(Scroll down to read in chronological order.)
You are reading live from the press box at Mellon Arena. The Flyers took to the ice to a hearty boo from the few people in Mellon Arena already.
Things are quite blustery today in Pittsburgh.
It's actually looks worse than it really is. It will snow like that for a few minutes and calm down. Either way, it wasn't fun walking up to Mellon Arena today.
-The Cotton Candy Guy is here today by the way. We heard him bellowing out his cavity-creating wail walking up to press box.
-The Penguins have scratched Alex Goligoski and Ryan Stone.
-The Flyers scratches are Jesse Boulerice, Braydon Coburn and Scottie Upshall.
-No Jeff Jimerson for the national anthem. Not good.
18:39: Mike Richards thumps Jarkko Ruutu with a solid check into the boards.
17:31: Erik Christensen whips a hard low shot on net. Martin Biron knocks it down and covers it. Maxime Talbot and a Flyer exchange pleasantries in front of the cage.
14:46: Maxime Talbot and Joffrey Lupul get involved in the corner. Talbot drops Lupul with a punch. Talbot gets sent to the box for slashing and roughing. Not a smart play on Talbot's behalf. The Penguins will have to kill off a power play for four minutes.
13:26: The Flyers work the puck toweards the net. It gets kicked around and R.J. Umberger punches it in past a prone Ty Conklin. The Penguins will still need to kill off another penalty. Flyers 1-0.
10:46: Talbot's second penalty is killed off.
10:04: Jarkko Ruutu deflects a puck out of play and a Flyers fan in a Mark Recchi jersey drops it. Solid.
7:39: Simon Gagne and Lupul come down on a two-on-one. Gagne dishes the puck off to Lupul. Lupul shoots high, but Conklin is able to deflect it away with his sholderulder.
6:09: Steve Downie pops Evgeni Malkin in the corner with a solid check.
4:26: The Penguins dodge a bullet when they play a puck out of play. The official rule it was deflected out of play after a brief meeting.
3:40: Malkin brings the puck into the offensive zone blowing by Jason Smith. He generates a two-on-one with Petr Sykora against Lasse Kukkonen. Malkin dishes the puck to Sykora who burns Martin Biron with a wrister. The "Hey Song" is played. Flyers 1, Penguins 1.
2:39: Ruutu hits Downie along the boards. Downie takes exception and challenges Ruutu to a fight. They wrestle each other for quite a while before Ruutu breaks an arm free and lands a few blows. Downie grabs his arm. They wrestle some more. Ruutu hits him a few times in the head. More wrestling. Downie gets a few in. More wrestling then Downie just quits. What a punk.
1:16: Erik Christensen and Kukkonen each get sent to the box for high sticking.
0:41: Malone shoots a puck on net and the shot gets deflected out of play. Derian Hatcher takes exception to his presences in the Flyers crease and shoves him. Malone shoves back. A scrum ensues. Scott Hartnell gets sent to the penalty box. Four-on-three hockey. How can you not call this the NHL's best rivalry?
0:00: End of period. Flyers 1, Penguins 1.
-After some hesitation to get too agressive, the action in this game picked up big time.
-The Penguins own an 8-7 advantage in shots.
-Umberger has 10 goals this season and has scored five of them against the Penguins this season.
-An EN reader sent in a photo of his brush with greatness today:
-Solid Laval jersey by the way.
-The Penguins will get 1:18 of a power play on clean ice.
19:22: Sergei Gonchar controls the puck at the point, grips and rips it. He sends a wrister through traffic that beats Biron. This is the first time the Penguins have led the Flyers at any point this season. Penguins 2-1.
18:01: Malkin grabs a loose puck in the offensive zone, fakes a slapper, and slides a pass across the slot to Sykora. Sykora fires a shot, but Biron is able to slide into position for a big save.
17:30: Jeff Taffe gets run over by a Flyer.
15:34: Malkin brings the puck from behind his own net. He tries to make a move around Mike Richards. Richards tries to pop him with a big hit, but Malkin braces for it and sends Richards helicoptering to the ice.
11:32: Malkin whips a wrister on net. Biron gloves it.
9:23: On a give-and-go play, Christensen whips another wrister on net. Biron deflects it out of play with his blocker. The agressive play this period has been held in check for the most part. There really hasn't been much in the way of scrums or skimishes.
7:18: Colby Armstrong hammers Jim Vandermeer to the ice with a nice check at center ice. A small scrum ensues.
5:45: Talbot comes down the left side and throws a wrister on net. It hits Biron in the torso and deflects away.
5:17: A reader writes:
"What water would Gary Roberts Drink?
