In a duel between Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin, it was another Russian, Alexander Semin, who came through in the shootout to give the Capitals a 6-5 win against the Penguins.
First things first, Versus had a Karate Kid marathon on yesterday. The first three movies were on all day. That pretty much sacked any hopes for productivity in Castle Empty Netters yesterday.
The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid II
(Why did Mr. Miyagi and Sato converse in English the entire movie if it took place in Japan?)
The Karate Kid III
-While driving to the game, we forgot our ticket. We had to go to the box office and ask them to re-print us one. There was a $3 surcharge for that which wasn't cool. Granted, we were the idiots who forgot our ticket, but still, we've forgotten our tickets in years past and have been issued new tickets without a charge. Why all of a sudden, is that charge necessary? Does that $3 go towards Sidney Crosby's new contract?
-Versus offers us the first of what will surly be many mentions of Sidney Crosby's injury by showing the video of the play he was injured on. We call party foul.
-No Jeff Jimerson. Disappointment.
-The girl did sing the national anthem had these weird shoulder jukes going during the anthem.
-The Penguins have three alternate captains sporting the "A," Sergei Gonchar, Ryan Whitney and Darryl Sydor.
-Michel Therrien makes a surprising decision and starts Dany Sabourin in net.
-The Capitals go with Olaf Kolzig in goal.
-The Penguins' official scratches were Colby Armstrong, Tyler Kennedy and Ryan Stone.
-Washington scratched Chris Clark and Shaone Morrisson.
15:30: Off the cycle, Maxime Talbot works it from the corner, shrugs off Nicklas Backstrom and sneaks the puck past Olaf Kolzig. "Song 2" by Blur. Penguins 1-0.
11:21: Lemieux and Crosby are shown chatting in luxury suite. We're pretty sure Lemieux is scolding him for deleting Death Wish 3 off the TiVo at home:
9:17: Huh? Tomas Fleischmann scores on an odd backhander. Boyd Gordon skates behind the net with the puck and slides a backhander into the crease before he crosses to the other side. Sabourin follows Gordon and not the puck. Fleischmann controls it and is able to fire a backhander off despite a hook by Tim Brent. The puck goes through the five-hole of an unsuspecting Sabourin. Capitals 1, Penguins 1.
3:56: Off a cycle, Ovechkin blasts a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Sabourin makes the save but gives up a juicy rebound. Sergei Gonchar can't locate the rebound and Viktor Kozlov grabs it in the crease and beats Sabourin upstairs with it. Bad goal to give up. Capitals 2-1.
3:11: It doesn't take the Penguins to get it back. Malkin works the puck from behind the net into the right faceoff circle and whips a backhander on net that finds its way through traffic and beats Kolzig. Ryan Malone helped matters by setting up a nice screen. Capitals 2, Penguins 2.
0:20: Malkin works the puck through traffic and goes behind the net. Ovechkin eyes him up and tries to deliver a big hit. The results probably weren't what he had hoped for:
0:13: Washington goes offsides and Malkin and Ovechkin exchanges shoves during the stoppage. A small scrum ensues and is quickly broken up.
0:00: End of period. Jarkko Ruutu tries to goad Tom Poti into taking a penalty but gets chucked into the box himself. Bad penalty to take. Capitals 2, Penguins 2.
-The Capitals owned a 9-6 edges in shots that period.
18:12: Fleischmann sends a pass from corner across the crease to Ovechkin who snaps a one-timer past a helpless Sabourin. Capitals 3-2.
16:26: On a power play, Malkin takes a pass from Malone entering the offensive zone, skates down the slot and roofs a wrister by Kolzig. What a game so far. Capitals 3, Penguins 3.
13:47: On another power play, Ryan Whitney fakes a slapper and sneaks a cross-ice pass through the slot to Petr Sykora who sneaks a shot past a helpless Sykora. Penguins 4-3.
13:14: The "Ollll-Eeeee, Olllll-Eeeee" chants begin.
12:02: Backstrom enters the zone, feeds a cross-ice pass to Ovechkin who blows another shot by Sabourin. Therrien makes a decision he should've made before the game and inserts Ty Conklin into goal.
6:01: Gordon blasts a shot on net and Conklin gloves it. With the stoppage, everyone finally realizes there a broken pane of glass behind the Penguins net. Officials come out to repair it. During the stoppage, Cotton-Eyed Joe is busted out:
0:33: Semin walks in on net and shoots high. Conklin comes up with a big save.
0:02: Donald Brashear (6-foot-2, 235 pounds) tries to check Jordan Staal (6-foot-4, 220 pounds). Staal sticks the big man on his wallet.
0:00: End of period. Capitals 4, Penguins 4.
-What was up with the weird smile Sykora had while being interviewed by Christine Simpson?
16:38: Christine Simpson quotes Mike Yeo and we get a shot of man himself. According to Simpson, Yeo said in order for the Penguins to win they need to take less penalties and limit Ovechkin. Simpson then coyly says, "I think you can guess which of those is easier said than done." Joe Beninati literally says, "He he he."
16:06: Malkin gets sprung on a mini-breakaway, Malkin shoots, but Kolzig squares up and makes the save.
15:16: Off the faceoff, Mike Green blasts a slapper that beats Conklin. But the officials immediately wave it off. Matt Bradley was called for hooking.
14:56: Gonchar takes the puck at the top of the slot and throws a wrister through traffic. It clinks off the post and goes in the net. Kolzig waves his arms as if to signal the goal was no good. Malone appears to have tipped it in with a high stick. A lengthy review confirms the goal. Penguins 5-4.
14:05: "Olll-eeee, Olll-eeee."
