The Panthers out-work the Penguins and gain a 5-2 win.
-FSN Pittsburgh shows Jordan Staal in the locker room sporting some pretty mean He-Man hair.
-Marian Hossa, Dany Sabourin and Rob Scuderi are scratched for the Penguins.
-Florida scratched Tanner Glass and Branislav Mezei.
-Marc-Andre Fleury starts in net.
-Craig Anderson will start for the Panthers in goal.
18:56: David Booth snaps a pretty nice shot off a drop pass in traffic. Fleury kicks it out.
18:31: The Panthers are controlling play early on as Nathan Horton sails a rising shot high on net. Fleury blocks it away with his shoulder
15:41: Stephen Weiss sneaks a nifty pass into the crease to Booth who fires the puck past a helpless Fleury. It's Booth's first goals since he scored on in Pittsburgh Feb. 19. "Kenkraft 400" by Zombie Nation is played. Panthers 1-0.
They should consider banning this song at the next general manager meetings.
15:10: Ville Peltonen throws the puck on net. Fleury gloves it easily to settle things down. Hal Gill exchanges shoves with Greg Campbell and Steve Montador.
15:08: Off the faceoff Georges Laraque and Wade Belak, who Florida just picked up at the trade deadline, drop the gloves. Laraque controls the pace for the most part as they spin around a bunch and throw a couple wild punches. The fight ends when Belak looses his balance.
-No word yet if Laraque called Belak a "ginger."
15:02: Just as Bob Errey suggests Laraque's fight could turn things around for the Penguins, they turn around 360 degrees. Right off the faceoff, Brett McLean spins and throws the puck from the boards on net. Fleury gives up a bad rebound and Ryan Whitney loses track of Rotislav Olesz who pounces on the puck and fires it into an empty cage. Panthers 2-0.
13:41: Petr Sykora backhand chips a pass to the point for Gill. Gill simply throws it on net. Ryan Malone tips it. Anderson makes the save but gives up a rebound that Malone pokes in with a backhand. It's the first goal Anderson has given up in over 154 minutes. Panthers 2-1.
13:15: Steve Montador gets nabbed for boarding Gill. Two minutes.
11:27: Darryl Sydor grabs a hold of Radek Dvorak behind the Penguins net.
11:25: Paul Steigerwald talks about beings from other "realms" being fans of Sidney Crosby. We've always heard Gozer the Traveler was an Ovechkin fan.
See? A Sidney Crosby fan clearly wouldn't tell Ray Stantz to die in Italian.
8:44: Jeff Taffe jumps on a loose puck in the slot and snaps a high shot on net. Anderson gloves it easily.
7:34: Evgeni Malkin drives towards the net and gets a backhander off. Anderson flops and kicks the shot out.
4:21: Malkin brings the puck up ice, swoops into the corner, cuts inside Karlis Skrastins and gets a shot on net. Anderson knocks it away with his stick.
2:15: Fleury gets awawy with playing the puck in the "no-play" zone. He leaves it alone and Weiss steals it off him.
2:06: Fleury's mistake leads to another goal. Booth rips a wrister from the near boards. It hits Fleury in the chest and he bobbles the rebound. Weiss jumps on it and backhands it by Fleury. Bad rebound, bad coverage by the defense and a bad goal. Panthers 3-1.
1:36: Maxime Talbot gets away with a trip on Anderson.
0:00: End of period. Panthers 3, Penguins 1.
-Paul Steigerwald just all too casually throws out the fact that Ty Conklin has been in net for all three of the Penguins' wins this season against the Panthers.
-The Penguins are getting out-shot 19-9.
-That was about as sloppy of a period we can remember the Penguins having in quite a while.
-During that Hockey 101 segment Errey does, he mentions that the NHL originally had six teams, or the "Original Six." That's one of the biggest lies that is constantly perpetuated on NHL fans. It sounds neat to call them "original" but it should be called the "surviving six." Mainly due to the Great Depression and World War II, teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, the original Ottawa Senators and the New York Americans simply couldn't afford to stay in business.
-The site of Ty Conklin in the crease greets us coming back from commercial. It safe to say while he didn't get a great deal of help from his defense, Fleury was a train wreck that period.
16:26: Olli Jokinen whiffs on a one-timer but still manages to direct the puck on the net. It gets kicked out of the crease but McLean is able to backhand it back at the cage while falling down. The shot gets by Conklin who angrily sweeps the puck out of the cage. The Penguins are simply not working as hard as the Panthers. Panthers 4-1.
