A strong third period gives the Maple Leafs a 5-2 win against the Penguins.
-While walking to the game, we see a Maple Leafs fan in a Doug Gilmour jersey urinating on the side of Epiphany Church. Classy.
-Jeff Jimerson sings the national anthems. We think we heard a few boos during "O Canada,", but we're not sure. Jimerson's lungs pretty much negate all sound in a 50-mile radius. Chuck Yeager could be flying overhead and you wouldn't hear it.
15:08: Chad Kilger is called for interference after pushing Mark Eaton into Marc-Andre Fleury. On a delayed penalty, the Penguins hold onto the puck and generate two or three solid scoring chances until the Leafs gain possession and stop play at 15:08. It's one of the longest delayed penalties we can remember in some time. Most of the Penguins first power-play unit is on the ice during the delay and Michel Therrien is forced to send the rested second unit onto the ice to begin the power play.
12:33: Marc-Andre Fleury needs to kiss those posts or something. After getting a few charitable bounces off them Tuesday night against the Rangers, they save him again. Andrew Wozniewski comes down the left side and snaps a wrister that hits the pipes and dings outs.
8:24: Seeing the two No. 25's in this game collide makes us chuckle. Hal Gill (6-foot-7) towers over Maxime Talbot (5-foot-11).
7:26: After a turnover by Ryan Whitney, Boyd Devereaux takes the puck into the offensive zone on a two-on-one. He sends a pass to a streaking Chad Kilger who tries to beat Fleury, but the Penguins goaltender is able to do a split and make a spectacular save with his blocker.
6:19: Off the faceoff Sidney Crosby takes the puck along the goal-line to the outside of the crease, he tries to get a shot off but Vesa Toskala forces Crosby to shoot wide.
5:14: People in West Mifflin and Pine Township can't get Versus, but they get it in Kosovo?!?! In all seriousness, Dan Potash shares some photos of some Penguins fans stationed in Serbia with the armed forces who were able to take in Tuesday game against the Rangers through the Armed Forces Network.
3:40: Evgeni Malkin drives to the net from the right corner. He shoots low and Toskala is able to keep it out. Crosby tries to push it in but again is denied by Toskala. Yet somehow, as he's shoved to the ice by Nikolai Antropov and Gill Crosby manages to force the puck into the net. Penguins 1-0.
0:58: Talbot and Ian White are racing for a iced puck and Talbot trips and falls face-first into the dasher boards at full speed. He immediately rolls over on to his back and holds the back of his head. Trainer Chris Stewart runs out and checks on Talbot. After lying on the ice for a few minutes, Talbot gets up and walks to the locker room under his own power.
0:02: Sundin attempts a back-handed wrap-around but is hauled down by Brooks Oprik. No call.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Maple Leafs 0.
-Bob Errey explains the "pickle stabber." Insert your own punch line with that one folks. We don't want to get fired.
-Talbot returns to the ice, momentarily but returns to the locker room. He doesn't return to the ice for the rest of the night.
15:13: Errey hints that Mats Sundin could be a guy who could find himself dealt at the trade deadline should Toronto be out of playoff contention. He also says he'd "be a great fit anywhere, including Pittsburgh." Uh, isn't one old, gnarled former Maple Leaf who plays full-bore and is prone to injuries enough for this team?
13:35: Shorthanded, Antropov and Sundin come down on Whitney and Fleury on a two-on-one. Taking a pass from Sundin, Antropov winds up and fires a slapper on net that Fleury kicks out.
11:56: On a delayed penalty, Petr Sykora fires a slapper from the point. The puck hits a body and changes direction on Toskala but the Toronto goaltender is able to locate it and freeze it.
11:00-ish: -At some point in the second period, some genius Maple Leafs fans spilled or poured his beer from a box seat overhanging our section D-7, a shouting match ensued between this idiot and the people who got wet. An usher was alerted and a few minutes later, the Leafs fan could be seen being escorted out of his box. So basically this guy drove down from Canada (we assume), spent a few hundred dollars on a box seat at least, and got kicked out midway through the second period. Brilliant!
9:43: Antropov steals the puck off Darryl Sydor at center ice and drives towards the net. He fires a shot that deflects off Brook Orpik's skate. The puck deflects across the crease and Alexander Steen gets his "Ouellet" on and backhands it home for the garbage goal. Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 1.
5:37: Sergei Gonchar. Penalty. Hooking. Take those words and arrange them anyway you like.
3:07: Jordan Staal centers a pass to a streaking Sydor in the crease. Sydor puts the puck on net but Toskala makes a nice blocker save.
1:30: Sundin and Erik Christensen battle in the corner for a puck. Christensen pushes Sundin's shoulder pads up in a way that makes the Maple Leaf look like Quasimodo.
0:00: End of period. Crosby finishes a check on Tomas Kaberle as time expires and a scrum ensues. The Penguins could've been penalized for having six men (not including Fleury) in the scrum. Nothing major happens aside from some collars getting stretched out, but the officials probably could've given the Penguins a penalty. Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 1.
-"Cotton Candy heeee! Cotton Candy heeeee!"
-Is it us or does it seems like FSN Pittsburgh always seems to get a shot of assistant coach Mike Yeo right before the third period starts?
