Islanders dread Kennedy

Dec. 16, 2007

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Tyler Kennedy scores a career-high three points and leads the Penguins to a 3-2 win on Long Island.

-We tried to make a Dead Kennedys reference with the headline. Did it work?

-Erik Christensen (neck) and Sergei Gonchar (flu) are scratched.

-Freddy Meyer and Bryan Berard are scratched for the Islanders.

-Connor James, who was just called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, is inserted into the lineup.

-Dan Potash says we can't blame Tyler Kennedy if he has a huge smile on his face because the last time he played on Long Island, he scored his first career goal. That's fine, but who do we blame for his huge nostrils?

FIRST PERIOD

17:12: Marc-Andre Bergeron suffers a brain cramp and plays the puck from the corner off the side of his own net. It bounces out into the right faceoff circle. Rick DiPietro jumps out of the crease and tries to play it but he runs into Bergeron. The puck caroms into the slot where Sidney Crosby sweeps it into an empty cage. It's the definition of a junk goal, but it counts the same. A healthy cheer for the Penguins can be heard. Penguins 1-0.

15:11: FSN gives us a glimpse of tonight's line combinations:

Forwards

Malone-Crosby-Armstrong

Sykora-Malkin-Laraque

Roberts-Staal-Kennedy

Ruutu-Hall-James

Defensemen

Eaton-Scuderi

Orpik-Whitney

Sydor-Letang

14:44: Georges Laraque centers a pass from behind the net into the crease. Sykora grabs the puck and snaps a shot that DiPietro makes a fine leg save on.

14:37: Miroslav Satan pushes the puck up into the offensive zone and Paul Steigerwald says, "And Satan comes back for the Devil... uh.. heh, heh... the Islanders." Steigerwald explains that he was talking about Satan earlier in the day and made the same mistake and how his name looks like, "You know who. S-A-T-A-N." No Paul, it doesn't look like it. It is it. Errey then astutely points out that the prince of darkness is four points away from 666 in his career.

13:32: Crosby slides a pass to Ryan Whitney in the slot. Whitney fires a backhander that rings off the post.

13:25: Brooks Oprik grabs a loose puck at the point and slides it along to Whitney at the left boards. He then sneaks a shot off the skate of Brendan Witt that gets past DiPietro. Penguins 2-0.

11:10: We get our first decent look at Connor James on the ice. Our immediate reaction is bewilderment that they would let someone else wear Andre Roy's number.

10:03: Shorthanded, former Penguin Richard Park pushes the puck into the Penguins zone. He sends a cross-ice pass to Bruno Gervais who unleashes a wrister. Dany Sabourin is able to come up with a solid blocker save.

7:47: Somewhere along the line, equipment manager Dana Heinze must've been a Boy Scout. He's always prepared. Potash explains to us that he always has 54 different jerseys available for road games incase someone like James is called up from the minors. We'll never accuse Heinze of not being ready.

6:47: For anyone who may wonder if Kris Letang is physical enough to make it in the NHL, he just answered your questions. He absolutely dumps Mike Sillinger while chasing for a loose puck in the corner.

5:39: Andy Sutton slams Jordan Staal behind the net and is called for roughing. On the delayed penalty, Gary Roberts shoves Sutton in the back. Sutton responds by punching Roberts in the face. Momentarily stunned, Roberts (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) responds by dropping his gloves and inviting the much larger Sutton (6-foo-6, 245) to a fight. Sutton has the immediate advantage with his reach and peppers Roberts with rabbit punches as the Penguin forward tries to get inside. The fight dies down a bit and the officials step in to break it up but Roberts breaks loose from Sutton's grip and socks him with three solid punches to the side of the head, wrestles the giant down and pounds him once more. What else can you say about Gary Roberts? He's the Wyatt Freaking Earp of the NHL. Roberts does go to the locker room for an equipment problem following the scuffle.

During the fight, they played "Fight For Your Right" by the Beastie Boys:

Solid.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Islanders 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-As Dan Potash segue ways to a piece about Rob Scuderi, we see Ryan Whitney in the background attempting to burn down the door to the visitor's locker room. Either that or he's adjusting the blade on his stick with a blow torch.

-Scuderi's a native of Long Island. He's wearing a New York Jets hat during his interview with Potash. That's unfortunate.

-We get the Mike Yeo shot right before the second period tonight. Perhaps that was to make amends for not using him at all Thursday night against Ottawa.

SECOND PERIOD

16:56: Chris Simon fires a wrister that Scuderi blocks. Scuderi immediately feels the effects of it and begins to limp.

16:47: Bergeron fires another shot that hits Scuderi in his other leg.

