You are reading live from the the press box at Mellon Arena. We would like to thank whoever from Y108 abandoned their seat in the press box and allowed us to claim it. Otherwise, we would've had to watch the game from the media lounge on TV. And while they have some splendid roast pork in the lounge, even that doesn't beat live hockey in person.
Mellon Arena is still fairly empty at the moment. It's always weird to us to see the arena this quiet and this empty before a game. It's hard to believe this place will be the loudest place in Pittsburgh in roughly half an hour.
-The Ducks, who have played all four of their games so far this season on the road, come into Mellon Arena a little banged up. Defenseman Mathieu Schneider, forward Sami Pahlsson and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere are on the injured reserve. They are coming off a 4-0 thumping last night in Columbus.
The Penguins and Ducks have taken to the ice for a warm-up and the music of choice is "I Disappear" by Metallica. Solid.
-Pardon if the updates are slow tonight. One of the hamsters fell off their wheel in the PG's server and things have been gummed up a bit.
-EN friend Nick Zahratka spots a Brad May jersey. That's impressive.
-Feel free to hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org with any observations.
-We get our first Pizza Hut propaganda advertisement.
-The warming voice of John Barbero greets Penguins fans.
-Smoking is prohibited in Mellon Arena? Since when?!?!?
-With the goal judges having been moved, we are robbed of Barbero saying "Leo Rrrrrroooootttzzzkeeeeeee...."
-Jonas Hiller will get the start in net tonight for Anaheim.
-Jarkko Ruutu and Alain Nasreddine are the Penguins' scratches. George Parros, Travis Moen and Joe DiPenta are scratched for the Ducks.
-The lights dim and we are treated to a pretty sweet video presentation with last season's highlights.
-Hockey highlights go so well with "Beautiful Day" by U2.
-A reader asks:
"Why does your Empty Netters Mount Rushmore-like banner feature Ryan Malone instead of the last member of the Fab Five, Ryan Whitney? Are you expecting a big rebound year from the tatooed one?" - John Toperzer
EN-The Web design folks looked at us funny when we asked for Peter Ahola.
-All the Penguins are introduced one-by-one. Guess who got the loudest cheer. No, not Adam Hall.
-Jeff Jimerson is not singing the national anthem. Someone's head will roll for this injustice.
19:25: Sidney Crosby spins with the puck and throws it towards the net. Mark Recchi deflects it but Jonas Hiller is there with the glove save.
18:26: As Sean O'Donnell goes to the penalty box for hooking, we get an early review on the home uniforms debut:
"This is my first time seeing the new home unis, and I almost threw up. They look like undertaker's suits that have been dabbed with random mismatched colors by disturbed children." -Doug, Evans City
EN-We just spit Coke on our laptop. Thanks Doug.
16:44: With the teams skating four-on-four, a loose puck handcuffs Hiller and almost goes in. He freezes it on the goal line before it goes in. Recchi jumps into the crease but is wrestled away by Chris Pronger and his "butt-cut."
13:26: On a power play, Franccois Beauchemin throws a puck on net and Chris Kunitz deflects it past Marc-Andre Fleury for a score. The Penguins are having trouble clearing people from the net so far this young season. Ducks, 1-0.
13:15: Sidney Crosby blocks a shot from the point and pays for it. He limps to the bench and is in obvious pain.
5:19: As Adam Hall draws a holding penalty, we're treated to a video of the Penguins military training camp in West Point, N.Y. set to the music of "Stripes." The in-game entertainment people at Mellon Arena are on the ball tonight.
3:21: On the power play, Erik Christensen throws a puck on net. It hits a cluster of bodies and scuttles around in the crease before Petr Sykora slides it in off the post. Officials review and confirm the goal. Nothing in the world sounds better than Barbero saying "A power-PLAY goal." Ducks 1, Penguins 1.
0:00: End of period. Ducks 1, Penguins 1.
-We're still not used to Rob Scuderi wearing No. 4. Maybe we can get our friend Dan Potash to convince the powers-that-be at FSN Pittsburgh put a "5" over Scuderi anytime he's on the television screen. Darryl Sydor will just be out of luck.
