Staying the course

April 11, 2008

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A late goal by Ryan Malone gives the Penguins a dramatic 5-3 win against the Senators and a 2-0 lead in the series.

PREGAME

These people don't care about the rain.

rain

(Sweet Lemieux Team Canada jersey by the way.)

grill

Many resourceful folks have brought out tents to watch the game outside Gate 3 here at Mellon Arena. These are some hardy people.

-We snuck down to the Zamboni ramp and took a picture of warm-ups.

warmups

-Penguins forward Georges Laraque was nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award is basically an award given to whoever is active in the community, which Laraque is. Montreal forward Saku Koivu won the award last season.

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

-The Penguins scratches are Dany Sabourin, Darryl Sydor, Kris Beech, Adam Hall and Jeff Taffe.

-Ottawa scratched Daniel Alfredsson (that drew an ovation when it was announced) Luke Richardson, Mike Fisher, Brian McGrattan and Chris Kelly.

-Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Gerber will start in net.

That pregame video (or should it be called a projection?) is played on the ice again. Very cool stuff.

project

-The Penguins come onto the ice through the smoke again ala the Miami Hurricanes.

-"LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

-Jeff Jimerson's presence is announced to the unofficial 17,132 here and the place nearly explodes.

-Some folks are even singing along to "O Canada." Very classy Pittsburgh.

-There's nothing quite like the sound of "The Star Spangled Banner" from the mouth of Jeff Jimerson.

FIRST PERIOD

19:49: The Penguins have a chance early on as Sidney Crosby pushes a pass into the slot

19:16: Dany Heatley comes chugging down the slot and fires a wrister on net. Despite a bit of screen by Sergei Gonchar, Fleury easily eats it up.

18:30: Tyler Kennedy spins in the corner and dishes a pass to Jordan Staal. Staal's shot is turned away by Gerber.

17:48: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

17:15: Crosby takes a pass in slot, slides towards the net and whips a wrister on net. Gerber knocks the puck down and covers. Gary Roberts takes to the ice for the first time. He is showered with "Garr-EEEE! Garr-EEEE!" chants.

17:05: During a stoppage, Chris Neil says something to Roberts about the Chaco War. We think. The faithful here back up Roberts' argument with "Garr-EEEE! Garrr-Eeee!" Hard to argue with that.

16:06: Cody bass throws the puck on net and Fleury easily snags it.

14:43: From the left boards, Cory Stillman, a noted Penguin-killer, blasts a slapper. Fleury kicks it out of play.

14:19: Kennedy throws a sneaky wrister on net from the right side. Gerber knocks it away with his blocker.

13:34: We're not sure if it constitutes a full blown line change, but Michel Therrien has already tinkered with the Crosby line. Maxime talbot is on the left win now instead of Pascal Dupuis.

12:30: Hal Gill blasts a slapper from the point that Gerber shuffles away.

12:20: During a stoppage, a video from the Steelers offering well wishes to the Penguins is played.

12:18: Right off the faceoff, Staal gets the puck on net and Gerber gloves it. Staal takes a jab at Gerber's glove and Andrej Meszaros throws Staal into the boards. A small crowd gathers. Meszaros gets two minutes for roughing while Staal got two for unsportsmanlike conduct. Four-on-four.

11:30: Ryan Malone tries to weave through traffic and is stood up by Volchenkov. Nice play.

11:22: Heatley takes the puck and some idiot yells "Murderer!" at him in reference to former Thrashers forward Dan Snyder who was killed in a car wreck with Heatley. Snyder's parent have forgiven Heatley. You shouldn't even have a say in the matter.

10:02: Chris Neil tries to hit Talbot in the corner. Talbot stands his ground and drops Neil.

9:52: Volchenkov hauls down Dupuis charging to the net. Two minutes for Volchenkov.

9:36: Crosby takes a puck from the corner and tries to roof a shot. Gerber knocks it away with his shoulder.

8:17: "Garrr-EEEEE! Garrr-EEEE!"

5:48: Chris Neil takes a shot at Roberts behind the net. Two minutes for slashing. The "Jaws" music is played for the Penguins' power play. This time, a video of a shark fin is played on the Jumbotron.

4:48: Chris Phillips basically "sacks" Sidney Crosby ala Joey Porter. The official puts his hand up. The Penguins will get exactly a minute with the two-man advantage. They need to score at least one here.

4:45: Malkin blasts a slapper from the point. Gerber eats it up.

3:50: As people are counting down the time on Neil's penalty, the Penguins strike. Malkin plays the puck from the left boards to Gonchar at the top of the point. Gonchar bombs a one-timer that finds the back of the net. Roberts had a very nice screen on the play. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.

2:51: "Gerrrr-Berrrr??? Gerrrr-Berrrrr???."

1:18: Martin Lapointe drops Orpik with a check. Roberts comes over and says something to him about Apollo 14. We think.