16:21: Scuderi, still limping, blocks another shot by Simon

16:10: Park is dumped by Scuderi in front of the net and gets two minutes. He limps to the penalty box which he can barely enter. He leaves the box and leaves the ice. He will not return for the rest of the night.

15:03: Bill Guerin fires a wrister from the slot. Sabourin makes the initial save and Comrie pushes it to the other side of the crease. Park is able to punch in the loose puck to an empty net. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 2-1.

14:18: Josef Vasicek gets the puck and enters the offensive zone on a two-one-one with Satan. Vasicek deals it to Satan. Orpik commits to Satan and leaves Vasicek open. Satan deals it back to Vasicek who re-directs the puck past Sabourin. Stop us if this sounds familiar, but the Penguins have given up another two-goal lead on Long Island. Satan is now three points away from 666. Islanders 2, Penguins 2.

7:27: Ryan Malone chops at a loose puck near DiPietro. Sean Bergenheim takes exception and shoulders Malone away. Behind the play, Crosby can be seen giving Witt a jab. Witt responds by trying to tombstone Crosby. Whitney and Malone jump to Crosby's aid and a scrum ensues. Whitney, Vasicek and Witt each go off for roughing. The Penguins end up with a power play.

5:44: With the puck in the left faceoff circle, Staal makes a move around Bruno Gervais and fires a shot into DiPietro's equipment. Staal then jams the rebound across the crease where Kennedy is able to punch it into an empty net. Penguins 3-2.

3:01: Radek Martinek wrap his hands around Crosby's shoulders and hauls him down. The official holds up his hand for the penalty. Martinek holds up his hands like O.J.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Islanders 2.

SECOND PERIOD

-The Penguins are dominating the shot totals, 31-16.

-That Pepsi Max "yawning" commercial is getting old. Fast.

Bring back the Cindy Crawford Pepsi commercial:

-Paul Alexander, who looks like he slept on his hair wrong, only messes up one name tonight. But we'll give him a pass. Fredrik Sjostrom, which is pronounced "Shoo-Strom" comes out "Show-Strom."

-Mike Yeo is getting a lot of face-time tonight. This time Potash interviews the legend himself.

THIRD PERIOD

16:44: Crosby bears down on the net and flicks a pass to Malone in the slot. Malone tries to punch it in, but DiPietro is able to make a marvelous save with his right leg.

14:29: Letang slams another Islander into the boards in his own end. This time Sean Bergenheim is the victim.

13:07: One of Sabourin's favorite goaltenders as a kid was Bill Ranford. Awesome.

9:14: Crosby swoops around Martinek and backhands a shot on net. The puck rises and strikes DiPietro in the neck and stuns him. DiPietro grabs the puck and freezes it.

7:39: From the corner, Roberts backhands a pass to Staal in the slot. Staal fires a shot that DiPietro eats up.

6:49: Connor James get introduced to the NHL. He tries to skate by Andy Sutton with the puck and gets smeared along the boards by the giant defenseman.

5:54: The puck goes out of play near the teams benches. Tim Jackman gets bumped by Jarkko Ruutu and the two exchange pleasantries. As the officials try to separate them, Simon comes to the bench and slew foots Ruutu. The Penguins forward falls to the ice and Simon stomps Ruutu's foot with his skate. Unbelievable. This is the same piece of trash that was suspended 25 games last season for trying to lumberjack Ryan Hollweg of the Rangers in the face. He got 25 games and he still is trying to injure players. He's had a total of six suspensions during his career. Simon should be suspended at least 26 games. This isn't a hockey thing. It's a society thing. You don't try to injure people in most walks of life. Furthermore, Simon is kicked out of the game for intent to injure and the Islanders will be on a five-minute penalty kill. This thug decided he was more important than his team by doing this.

3:20: The Islanders clear the puck, and Mike Sillinger is all alone with the puck behind the Penguins defense. He bears down on the net and fires high completely missing the goal. What a breakdown by the Penguins.

2:17: This power play has been a disaster. Park fires a loose puck that Sabourin has to quickly swat a way with his blocker.

2:03: Park and Comrie try to jam a puck past Sabourin. Just as the Penguins cover it, Martinek tries to Oklahoma drill it into the net, but Sabourin holds his ground.

1:07: Chris Campoli blasts a one-timer that Sabourin makes a nice save on.

0:54: The penalty expires and DiPietro leaves the net. The Islanders are now the team with an extra man.

0:19: Letang tries to hit Adam Hall with a pass and the puck leaves play. Ted Nolan calls timeout.

0:00: End of game. That was close. Penguins 3, Islanders 2.

POSTGAME

-Following the debacle that was the five-minute "power play" in the third period, the Penguins had a players-only meeting after the game.

