Two will do

April 7, 2008

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A lack luster "effort" by the Penguins leads to a 2-0 loss at Philadelphia, a re-match with the Senators in the playoffs.

PREGAME

-Dan Potash interviews Gary Roberts prior to the game. No word yet if Potash survived the encounter.

-The Flyers are introduced on the ice with kids. No word yet if Steve Downie tried to give them pieces of candy with razor blades.

-Lauren Hart, the lady who sings the national anthem at Flyers games looks like a blonde version of Penelope Cruz.

-Sidney Crosby was a surprising scratch prior to the game. He was joined by Jeff Taffe, Darryl Sydor, Tyler Kennedy and Sidney Crosby.

-Kris Beech makes his triumphant return to the lineup as well today.

-The Flyers scratched Derian Hatcher, Jason Smith, Sami Kapanen, Daniel Briere and Denis Tolpeko

-Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Biron start in net.

FIRST PERIOD

17:36: FSN Pittsburgh busts out the lines:

Forwards

Malone-Malkin-Sykora

Talbot-Staal-Hossa

Ruutu-Beech-Dupuis

Roberts-Hall-Laraque

Defensemen

Orpik-Gonchar

Scuderi-Whitney

Gill-Letang

17:08: Pascal Dupuis gets the first shot of the game as he comes from behind the net, spins and throws a wrister on net. Biron kicks it out.

16:15: Braydon Coburn gets away with holding Adam Hall's stick.

15:47: Steve Downie sticks an elbow in Roberts' mouth. No call. Roberts shoves him back. Two minutes. Seems fair to us.

14:25: R.J. Umberger sneaks in from the point and fires a wrister on net. Fleury bobbles the puck a bit but traps it against his body.

13:29: Downie is nabbed for high sticking.

11:55: Whitney looses the puck at the point and Umberger takes off with hit. He enters the offensive zone and blasts a slapper that Fleury shrugs away.

11:25: Downie runs over Letang at the point.

11:10: The Flyers come up ice on a three-on-one against Brooks Oprik. Richards tries to poke in a re-direct pass from Patrick Thoresen behind Fleury but misses. Roberts appears to bump Richards into Fleury. Richards is called for goaltender interference. The Penguins got lucky with that call.

9:28: Hossa sneaks a nifty pass to the Jordan Staal along the goal line. Staal tries to blast a one-timer from a tough angle, but hits the cross bar and the puck deflects out of play.

9:05: Dupuis slides a pass into the crease. Jarkko Ruutu tries to poke it in but Biron stands him up.

8:55: A Flyer throws a loose puck on net from the point. Fleury eats it up. Richards takes a 7-iron swing at Fleury. Hal Gill shoves him away. A small scrum ensues.

8:09: Gill takes a bad penalty. Scottie Upshall tries to run over Gill behind the net. Gill gets up and shoves Upshall in the face. Two minutes.

7:08: Umberger fires a rising wrister from the left faceoff circle. Fleury gloves it.

2:39: Gill throws Upshall down to the ice as he dumped the puck into the offensive zone. Gill probably got away with an interference call on that one. Paul Steigerwald calls Gill "the U.S.S. Hal Gill." The Pensblog smiles.

0:49: Gonchar hits Joffrey Lupul from the side and Lupul falls into the boards awkwardly. The Flyers go after Gonchar. Roberts shoves Lupul who appeared fine from the hit by Gonchar but is sidelined for 48 years due to the shove from Roberts. We think. Gonchar gets two minutes for interference and the Flyers get two minutes for too many men on the ice. Four-on-four.

0:00: End of period. Flyers 0, Penguins 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-Philadelphia is out-shooting the Penguins, 6-4.

-The Flyers control the faceoffs, 10-6.

-A list showing the Penguins highest team point totals in franchise history. Errey talks about how impressive it is that the Penguins have had 100 points in back-to-back seasons. When you think about it, it's really not that impressive. With the benefit of shootout, it's much easier to rack up wins and points than it was before the lockout in 2004-05.

SECOND PERIOD

19:19: Jeff Carter approaches the net. He tries to deke to the backhand but Fleury kicks it out.

19:11: Carter hauls down Letang. Two minutes. The Penguins will get a four-on-three advantage for 22 seconds.

18:58: Hossa centers a pass from the right faceoff circle to Staal. Staal turns and fires it on net. Biron kicks it out.

18:32: Bob Errey gets on his "back in my day" soap box and talks about how Joe Mullen would've scored that goal easily. Yeah, and back in Errey's day, goaltenders wore paper towel tubes as pads.

16:30: Mike Knuble checks Ruutu from behind. Two minutes for cross checking.

16:06: Gonchar tosses a puck from the top of the slot. Biron makes the save and collects the rebound. Malone and Hossa try to dig for it but no dice.

15:41: Uh... Why is Kris Beech getting time on the power play?