0:32: Christoph Schubert tees up a slapper from the point. Fleury gets down to deflect it out of play.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

The Penguins are dominating the shots, 20-8.

They're controlling the faceoffs too, 15-6.

SECOND PERIOD

18:14: Petr Sykora drives a big blast on net. Gerber fights it off.

17:02: Kennedy tries a wraparound. Gerber holds it out. Neil hammers Kennedy after the play.

16:12: "Gerrr-Berrrr! Gerrr-Berrr!"

15:48: Hossa takes the puck and whips a shot on net. It hits a body in front. Roberts and Phillips wrestle for the puck. Phillips crosschecks Roberts in the head. The officials send Phillips ot the box. Roberts and Lapointe have another discussion. This one was about Scottish geologist James Hall.

15:05: Hossa has a chance at an open net, but Volchenkov makes a nice play by dropping to his knees to block the shot.

14:38: Malkin zips a pass across the slot to Petr Sykora who plunks it into an empty cage. Penguins 2-0.

13:39: "Gerrrr-Berrrr! Gerrrr-Berrrr"

13:08: Roberts throws Mike Commodore (6-foot-5, 228) to the ice.

10:20: A scramble ensues in front of the net. Fleury is able to find the puck and keep it out some how.

9:50: A loose puck gets kicked to the left side of the slot. Jason Spezza takes it and fires into an empty cage. Despite having Stillman tie up his feet, Fleury is able slide over and make a miraculous save. A supposedly big-time player like Spezza needs to bury that.

9:19: His penalty expires and Brooks Orpik gets sprung on a breakaway (no really). He comes in on net, tries to deke to the backhand and go five hole. Gerber says no.

9:08: Malkin comes up ice and fakes a slapper. Wade Redden positions himself for a block. Malkin then dishes a pass across the slot for Sykora who blasts a one-timer by a helpless Gerber. There's no way the Penguins even lose a game in this series. Penguins 3-0.

8:36: Neil charges into the corner and throws the puck into the crease. Former Penguin Shean Donovan goes to the net and it deflects into the net. It's a garbage goal, but Ottawa doesn't care if they're pretty. They'll take them any way they can. Penguins 3-1.

6:59: On a delayed penalty, Malkin feeds a puck to Orpik at the point. Orpik one-times it. Gerber is able to knock it away.

6:53: Schubert takes a hooking penalty.

6:33: Gonchar blasts a one-timer from the point. Gerber makes the save. He's the only reason Ottawa has any chance.

4:51: Sykora gets behind the defense and tries to sneak it through Gerber's five hole. No dice.

4:39: Gill and Neil are right in each other's face having a discussion about Alexander MacKenzie, Canada's second prime minister. We think.

3:49: Maybe there is a way the Penguins lose a game. On a power play Stillman dishes the puck to Heatley along the red line. Heatley holds it and pushes it into the crease. Stillman charges to the cage and pokes it by Fleury. The fans respond with "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!" Penguins 3-2.

0:08: Crosby takes a pass and gets by Meszaros. He fires a quick shot that Gerber shuffles away.

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

-Give the Senators credit. They have plenty of reasons to give up this game, but they've fought back. They're very much in this thing.

-The Penguins are dominating the shots, 40-19 and control the faceoffs, 22-16.

-Best text messages sent to the big screen: "A bull rode Gary Roberts for six seconds"

THIRD PERIOD

18:52: Stillman fires a wrister on net through traffic. Fleury is able to kick it out.

18:34: FSN Pittsburgh just flashed a stat showing that Ottawa is 3-34 all-time in the playoffs when trailing after two period.

17:56: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

17:19: Robitaille comes up the middle and and fires a slapper. Ryan Whitney gets in the way and blocks it.

16:16: A Senator has Ryan Malone pinned down on the ice for a three count.

15:49: Dupuis winds up and fakes a slapper. He then sneaks a pass to Hossa in the crease. Hossa takes it and tries to jam it behind Gerber into an empty cage. Just on instinct, Gerber puts his stick behind him and ties up Hossa long enough for the puck to exit the crease. The Senators dodged a big bullet there.

15:32: Gerber comes up with two big saves on Kennedy and Staal. Kennedy directs it on net with a backhander. Staal follows up on the rebound and tries to jam it in. Gerber kicks it out.

14:56: Sykora springs Malkin loose on a breakaway. Meszaros tracks him down and lumberjacks Malkin's stick and/or hands. Malkin still is able to get a shot on net. Gerber kicks it out and Malkin crashes into Gerber and the cage which is dislodged. Somehow nothing is called. It could've been a penalty shot. Remember the "new" NHL? We don't either.

