The Penguins fall 4-2 in New York.
-Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start in goal.
-Colby Armstrong is in the lineup for the first time in three games. Jarkko Ruutu and Tyler Kennedy are scratched.
-Ryan Whitney's groin is still bothering him and he is scratched.
-During Dan Potash's pregame interview with Erik Christensen, we hear "Banquet" by Bloc Party being played as a warm-up song. Awesome.
16:37: Off a faceoff, Dan Girardi blasts a slapper that clangs off the post. After a short scrum, Fleury is able to cover the loose puck.
15:31: After Fleury freezes a puck, Sean Avery tries to goad Roberts into taking a penalty. Roberts skates away. As Avery returns to his bench, Michel Therrien stares a hole into Avery and even gives him an eyebrow flinch that The Rock would be proud of.
12:25: Avery comes into the offensive zone on the right side. He snaps a wrister that misses the net, but takes a perfect bounce off the back boards to Scott Gomez who is able to react quickly and fire the puck past an out of place Fleury. Rangers 1-0.
12:13: Quality stat. The Rangers are 20-8-6 with Avery in the lineup and 29-29-5 without him.
8:29: Sergei Gonchar winds up and fires a slap shot from the point. It sails a screen set up by Ryan Malone and beats Henrik Lundqvist. Penguins 1, Rangers 1.
3:28: Avery finally gets Roberts to bite, sort of. The Rangers forward tries to check Roberts along the boards. Roberts raises his arms to protect himself. Avery falls as if he were hit with a taser. A small scum ensues. Despite the fact that Roberts never made contact with his stick, the officials give him two minutes for high-sticking. Roberts also gets two minutes for roughing. Avery skates away with a grin.
2:34: On the power play, Gomez takes a puck from Jagr on a cycle and feeds a pass through Gonchar's legs in the slot to a wide-open Michal Rozsival who easily slides it into the net. Rangers 2-1.
0:22: Bob Errey completely blasts the Penguins defense. "The Penguins are standing around watching Blueshirts. They might as well sit in the locker room if they're going to do that."
0:00: End of period. Rangers 2, Penguins 1.
-The Penguins were out-shot 22-6 that period. Pathetic.
-While explaining line changes, Errey says "dump" far too many times for our comfort.
17:35: Avery is sent to the box for roughing after rubbing Colby Armstrong's face into the boards.
10:27: Jaromir Jagr leads a rush into the Penguins' zone. He sends a pass across the crease to Rozsival who clinks a shot off the near post and out of play. Talbot is sent off for two minutes for slashing.
10:19: Off the faceoff, Aver fires a one-timer from the left faceoff circle that burns Fleury high for a power play goal. Rangers 3-1.
3:18: On a penalty kill, Gonchar tries to clear the puck from behind the net but accidentally throws it out of play. The Rangers will get a two-man advantage for 1:16.
1:57: Shorthanded, Malone comes down the ice on a two-on-one with Jordan Staal. Malone elects to take the shot and Lundqvist easily kicks it out.
0:00: End of period. Rangers 3, Penguins 1.
-The Penguins managed to "only" get out-shot 10-8 that period.
17:12: While trying to skate through traffic, Evgeni Malkin loses the puck in the neutral zone. This results in three-on-two for the Rangers. Nigel Dawes bring the puck into the top of the slot and leaves a nifty drop pass for Brandon Dubinsky who beats Fleury on the glove-side with a back-hander for his first career goal. Dauber Dybinski celebrates.
15:38: The arthritis power-play unit strikes. With Darryl Sydor, Roberts and Mark Recchi on the ice along with Erik Christensen and Gonchar the Penguins pull within two goals. An arching wrist shot by Gonchar from the point hits a body in front of the net and trickles to the left. Recchi tries to shoot and partially whiffs on it but still makes enough contact for it to deflect off the inside of Lundqvist's right pad and into the net. It's ugly, but the Penguins will take it. Rangers 4-2.
8:21: A slapper by Brendan Shanahan is easily absorbed by Fleury who freezes the puck. It's the first stoppage in play since the Recchi goal.
6:11 Paul Mara is whistled for holding. The Penguins will get a chance on the power play.
5:45: Lundqvist shows why he might be the best goaltender in the game right now. Malkin snaps a pass into the crease to Petr Sykora who fires a quick shot on net. Lundqvist is able to slide into position for a fantastic save. The Rangers faithful serenade him with chants of "Hen-Rik! Hen-Rik!"
