Thrashing Atlanta

Nov. 25, 2007

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Jordan Staal airs out his pits.

The Penguins play one of their most dominant games of the season and rout the Thrashers, 5-0.

PREGAME

-The Penguins' scratches are Mark Recchi, Darryl Sydor and Maxime Talbot.

-After getting pulled early Thursday against Atlanta, Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start in net.

-We won't be graced by the presence of former Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg. Ondrej Pavelec starts in net for Atlanta.

FIRST PERIOD

16:22: Gary Roberts feeds a loose puck into the Thrashers crease. Pavelec loses sight of it and Jordan Staal jumps on it pushing it past Pavelec's left leg. It's a garbage goal, but Staal will take it. It's only his second of the season. Penguins 1-0.

12:31: Jarkko Ruutu and Georges Laraque accidently check each other. Amazingly the officials didn't make up some bogus penalty to call on Ruutu.

8:07: On the power play, Gonchar throws a soft wrister on net that hits a cluster of bodies. Ryan Malone takes the loose puck in the crease, spins to the right and fires it past Pavelec for a goal. Penguins 2-0.

4:51: Crosby and Armstrong come down on a 2-on-1. With Niclas Havelid cutting off the pass, Crosby elects to shoot. Pavelec makes the initial save, but the rebound hops into the crease where Armstrong is able to chip it in the net. Penguins 3-0.

1:49: On a give-and-go, Malone sends a pass into the crease to Armstrong who tries to push it on net. Pavelec is able to stretch his left leg out to make the save.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Thrashers 0.

-The Penguins outshot the Thrashers, 15-10.

-Lester Patrick is explained.

SECOND PERIOD

18:15: 17,132.

13:03: Dan Potash tells us Johan Hedberg and Tobias Enstrom are the new Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby. In other words, Enstrom, a rookie, is living with Hedberg.

11:41: Eric Boulton and Georges Laraque get engaged along the boards. They eventually meet again at mid-ice and exchange words. As officials separate the two, Ruutu comes over and says something to Boulton who pushes the Penguins antagonist away. During this, former Penguins forward Chris Thorburn is penalized for interference.

11:01: At the point, Gonchar leaves a soft pass for Sidney Crosby to one-time. He blasts a shot through traffic that beats Pavelec. Penguins 4-0.

9:34: Bob Errey makes reference to the "chili goal." If memory serves us correct, back in the 1990's if the Penguins scored enough goals, you could redeem your ticket at Wendy's for a free chili. Ah... those were the days. We miss Dave Thomas in so many ways.

4:50: Paul Steigerwald's really pushing this "Finnish Crash" nickname for Ruutu. It's a good effort, but sorry, we're not buying it.

3:32: FSN Pittsburgh digs up photos of Fleury and Pavelec while they were playing with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. No lie, we were on their Web site looking up information on both player earlier in the day and noticed their old team photos. Why would a team called the "Screaming Eagles" need a team dog?

0:00: End of a fairly boring period. Penguins 4, Thrashers 0.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-If it's a Saturday night, you know what that means. Paul "The Butcher" Alexander mangling names while doing highlights. P.J. Axelsson comes out "Alexsin." Jaroslav Spacek comes out "Spay-Chek." In all fairness to Alexander, he somehow managed to get a tough one like Tim Thomas' name right.

-FSN Pittsburgh more than makes up for absence of the Mike Yeo shot Thursday night. They offer an interview with the man himself. All is good in the world.

THIRD PERIOD

14:59: Ryan Whitney blasts a slapper from the point. It squeaks through Pavelec's equipment and just trickles over the goal line. It's a bad goal by Pavelec to give up. Penguins 5-0.

11:04: Malkin makes a sneaky move off the face off leading a drop pass for Laraque who tries to go high on Pavelec. The Thrashers goaltender is able to lift his leg and deny the shot.

6:50: FSN Pittsburgh president/overlord Steve Tello gets in on the broadcast. We can't describe how this infuriates us. Tello decided to deny Penguins fans the brilliance of Mike Lange before last season, but now he sees fit to put his bland monotone self on the air. How do either of these moves serve the audience? Mike Lange is one of the most popular announcers in all of the NHL. And who the heck wants to hear Steve Tello on the air other than Steve Tello's family? Why is FSN Pittsburgh's motto "Penguins Fans First" again?

2:14: As Bob Errey talks about the abilities of Kris Letang, Steve Tello offers a highly informative, "He's doing his job." Thanks Steve.

0:43: Tello's brilliance in the booth ends with him seemingly dropping his head set creating a crumple on the air. Thanks Steve.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 5, Thrashers 0.

POSTGAME

-If you're a Thrashers fan, how are you not mad at that effort? They seemed about as interested in playing that game as Comcast does in actually serving its customers.

-Fleury made 28 saves, but was rarely challenged.

-After getting over a half hour of playing time Thursday night, Gonchar was only on the ice for 12:55.

-Kris Letang led all skaters with 24:09.

-Evgeni Malkin's consecutive point streak ends at 15 games. Cut him.

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights.

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-Colby Armstrong likes playing with Sidney Crosby.

-Ray Shero should keep everything in focus.

-Tim Brent had four assists and Connor James had two goals as the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins beat Binghamton, 4-3.

-A goal and two assist by Adam Heinrich led the Wheeling Nailers to a 4-2 win against Johnstown.

-Andrew Taglianetti, the son of former Penguins defenseman Peter Taglianetti, helped lead Pittsburgh Central Catholic to the WPIAL Class AAAA football championship.

Atlantic Division

-Daniel Briere had a goal and two assists for the Flyers in a 4-3 win against the Senators.

-Former Penguins Andy Hilbert and Richard Park each scored goals and led the Islanders to a 2-1 defeat of the Bruins.

-Two goals by Brian Gionta helped the Devils top the Lightning, 3-2.

Northeast Division

-Former Penguins goaltender Jocelyn Thibault made 24 saves and led the Sabres to a 3-0 shutout of the Canadiens.

-Former Senators general manager John Muckler says his former team needs to trade either Ray Emery or Martin Gerber.

Southeast Division

-Two goals by Alexander Ovechkin led the Capitals to a 5-2 defeat of the Hurricanes. It is the second win in as many games for Washington under new coach Bruce Boudreau.

-The Thrashers have sent goaltender Keri Lehtonen to Chicago for some rehab starts.

Central Division

-Nikolai Zherdev had a goal in regulation and on in the shootout for the Blue Jackets in a 3-2 win against the Red Wings.

-Melissa Isaacson of the Chicago Tribune has a pretty good look at the new chairman of the Blackhawks, Rocky Wirtz.

Pacific Division

-Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves and won his fourth game in a row since joining the Coyotes in a 5-1 defeat of the Maple Leafs.

-Jason LaBarbera made 26 saves for the Kings in a 2-1 defeat of the Sharks.

Northwest Division

-Two assists by former Penguins center Dominic Moore helped the Wild top the Predators, 4-3. Time to fire Ray Shero.

-Matthew Lombardi had a goal and an assist for the Flames in a 5-2 win against the Avalanche.

-Sam Gagner's shootout goal gave the Oilers a 3-2 win against the Blackhawks.

-Several Oilers season ticket holders gave up their seats to last night's games to members of the Canadian armed forces and over 6,000 showed up. Following the game, they took this really cool picture on the ice.



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