Double trouble

Dec. 14, 2007

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This picture kind of sums everything up.

Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza score two goals apiece for the Senators in a 4-2 defeat of the Penguins.

PREGAME

-The Penguins will dress seven defenseman tonight.

-Erik Christensen is the only healthy scratch for the Penguins.

-Jeff Jimerson. Anthems. Ear drums blown out.

-We'd like to point out the piece of trash that sat in Section D-7, Row C, Seat 10 who was apparently too cool to be bothered to take his Yankees hat (with the flat bill) off during the national anthems. Following the anthems, we yelled at this ignorant jerk (we so wish we could use vulgarities in EN sometimes), "Thanks for taking your hat off 'Mattingly!'" During the first intermission he got up to go get something to eat (in the coolest way possible we assume). We began yelling at him again calling him "A-Rod" and "Jeter." He turned around, uttered a slur and sat down. He got up again, stomped out (again, in the coolest way possible) and never returned to his seat. If we had anything to do with making his night so bereft of joy that he decided to leave the game, we are proud of our efforts.

FIRST PERIOD

17:30: Bryan McGrattan and Georges Laraque decide to dance. This is a rematch from their bout on Nov. 22. Laraque reaches out, grabs McGrattan, pulls him in and pounds him with a few punches. They wrestle to the ice with Laraque falling on McGrattan. The Senators goon then leaves the ice with what appears to be a shoulder injury. Some ignorant fan in what appeared to be a Malkin jersey leans over the railing overlooking the ramp to the Ottawa locker room and yells at McGrattan. That's a pretty pretty classless move in our book. We don't care if he got hurt in a fight. You don't ridicule someone for getting hurt regardless of the circumstances. If Daniel Alfredsson got hurt driving to the net, you wouldn't give him grief over it would you?

McGrattan needs to quit trying to fight Laraque. He was injured the last time the went at it.

15:01: Evgeni Malkin steals a puck off Joe Corvo in the Penguins zone. He pushed it into the Senators zone and feeds Petr Sykora in the slot. His shot is denied by a fine leg save by Martin Gerber.

4:05: Sidney Crosby steals the puck off Chris Neil in the neutral zone, bears down on net and lets loose with a slap shot that Gerber easily kicks away.

2:35: Crosby leaves a drop pass for Armstrong and a two-on-one develops against Chris Phillips. With the passing lane cut off, Armstrong elects to shoot. His shot is stopped by Gerber's left arm and deflects out of play.

0:17: Jarkko Ruutu forces Corvo into a turnover. Crosby picks the loose puck and fires another slapper. Gerber knocks it down and covers to stop play.

0:00: End of a pretty ho-hum period. Penguins 0, Senators 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-The Penguins dominated the shot battle, 13-5.

-There's something about obnoxious people at the game this night. (We sooooo wish we could swear in EN.) The two idiots from the Variety 96 morning show are doing the in-game entertainment. (Yes, we know it hasn't been Variety 96 for 10 years at least. We're just venting.)

-Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard's sick shootout goal against Chicago last season is shown:

(We don't show nearly enough foreign language highlights.)

-The "big three" tracker that usually shows the period-by-period stats of Crosby, Malkin and Jordan Staal has been altered. The struggling Staal has been replaced by Laraque. Ouch.

-Dan Potash does a piece on the Christmas stockings the players' wives and girlfriends made for charity. Our personal favorite is Christensen's. Who gives out Slayer t-shirts for Christmas?

SECOND PERIOD

19:26: Staal, seemingly incensed, by his exclusion from the "big three" tracker, thumps Wade Redden to the ice juuuuusst after the whistle.

11:21: Kris Letang steals the puck off Daniel Alfredsson in the Penguins zone. Ryan Malone picks it up and pushes into the neutral zone. Crosby grabs a hold of the puck and generates a breakaway. He bears down on Gerber and goes five-hole. Gerber closes the door and freezes the puck. Crosby bangs his stick along the boards in frustration.

10:28: Nick Foligno clips Rob Scuderi in the face. Two minutes.

9:43: Sergei Gonchar one-times a puck and misses the net. It doesn't miss Crosby's left foot and drops the Penguins captain. He limps to the bench in pain. Laraque tries to beat up Gonchar.

7:11: Cotton candy heeeee!!!! Cotton candy heeee!!!

5:31: Malkin sneaks the puck around Corvo just inside the blue line and fires a wrister from the left faceoff circle. Gerber makes the save, but Tyler Kennedy grabs the rebound, switches to the backhand and lifts a shot into the net. Song 2 by Blur. Penguins 1-0.

