's turn with assists to Dupuis and Crosby. Pens up 3-1.

With five something left, Malkin takes two penalties, hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct, to give the Flyers four minutes of power play time. No problem for the Pens though, they kill it and that's huge. They were extremely aggressive on that penalty kill and it was nice to see. Fleury once again makes good saves to end the period.

The third is where the trouble started for the Pens. With 17:46 left, Upshall is called for tripping Sidney Crosby. Good, right? Yes, unless Ryan Whitney makes a terrible pass and it gets picked off by Mike Richards. You all know the story with Richards right? We thought so. He takes it down and scores five-hole on Fleury. Pens up 3-2.

With 13:23 left, Coburn scores a goal and we're tied at 3. Although the Pens responded pretty well by scoring a goal with 10:10 left. Fedotenko scores again on a nice pass from Crosby, with the other assist going to Dupuis. Pens up 4-3.

About seven seconds after that goal, Dupuis gets called for hooking and it's a little ridiculous. Can we say diving again? Stupid, but the Pens kill it. No goal.

At the 5:40 mark Fleury makes a huge save, but five seconds later the game is tied at 4-4 after Gonchar's stick is broken and Knuble scores a goal.

With 4:49 left, Gonchar is called for roughing while Upshall is called for slashing and it's time for some 4-on-4 hockey. Nothing comes out of it, but a few seconds after the penalties are over, Biron makes a huge mistake. Dupuis was coming with the puck and Biron came way out of his net and ends up with the puck in his glove. Not wanting to take a penalty for delay of game, he tries to get rid of it and just drops it to the ice. Dupuis was there to get to the dropped puck and pass it to Sidney Crosby who poked it pool style into the empty net to put the Pens ahead for good 5-4.

With the Pens trying to hold off the Flyers for the last couple of minutes, Biron is obviously pulled for the extra attacker. The Pens got the puck and it was passed to Talbot to put into the empty net and he missed it. TALBOT! C'MON! I'm sure he was teased about that one. The only thing we could picture there were the Flyers scoring in the last second of the game after Talbot missed that empty net. Thankfully they didn't and the Pens win 5-4 in another huge game.

- Will someone please tell Sidney Crosby that the Pens are playing the Flyers every night? He had four points last night to put him back into second place ahead of Ovie in the scoring race. He shot the puck more, he was playing very aggressively, and making plays all over the ice. Can someone please make sure there are Crosby sucks chants at tomorrow's game?

- On the same wavelength, when will Flyers fans ever learn that chanting Crosby sucks just makes Sid play better? His stats against the Flyers are crazy good. Go ahead and boo him, go ahead and yell that he sucks, he could care less and he'll torch you in the process. Thanks Flyers fans!

- How long will Kris Letang be out? We haven't exactly been on the hate Whitney train, and we've definitely noticed his miscues, but he's also scored a couple goals and done some good things. That said, his turnover today for Richards' goal was just terrible.

- Sidney Crosby should celebrate more often. We know he's passionate and he doesn't generally show it much, but he jumped into the glass today. It's okay to show emotion Sid, really.

- Brace yourself for this one folks. Sidney Crosby got a new hat! OMG! :- o! Words cannot describe how shocking this is. As most of you probably know, Sid is extremely superstitious and he generally wears the same dirty hat all season long. We thought maybe it was for the new coach and new approach to the season, but it appears he was wearing the old one Thursday against the Canadiens. He then has the new hat on Friday on their off day. Hmmm, someone should figure this mystery out.

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