Burning the Flames

Dec. 7, 2007

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Kris Letang beats Miikka Kiprusoff in the shootout and gives the Penguins a 3-2 win in Calgary.


-Gary Roberts praises the city of Calgary. The city's economy improved 27 percent today due to the kind words.

-Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start for the second night in a row.

-The Penguins will go with seven defenseman again. Erik Christensen and Jarkko Ruutu are scratched.


19:14: Robyn Rehgehr interferers with Colby Armstrong and gets two minutes. Right off the bat, the Penguins are on the power play.

15:21: Fleury covers a loose puck and stops play. He leaves the ice with an injury and is replaced by Dany Sabourin. Replays show Fleury stumbling earlier in the period and potentially injuring his right leg.

14:54: Miikka Kiprusoff gloves a low shot by Tyler Kennedy. Jordan Staal skates near the crease and his stick brushes the head of Kiprusoff who reacts as if he's being stung by bees. A small scrum ensues and is quickly broken up.

11:25: We get a peak at tonight's lines. Malkin and Sykora will play the second line with whoever is fresh tonight.

5:47: Dan Potash reports Fleury has suffered a right ankle injury.

3:59: Maybe it's due to the fact that the Saddledome used to be his old stomping grounds, but Gary Roberts looks perhaps the most passionate he's looked all season. He's going at it in the corners with one of the most physical defensemen in the league, Dion Phaneuf.

1:52: Two of the big boys in the league, Eric Godard and Georges Laraque, drop the gloves right off the faceoff. The fight isn't really anything to rave about however. Laraque throws a few punches before they wrestle to the ice. Is it us, or are very few of Laraque's fights all that entertaining?

0:27: Alex Tanguay takes a puck along the boards and snaps a wrister through traffic from the left faceoff circle that beats Sabourin. Flames 1-0.

0:00: End of period. Flames 1, Penguins 0.


-The Penguins out-shot Calgary 14-8.

-During the first intermission, we get piece on the science of a body check. The checker in the demonstration is part-time NHL goon Kip Brennan. During this preseason, Brennan actually got into a fight with Bruins giant Zdeno Chara and won:


19:47: Thinking someone stole his TV Guide or something, 94-year-old forward Owen Nolan shoves Malone after the whistle. Colby Armstrong reacts with a slight jab to Nolan's back. The Flames forward then pushes Armstrong a few times before a scrum ensues. Nolan is sent to the box for two minutes for roughing.

18:36: Michel Therrien puts a really odd power play unit on the ice consisting of Roberts, Malone, Staal, Kris Letang and Darryl Sydor.

14:25: Ryan Whitney gives the Flames their first power play of the night after tripping Mark Smith.

12:16: As Potash tells us about Sydor and Jarome Iginla buying the Kamloops Blazers, his microphone cuts out. Someone's head needs to roll for that one.

10:33: Anders Eriksson dumps Crosby in the crease and gets two minutes.

6:06: During a power play, Malkin takes a pass from Sykora in the corner, works his way towards the net and snaps a wrister high on Kiprusoff glove-side for a goal. Flames 1, Penguins 1.

5:28: Armstrong centers a pass into the crease. It gets kicked up into the air but Crosby is able to swat it on net. Kiprusoff gloves it for a save.

5:04: Staal gets two minutes for kicking out Eric Nystrom's skates.

3:37: Iginla sends a cross-ice pass to Kristian Huselius. He takes the puck and hesitates with it before dishing it back across the slot to Iginla who pounds the puck home for an easy goal. Some sloppy defense by the Penguins. Flames 2-1.

0:23: Matthew Lombardi tries to dump the puck in but it accidently hits Sykora in the face. After waiting for the puck to leave the Pittsburgh zone, Sykora gets off the ice and heads to the locker room.

0:00: End of period. Flames 2, Penguins 1.


-The Penguins own a 23-20 edge in shots.

-Guess why the Saddledome is called the Saddledome.

-Some old dude in the crowd is wearing a Penguins jersey and a Flames hat. We call party foul.

-Oh wait. There are two yahoos in the crowd with those "split" jerseys. In other words, half the jersey is a Flames jersey and the other half is a Penguins jersey. These two idiots need kicked out of the party.


13:34: Malkin enters the offensive zone and leaves a drop pass for Sykora who booms a big slap shot. Kiprusoff eats it up and freezes the puck.

11:49: Daymond Langkow and Rob Scuderi race for a loose puck behind the Penguins net. Scuderi nudges Langkow into the boards and his right leg gets pinned behind him along the boards. It's an ugly looking way to get hurt. A trainer comes out to help Langkow. He eventually gets to his feet and leaves the ice with help from Huselius and Iginla.

9:59: Phaneuf tries to run over Roberts, but the Penguins winger tries to protect himself and gets Phaneuf in the face with his stick. Roberts gets two minutes.

8:31: Shorthanded, Malone pokes the puck by two Flames in the Penguins zone and generates a breakaway. He flies through the neutral zone, bears down on Kiprusoff and dings it off the post blocker-side and into the net. Flames 2, Penguins 2.

6:41: Malkin takes the puck from Sabourin and blows through the neutral zone. As he weaves through the Flames defenders, he sends a pass across the zone to Sykora who one-times it on net. Kiprusoff makes a really nice leg save to keep the game tied.

6:34: Cory Sarich puts his stick between Malkin's legs and trips him up. Two minutes.

3:08: Kiprusoff has Sykora's number tonight. The Penguins forward snaps a wrister at the top of the slot through traffic that Kiprusoff locates and eats up with his glove.