According to Bob Errey, Gary Roberts only drinks Fiji spring water. Errey told us this after showing Roberts in the box with Mario. Unfortunately, he was drinking Dasani not Fiji, I say we get that man some Fiji water, it can only help his recovery process."
-Justin Kelly, Birmingham, Ala.
-We hear Luke Ravenstahl is going to have the city works department dump billions of gallons of Fiji into the city's water lines tomorrow. We think.
4:50: Ruutu knocks Derian Hatcher to the ice.
4:11: A Flyer rings a shot off the outside post.
1:53: Taffe takes the puck in the slot and fires a low wrister. Biron stops and covers the puck
1:17: From the point Malkin snaps a pass to the left of the net to Sykora. Malkin sneaks into the slot, taps his stick on the ice asking for the puck. Sykora sends it back to him and Malkin hammers a one-timer past Biron for a fantastic goal. If you're a fan of passing, that was your goal. Penguins 3-1.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Flyers 1.
SECOND INTERMISSION-The Penguins own a 20-16 edge in shots.
-Best text messages sent to the Jumbotron:
"The Cotton Candy Guy is my home boy!"
"Gary Roberts can count to infinity... twice."
-The Penguins are winning the faceoff battle 25-18 so far.
19:45: As the period starts, a "LET'S-GO-PENS!" chants starts.
19:14: A shot from the point is stopped by Conklin. He gives up a rebound and Umberger is there to shoot it. Conklin makes a fine save with his stick, but Umberger is there again to punch it in. Is it safe to say Umberger is a Penguin-killer yet?Penguins 3-2.
16:48: It's an ugly period so far for the Penguins. Jim Vandermeer takes a shot from the point. Conklin spots it through traffic and covers it up. Ryan Whitney gets sent off for hooking.
15:54: Kimmo Timmonen fires a slapper from the point. Conklin spots it and gloves it.
11:47: Christensen steals the puck deep in the Flyers zone, weaves around a player on the ice and has Biron one-on-one. Instead of whipping that wicked wrister of his. He tries to stick-handle too much and essentially runs of room. He needs to shoot there.
9:54: The Flyers work the puck into the crease. Conklin is able to find the puck through the forest of legs and cover it.
7:58: Taffe has an opportunity in tight, but pushes a shot just wide.
7:46: Letang takes a pass in the slot, fakes a shot, gets a Flyer to commit to a block, and places a sick wrister in the net behind Biron. Fantastic goal.
4:43: Malkin breaks his stick. A loose puck comes near him and he flops to his knees to throw it out of the Penguins zone. The official rule he closed his hand on the puck and send him to the box for two minutes.
4:28: Jordan Staal takes the puck, pushes it through the neutral zone into the offensive zone with a Flyer. He tries to get around Timmonen who hooks him. The official raises his hand and sends Timmonen to the box. Four-on-four hockey. Fantastic play by Staal.
3:35: Jeff Carter throws a wrister on net from the slot. Conklin is able to shrug it away.
2:43: Malkin's penalty expires. The Penguins will have a power play for all of 16 seconds.
2:23: Malkin appears to have a skate problem and skates to the bench on one foot.
0:33: Just as a "GO-HOME-FLYERS!" chant starts, the Flyers make it interesting. The puck gets dumped behind the net. Conklin comes out to play it but sets it up perfectly for Richards. Richards grabs it in the corner and centers it to Scott Harntell who punches it into an empty cage. Conklin's become a little skiddish handling the puck since the Islanders game last week. The Flyers call a time out. Penguins 4-3.
0:00: End of game. Jordan Staal clears the puck down the boards and gets run into the gate to the Penguins bench by Lupul. A small scrum ensues but things are quickly broken up. Penguins 4, Flyers 3.
-Can we start the Malkin for the Hart Trophy campaign yet? With apologies to Alexander Ovechkin again, there isn't anyone playing better or doing more for their team than Malkin in the NHL.
-We forgot to mention, during their fight, Ruutu actually removed Downie's helmet and visor for him. Seems that Downie tends to forget to do that anytime he decides to fight anyone.
-The Penguins edged the Flyers, 30-29, in faceoffs.
-Conklin was a little shaky again for the second consecutive game.
-Simon Gagne only logged 5:32 of ice time. He suffered a mild concussion.
-A reader spotted something about the Flyers' third goal that we failed to see:
"That last goal wasn't so much a mistake by Conklin. He got his stick stuck in the door opening. That threw him off enough for another open goal for the opposing team."
-Scott Jack, Butler
(Kudos to Scott for the heads-up.)