3:43: Andrej Meszaros sends a pass from the point to the left boards where Dany Heatley unleashes a spectacular one-timer that beats Sabourin five-hole. That was a special shot by Heatley. Penguins 1, Senators 1.

1:08: Crosby tries to push the puck by Corvo and jumping around him but he ends up getting the shaft of his stick under Corvo's jaw. The fans boo but sorry, that's a penalty. Two minutes.

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

SECOND INTERMISSION

-The Senators will have 51 seconds of power-play time on clean ice.

-The Penguins are out-shooting the Senators, 20-17.

THIRD PERIOD

19:33: Shorthanded, Staal drives the puck to the net, gets around Redden and fires a shot right into Gerber's stomach.

18:58: Crosby's penalty end, he jumps out of the box and steals a pass by Daniel Alfredsson, He chips it into the neutral zone, skates by Chris Phillips and generates yet another breakaway. Crosby tries to go five-hole again, but Gerber's not having it. No goal.

15:45: You know Sergei Gonchar must be 100 percent healthy. He takes his first hooking penalty since returning from his groin injury.

14:17: Christoph Schubert fires a slapper from the point that hits the post. The rebound kicks out behind Sabourin and Jason Spezza is able to slide it into the open cage. Alfredsson gets his 800th career assist on the goal. Senators 2-1.

12:18: Crosby sends a pass to Kennedy in the slot. Kennedy sneaks in and goes to the backhand. Gerber says, "No."

10:12: Staal is smashed behind the Ottawa net by Schubert. It's about the third time Staal has been dumped by a Senators player.

8:41: Sykora takes a really stupid penalty and hits Meszaros from behind into the boards. What a dangerous play. Michel Therrien reacts as if someone keyed his car.

8:22: Corvo snaps a shot from the point that clinks off the post.

7:41: Corvo winds up and blasts a loose puck again from the point. This one also hits the post. The pucks trickles in the crease behind Sabourin and Heatley pokes it in. At this point, lots of fans begin to leave their seats. Weak. Senators 3-1.

6:06: Gary Roberts backhands a pass from the corner into the slot. Staal tries to bang it past Gerber but the Senators goaltender kicks it out. Gerber's not losing this game.

0:58: A shot by Kennedy deflects into the netting and stops play. Therrien calls a time out and pulls Sabourin for an extra attacker.

0:48: A shot by Letang is blocked. Spezza picks it up in his own zone and fires a shot form the neutral zone for one of us. Senators 4-1.

0:00: End of Game. Senators 4, Penguins 1.

POSTGAME

-Best jersey we saw: Perhaps the finest jersey we ever seen at Mellon Arena was a "Sudden Death" jersey complete with "Van Damme" and "11" on the back. The owner of this masterpiece told us he bought it at a Goodwill store several years ago.

-Second best jerseys we saw: Ron Francis Wales Conference All-Star, Mario Lemieux Eastern Conference All-Star, Ken Wregget, Ulf Samuelsson, Sidney Crosby Team Canada, and Kevin Stevens white and black.

-Michel Therrien tinkered with the lines all night, so we're not even going to attempt to tell you who played with who.

-Crosby matched a career-high with nine shots on goal. Kennedy was second on the Penguins with five shots.

-The Senators dominated the faceoff battle, 33-17.

-Gerber played like an all-star.

-Sabourin played OK. He didn't dominate, but he played well enough for the Penguins to win.

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights:

WE HATE THE NEW JERSEYS

We haven't spread any ill will towards the Reebok Edge-Super-Duper-Mega-Ultra-Awesome-Humungo-Women-Will-Want-You Uniform System jerseys lately, so this item had us salivating.

These are the official postgame notes on the Capitals Web site from their 5-4 overtime win against the Rangers Wednesday.

"Autumn Sweaters - Given the choice to return to using the same fabric that was used in hockey sweaters prior to this season rather than the ultra-hyped "uniform systems" that were introduced league-wide prior to this season, every single member of the Caps went with last year's fabric. Wednesday night marked the first time the new (old) sweater fabric was made available, and every member of the Caps had the new model sweater with the old fabric hanging in his locker prior to the game."

The Capitals are even making fun off these train wrecks in official releases! What a disaster.

-We guess Alexander Ovechkin won't be able to make one-timers happen way more than once anymore:

-We even hate the new jerseys in French:

YOU FIGURE OUT A BETTER WAY TO USE "HEXAKOSIOIHEXEKONTAHEXAPHOBIA" IN A HEADLINE

-Miroslav Satan picked up an assist for the Islanders in 3-2 defeat of the Coyotes. He is now four points away from 666 in his career and the end of the world. With a pretty good game, he could turn the trick against the Penguins Saturday.

