Late Arrival

Feb. 20, 2008

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After sleepwalking for over two periods, a strong third period gives the Penguins a 3-2 win against the Panthers.

PREGAME

-While watching his interview with Dan Postash, a thought occurs to us; Jarkko Ruutu would look awesome with a Salvador Dali-esque moustache.

-The Penguins scratched Erik Christensen, Marc-Andre Fleury and Chris Minard.

-Florida's scratches were Greg Campbell, Magnus Johansson and Stephen Weiss.

-The Panthers called up forward Drew Larman from the AHL to replace Campbell who is suffering from the flu.

-No Jimerson. No bueno.

-After we doubted his presence at two consecutive games, the Cotton Candy Guy makes another early appearance in our section for the second straight contest. This time he's hawking his goods before the puck is even dropped. We hope he's not mad at us.

FIRST PERIOD

17:55: On a delayed penalty, Rob Globke (what an ugly last name) throws a puck form the corner out to the point. Bryan Allen has some trouble with it and it streaks back towards the Florida net with Tomas Vokoun on the bench for an extra attacker. Everyone holds their breath as it goes the empty cage but slides wide of it.

17:44: Brook Orpik gets called for trying to spell Rotislav Olesz's name with too many vowels. Or tripping. Something like that.

15:01: Evgeni Malkin brings the puck up ice. He swoops by Olli Jokinen twice and centers a pass for Petr Sykora. The puck gets tipped but Sergei Gonchar jumps on it and fires a quick shot on net. Tomas Vokoun is able to kick it out.

14:00: Jassen Cullimore is penalized for holding or spelling "Jason" in the weirdest way possible. We can't tell.

12:17: Kris Letang throws a slapper on net. It gets deflected through the crease and Maxime Talbot is on the doorstop with a prime opportunity to bang it home. Allen makes a fantastic play by tying up Talbot's stick with his own and the puck slide away harmlessly.

10:11: Colby Armstrong trips Ville Peltonen in the Penguins' zone.

9:17: Ryan Whitney makes a terrible giveaway that leads to a scoring chance for Florida. Whitney grabs a loose puck in the corner, turns and blindly fires it into the slot. Kamil Kreps is there, does a nice job of trapping the puck and fires a low wrister on net. Ty Conklin is there and traps the puck in his five hole. Whitney owes Conklin a coffee or something.

8:47: Malkin tips the puck by Steve Montador, steaks down the left side and generates a bit of a two-on-one with Ryan Malone against Jay Bouwmeester. Malkin drags it in a bit and tries to use Bouwmeester as a screen, but Vokoun is able to eat up the shot.

8:24: Paul "Dikembe" Steigerwald makes fun of Cory Murphy (5-foot-10) for being short.

8:00: As the penalty expires, Colby Armstrong feeds a pass to Jordan Staal and he's off to the races. He creates a two-on-one with Talbot against Murphy. Staal elects to shoot, but he clinks it off the goal post.

6:27: Ruutu throws Krepps to the ice.

4:42: Malone grabs a loose puck in the corner and throws an off-angle shot on net. Vokoun absorbs it and freezes play. During a television timeout they bust out a pretty decent song with the Kiss Cam; "Your Love" by The Outfield:

3:36: Kreps, makes a move around Talbot in the neutral zone, brings the puck into the offensive zone and blasts a slapper on net. Conklin makes the initial save but gives up a juicy rebound. David Booth swoops in and pounds home the puck past a prone Conklin. It was a tough shot by Kreps to stop, but Conklin needed to do a better job on that rebound. "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes is played which gives us the temptation to dunk our head into the fryer behind B-5. Panthers 1-0.