13:47: Coming back from commercial, we get some video of Marian Hossa skating in practice.
13:02: Horton gets called for something. Two minutes for the Penguins.
11:46: Whitney clangs a shot off the post.
11:10: Kris Letang has an opportunity in the slot. He hesitates and McLean is able to block it.
10:58: Gonchar slides a puck along the blue line to Letang in the high slot. Letang re-positions himself, winds up and throws a slapper on net. It appears to hit a stick and sneaks through Anderson's equipment for a goal. Panthers 4-2.
10:01: Pascal Dupuis blasts a slapper on net from the left wing. Anderson kicks it out.
9:31: Tyler Kennedy feeds the puck from the corner to Staal in the left faceoff circle. He fires a one-timer that Anderson punches away with his glove.
9:28: As the Panthers are called for a penalty, we go to commercial. A&L Motors is still playing that commercial with Colby Armstrong. They don't care if he's not with the team anymore. It's advertising gold. Either that or their tormenting Armstrong's fans.
8:27: There's apparently a problem with the scoreboard at the BankAtlantic Center in regards to the penalty times. The public address announcer is literally reading off the time remaining in the penalties. ("There is one minute remaining in the penalty.").
5:43: Malkin sneaks a pass to Crosby through traffic. Crosby tries to skate across the crease and get a backhanded shot off, but Anderson is able to force him into shooting it wide with a poke-check.
4:42: Booth drives into the corner with the puck and dishes a pass to Jokinen on the other side of the crease. Jokinen fires a shot but Conklin is there with a big save.
4:22: Kennedy plays the puck up ice and tries to pursue it but Skrastins pins him against the boards. No call.
3:13: Crosby controls the puck behind the net and dishes it to Letang who is sneaking in from the point. Letang snaps a shot on net but it hits the post.
1:42: Dupuis streaks down the left side and centers the puck. Sykora tries to one-time it but misses the puck. Talbot follows up on the play and gets the the shot off. Anderson is able to cover it up and stop play.
1:31: Errey compares Booth to Pavel Bure. Uh... not quite.
0:45: Horton takes the puck and tries to split the defense. Both Letang and Gill both hold him up and impede his progress. Amazingly nothing is called. It's an awful non-call.
0:00: End of period. Panthers 4, Penguins 2.
-Florida is out-shooting the Penguins 29-19.
16:47: Jay Bouwmeester puts a Heimlich maneuver on Crosby behind the Panthers net. No call.
15:06: As Montador is sent to the box for slashing, Steigerwald reads a promo for the Ticketmaster exchange program the Penguins work with that is essentially Ticketmaster's own scalping service. Steigerwald mentions it's "Penguins-Approved." Translation: The Penguins and/or Ticketmaster get a piece of the marked-up action on the re-sold tickets.
12:22: Orpik fires a one-timer from the point. It appears to hit Bryan Allen who is stunned by the shot and falls.
11:47: Jokinen comes down the left side and fires a big slapper. Conklin eats it up.
11:20: Dupuis tips a puck out of the Penguins zone and is pinned against the boards. No call.
8:58: Magnus Johansson throws a shot on net. It gets tipped but Conklin is able to keep track of it and gobbles up the puck.
5:05: Laraque makes a bad giveaway in the offensive zone. Booth takes the puck and races through the Penguins defense. Before he can get a shot off, Letang trips him up and both players crash into the boards. Letang says something in English as he's called for a penalty. Why is Laraque on the ice when the team is down two goals with just over five minutes left?
5:04: Is it us or do they seemingly sell advertising for just about every single situation in a game? We're talking about things like the Subway Sandwich of the Game. Now they have the Edward Jones Make Sense play of the game which was Ty Conklin poke-checking a puck out of the slot. At this rate, you're going to have the Noxema Faceoff of the game.
3:50: Shorthanded, Whitney fires a shot that gets partially blocked on it's way to the net, but Anderson is still forced to make a toe save on.
3:30: Johansson is called for holding Malkin. Four-on-four for 25 seconds.
3:05: Letang's penalty expires.
2:17: Malone slides the puck into the slot to Whitney. Whitney shoots but Anderson stops it. Malkin and Crosby both jab at the rebound but Anderson's not having it.
1:30: Johansson's penalty expires.
1:01: Conklin is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:51: Allen picks up a loose puck in the neutral zone and fires a laser for one of us. Letang sweeps it out of the cage in anger. Panthers 5, Penguins 2.
0:00: End of period. Panthers 5, Penguins 2.
