Garbage night

Jan. 30, 2008

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In a game filled with garbage goals, the Penguins scored the most in a gutsy 4-2 win at New Jersey.

PREGAME

-Brooks Orpik is going to play left wing. What?

-When the Penguins were healthier, they had a small stretch were they freely dressed seven defenseman and just went with 3 2/3 lines. Why can't they do that now with all the injuries?

-The Penguins official scratches were Colby Armstrong and Kris Beech.

-New Jersey scratched Sheldon Brookbank and Jamie Langenbrunner.

FIRST PERIOD

19:01: FSN Pittsburgh shows us the lines for tonight:

Forwards

Malone-Malkin-Sykora

Talbot-Staal-Christensen

Ruutu-Taffe-Filewich

Orpik-Smith-Laraque

Defensemen

Scuderi-Gonchar

Sydor-Whitney

Nasreddine-Letang

17:17: Orpik shows he can play some forward as he out-races Karel Rachunek behind the Devils net for a loose puck. Rachunek gets away with a hold on the play.

14:20: FSN Pittsburgh busts out a good list showing Jamie Langenbrunner's worth to the Devils:

RecordPower Play PercentageWithout Langenbrunner7-8-214.3%With Langenbrunner21-10-117.6%

13:18: Holy Willy Lindstrom. That Stockholm Globe Arena in Sweden that the Penguins are going to open next season in looks like a giant storage unit Penn-DOT would store rock salt in.

11:06: On a power play Patrik Elias shoots a puck from the left faceoff circle that Ty Conklin makes a save on. A scramble ensues for the rebound and Mike Rupp is able to shoot it high on a prone Conklin. It is his first goal in 35 games. Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400 is played. Devil 1-0.

7:28: Brian Gionta comes into the offensive zone and blasts a hard low slapper on net. Conklin is able to trap and freeze it.

5:08: As we go to commercial, we see Kris Letang has a pretty nasty cut on his upper lip after taking a puck to the face.

4:27: Bob Errey tells us Letang had to leave the ice following his cut.

2:30: Jarkko Ruutu puts an arm on Dainius Zubrus and hauls him down. Two minutes.

0:03: Elias fires a one-timer from the left side. It gets through Conklin's five hole but hits the far posts and ricochets out.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

-You could've induced a coma with that period. The play on the ice was hesitant and the crowd was completely lifeless (like a typical New Jersey Devils crowd.)

-Dan Potash tells us Letang is getting some stitches for his lip.

-Smooth segue way of the day by Paul Steigerwald. "Well we now come to Newark, N.J. when we play the New Jersey Devils. Newark, uh... mmm... not the most attractive city in America but uh... we look at the matchup between (Evgeni) Malkin and (John) Madden) here."

-Malkin's goal from last season against the Devils is replayed:

SECOND PERIOD

18:48: Jordan Staal works the puck from behind the net towards the crease. Travis Zajac strips it off him and flicks it away. The puck caroms off Johnny Oduya however and gets past Brodeur. It's an ugly, goal but it counts. Devils 1, Penguins 1.

11:02: Erik Christensen comes down the right side and centers a pass into the slot. Ryan Whitney snaps a quick wrister off the pass but Martin Brodeur is in place to make a nice save.

9:35: Arron Asham runs over Letang along the boards but does so with his elbows up. Asham goes to the box for two minutes.

6:11: What in the name of Tom Chorske was that? Off the face off, Rupp throws a puck towards the net. It deflects off Letang's chest and goes under Conklin's glove hand. This was the definition of an ugly goal. Devils 2-1.

5:19: This goal was party ugly and part beauty. Brodeur plays a puck to Oduya who then tries to play it behind his own net. He misplays it and Maxime Talbot steals it. Talbot either makes a pass to the slot or looses it himself. Either way, Christensen picks it up, and deftly moves from the forehand to the backhand and sweeps it by Brodeur. Devils 2, Penguins 2.

3:47: This goal wasn't ugly or beautiful. It was just hard work. Letang works the puck into the corner. Malkin moved it along to Petr Sykora who feeds it into the slot where Malone is able to bang it past Brodeur. Penguins 3-2.

2:36: Gionta runs Taffe from the side and sends him into the boards face-first. Laraque (6-foot-3, 243 pounds) and Orpik (6-foot-2, 219 pounds), two of the biggest players on the Penguins jump Gionta (5-foot-7, 175 pounds), one of the smallest in the league. After a small scrum, Gionta is sent to the box for two minutes for boarding. Gionta can be seen holding his knee in discomfort. Laraque and Orpik plan on fighting Tony Cox next.

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

SECOND INTERMISSION

-The Devils are out-shooting the Penguins, 20-18

-Potash interviews Mike Yeo before the third period. All is well.

THIRD PERIOD

14:39: On a power play, Gonchar slides a pass to the left of the net to Sykora who blasts a one-timer. His shot is kicked out by Brodeur. Malone swipes at the rebound but it gets blocked. Malone stabs at the second rebound with a backhand and is able to get it behind Brodeur. It's another garbage goal, but it counts. Penguins 4-2.

12:39: Zach Parise wraps his arm around Rob Scuderi's stick and is sent to the box for holding the stick.

11:43: Talbot takes a slashing call and nullifies the power play. Four-on-four.

10:39: Gonchar sends a cross ice pass diagonally across the slot to Malone who one-times a shot on net. Brodeur sprawls and makes a nice save.

10:10: As Rupp controls the puck in the corner, Steigerwald points out that he's never scored a hat trick in his career. Errey, in a very hurried fashion, reminds Steigerwald that he has four two-goal games. Steigwald very curtly says, "Good for him."