3:32: Before the ensuing faceoff, Tyler Kennedy has words with Booth to the point that an official has to separate the two. The puck is dropped and Kennedy cross-checks Booth four times. Booth doesn't look particularly interested in fighting but that doesn't seem to matter to Kennedy who drops his gloves and starts throwing. He lands a quick right before Booth grabs a hold of him and wrestles him to the ice. Kennedy is led to the penalty box. Booth's $4,098,543 Reebok Edge-Super-Duper-Mega-Ultra-Awesome-Humungo-Women-Will-Want-You Uniform System jersey is ripped. What brought that on? Did Booth make fun of Kennedy's Chief Wiggum nose? Either way, the officials call each player for roughing because it wasn't really much of a fight. Kennedy picks up an extra cross-checking call also. Florida will get a two-minute power play.

3:00: Bouwmeester blasts a slapper from the point. Conklin makes the save. Jokinen is there to get the rebound. Conklin kicks out his shot too.

2:51: Errey basically calls Jokinen a quitter for not making the playoffs. We know points aren't the ultimate barometer of a player's worth, but last we checked, Jokinen has 449 career points in 704 games. Errey had 382 points in 895 games. He doesn't need to be calling out a world-class talent like Olli Jokinen.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

-The Penguins aren't getting murdered in the shots on goal category for once. Florida is only out-shooting them 12-10.

-Those two idiots from Variety 96's morning show who do the in-game entertainment from time-to-time handle tonight's promotions. They prompt more deep fryer head-dunking urges.

-While talking about Marc-Andre Fleury's pads, Errey says, "I can't wait until we go to the blue uniforms and see his blue pads next year." Hmm... We wonder if Errey knows something the rest of us don't.

-You can actually hear, "Cotton candy heeeee!!!! Cotton candy heeee!!!" on the FSN telecast.

SECOND PERIOD

19:20: Steigerwald gives us a history lesson on former Blackhawks coach Billy Reay.

18:12: Branislav Mezei is called for hooking.

14:53: Mezei lobs a shot on net from the point. Conklin deflects it away at the last second.

12:41: With Sergei Gonchar trapped behind the Florida net, Nathan Horton takes a pass in the neutral zone and is off to the races. He streaks in from the right side into the slot and fires a wrister on net. Conklin blocks it away as if he were just screwing around in practice and not trying to keep the Penguins in the game or the playoff race. Huge save.

10:18: Maklin takes a pass from Darryl Sydor and skates basically around the Panthers defense in a big circle for 13 seconds. Once he "Magellan's" the offensive zone, he dishes it off to Whitney who fires a slapper on net. It hits a body and is deflected away.

10:15: Connor James gets crunched in the corner by Ruslan Salei. Is it us or does it seem like Connor James gets the tar knocked out of him at least once a game?

9:16: Why is it anytime Errey talks about Georges Laraque, he brings up that he's lost weight from last season? Is he Laraque's tailor or something?

9:07: Booth is sent to the box for shooting Lincoln or hooking. (We kind of stole that from The Pensblog. We couldn't resist.)

8:19: Kreps controls a loose puck in his own end and springs Peltonen on a pseudo-breakaway. With Whitney pressuring him, Peltonen fires a slapper on net and Conklin eats it up.

7:42: With the junior varsity power play on the ice, Jeff Taffe backhands a bouncing puck to the point. Sydor can control it and it leaves the offensive zone. Brett McLean steals it, pulls away from Sydor, who actually gets called for a hook. On a delayed penaly, McLean bears down on Conklin and burns him blocker-side. It's such a demoralizing goal, they don't even play Tom Petty or 4 Non Blondes or Blues Traveler or anything. Panthers 2-0.

4:22: Kennedy chips a puck behind the Panthers defense. Taffe and Salei wrestle for it while skating towards the net. Vokoun comes flying out of his crease to cover the puck up. Taffe's stick goes flying into the boards. Vokoun gets two minutes for delay of game. It's not a great call. Vokoun was surrounded by Penguins. He had to hang on to that puck.

3:07: Staal fries a slapper from the point. It gets deflected into Vokoun's body and he covers it up.