-Doug is having trouble letting these jerseys go:
S"eriously. The more I see of these abominations the more I am an advocate of the death penalty. Whoever designed these should be executed in order to prevent any more such atrocities. On a related note, I heard a rumor that the Reebok design team is primarliy composed of schizophrenic hamsters with methampehtamine abuse issues. Can you confirm or deny this rumor?" -Doug, Evans City
EN-Man we thought we hated the jerseys.
18:35: Ryan Getzlaf takes a pass in the slot and sends a laser past the blocker of Fleury. It's an absolutely sick shot. Ducks 2-1.
16:04: Colby Armstrong comes swooping down the left side, scoots by Maxim Kondratiev and chops a puck past Hiller. Ducks 2, Penguins 2.
15:44: Sykora steals the puck along the right boards, spots Evgeni Malkin in front of the net and sends a pass to him. Malkin easily redirects it for a goal. The goal horn absolutely blows your eardrums out when you're sitting up this high. Penguins 3-2.
10:29: The first of many: 17,132.
10:03: EN reader Mary Jones of Plum informs us that even Paul Steigerwald is thrown off by the number switch between Sydor and Scuderi. We should start a petition to fix that.
8:49: The Ducks appear to get away with two possible hooking calls.
8:23: The mystery box game is played. You have no idea how much we want to scream at the guy playing it. We can't being alleged respectable members of the working media tonight. He picks the big box and gets a decent blanket. The small box had an autographed Jordan Staal jersey. Loser.
0:51: The last 10 minutes have been fairly boring. A shot from Beauchemin goes all "Michel Ouellet" on him and sails ten feet above the net and smacks the glass.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Ducks 2.
-A reader sends us an observation from the broadcast:
"0:03: It is noted that Malkin and Talbot are roommates on the road. Malkin is compared to a wild stallion and Talbot to a horse whisperer... Thanks Paul Steigerwald. -Brad Morocco and Friends, Pens fans faithful up in the Bluff
EN-Do we lose any of our street cred if we admit that we actually kind of dug "The Horse Whiperer?"
-We just threw a used cup away in a scuffed trash can that says "Civic Arena." Awesome.
18:32: Christensen steals the puck at the Ducks' blue line and appears to have a clean breakaway on net, but the officials whistle him offsides.
14:47: Corey Perry takes a penalty for running into Fleury. With the delayed penalty, Armstrong takes the puck into the Ducks' zone pulls the same move he scored on earlier, scoots by Kent Huskins and gets a shot on net. Hiller is there with the save though. Penguins power play.
13:42: Kunitz clears the puck out of his own end and outraces Sergei Gonchar for the puck. He then flips a backhander over a sprawling Fleury for a shorthanded tally. Ducks 3, Penguins 3.
9:49: We just got our hands on the Penguins' giveaway tonight, a replica captain's "C." Very cool.
9:29: A television timeout brings us some "Desire" by U2. Can't beat that.
6:28: Wow what a bad goal for the Ducks to give up. Georges Laraque drives to the net with the puck but is denied by Hiller. The puck bounced out of the crease and Sykora is there for the garbage goal. Penguins 4-3.
6:09: We kind of missed the next goal while trying to write Sykora's. But it looked like Crosby was on his knees along the right boards and found a way to connect with a pass to Malone who was streaking down the crease. Malone went high and beat Hiller. If that's wrong, please correct us. Penguins 5-3.
5:10: Cotton-Eyed Joe is busted out for the first time this season.
1:47: With less than two minutes left, lots of people have left to beat traffic. This is disappointing. This isn't a sure win yet.
0:21: Corey Perry just made us look like geniuses. He snaps home a one-timer from the crease. Anaheim calls a time-out. Penguins 5-4.
0:00: Anaheim pulls their goaltender, moves the puck into the Penguins' zone and throws a desperation shot on net. Fleury freezes it as a scrum ensues in front of him. End of game. Penguins 5, Ducks 4.
-It was a lot better effort tonight by the Penguins, but the defense looked a little sloppy.
-Sergei Gonchar looks as if he's onto his usual slow start.
-Sykora looks as if he wants to claim the "Waste Management" title Michel Ouellet used to hold.
-EN reader Mary Jones informs us that the paint of the crossbar has aparrently rubbed off onto the jersey of Fleury. It repels water, but apparently not paint.
-Just as weird as it is to see this place barren before a game, it's amazing to see it empty out after a game. 10 minutes ago, there were almost 17,000 people below us. No, there can't be more than 100.