13:23: On a delayed penalty, Semin fires a shot off a rebound. Malone blocks it partially and it trickles into the crease. Conklin sprawls and covers the puck.
10:52: Conlkin makes a mistake and plays the puck outside the trapezoid behind the net. He gets whistled for delay of game.
6:10: Staal gets called for holding the stick.
4:31: Matt Pettinger feeds a puck into the slot to Kozlov. Kozlov snaps a one-timer that clunks off the post and into the net. Capitals 5, Penguins 5.
0:00: End of period. Capitals 5, Penguins 5.
3:59: Poti gets called for a slash.
3:38: Jon Erskine hauls down Malkin. Delayed penalty.
3:21: Gonchar blasts a one-timer and Quintin Laing gets down to block it.
3:06: Therrien calls a timeout.
2:04: Laing blocks two slapshots by Malkin. This guy has some guts.
1:07: Erskine's penalty expires. Washington comes up huge with that penalty kill.
0:56: Malone smashes Brooks Laich along the Penguins' bench.
0:00: End of period. Capitals 5, Penguins 5.
-Erik Christensen goes first. He weaves down the middle approaches the net and completely misses the cage wide.
-Kozlov bears down the net slowly. He goes five hole but Conklin isn't having any of it.
-Kris Letang zig-zags down the slot, fakes the fore-hand, switches to the backhand and clinks it off the post. No goal.
-Ovechkin approaches the net, puts on about 38 shoulder fakes, switches to the backhand and sneaks it inside the post. Capitals 1-0.
-Ruutu dips the shoulder, fakes Kolzig, goes to his backhand and scores. Capitals 1, Penguins 1.
-Semin flies in and he also goes to the backhand. His shot gets by Conklin's blocker and gives the Capitals a win. End of shootout. Capitals 2, Penguins 1. End of Game. Capitals 6, Penguins 5.
-What an entertaining game. You might not be thrilled with the end result as a Penguins fan, but you couldn't have been disappointed as a hockey fan. That might've been the Penguins most entertaining game of the season.
-Everything good Dany Sabourin did Saturday in Montreal was pretty much nullified last night. He played awful.
-As bad as Sabourin played, he had a lot of help in losing this game. Ruutu shouldn't have taken a penalty at the end of the first period. The Penguins power-play failed big time also in the overtime when it failed to score. Anytime you have the opponent in a penalty-killing situation and they only have three skaters on the ice, you need to score.
-Getting outshot 30-15 didn't help matters either.
-The "Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Line" of Tim Brent, Jonathan Filewich and Chris Minard didn't really impress. In all fairness, the most time any of them played was the 7:27 Filewich got.
-Perhaps they could call the line the "Dunder Mifflin" Line.
-The Muskegon Line not impressed. (If you're not aware what the Muskegon Line is, we'll tell you. Muskegon used to be the Penguins primary minor league affiliate. During the 1992 playoffs, injuries ravaged the Penguins and forced them to call up forwards Jock Callendar, Dave Michayluk and Mike Needham. Scotty Bowman stuck them on a line and they helped contribute to the Penguins' Stanley Cup win that spring. As a result, they were called the Muskegon Line.)
-Backstrom had four assists for the second consecutive game.
-Hopefully Therrien learned a lesson by starting Sabourin last night.
-Best jerseys we saw: Rob Brown, Gilles Meloche, Tomas Surovy, Rod Langway; EN reader Marc Finder stopped by and showed us one of the jerseys Georges Laraque wore during the the Winter Classic. Marc won it in an online auction.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
Sidney Crosby's ankle injury will keep him out six to eight weeks. We personally blame the Reebok Edge-Super-Duper-Mega-Ultra-Awesome-Humungo-Women-Will-Want-You Uniform System jerseys.
-As a result of the injury, Malkin was finally added to the Eastern Conference's roster for the All-Star Game.
-Bruins forward and former Penguin Glen Murray practiced for the first time in two weeks.
-Cory Stillman's overtime goal gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 overtime win on the road against the Islanders.
-The Hurricanes recalled goaltender John Grahame from Albany of the AHL.
-Thrashers defenseman and former Penguin Joel Kwiatkowski is a Poison fan.
-For some odd reason, Olli Jokinen doesn't want to leave sunny Florida.
-Martin Gelinas and Alexander Radulov each had two goals and an assist as the Predators beat the Blues, 6-3.
-Another All-Star might be down. Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg has a bad back.
-Random YouTube find of the day: Former Blues forward Geoff Courtnall head-butting former Red Wings forward Martin Lapointe:
Northwest Division-Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two goals and two assist for the Wild in a 4-2 win at Vancouver.
-Because he got his butt kicked in a fight last season, Wild goon Todd Fedoruk has actually had to learn how to play hockey.
-Today's "Darryl Katz will buy the Oilers" story is brought to you by the National Post.
-The Flames held a skills competition and Adrian Aucoin won the fastest shot competition with a blast of 102.3 mph. And he did it with a good old fashioned wooden stick.
-The Canucks put former Penguins center Kris Beech on waivers. It's approximately the 3,945th time he's been on waivers this season.
-Shane Doan and Peter Mueller had a goal and an assist each as the Coyotes romped the Sabres, 6-2.
-A day after calling him up, the Coyotes sent forward Bill Thomas, a native of Pittsburgh, back to San Antonio of the AHL.
-The Kings recalled forward Matt Moulson from Manchester of the AHL. He is a former Penguins prospect.
-Former Maple Leafs defenseman Dmitri Yushkevich retired from professional hockey due to the death of his wife.
-Free agent center Peter Forsberg is skating with Modo in Sweden.
-The Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore case just keeps getting uglier.