1:34: Malkin works the puck from behind the net and backhands a pass to Malone. Malone rips a wrister on net into Vokoun's midsection and he again eats it up. Mezei goes off for holding.

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

SECOND INTERMISSION

-The Penguins will have 25 seconds of power-play time on clean ice. Can they decline it?

-The Penguins own a 21-19 edge in shots.

-Best text messages sent to the Jumbotron:

"We built this city on Conk and Roll."

"Roy G Biv"

"Get Well Soon Zednik"

-"Cotton candy heeeee!!!! Cotton candy heeee!!!"

THIRD PERIOD

17:23: Staal gets called for interference. Michel Therrien looks as if he just missed the last train out of town.

15:17: As Staal's penalty expires, Malkin brings the puck up the left side, draws Bouwmeester away from the slot just enough and centers a pass to Armstrong. Armstrong must've picked up someone else's stick in the locker room or something because he looked like a sniper on the shot he sneaks under Vokoun's glove. They "Hey Song" is played. Panthers 2-1.

9:56: Gonchar controls the puck in his own end and sends a torpedo pass to Malkin. Malkin tries to hold off Cullimore on a breakaway and falls a little too easily. Fans boo, but Malkin's lucky he didn't get nabbed for diving.

7:20: Malkin drives to the net with the puck, McLean chops his feet out with his stick and Malkin fall a bit too easily again. McLean is called for slashing while Malkin is called for diving.

6:09: Armstrong brings the puck into the Panthers zone and drops it for Gonchar. Gonchar brings it into the left faceoff circle and fires a wrister low. Vokoun is able to snag it with his glove.

3:20: Malkin feeds the puck cross ice to Whitney at the point. He sends a wrister on net that Malone tips by Vokoun. A brief review confirms the goal. Panthers 2, Penguins 2.

1:29: Staal bumps Peltonen to the ice with a nice shoulder check behind the Penguins net.

1:05: Malkin tries to enter the offensive zone and gets tripped up. Allen says something to him about making bad car commercials or something and the officials hold them off each other. Bouwmeester, arguably the Panthers' best defensive player is sent off for hooking. A piece of glass behind the Penguins net is repaired and this woman holding the black and yellow scarf actually left the game.

fanleaving

Unbelievable.

0:22: Malone enters the offensive zone with the puck, weaves through the defense, swoops around Mezei and crashes the crease. He gets drilled by Allen and lands on Vokoun. As that's happening, the puck sneaks under Vokoun and into the net. A review confirms the goal. We're so glad that woman missed that goal. Penguins 3-2.

0:20: The faceoff goes into the Penguins end of the ice and Vokoun is pulled.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 3, Panthers 2.

POSTGAME

-What is it about this team that it has so much trouble playing a complete game? The only thing consistent about them is their inconsistency. (That's sort of a lame cliche, but still, it's true.)

-Ryan Malone = Clutch.

-During a stoppage in the first period, Errey kind of hinted at a return by Sidney Crosby Thursday in Montreal. Hmm...

-Errey was full of sort of subtle hints tonight. Perhaps he should change his name to Edward Nigma.

-Best jerseys we saw:

Ty Conklin. That was the first Conklin jersey we've seen whatsoever. Whoever decided to plunk down the cash for that is either rich, really optimistic he'll even be a full-time starter past this month or Ty Conklin's cousin. Either way it's nice to see Conklin getting respect in the form of a jersey.

Petr Nedved.

Matthew Barnaby.

Evgeni Malkin Mettalurg.

Rick Tocchet.

Mario Lemieux Team Canada.

Francois Leroux.

Kevin Stevens.

Ulf Samuelsson.

Paul Coffey:

CoffeyJersey

-The Jordan Staal bobblehead they gave out last night was pretty sweet. His arm was crooked on his stick ready to shoot.

StaalBachelor

That "Bachelor Party" DVD and can of Miller Lite just happened to be there when we took the picture. Honest.