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-Marc-Andre Fleury wants to shoot himself.

-Don't plan on buying that Curtis Joseph jersey anytime soon.

-St. Francis Central Hospital is finally going to be torn down.

-Mike Lange t-shirts are now available. Michael Michael Motorcycle. Buy Sam Drink And Get His Dog One Too. It's A Hockey Night In Pittsburgh.

-We personally think an "Arnold Slick From Turtle Crick" t-shirt should be included.

-Penguins prospect Angelo Esposito was cut from Canada's World Junior Championship roster.

-Random Internet surfing find of the day: What the heck is up with Jaromir Jagr's face in this picture?

-Given the absurdity of Tuesday's game in Philadelphia, we failed to properly acknowledge the troops in Kosovo watching the game that night. Kukla's Korner didn't fail however.

Atlantic Division

-Jamie Langenbrunner scored two goals and led the Devils to a 3-1 win in Boston. Approximately only 1,500 people showed up at this game due to a major snowstorm in Boston. During pre-game introductions, show could be seen falling into the arena.

-During a 5-4 overtime loss in Washington Wednesday, Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr screamed at defenseman Michal Roszival.

"And while Renney was addressing reporters, a fed-up Jaromir Jagr and assistant coach Perry Pearn were engaging in a sometimes-heated strategy discussion outside the dressing room. That was after Jagr came to the bench at the end of a shift with 4:10 left in regulation, screamed at struggling defenseman Michal Rozsival for not getting the puck to him early enough and then slumped on the corner of the bench until called to take the first shift of overtime."

-The Flyers signed forward Mike Richards to a humungous 12-year deal. Rick DiPietro unimpressed.

-The Islanders recalled forward Tim Jackman from Bridgeport of the AHL. They sent down forward Jeff Tambellini in his place.

Northeast Division

-Mark Streit's two goals helped the Canadiens claim a 4-1 win in Philadelphia.

-Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen skated with his teammates for the first time since having heart surgery less than three months ago.

-Life is a little bit easier for Maple Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe these days.

-The Canadiens called up forward Sergei Kostitsyn from Hamilton of the AHL. He is the older brother of forward Andrei Kostitsyn. They are the 13th pair of brothers to suit up for the Habs all-time.

Southeast Division

-Tomas Vokoun made 33 saves and picked up his 24th career shutout as the Panthers edged the Blues, 1-0.

-Hurricanes forward Scott Walker received a one-game suspension for head-butting Senators forward Mike Fisher Wednesday.

-It looks like the Thrashers staged a pretty funny "tribute" to the New England Patriots when the Boston Bruins were in town Wednesday night:

-We bet Bill Belichick tries to schedule the Thrashers next season in order to run the score up on them.

(Kudos to AOL's Kevin Schultz for spotting that.)

Central Division

-A court battle between a drug benefit company and its stockholders may result in $400,000 dollars of Predators tickets going to needy for free. There's a joke in there somewhere.

Northwest Division

-What in the world happened in Tampa Bay last night? Kristian Huselius and Dion Phaneuf each had five-point nights for the Flames in a wild 9-6 win at Tampa Bay. Huselius and Jarome Iginla each recorded hat tricks. Vincent Levavalier, Shane O'Brien, Vaclav Prospal and Martin St. Louis all had three point nights for the Lightning. Former Penguins goon Andre Roy even picked up a goal for Tampa Bay.

-Ales Hemsky's shootout goal gave the Oilers a 4-3 win in Detroit.

-Peter Budaj made 30 saves for the Avalanche in a tight 2-1 win in Nashville.

-Alberta tycoon Daryl Katz is trying to buy the Oilers again.

Pacific Division

-Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist for the Sharks in a 5-2 win against the Sharks.

-The Stars got two goals from Mike Ribeiro and beat the Kings, 4-1.

-Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer says he's ready to play.

-Willie O'Ree, the first black man to play in the NHL, was hanging with Snoop Dogg Wednesday night:

-Former Kings/Canucks/Rangers goaltender Dan Cloutier isn't doing too well down in the AHL.

Smythe Division

-According to Jim Kelley of Sports Illustrated, Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn made a plea at the recent board of governors meetings to open up the game to make it, you know, fun to watch. Devils general manager/overlord Lou Lamoriello and Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs basically told him to shut up. Because boring defensive hockey is awesome.

-The IIHF and its member associations and leagues will re-open its transfer agreement with the NHL.



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