-As the Panthers skated off the ice, Kool And The Gang's "Celebration" is played:
-A hockey game is usually 60 minutes long. The Penguins only played roughly 25 minutes. That's why they lost.
-The Penguins were out-shot 42-27.
-David Booth is a very underrated player. It seemed like anytime there was a loose puck, he was around it.
-Booth wears No. 10. Guess who wore that last season for the Panthers.
-Gary Roberts hung with his buddy Joe Nieuwendyk during the game. Nieuwendyk is the special assistant to the general manager with the Panthers.
-Not including the one of us he scored in the Tampa Bay game, Malkin has gone without a point since Crosby returned from his injury.
-Anderson's shutout streak was the third longest in the Panthers' history.
-Jokinen, a much-noted Penguins killer, had two assists. Amazingly, they were the first points he had all season in against the Penguins.
-Jokinen had 10 shots on goal
-Somehow, Gill, Letang, Malkin and Malone all managed to come away as plus -1's in this game.
-Darryl Sydor and Dupuis were each minus -3.
-At some point during the game, the Malkin-Sykora-Malone line was broken up.
-The Penguins were beat 27-24 in the faceoff circle. We're pretty sure we heard Bob Grove on the post-game radio show say it was the 24th consecutive game they've been beaten in faceoffs.
-Staal was the only Penguin to win more faceoffs than he lost, 6-5.
-Michel Therrien called out the team's leadership after the game. Therrien said, "It's the leadership. Everyone has to come to the rink and battle right from the start. I'm starting to get concerned."
-Prior to the game, the Panthers paid tribute to the Dave Zenobi, the trainer who attended to Panthers forward Richard Zednik when he suffered a neck injury Feb. 10 in Buffalo.
THURSDAY'S ASSAULT IN THE NHL BROUGHT TO YOU BY NASHVILLE
We have no problem with Jodin Tootoo's hit on Aaron Miller. Obviously the intent was there to "deliver a message," whatever that means, but it was legal. Miller had just gotten rid of the puck and Tootoo didn't do anything wrong like leave his feet or lead with an elbow.
Our problem is how he put his stick down Luc Bourdon's throat. That's no different than when Jesse Boulerice cross-checked Ryan Kesler in the head back in October:
Boulerice was suspended 25 games for that. Why shouldn't Tootoo get a similar suspension?
Following Tootoo's hits on Miller and Bourdon, this game devolved into a pretty ugly mess:
Sami Salo and Daniel Sedin each had three assists for the Canucks in a 6-2 win.UPDATE:
THURSDAY'S THREAT OF MURDER BROUGHT TO YOU BY TAMPA BAY
We're still looking for the video, but Lightning goon and former Penguin Andre Roy actually made a throat-slashing gesture towards Flyers goon Riley Cote.
The incident happened following a pair of fights the two got into last night. The second bout saw Cote drop Roy pretty quickly.
Later in the game, Roy could be seen making his threat to Cote and was so emotional in doing it, Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella even had to restrain him.
Why are idiots like these two employed by the NHL?
Jeff Carter had two goals for the Flyers in a 3-2 win.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-2006-07 Penguins vs. 2007-08 Penguins. Who do you got?
-The Pensblog found two blogs devoted to Bob Errey:
-Errey Blog. A brilliant game-by-game break down of every stupid word that escapes Errey's mouth.
-Fake Bob Errey's Pickle Stabbings. Pretty self-explanatory.Atlantic Division
-The Flyers recalled forward Stefan Ruzicka from the AHL.
-What's up with the Bruins? After getting routed by the Capitals, 10-2, earlier in the week, they were romped again last night by Toronto, 8-2. Bryan McCabe had a goal and three assists for the Maple Leafs.
-Alex Kovalev had three assists while Carey Price made 37 saves for the Canadiens in a 4-2 win at Phoenix.
-Matt Cullen had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes in a 3-2 win against the Wild.
-Check out this cheap shot Aaron Voros laid out on Eric Staal.
-Why did the Thrashers fail this season?
-It's going to be a big night in Chicago tonight.
-Here's the video of Chicago's "Brave" Ben Eager in his "fight" against Ducks good George Parros two nights ago:
-The Blue Jackets signed forward Andrew Murray to a three-year contract extension.
-Jose Theodore made 27 saves for the Avalanche in a 1-0 shutout of the Ducks.
-Erik Ersberg claimed his first career win and shutout by making 40 saves for the Kings in a 2-0 win against the Senators.
-The NHL is back on ESPN, in Iran.