-While watching the game live at work where we have Comcast, the video feed went haywire. Right after Roberts' fight, it's was completely choppy or completely black. The last five minutes of the broadcast were unwatchable. We reviewed the game for EN at home on our DVR we have through DirecTV and the broadcast was spotless. This is further proof that Comcast is total garbage. All they know how to do is take your money. We hate to endorse DirecTV and give them free advertising, but seriously, if you can, get rid of Comcast.

-EN reader Ann Vrabel of Baltimore watched the game through Center Ice and got the Islanders broadcast. She told us that when Simon attacked Ruutu, the Islanders announcers were even perturbed by the scene. When your hometown announcing team calls you out, you know it's bad.

-After Simon's attack, Steigerwald made a reference to former Penguins defenseman Peter Popovic. Insane.

-Witt felt he was short-changed when he received a penalty after getting into a scrum with Crosby:

"'Crosby and I are shoving each other,' Witt said. 'I got cross-checked four times. It's one thing to even it out, but for [Crosby] to come out with nothing doesn't surprise me. He's going to get a lot of calls that way. I voiced my opinion to the referee. He thought I was playing him too tough. There's no liberties for special guys. The same rules apply... I thought we should have both went.'"

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights:

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-If you can't get tickets to the AARP Energy Classic in Buffalo this season, the Flyers of all teams may be your saving grace. Philadelphia is pursing the idea of hosting an outdoor game next season at Penn State's Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley against the Penguins. (First note at the bottom of the article.) In case you're wondering, that stadium holds 107,282.

-We bet Joe Paterno will let them play there in exchange for seven home games. (That joke doesn't really make sense, but we tried to force it in there anyway.)

-Sergei Gonchar is pretty good on the power play.

-Sidney Crosby said he'd like to fight Flyers goaltender Martin Biron.

-Jonathan Filewich and Chris Minard each scored two goals for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in an 8-1 rout at Albany.

-David Laliberte had a goal and an assist for the Wheeling Nailers in a 3-2 win against Cincinnati.

Atlantic Division

-Flyers coach John Steven might not be the most orange pumpkin in the patch.

-As unlikable as Rangers forward Sean Avery might seem, he did something pretty cool for Rangers fans last week.

Northeast Division

-Alex Auld made 32 saves in the Bruins' 2-0 shutout of the Blue Jackets.

Thomas Vanek had a goal and an assist for the Sabres in a 3-1 defeat of the Blackhawks.

-Saku Koivu had two goal and led the Canadiens to a 4-1 win against the rival Maple Leafs.

-Antoine Vermette had a goal and two assists and sparked the Senators in a 7-3 trouncing of the Thrashers.

-Toronto defenseman Bryan McCabe broke his hand in the loss to Montreal. He will be out at least six weeks.

-Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, a former Penguin, is trying to get the NHLPA to be more eco-friendly:

Another former Penguins player doing some good work off the ice is Canadiens forward Alexei Kovalev. He's helping kids with heart problems. (The article is translated from French so it might be a little sketchy.)

Southeast Division

-Rod Brind'Amour scored a fluky shootout goal and gave the Hurricanes a 6-5 win at Philadelphia. Flyers forward, who had a hat trick against Pittsburgh Tuesday, picked up another against Carolina.

Tomas Fleischmann and Brian Pothier each had a goal and an assist for the Capitals in a 3-2 win at Tampa Bay.

Central Division

-Valterri Filppula scored the first regular season penalty shot goal for the Red Wings since 1992 and helped Detroit claim a 5-2 win against the Panthers.

-Despite enjoying the best season in franchise history, the Blue Jackets are struggling at the gate. Hmm... You don't suppose having Ken Hitchcock and his boring style of hockey in town might have something to do with that do you? Hitchcock is a winner, there's not disputing that, but his brand of hockey is brutal to watch.

-Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says making the trade for Andy McDonald was a great move for the Blues.

Northwest Division

-Peter Budaj's 31 saves lifted the Avalanche to a 3-1 win against the Predators.

-Fernando Pisani scored the winning goal in Edmonton's 2-1 shootout win against the Canucks.

-Josh Harding's 35 saves helped the Wild claim a 2-1 win in Los Angeles.

Pacific Division

-Martin Hanzal had a goal and three assists for the Coyotes in a 4-1 win in New Jersey.

-The Stars got a goal and an assist each from Brendan Morrow and Mike Ribiero in a 4-2 win at San Jose.

-Scott Niedermayer was officially added to Anaheim's roster.

-The Ducks recalled forward Bobby Ryan, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft after this guy, from Portland of the AHL.

-Check out this hit Kings forward John Zeiler, a Pittsburgh native, laid out on Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley Thursday:



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