By the way, did anyone else's Staal's bobblehead have a really long neck? Our's was like a mutant giraffe.

StaalNeck

The Staal bobblehead took it's place on our Penguins bobblehead shelf in Castle Empty Netters.

PensBobble

As a result, our Mark Recchi bobblehead was put on waivers.

RecchiBobble

Our McFarlane figurines shelf then claimed him off waivers. He will work on a line with Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur.

RecchiWaivers

-Malkin took over the lead in the scoring race from Washington's Alexander Ovechkin.

-The Panthes are beat up too.

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights.

COMEBACK OF THE NIGHT AND THE CENTURY

The Montreal Canadiens are the NHL's oldest club at just a shade under a century. Founded in 1909, they've been around longer than the NHL itself.

So when they do something for the first time in their existence, it's usually a pretty big deal. Last night was one of those big deals.

Down, 5-0 in the second period to the New York Rangers, they Habs rallied and came back to win 6-5 in a shootout. It was the first time in their illustrious history they won after being down by a five-goal deficit.

Think about that. With a seemingly endless supply of legends on their roster like Howie Morenz, Toe Blake, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Ken Dryden, Guy Lafleur, Patrick Roy, they never came back from such a deficit.

That's just insane to us.

Despite having four assists and moving into 10th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list, Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr ended up being the goat in this thing. He had an opportunity to keep the shootout going but missed the net completely. You can't do that when you're a franchise player and your team's captain.

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-Don't plan on buying that Sidney Crosby Wilkes-Barre/Scranton jersey anytime soon.

-Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are some of the top points-per-minute producers in the NHL.

At ESPN.com, George Johnson had a very good piece about former Penguins coach "Badger" Bob Johnson.

Atlantic Division

-In the midst of a losing streak and dealing with some injuries on their blueline, the Flyers acquired defenseman Jaroslav Modry from the Kings for a third-round pick in the 2008 draft.

-With defenseman Andy Sutton out four-to-six weeks due to a hamstring tear, the Islanders recalled former Penguins prospect Drew Fata from Bridgeport of the AHL. Fata is the brother of former Penguins forward Rico Fata.

-Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky plans on being Jaromir Jagr's bodyguard.

Northeast Division

-Jason Spezza and Antoine Vermette scored shootout goals and gave the Senators a 3-2 win against the Flyers.

-Shootout goals by Phil Kessel and David Krejci gave the Bruins a 3-2 win against the Hurricanes.

-Former Penguins center Dominic Moore had two assists and helped the Maple Leafs to a 3-1 defeat of the Blue Jackets.

-Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette says the Canadiens need to hang on to goaltender Cristobal Huet who is scheduled to become a free agent July 1.

-Thomas Vanek guaranteed the Sabres would make the playoffs.

Southeast Division

-Eduardo A. Encina of the St. Petersburg Times had a pretty good piece on the equipment of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Central Division

-J.P. Dumont and Scott Nichol each had a goal and two assists for the Predators in a comeback 5-4 win against the Oilers.

-Keith Tkachuk scored a goal and two assists for the Blues in a 5-1 drubbing of the Blackhawks.

-From the "They'll market just about any piece of crap" department, you can actually buy a yellow Red Wings hat. That's Red Wings.

-The Predators are making like the Rangers and Blackhawks and have begun to salute all 85 of their fans following home wins.

Northwest Division

-Daniel Sedin's overtime goal gave the Canucks a 3-2 win at Minnesota.

-Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf each scored two goals and lifted the Flames to a 4-1 win at Phoenix.

-The NHL told Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo to wear his pads correctly.

Norris Division

-NHL Network will carry TSN's Tradecentre show Tuesday. Basically imagine election day coverage in this country except without Tim Rusert and his stupid little dry erase board. It's that big.

-The size of goaltending equipment was discussed on the second day of the general managers meetings in Naples, Fla.



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