Too little, too late

Dec. 2, 2007

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The Penguins again play an incomplete game and lose in Toronto, 3-2.

PREGAME

-Dany Sabourin will start in net with Marc-Andre Fleury having started the night before.

-Sergei Gonchar didn't even fly up to Toronto with the team. He'll be replaced by Darryl Sydor again.

-Mark Recchi and Maxime Talbot will be scratched as well.

-Ryan Whitney needs a haircut.

-Vesa Toskala is in goal for the Maple Leafs.

FIRST PERIOD

16:04: What is about players getting their first goal of the season against the Penguins? Mark Bell is the latest player to get his first tally against Pittsburgh as he takes a pass from Mats Sundin and fires a quick one-timer by a stunned Sabourin. Maple Leafs 1-0.

15:28: Paul Steigerwald informs us that the Penguins are wearing their black "home" jerseys because the Maple Leafs want to wear their white "roads" for Hockey Night in Canada.

15:20: Petr Sykora is sent to the box for two minutes for tripping.

14:17: Tomas Kaberle jumps into the slot and fires a shot off a centering pass by Alexander Steen. Sabourin is able to make a nice save.

13:20: Sabourin clears the puck down the ice and the penalty expires.

9:59: Ha! During a morning skate with the Maple Leafs and Penguins, Maxime Talbot put on a Sidney Crosby jersey and waved to the crowd at Air Canada Center pretending to be the Penguins captain. Quality stuff. (Kudos to The Sidney Crosby Show for spotting the image.)

6:03: Bob Errey informs us that Ryan Malone turned 28 today. Holy Chelios. He's an old man on this team.

4:23: Bell tries to dump the puck into the Penguins zone but it hits off a Mark Shewchyk and bounces towards the net. Sabourin is alert and is able to keep it from going in the net.

2:11: Gary Roberts gets shoved from behind by Wade Belak and then runs into Alexei Ponikarovsky who drops along the boards. Roberts protests and gets another two minutes. The first penalty is bogus since Belak shoved him into Ponikarovsky, but Roberts should know better than to mouth off to an official.

0:45: Killing the penalty, Crosby steals the puck off Bryan "Turnover" McCabe. Trying to fend off Crosby, McCabe hold him up, but the Penguins captain still is able to get the puck down the ice. On a two-on-one with Malone, he feeds Malone who fans on the shot. A Leaf touches the puck and play is stopped. Showing very little regard for the Toronto power play, Therrien lobbies for a penalty shot. No dice. McCabe goes to the box for two minutes.

0:29: Evgeni Malkin trips up Ian White and puts the Leafs back on the power play.

0:00: End of period. Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 0.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-Toronto out shot the Penguins 14-9.

-Dan Potash tells us a little bit about Darren Lowe, the first black player in Penguins history.

-We did this "Around the NHL" segment Errey and Steigerwald offer with a few notes from around the league. Even with the NHL Network, which is only available to so many people, general NHL news is hard to come by in Pittsburgh, outside of this blog on the Post-Gazette's Web site we read every once in a while, there aren't a lot of quality sources for hockey news around here.

-Wow. Sundin has a point in all 15 homes games this season.

-Cecil "Babe" Dye is explained.

-The Leafs will get 1:06 of a four-on-three power play on clean ice.

SECOND PERIOD

19:01: Nikolai Antropov blasts a one-timer that hits a body and trickles into the crease. Bell is there to pounce on the rebound but Sabourin makes a sprawling save with his glove hand and bats away the puck.

18:43: McCabe's penalty expires and the Leafs will get a five-on-three power play for 15 seconds.

18:11: All the penalties expire and we're back to five-on-five.

17:59: Malkin leads a rush into the Toronto zone. He leaves a drop pass for Mark Eaton who misses the puck. As Eaton falls over, Jason Blake and Kyle Wellwood bears down on Sabourin on a two-on-none. Wellwood feeds a pass to Blake who beats a helpless Sabourin high. Therrien looks as if his dog used his bedspread as a toilet. Maple Leafs 2-0.

15:06: Crosby drives the puck through the neutral zone and is hauled down by Matt Stajan. The Penguins get their first power play of the night.

13:35: Whitney bombs a slapshot from the top of the slot but Antropov shows a lot of guts and gets down to block the shot.

11:17: Crosby fires a shot high on net and is then tripped up in the crease by Toskala. The Penguins go back on the power play.

9:53: Roberts and McCabe each go the box again for matching minors.

7:29: Fighting for a loose puck, Jordan Staal knocks down Chad Kilger and gets two minutes for hooking.

5:51: McCabe fires a snap shot on net that deflects off Antropov and past Sabourin. "Shockingly," the Penguins defense allowed him to sit in the slot relatively untouched. A brief replay confirms the goal. Maple Leafs 3-0.

4:23: McCabe is trying to match Roberts for the penalty crown in this game seemingly. He wraps up McCabe behind the net and is sent to the box.

0:00: End of period. Maple Leafs 3, Penguins 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-We're going to go out on a limb here and guess Sergei Gonchar is kind of key to the Penguins power play. It's 0-for-3 tonight so far and it was 0-for-2 the night before.

-Toronto is out-shooting the Penguins 27-20.

-No shot of Mike Yeo before the third period. Disappointment.