18:15: Steen fires a shot on net that deflects off Jiri Tlusty's rear end and past Fleury. It's a goofy goal to give up. Maple Leafs 2-1.
17:40: Kubina fires a breakout pass from his left faceoff circle to Tlusty at the red line. The Leafs rookie simply blows by Whitney and fires a shot to the far side and past Fleury. Errey actually gives a quiet Ric Flair "Wooo!" when describing it on the replay. Maple Leafs 3-1.
11:50: Fleury gloves a slapper from Bates Battaglia and freezes play. A chant of "Fleeeeerrrrr-eeeeeeeeeeeeeee, Fleeeeerrrrr-eeeeeeeeeeeeeee..." Can be heard from Section C-31 which is wearing a lot of blue.
9:58: On a power play, Steen distributes a puck from the left corner into the slot where Kaberle comes and fires a one-timer past Fleury. Maple Leafs 4-1.
9:25: Mark Recchi makes a horrible turnover in his own end. Boyd Devereaux steals the puck and puts an easy forehand shot by Fleury on the blocker side. Maple Leafs 5-1.
5:09: On a two-man advantage, Gonchar takes a pass from Crosby and slaps a one-timer past Toskala from the point. Maple Leafs 5-2.
0:00: End of game. Maple Leafs 5, Penguins 2.
-We haven't listened to 96.1 Kiss since the late 1990's when it was Variety 96 and we were going through this weird Sheryl Crow phase. After hearing the two "talents" from their morning show handle the in-game entertainment, we're glad we haven't tuned into that station at all this decade. Basically all these two hacks did was scream at the top of their lungs like Michael Irvin on a bender while hosting the "box" or "bowling pin" game. It was just awful. During the second intermission, you could see Dan Potash having trouble hearing his ear piece because of these two frat boy wannabes. If the Penguins bring these two back at all this season, we might end up in jail.
-There was a Maple Leaf fan dressed up as Jesus and holding a Toronto flag. This was apparently in reference to the period of history in which Toronto last won the Stanley Cup.
-No one in a Penguins jersey played outstanding, but Mark Recchi played brutal.
-The Penguins power play has scored at least once in every game this season.
-With the game out of reach late, Adam Hall got time on the Penguins power play.
-Slideshow by Peter Diana and Peter Borsh.
DON'T FIGHT PEOPLE BIGGER THAN YOU
Chicago tough guy David Koci bit off more than he could chew last night when he decided to tangle with Boston giant Zdeno Chara:
(Kudos to EN reader Kevin Zimmerman for sending us the video.)
Amazingly, Koci was put on injured reserve today.
Boston won the game, 3-1.
On a side note, not many people watched this game in Boston because was a busy night sports-wise with the Red Sox and Boston College. It's a shame because Phil Kessel scored two pretty nice goals:
WE HATE THE NEW JERSEYS
-While watching the Kings' 2-1 win against the Stars last night, the Kings announcers noted that Los Angeles goaltender Jason LaBarbera is having issues with the Reebok Edge-Super-Duper-Mega-Ultra-Awesome-Humungo-Women-Will-Want-You Uniform System jerseys. His catching glove has been giving him trouble due to the sweat building up in it.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-In a shocking development, Michel Therrien has shuffled his lines.
-Free agent Danny Markov, who had been linked to many teams, including the Penguins, signed with the Moscow Dynamo.
-The Rangers finally scored some goals and topped the Devils, 2-0.
-We hate to point out other people's mistakes. We make more than our fair share on EN. But Yahoo has had suspended Flyers forward Steve Downie in Philadelphia's box scores the last two nights in a row.
-Oh those tricky Maple Leafs. They tried to sign junior hockey phenom Jonathan Tavares to a minor league contract.
-Former Penguins forward Michel Ouellet finally scored his first goal of the season and helped the Lightning top the Flyers, 5-2.
-The Panthers signed free agent defenseman Jassen Cullimore.
-Rick Nash scored a crazy goal and led the Blue Jackets to 3-0 defeat of the Blues.
-Columbus goaltender Pascal Leclaire became the first goaltender since Toronto's Bruce Gamble in the 1956-66 season to record four shutouts in his first six starts of the season.
-Predators Dan Ellis got his first start in nearly three years and led Nashville to a 3-0 win in Atlanta.
-Kris Draper agreed to a three year extension with the Red Wings.
-The Coyotes ended a 10-game losing streak to the Ducks with a 1-0 win last night.
-Some teams like the Penguins, go to military academies in order to bond as a team. Other teams like the Sharks, go curling.
-Tracey Myers of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had a good piece on former Penguins and current Stars center Stu Barnes.
-Former Stars defenseman Shawn Chambers was judged to be the worse NHL player in video game history.
-Oilers forward Ales Hemsky scored perhaps the weakest shootout goal in history last night. Either way, it gave Edmonton a 5-4 win against the Wild.
-Avalanche defenseman Jordan Leopold will be out two months with a wrist injury.
-ESPN's David Amber recounted the top ten dirtiest plays in NHL history.
"Buffalo Sabers (sic) @ Florida Panthers on Oct. 26, 2007 available as part of the NHL Network Sneak Peak. NHL Network SD coming soon to DIRECTV!"