Costly mistake

March 1, 2008

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A double minor by Sergei Gonchar helps the Senators claim a 5-4 win against the Penguins.


-You are reading live from the couch of Castle Empty Netters. If you're reading along, hit us up at

-The Penguins' scratches are Marian Hossa, Dany Sabourin, Rob Scuderi and Ryan Whitney.

-Ottawa scratched Nick Foligno and goon Brian McGratton who would've been a potential dance partner for Georges Laraque.

-Ty Conklin will get the start in net for the Penguins.

-Martin Gerber is Ottawa's starter.

-Daniel Alfredsson's overtime goal against the Penguins last week is replayed. We call party foul.

-Pascal Dupuis sort of looks like Michel Ouellet.

-We're still not used to seeing Dupuis wearing No. 9. We still see Rico Fata when we see that number.

-Lyndon Slewidge singing the national anthems. Good stuff.

-What was up with Malkin chewing on his gold necklace? What he checking to make sure it wasn't fool's gold?


19:33: Sergei Gonchar puts Ottawa on the power play early as hethrows a puck out of play. Delay of game. EN friend Jason Yarosik says, "He's living in the box!"

18:41: Andrej Meszaros blasts a one-timer from the point. Conklin locates it through traffic and eats it up.

17:48: Wade Redden blasts a slapper from the point. Malkin deflects it away with his shin pad.

16:21: Malkin drives the puck into the slot and drops it for Petr Sykora. Sykora blasts a slapper that Gerber kicks out.

15:39: Gerber covers a puck in the crease. Chris Phillips and Talbot exchange shoves and a small scrum ensues.

14:23: Jarkko Ruutu throws a puck on net from along the boards. Gerber traps it against the post and freezes it.

14:02: Malkin comes down the left side and centers a pass into the slot. Ryan Malone drops to a knee and one-times a blast. Gerber comes up with a big save.

13:34: The one-timers are the flavor of the month here today. Alfredsson drops a pass to the point for Anton Volchenkov who fires a slapper on net. Conklin absorbs it. Coming back from commercial, the play Hossa was injured on Thursday in Boston is replayed. We call party foul.

12:14: The puck gets played up ice behind the Penguins defense. Sean Donovan tries to out-race Hal Gill for it to generate a potential breakaway. Gill makes a nice play by diving and using his long reach to poke it away.

11:40: Mike Fisher steals the puck and creates a mini-breakaway. Fisher shoot high, but Conklin knocks it away with his glove.

11:17: Wow what a play. Malkin comes up ice like a bull and moves the puck to Sykora. Sykora drops it for Malkin and slides a pass into the crease where Malone re-directs it by Gerber for a fantastic goal. Penguins 1-0.

9:49: The puck bounces around in the slot through traffic. Penguin-killer Cory Stillman ends up with a prime shot in the crease, but Conklin says no.

9:16: Gill is sent off for holding. FSN Pittsburgh shows us today's line combinations.










7:34: Paul Steigerwald uses the term "sluffed off." We're not quite sure what it means, but it sounds awesome.

4:49: Stillman snaps a shot from in tight that Conklin kicks out. The rebound kicks out all the way out to the point where Redden throws it on net. Antoine Vermette is in the crease and tips it by Conklin. We have no idea what song they played. Penguins 1, Senators 1.

3:48: Malone tries to re-direct a puck out of the defensive zone but it's stolen by Volchenkov. He moves it on to Alfredsson who fires a laser over Conklin's left shoulder. Sloppy turnover and a sick goal. Senators 2-1.

2:35: Donovan grabs a clearing attempt and blasts a slapper on net. Conklin kicks it out with his right leg.

1:49: Stillman puts a nice shoulder into Gonchar behind the Penguins net.

1:34: Vermette hits Gonchar in the corner.

1:22: Vermette checks GOnchar again and Maxime Talbot say's that enough. He drops the gloves with Vermette. They wrestle for a bit. Talbot (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) pops the slightly larger Vermette (6-foot-1, 199 pounds) with a right. They wrestle again for a little while before the officials step in. Sykora pats Talbot on the head for sticking up for Gonchar. You've got to love Talbot's attitude regardless of what team you're rooting for.