THIRD PERIOD

15:16: Jarkko Ruutu pretty much jumps onto Toskala and is sent to the box for goaltender intereference.

14:18: Malkin picks up a loose puck and rushes it through the neutral zone into the Toronto zone. He tries to split the defense and gets tripped up. He still manages to get a shot on net but Toskala made the save.

13:20: Toskala's not losing this game. Malone steals the puck off White and comes in on a breakaway. Malone fires a wrister but Toskala punches it away with his glove.

11:45: Armstrong steals the puck and forces it into the offensive zone and sends a centering pass towards the crease. It hits off Malone's leg deflects over Toskala's right shoulder. A replay confirms the goal. Maple Leafs 3-1.

4:47: Sydor appears to get away with an interference call on Antropov.

4:23: A Steigerwald explains that Penguins European scout Paul Kelly wanted to draft Nikolai Antropov in 1998, he tells us Kelly pounded the table when they selected Milan Kraft, one of the Penguins' biggest busts ever. Errey adds, "I'd be pounding the table too."

3:13: It's now or never for the Penguins. Sundin hooks Sykora and is sent to the box for two minutes.

2:05: The Penguins get another junky goal and pull within one. Christensen centers a pass into the crease. It hits Toskala's stick and rolls up his body and over him. It's really freaky bounce, but the Penguins will take it. Maple Leafs, 3-2.

1:20: With a faceoff in the Toronto zone, Therrien pulls Sabourin then calls a timeout.

1:11: Crosby centers a pass into the crease and McCabe simply jumps on the puck and covers it for a stoppage. We hate to keep beating a dead horse, but that should be a delay of game penalty.

1:09: Sundin actually wins the faceoff but unintentionally fires it on his own net. Toskala stops the puck but Malone tries to pounce on the rebound and fires it wide.

0:58: Ponikarovsky brings the puck up through the neutral zone and fires the puck in for one of us. Maple Leafs 4-2.

0:00: End of period. As the horn sounds, Kris Letang or Tyler Kennedy tries to fight Steen who won't dance. A scrum ensues and is quietly broken up. Maple Leafs 4, Penguins 2.

POSTGAME

-We don't know if it was because they played the night before, but they looked pretty sluggish last night. Just like the Stars and Thrashers earlier this week, the Penguins didn't look interested in playing.

-Toskala played huge by stopping 30 shots.

-The Leafs won the shot battle out-shooting the Penguins 41-32. Yeesh???

-Why does it feel like the Penguins will regret this loss somewhere down the road.

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights.

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-A little more information on Maxime Talbot's practical joke.

-Will the Penguins regret trading away Daniel Carcillo?

-Shootout goals by Jeff Taffe, Mark Letestu and Ryan Stone gave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 2-1 win at Hershey.

-Ryan Nie made 21 saves and led Johnstown to a 3-0 shutout of the Wheeling Nailers.

-The Buffalo News has some information concerning the AARP Winter Classic.

Atlantic Division

-Brendan Shanahan scored two goals and led the Rangers to a 5-2 win in Ottawa. The Senators have lost six consecutive games.

-In a shocking development, it turns out another Flyer, Riley Cote, went after another opponent's head. You can see the hit in this video at roughly 35 seconds in.

Northeast Division

-Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and two assists as the Sabres routed the Hurricanes, 8-1.

-Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson offered a pretty frank assessment of his team's losing streak.

Southeast Division

-League-leading scorer Vincent Lecavalier had two goals and an assist for the Lightning in a 4-1 win against the Bruins.

-Alexander Ovechkin's 20th goal of the season gave the Capitals a 2-1 win at Florida.

-Keri Lehtonen made 33 saves in his first game back from a groin injury and led the Thrashers to a 4-0 shutout of the Islanders.

Central Division

-Lee Stempniak's two goals helped the Blues beat the Blackhawks, 3-1.

-Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings who edged the Coyotes, 3-2.

-Shootout goals by Radek Bonk and Martin Erat lifted the Predators to a 5-4 win in Montreal.

-Curtis Glencross had two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, for the Blue Jackets in a 4-3 win at Calgary. Former Penguins center Kris Beech scored his first goal of the season for Columbus.

-Red Wings scout Mark Howe says the NHL is boring. Howe, a former Flyers defenseman, is the son of Red Wings legend Gordie Howe.

-Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson, Andreas Lilja, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall, a Swedes, are allegedly pushing their team to acquire fellow countryman Mats Sundin from Toronto.

Pacific Division

-Marty Turco made a whopping 17 saves for the Stars in a 4-1 win in Philadelphia.

-The Coyotes recalled forward Bill Thomas, a Pittsburgh native, from San Antonio of the AHL

Northwest Division

-Ryan Smyth's two goals helped the Avalanche claim a 5-2 win at Los Angeles.

-The Oilers officially activated forward Fernando Pisani from injured reserve. He had missed the first 26 games of the season due to Ulcerative Colitis.

Norris Division

-Prior to the Penguins-Maple Leafs game last night, Elliotte Friedman had a pretty good piece on hockey bloggers:

-A Zamboni ice resurfacing machine caught fire in Aston, Pa. and forced a rink to be evacuated.

-Today's "Scoring Is Down" article is brought to you by Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News.

-Today's "Small Markets Should Shut Up" article is brought you shockingly by a New York paper.



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