1:20: Brodeur leaves the net for an extra attacker.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Devils 2.

POSTGAME

-What's that saying about adversity? It doesn't build it. It reveals it. That could apply to the Penguins after this win.

-They had every reason to roll over and lose this game. Half their roster should be in the AHL. They came into the game having lost three their of their last four. They were playing Brooks Orpik in a position he's never played before in his career. Their opponent was also fighting for first place. They were facing the greatest goaltender ever. They were breathing air in Newark. Gwen Stefani is pregneant. The New Kids On The Block might re-unite. Everything was working against them in this game but they shrugged that off and pulled out a big win.

-One thing the Penguins had going for them was Langenbrunner's absence. He could the Devils' most valuable player outside of Brodeur.

-Brooks Orpik, who is a free agent after this season, might've upped his value after last night. Showing versatility like that certainly couldn't have hurt him.

-From the standpoint of being a hockey fan, this wasn't an overly entertaining game. The Penguins pretty much went into full trap mode the last five minutes or so. We're not saying that wasn't the right thing to do, it just wasn't very entertaining.

-Like typical Devils games, this one wasn't very entertaining. And as a result, we didn't think this recap was all that entertaining. So in response, we'll post some entertaining things that originate from the Garden State:

-Kris Letang's going to have some trouble shaving for a few days.

-Ryan Malone led all forwards with 24:06 of ice time.

-Ty Conklin wasn't spectacular, but he really wasn't forced to be. The Devils didn't really pressure him much.

-What an awful atmosphere for hockey in New Jersey. The announced attendance was 13,595 and that might've been a generous total. The average attendance at the Prudential Center before last night has been 15,447 and the arena holds 17,625.

-Michel Ouellet would've thrived in a game like this last night.

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights:

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-Georges Laraque doesn't think he deserved a punishment for his hit from behind on Steve Downie.

-How will Sidney Crosby's injury influence Ray Shero's decisions come the trade deadline?

Random YouTube Find of the Day: The Penguins and Foodland wanted to keep you dry back in the 1980's.

Atlantic Division

-Scott Hartnell's overtime goal gave the Flyers a 3-2 win against the Kings. The win keeps the Flyers in first place in the Atlantic Division.

Northeast Division

-Tim Thomas made 37 saves and Glen Metropolit scored two goals for the Bruins in a 3-1 defeat of the Predators.

-Check out two of Thomas' saves last night. Sick:

-Bruins defenseman and former Penguin Andrew Ference popped Nashville's Martin Erat with a nice hit last night then defended himself pretty well in a fight with Scott Nichol:

-Mike Fisher and Jason Spezza each had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 road win against the Islanders.

-Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists for the Sabres in a 4-2 win at Tampa Bay.

-Cristobal Huet made 35 saves and led the Canadiens to a 4-0 shutout of the Capitals.

-The Senators recalled forward Nick Foligno from Binghamton of the AHL.

-The Maple Leafs recalled forward Kris Newbury from their AHL affiliate.

Southeast Division

-Cam Ward made 34 saves for the Hurricanes in a rough and tumble 3-1 win against the Rangers.

-The Thrashers recalled forward Colin Stuart from Chicago of the AHL.

Central Division

-Two goals by Keith Tkachuk led the Blues to a 3-2 win against the Maple Leafs.

-Is the Blackhawks unofficial motto "Commit to the Indian," racist?

-The Blue Jackets traded goon Jody Shelly to San Jose for a 2009 draft pick.

-The Red Wings have offered former forward Darren McCarty a tryout with their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids.

-The Blackhawks assigned forward David Koci to Rockford of the AHL and recalled forward Martin St. Pierre.

Pacific Division

-Evgeni Nabokov made only 13 saves against the Oilers, but came away with a 3-0 shutout win for the Sharks.

-Peter Mueller scored two goals for the Coyotes in a 4-2 win at Columbus.

-Mike Modano had a goal and an assist for the Stars in a 4-3 win at Vancouver.

-Check out this monster hit Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas laid out on Canucks forward Matt Cooke:

-Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson is dealing with an abdominal injury.

-Pretty much everyone is down with Teemu Selanne's return to the Ducks.

-The Kings signed goon Raitis Ivanans to a contract extension.

Northwest Division

-Roberto Luongo pretty much pulled a four-day weekend and skipped his team's game last night after taking the All-Star break off as well. We're all for spending time with the family and stuff, but Luongo needs to be professional.

-Canucks defenseman Willie Mitchell will be out at least five games with a stress fracture in his back.

-Check out this sick save Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon made last night:

-The Avalanche recalled forwards T.J. Hensick and Brad Richardson from Lake Erie of the AHL.

Smythe Division

-If you watch any hockey with any regularity, you've undoubtedly seen the "Is This The Year" NHL commercial featuring the likes of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. They were kind of cute at first, but now they're a little over kill.

-Greg Wyshynski at AOL spotted a fresh alternative.

Today's "The All-Star Game needs canceled" article is brought you by William Houston of the Globe and Mail.

-Today's "The All-Star Game needs to stay" article is brought to you by John Buccigross of ESPN.com. (Plus some sicko wrote to him about making out with an outboard motor.)

-The AHL is interested in doing an outdoor game.

-Pittsburgh produced the second-highest television rating in the United States for the All-Star Game.

-The online version of NHL Center Ice will offer a free preview through Monday.

-The NHL has a new line of commercials out trumping NHL.com:

-We visit NHL.com all the time, but we can't tell you how many times we've gotten error messages just trying to use something like the schedule page or the stats page. Maybe they should make the site more functional before they start selling it.



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