4:11: The Rangers come up with a big penalty kill.
3:53: The posts have been kind to the Penguins tonight. Dubinsky fires a shot from the slot hat clinks off the iron again and is covered up by Fleury.
3:30: Off the faceoff, Jordan Staal is clipped by Sykora's stick and is cut.
2:57: The Rangers are trying to ice this game, but can't quite do it. Dubinsky sweeps a loose puck in the Penguins crease with a backhander that deflects off Fleury's stick and "doinks" off the post. Fleury merely lays on his back to freeze the puck.
0:45: Fleury leaves the net for an extra attacker.
0:40: With a stoppage, Michel Therrien calls a timeout and "Sweet Caroline" is played in Madison Square Garden.
0:00: End of period. Rangers 4, Penguins 2.
-The Rangers manage to fire off 39 shots. It's unacceptable to give up that many shots in a game given how defensive this league has become.
-Paul Steigerwald noted that Rozsival has 12 points in 18 career games against the Penguins, his former team. Is it fair to lump him as one of the worst decisions made by the Craig Patrick regime during this decade? The deals for Jagr and Alexei Kovalev were ugly, but they were forced due to financial constraints at the time. After being mostly inconsistent during his time in Pittsburgh, Rozsival has blossomed into a pretty complete player in New York.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-The Globe and Mail reported that Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky among others, are interested in purchasing the hockey company, Nike Bauer. A Penguins official told the Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari that was completely false. Lemieux has no interest.
-Forbes' annual team list of team values is out. At $155 million, the Penguins are the 22nd most valuable team in the league.
-Dainius Zubrus scored two goals and held the Devils get a much-needed 4-1 win against the Flyers.
-Flyers forward Simon Gagne missed Thursday's game against the Devils due to dizziness resulting from a hit by Gary Roberts in Wednesday 3-1 win in Pittsburgh.
-Another Flyers forward dealing with an injury is Sami Kapanen. He is day-to-day with a knee injury. To take his place, forward Stefan Ruzicka was recalled from the Flyers' AHL affliliate.
-Former Flyers center Eric Lindros officially retired.
-Hockey's pretty popular in the New York City area Television ratings for all three local teams have risen this season.
-In the Canadiens' 2-1 win against the Bruins, Boston defenseman Aaron Ward was injured by an elbow to the head by Montreal defenseman Francois Bouillon.
-Boston center Patrice Bergeron says hitting from behind isn't cool.
-Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli fears that Bergeron's injury could be career-threatening.
-Senators goaltender Ray Emery will be denying the Ottawa media his thoughts and feelings on game days.
-Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake is having trouble adjusting to his new team.
-Olaf Kolzig made 27 saves and led the Capitals to a 4-1 upset of the Senators. The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for Ottawa.
-Shane O'Brien scored two goals for the Lightning in a 5-1 road drubbing of the Hurricanes.
-Retired Atlanta forward Scott Mellanby blasted the state of the Thrashers organization.
-The Capitals are participating in reading of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this weekend. (Kudos to EN reader Michael Janicki for spotting that.)
-The Red Wings put forward Aaron Downey on waivers.
-Blackhawks forward Kevyn Adams could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
-The Blues might be the most fan-friendly team in the league. Not only have they dropped ticket prices this season, but now you can get a free taco anytime the Blues score five or more goals in a home game.
-A three-point night by Steven Reinprecht led the Coyotes to a 5-2 defeat of the Stars. The Coyotes have won five of their past seven games.
-Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer, who's been considering retirement, has begun skating and could return to the Ducks in December.
-The Ducks put defenseman Maxim Kondratiev on waivers.
-In a 3-2 loss to Vancouver, Flames center Daymond Langkow was hit from behind by Canucks forward Steve Cooke and suffered a concussion. Cooke was penalized for boarding. Through Thursday, Langkow was 21st in the league in scoring with 17 points.
-Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa could be out for quite a while after being cut by a skate.
-The Avalanche acquired goaltender Jason Bacashihua from the Blues. Headline writers in Denver cringe in fear.
-Wild forward Wes Walz was granted a leave of absence from the team. He's been rumored to be considering retirement.
-Dustin Penner has been a complete disappointment for the Oilers so far.
-Kevin Allen of USA Today has some pretty good numbers to look at for this season.
-ESPN's David Amber lists the 10 best offseason moves this offseason.