-- Dispatch from Chuck Finder outside of the Arena ... "at least 150 fans scattered when hail came down on Downtown and the area, along with lightning bolts forcing Mellon Arena officials to turn off the big-screen television outside the Gate 2 entrance. several fans left. but the bulk huddled inside the Gate 2 doorway, from where early in the third period officials allowed the fans to escape the rain and weather to use the restrooms."

12:34: Paul Steigerwald mentions that Senators forward Dean McAmmond was with the Blackhawks when they lost the Stanley Cup to the Penguins in 1992.

12:17: Malkin sneaks a backhander on net. Gerber keeps it a one-goal game.

11:09: The former Penguins are killing the current Penguins tonight. Randy Robitaille slides down the right side, pulls up and dishes it into the crease. Cody Bass sets up shop and chops at the puck. His second whack puts it in past a prone Fleury. Penguins 3, Senators 3.

9:38: The puck gets played into Gerber's legs. He holds it out. The Penguins charge the net. The officials don't blow the whistle until it gets knocked off its moorings.

8:36: Neil and Hossa have each other tied up in front of the teams' benches.

8:07 Malkin tries to make a move around a defender. He gets the puck by the Senator and lunges for it. The flips a puck into Gerber's agreement who eats it up.

7:06: Spezza appears to trip up Malkin behind the Senators' net. No call.

6:59: Spezza dishes the puck from the corner to Lapointe in the slot. Lapointe gets a shot off. Fleury comes up whuge.

6:30: Talbot steals the puck off Gerber, swoops behind the net and dishes it to Crosby. Crosby blasts a one-timer. Gerber kicks it out. EN friend Jason Yarosik sent us a text message telling us people are already leaving. We don't even know what to say.

???: We're down in the auxillary press lounge here at the moment and the feed from FSN Pittsburgh has gone out. Fleury comes up with a glove save according to the audio feed.

4:47: The video feed comes back. Neil gets a shot on net. He gets knocked down by Letang. Neil gets up and tries to fight Letang. Gill jumps in. Donovan and Maxime Talbot get tangled up. Talbot gives Donovan a chicken wing ala Bob Backlund. Remember the "new" NHL? Replays show Letang getting away with a trip on Donovan prior to that scurm. A few penalties are doled out. It's four-on-four.

4:10: Antoine Vermette comes in on a two-on-one. Fleury kicks it out.

2:46: Hossa moves into the offensive zone throws a wrister on net. Gerber eats it up.

2:29: Bob Errey mentions that the Penguins now have 50 shots on net. It's a new record for the team in playoff games.

2:15: Hossa throws another wrister on net from the perimeter. Gerber eats it up.

1:14: Ruutu gets clipped in the face by Martin Lapointe. Two minutes for Lapointe. The Penguins need a goal here.

1:02: The Penguins win the faceoff. Crosby works it away from Volchenkov. Hossa gets te puck on net. Gerber makes the save. Malone gathers the rebound and works it for a wraparound juuuust getting it by Gerber's glove. The puck goes in. Malone jumps into the glass. The Penguins players on the ice jump on top of him ala Team USA in the 1980 Olympics. The noise is deafening. Penguins 4-3.

0:16: The Senators take a time out. Cotton-Eyed Joe is busted out.

0:06: Hossa works the puck up ice and gets tangled up along the blue line. He dishes it to the the center of the ice to Malone who punches it in for one of us http://www.post-gazette.com/images4/empty_netters_500x85_new.jpg. Mellon Arena explodes. Penguins 5-3.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 5, Senators 3.

POSTGAME

-You have almost have to feel bad for the Senators. They did everything right after going down 3-0. They fought back. They chipped away at the lead. They almost took the lead on a few occasions. They had a flicker of hope in this series and the Penguins stamped it out like a cigarette.

-Gerber had 49 saves and lost. Insane.

-Ryan Whitney led the Penguins with four blocked shots.

-Evgeni Malkin led all skaters with eight shots while Crosby had seven. Cory Stillman led Ottawa with seven.

-The dispersal of ice time was fairly even. Sergei Gonchar led the Penguins with 24:41 while Georges Laraque was teh low man on the totem pole with 8:38.

-During the postgame press conferences, Crosby and Sykora were presented together. As you might imagine, Crosby got the bulk of the attention. At one point Sykora began to giggle and started to wave his hands at the camera as if to say, "I'm here too!"

-Bryan Murray complained that at one point Ryan Malone broke a stick over Chris Neil and nothing was called.

-The Penguins out-shot Ottawa, 54-30.

-The Penguins also had an edge in the faceoff circle, 33-31.

-The power play for the Penguins was humming along going 3-for-6.

-Marian Hossa has three points (all assists) in two playoff games so far.

-Evgeni Malkin has six points (one goals, five assists) in two games.

-Malone has four points (two goals, two assists) and Petr Sykora has three points (all goals).

-Chris Neil got a ten-minute misconduct at the end of the game.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.



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