13:51: Errey busts out a Jim Paek reference. Solid.

11:57: Coburn pounds a one-timer from the point. Fleury makes the save but gives up a rebound. Knuble has a chance to pound it in from the crease but totally misses the net. Normally he buries those.

10:08: Vaclav Prospal scoops up a loose puck and sweeps a backhander on net. Fleury says no.

9:13: Upshall sneaks a wrister through traffic. Fleury is able to kick it out somehow.

9:04: Kimmo Timonen tees up a slapper from the point. Fleury kicks that out as well.

7:56: Fleury gloves a puck that bounces off the top of the net. Downie and Gill exchange shoves behind the net. Downie gets two minutes for roughing.

6:39: Somehow the Flyers generate a three-on-one on a penalty kill against Gonchar. Carter dishes it to Knuble in the slot. Knuble gives it back and Carter clinks it off the outside of the post.

6:20: Letang blasts a slapper from the point. Knuble shows a lot of guts and gets down to make a block.

5:42: Roberts appears to get away with slashing on Timonen.

5:32: Coming back up ice, Hartnell turns and tags Roberts with a shoulder check away from the puck. Two minutes for Hartnell.

5:09: Whitney makes a brutal turnover at the point. Richards takes it off him and is off to the races. He approaches the net, dekes to the righ and gets Fleury to commit. Richards then dekes to the left but Fleury is able to make a wonderful poke-check to break up the play.

3:51: Whitney blasts a slapper from the point but Biron is able to glove it.

2:15: ACK! Steigerwald gives credit to The Pensblog for coming up with the "U.S.S. Hal Gill" but he gives the wrong address saying "The Penguins Blog dot com." That said, kudos to Steigerwald for giving The Pensblog credit for their fine work.

1:42: Evgeni Malkin loses the puck. Thoresen grabs it and fires a slapper on net. Fleury knocks it down and covers the rebound.

1:30: Off the faceoff, Knuble punches a backhander across the slot. Upshall punches the puck into the empty net behind Fleury. "Bro Hymn" from Pennywise is played. They stole that off the Ducks. Flyers 1-0.

0:20: Ruutu throws a wrister on net. Biron knocks it away.

0:00: End of period. Ruutu takes down Lasse Kukkonen behind the net. He'll get a penalty for that. Flyers 1, Penguins 0.

SECOND INTERMISSION

The Flyers still control the shots, 16-12.

-They also control the faceoffs, 22-18.

-Rob King calls the Flyers "the Flowers."

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: The Flyers will get a complete power play on clean ice.

17:29: Almost as soon as he leaves the box, he goes back in. Ruutu gets two minutes for elbowing.

14:03: Kukkonen is sent off for cross-checking.

10:34: Hall tries to race Ryan Parent to a loose puck in the Flyers zone. Biron comes out of the crease to play it, but it his the boards. Malkin tries to scoop it up and throw it on net. But it hits Biron in between the faceoff circles. The Flyers dodged a bullet on a really goofy play there.

9:50: Dupuis gets away with a hold.

9:46: Talbot fires a loose puck in the slot on net. Biron gloves it.

7:58: Timonen is sent off for holding. At this point, can't the Penguins decline the power play? They're 0-for-7 already. The Penguins do call a time out to get organized.

7:53: One of the linesmen, Brian Murphy, gets hit with a clearing attempt on the back of the knee. He goes down. The play is blown dead. Flyers fans, classy as always, cheer Murphy's injury.

6:05: From the left faceoff circle, Sykora rifles a rising wrister on net. Biron snags it out of the air.

4:32: Ryan Malone tries a wraparound. Biron holds it out.

4:07: Errey begins talking about the Senators... Hmm...

2:00: Gonchar fires a shot form the right boards. Biron snags it. Coburn has a stick on Malkin. Malkin goes down a bit too easily. Malkin is called for diving while Coburn gets a hooking call. The officials got that one right. Four on four.

1:05: Malone fires a shot from the left wing. Biron deflects it out of play. Therrien pulls Fleury for an extra attacker.

0:52: Carter takes the puck throws it at the net from the Penguins' blue line. The shot misses. Knuble scoops it up and tries to jam it in on the other side. Whitney holds it out. Knuble gets the rebound and punches it in for one of us.

0:33: Steigerwald tells Errey how he'll be eating a bunch of Tim Horton's doughnuts. Errey says, "I'll be jacked up that."

0:00: End of game. Penguins 2, Flyers 0.

POSTGAME

-We're going to stop short of outright accusing them of throwing the contest, but you'd have a hard time convincing us that the Penguins had other motivations. They looked about as interested in winning that game as Jarkko Ruutu is in winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

-Basically, the Penguins wanted to play the wounded floundering Senators instead of the Flyers. Regardless of who won a Penguins-Flyers series, both teams would've been beat up.

-Crosby was scratched because "it was not worth it to risk an injury right before the playoffs" according to Michel Therrien.