1:05: Holy Chris Tamer. While wrestling with Malone behind the Senators net for a puck, Phillips is checked from behind by Malkin. Malkin falls and Phillips jabs him. Malone jumps in and hammer Phillips with a few punches. Just about everyone but the goaltender jumps into the pile and a bit of a line brawl ensues. Before anything serious can start, the officials keep things under wraps for the most part. Volchenkov and Sykora shove each other and exchange words. Things are seperated. A few penalties are doled out Malkin, Malone and Phillips get minors.

0:56: Ruutu and Martin Lapointe get engages in a small scuffle. Ruutu goads Lapointe into punching him a few times in the back and he is sent off for roughing. That's a stupid penalty by a veteran like Lapointe to take.

0:11: Gonchar slides a pass form the point to the boards. Sykora sneaks in and fires a nice wrister by Gerber's glove hand. Penguins 2, Senators 2.

0:00: End of a spirited period. Penguins 2, Senators 2.

-We'd love to see another playoff series between these two. It's not quite at the level of hatred the Penguins have with the Flyers, but it's up there.

-Ottawa owns a 13-8 edge in shots.

-A piece about former Penguins goaltender Ron Tugnutt's 70-save performance against the Bruins in 1991 is played:

FSN Pittsburgh pulls out a solid list. Most saves by Penguins goaltender in a game:

Tom Barrasso, 1989 - 57

Tom Barrasso, 1998 - 51

Ty Conklin, 2008 - 50

Frank Pietrangelo - 50

Patrick Lalime, 1997 - 49


19:33: Martin Lapointe isn't exactly endearing himself to the Ottawa faithful. He takes a hooking call.

18:30: That was ugly. Gonchar fires a slapper and Alfredsson blocks it. The puck kicks up ice towards the Penguins net and Alfredsson's off to the races. He glides in and burns Conklin glove-side for a short-handed goal. Senators 3-2.

17:48: Alex Goligoski sneaks in from the point and fires a shot on net. Gerber kicks it out.

17:25: Goligoski throws a wrister on net. It hits a body deflects to the left of Gerber. Malone is Johnny-on-the-spot and slide it behind the Ottawa goaltender to tie the game. It is Goligoski's first career point. Penguins 3, Senators 2.

15:42: A reader writes:

"I'm a Pens fan from pittsburgh living sadly in Philly, so I have to watch the Center Ice feed, which is from CBC today.

During the first intermission report, chronic underachiever and d(jerk) PJ Stock said this about the Lapointe penalty that led to the second Pens goal: "Rutuu did what he normally does... baits the guy and then backs down" insinuating that Rutuu is a pansy that doesn't fight and doesn't play physical. Ask Darcy Tucker about that statement.

PJ Stock (stinks) as does the entire CBC broadcast team."

-Bill, Philadelphia

15:10: Lapointe goes back to the penalty box for high-sticking Darry Sydor. A smattering of boos can be heard.

14:06: Fisher pretty much choke-slams Sykora. No call.

13:56: Schubert crunches Sykora along the boards. Sykora goes to the bench in pain.

13:23: Chris Kelly generates a short-handed opportunity. He fights off Kris Letang and gets a backhanded chance on net. Conklin says no.

13:15: Pascal Dupuis brings the puck up ice and gets hammered at the blueline by Volchenkov.

12:57: Jason Spezza is nabbed for hooking Jordan Staal.

10:57: The power play expires without the Penguins mounting much of an attack.

10:02: Pardon us if things a bit delayed here. We've had a computer crash and our DVR had some indigestion. We think things are back to normal.

9:27: Dean McAmmond gets called for hooking. Coming back from commercial, Dan Potash tells us about the Ottawa Silver Seven. We thing Chris Chelios is gentleman seated on the far right.

8:51: Sykora whips a shot on net. Gerber kicks it out and Goligoski pounces on the rebound. He fires a wrister on net and Gerber eats it up.