1:07: Huselius sends a pass through Gonchar's legs to Conroy who re-directs it on net. Sabourin makes the save, but gives up a rebound to Iginla. The Flames captain tries to fire in for a goal but Sabourin recovers and makes a nice gloves save to keep it tied.

0:38: Crosby fires a slap shot and Kiprusoff makes the save. The Penguins captain grabs the rebound and fires it behind the net. It ricochets out to the other side where Malone has an open shot. Before he can capitalize on it, Nystrom lays down to block the shot and save the game.

0:00: End of period. Flames 2, Penguins 2.

-Anyone nervous not having Christensen or Ruutu available for the shootout yet?


4:16: With Lombardi and Iginla in deep on a two-on-one, Gonchar makes a fine play to break up Lombardi's centering pass from the corner.

2:28: In the Calgary zone, Talbot tweaks his ankle and leaves the ice.

1:17: Malkin brings the puck up ice and leaves a drop pass for Whitney. He blasts a slapper and Kiprusoff eats it up.

1:06: Iginla feed the puck across the crease to Adrian Aucoin who has a wide open net to shoot in, but he fires it high.

0:30: Behind the net, Letang picks the puck up and throws it through his legs almost like a Steve Nash pass to a Malkin. That has to be a penalty of some sort right?

0:00: End of period. Flames 2, Penguins 2.

-Anyone nervous not having Christensen or Ruutu available for the shootout yet?


-Huselius is first on deck. He winds down the middle and beats Sabourin five hole with a wicked shot.

-Sykora approaches Kiprusoff, does a little shoulder juke, then quickly switches to the backhand and lifts a shot over Kiprusoff's glove-side.

-Iginla comes down the slot, lifts his leg and fires a wrister wide of the net.

-Crosby tries to go gloves side but Kiprusoff bats it away with his glove.

-Tanguay starts in the 200 level to pick up speed. He flies in on net and tries to send in a gentle backhander, but Sabourin's left leg denies it.

-Malkin approaches the net and beats Kiprusoff but hits the cross bar with his shot.

-Lombardi approaches with speed but the puck rolls off his stick.

-Therrien makes an interesting choice with Letang. The rookie blue-liner uses almost the same exact move Jarkko Ruutu used a few weeks ago in Ottawa and beats Kiprusoff with a high backhander. The Penguins bench erupts in celebration. Therrien looks like he's laughing at a dirty joke he really liked. End of shootout, Penguins 2, Flames 1. End of game, Penguins 3, Flames 2.


-Anyone nervous not having Christensen or Ruutu available for the shootout yet?

-Talbot played quite a bit as the extra guy on the second line with Malkin and Sykora.

-This is wasn't Sidney Crosby's first game in Calgary.

-Shelly Anderson's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.




-A day after he was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Mark Recchi was put on re-entry waivers.

-Is Evgeni Malkin forgotten in Pittsburgh?

-Alan Maki of the Globe and Mail had a pretty good piece on Dany Roussin, Sidney Crosby's former linemate at Rimouski. Roussin's career after Rimsouski hasn't exactly taken off like Crosby's.

Atlantic Division

After making some disparaging remarks about Newark, Barry Melrose will be a guest of the city's mayor, Cory Booker and Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek tonight at the Devils' game against the Capitals. So if we say Newark stinks, do we get free tickets to a Devils game too?

-Amazingly, Rangers forward Sean Avery doesn't seem to like the city of Toronto.

Northeast Division

-Nick Antropov's first hat trick in eight years helped the Maple Leafs rout the Rangers, 6-2.

-Christopher Higgins had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens in a 4-2 win at Boston.

-The Candiens recalled center Maxime Lapierre and defenseman Ryan O'Bryne from Hamilton of the AHL.

-Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake said he didn't hear anything come out of Sean Avery's mouth about Leukemia.

Southeast Division

-Johan Holmqvist made 23 saves and led the Lightning to a 2-1 win in Tampa Bay.

-Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk is on a pace for 70 goals this season.

Central Division

-The Predators signed center David Legwand to a contract extension. Legwand was the first draft pick in team history and is the franchise's career leader in points (304) and goals (113).

-We missed this, but former Penguins center Kris Beech had three assists for the Blue Jackets in a 5-4 win against Colorado Wednesday. Craig Patrick is smiling somewhere.

Northwest Division

-The Cancuks got two third period goals by Daniel Sedin and claimed a 5-2 win in Nashville.

-The Canucks officially responded to the allegation against former coach Marc Crawford and his involvement in Todd Bertuzzi's assault on Steve Moore.

-Oilers coach Craig MacTavish has made some major line-up changes.

-Edmonton put forward Geoff Sanderson on injured reserve.

Pacific Division

-Anze Kopitar had a career-high four assists in the Kings' 8-2 rout of the Sabres.

-The Coyotes traded goaltender Alex Auld to Boston in exchange for forward Nate DiCasmirro and a 2009 draft pick.

-Check out this sick pass Joe Thornton made on Patrick Marleau's goal in a 3-2 win in Dallas Wednesday:

American Division

-Today's "The NHL is boring" article is brought to you by Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province.

-Today's "The NHL needs to be on ESPN" article is brought to you by Kevin Allen of USA Today.

-NHL legend Patrick Roy, now a coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, was fined $2,000 for earning an extreme game misconduct penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct during a game last week. Roy is the coach of Penguins prospect Angelo Esposito.


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