-Jeff Carter suggested that the Penguins were scared of his team.

-They weren't exactly thrilled with the Penguins' effort in Philadelphia either.

-Fleury played very well making 20 saves. He deserved a better fate.

-Biron made 20 saves but we wouldn't exactly say he was tested all that much. He does go into the playoffs on a strong note. He has pitched two consecutive shutouts his last two games.

-Lasse Kukkonen has six blocked shots. Geez.

-Gary Roberts had 12:31 of playing time. It was probably the most dominant 12:31 of anything. Like if you baked a cake and it took you 12:31 too cook it. You couldn't cook that cake any more dominantly than how Gary Roberts played yesterday.

-He didn't record a shot.

-The Penguins' power play was worse than the gas mileage of a Hummer. It was 0-for-8.

-The Penguins were out-shot 22-20.

-The Flyers controlled the faceoffs, 31-25.

-Evgeni Malkin (106) and Washington's Alexander Ovechkin (112) were the only players to reach the 100-point mark this season. Remember the "new" NHL?

-Apparently the Penguins' loss really screwed TSN up. Had the Penguins had beated the Flyers, TSN would've gotten the Penguins-Flyers first-round match-up. Now because the Penguins are meeting Ottawa, CBC will get them.

-Flyers fans are class as always:

(Kudos to Eric McErlain for the find.)

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights.

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-If you had Rob Scuderi in your most game-winning-goals-on-the-Penguins office pool, we have some bad news for you.

-Mario Lemieux stunk at growing playoff beards.

-The Penguins play Ottawa starting Wednesday.

-Speaking of Mario Lemieux, EN reader Adam Vrabel found this article about Lemieux in Sports Illustrated's online archives from his second NHL season.

-The entire playoff schedule for the first round can be found here.

-Who would you have rather seen the Penguins play? The Flyers or the Senators? Vote on it here.

-Dave Gove's overtime goal gave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 4-3 win at Hershey.

-Hershey paid tribute to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goon Dennis Bonvie before the game.

Atlantic Division

-Shootout goals by Zach Parise and Patrik Elias gave the Devils a 3-2 win against the rival Rangers. The win gave the Devils home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff series against the Rangers.

-Devils fans (all 40 of them) are classy.

-Mike Richards was named the Flyers' MVP.

Northeast Division

-The Bruins want to "slay the dragon."

-The Senators say they're happy about playing the Penguins.

-Is this Wade Redden's last run in Ottawa?

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

-Ilya Kovalchuk is sick of losing in Atlanta.

Central Division

-Nicklas Lidstrom scored two goals for the Red Wings in a 4-1 win against the Blackhawks.

-Chicago rookie forward Patrick Kane scored the only goal for the Blackhawks. He finished the season with 72 points, most among all NHL rookies. The Blackhawks made Kane an alternate captain for the game.

-After missing 13 games due to a groin injury, Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrom returned to the lineup.

-Prior to the game, Lidstrom "accepted" the President's Trophy. He looks like he's being given a glass jar full of E. Coli.

-Keith Tkachuk scored his 500th career goal for the Blues in a 4-1 win at Columbus. He is the 41st player in NHL history to reach that milestone.

-Predators coach Barry Trotz still doesn't have a contract after this season.

-Nashville thinks they actually have a chance against Detroit.

Northwest Division

-Shootout goals by Joe Sakic and Wojtek Wolski gave the Avalanche a 4-3 win against the Wild. The Colorado win set up a first-round match-up between the two.

-Apparently the Wild were "motivated" in the same fashion the Penguins were yesterday.

-Minnesota sniper Marian Gaborik got into his first career fight with Avalanche tough guy Ian Laperriere yesterday.

-Wild goon Derek Boogaard guaranteed he will play in the first game of their series against the Avalanche.

-The Flames care not for the Sharks being the hottest teams in the league.

Pacific Division

-Brenden Morrow recorded two assists for the Stars in a 4-2 defeat of the Sharks. The game featured 160 minutes in penalties.

-The very last game of the season saw Chris Kunitz, Teemu Selanne and Ryan Getzlaf scored shootout goals for the Ducks in a 3-2 win against the Coyotes. Ironically enough, the Ducks played in the first game of the season back on Sept. 29 when they lost to the Kings, 4-1, in London.

-Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger played his first game after serving an eight-game suspension.

Adams Division

-Alexander Ovechkin captured the Richard and the Art Ross Trophies as the NHL's leading goal- and point-scorer. Detroit goaltenders Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood claimed the William Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals during the regular season.

-The NHL is going to tinker with its Web site during the playoffs.

-The NHL Draft lottery will be held today at 8 p.m. You can watch it on Versus or the NHL Network. NHL.com will provide video of the event as well.

-Some 96-year-old dude is playing in a league for 60-year-olds. The Chris Chelios joke is too obvious to use for this one.



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