6:20: Gonchar gets shoved into the boards by Alfredsson. Gonchar gets up and sort of slashes Gonchar in the leg then cross-checks him high. Gonchar gets a double-minor. He needs to be more disciplined than that.

5:19: Lapointe sort of makes amends for his earlier mistakes. He fires a slapper from the far boards. Conklin makes the save and the rebound kicks out. Sydor accidently kicks it into the cage. Senators 4-3.

4:15: Randy Robitaille fires a slap shot on net. Conklin is able to find it through traffic and make a glove save.

3:48: How do you leave Dany Heatley that wide open? He's one of the best goal-scorers in the league. Alfredsson controls the puck on the near boards and calmly slides a pass near the slot. Heatley winds up and bombs a one-timer that rings off the post and into the net. Senators 5-3.

3:16: Gill makes a brutal pass out of his own end and it's stolen by Kelly. Thankfully for the Penguins, Kelly fires a shot no where near the net.

2:47: Malkin works the puck through traffic and fires a wrister on net from the right faceoff circle. Gerber is there with the save.

1:30: Steigerwald refers to Rob Scuderi as the team's top defensive defenseman. All due respect to Scuderi, who we love, but we think Mark Eaton might have something to say about that.

0:47: Heatley tries a back-handed wraparound and Gill hammers him off his skates.

0:00: End of period. Senators 5, Penguins 3.


-Ottawa owns a 24-11 advantage in shots.

-The Penguins are getting controled in the faceoff circle, 29-19.

-Is it us, or does Goligoski kind of look like Matthew Maher? He was the guy that played the bartender Azrael (Jason Lee) shot in "Dogma."

-Don't ask us where we pulled that reference from.


18:51: Staal works the puck from the corner and tries to power his way to the net. Gerber says no.

15:20: Robitaille centers a pass to Fisher in the slot. Conklin follows the play marvelously and positions himself for a fine save.

11:52: Alfredsson trips up Sykora. No call.

10:52: Steigerwald says the biggest difference between the Penguins this season from the the Penguins last season is guys like Letang and Goligoski. Translation: The Penguins don't have pieces of trash like Josef Melichar and Alain Nasreddine getting regular minutes anymore.

10:23: Gill is called for interference on Alfredsson. Alfredsson went down a little too easily on that play.

8:47: Malkin works the puck up ice and leaves a drop pass for Gonchar. Gonchar fires a one-timer on net and is denied by Gerber.

6:28: Staal throws a puck on net for Dupuis but before he can get a glove on it, Gerber snags it with his glove. Darth Vader's music and his breathing are played in honor of Gerber's black mask.

5:54: Malkin works the puck up ice, moves into the left face off circle and simply blows a slap shot by Gerber. It's almost as if Malkin decide he wanted to score on the play and Gerber had no say in the matter.

5:23: Sydor returns to the bench after walking off a gimpy leg in the locker room.

1:02: Conklin leaves the net for an extra attacker.

0:59: The puck deflects out of play and the Penguins call a time out. Why is there a guy in a Dallas Cowboys jacket behind the Penguins bench? (Kudos to Ann Vrabel of Baltimore for spotting that.)

0:26: Malone works the puck through the defense and slides a backhander on net. Gerber shuffles it away.

0:00: End of game. Senators 5, Penguins 4.


-Outside of a slower third period, this was a pretty entertaining game. We wouldn't mind seeing a re-match of these two in the playoffs.

-It's hard to give Conklin any grief over this loss. He didn't get a lot of help today.

-The Penguins were out-shot 30-29.

-Ottawa won the faceoff battle 36-26.

-Jeff Taffe had a four-game scoring streak snapped.

-The Penguins are 1-2-0 in the Dupuis-Gill-Hossa era. Fire Ray Shero.

-Connor James didn't get his seemingly obligatory smashing at the hands of an opponent. Good for him.

-A few of you have e-mailed us with the definition of "sluffed off." It's actually "slough off."

-We're putting a dictionary on our Christmas list.

-Game Summary

-Event Summary



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