Sweeping success

April 16, 2008

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Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury lead the Penguins to a 3-1 at Ottawa and sweep the Senators out of the playoffs.

PREGAME

-No Gary Roberts again. His groin is still bothering him.

-We're convinced a shift in a tectonic plate or something like that was the main reason Roberts pulled his groin. Only something of that scale could've hurt Roberts.

-The Senators will re-unite the "Pizza" line of Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson.

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

-Ottawa has scratched Luke Richardson, Mike Fisher, Brian McGrattan, Chris Kelly, Randy Robitaille and Alexander Nikulin.

-FSN Pittsburgh busts out "Tonight, Tonight" from the Smashing Pumpkins in the pregame:

"Welcome to the Jungle" from Guns and Roses is played prior to the faceoff:

FIRST PERIOD

18:36: After the Senators had another quick first rush, Georges Laraque draws a penalty from the Senators. Laraque controls the puck behind the Ottawa net and gets Andrej Meszaros to interfere with him. Two minutes.

17:50: Evgeni Malkin brings the puck into the offensive zone and dishes a pass to Marian Hossa. Hossa fires a wrister on net. Martin Gerber stops and covers the puck. Sidney Crosby takes a jab at Gerber. Christoph Schubert takes exception and gives Crosby a shove.

17:42: Dean McAmmond comes up ice and gets a shot off shorthanded. Marc-Andre Fleury stops it but has a some trouble with the rebound. Before Antoine Vermette can jump on it, Ryan Whitney shuffles it away.

16:27: Hossa steals a clearing attempt and snaps a quick wrister off. Gerber kicks it out.

16:06: Hal Gill throws a wrister on net from the point. Gerber knocks it away with a glove.

15:39: Jordan Staal brings the puck up ice and leaves a drop pass for Jarkko Ruutu. Ruutu pounds a slapper on net that Gerber kicks out.

14:44: Brooks Orpik drops Nick Foligno with a hip check in the neutral zone.

14:34: The Penguins juuuust get away with a too many men on the ice penalty. Rob Scuderi jumps off the ice just as Sergei Gonchar touches the puck.

13:32: Schubert chokeslams Talbot against the boards.

11:06: Adam Hall puts a Heimlich Maneuver on Brian Lee behind the Senators' net. No call.

10:39: Pascal Dupuis feeds a pass from the corner to Maxime Talbot in the slot. Talbot gets a shot on net. Gerber kicks it out.

10:22: Crosby brings the puck up ice and is booed the entire time. That said, the boos aren't as loud as they were in Game 3.

9:00: Anton Volchenkov goes to the Ottawa bench with an apparent injury. Replays show he was stunned a bit when Chris Neil checked Malkin into Volchenkov's already injured head.

8:12: Mike Commodore throws the puck on net from the corner. Fleury traps it in his equipment. The video of Volchenkov taking a shot in the head in Game 1 is replayed. We're still not comfortable watching that.

7:03: Paul Steigerwald calls Petr Sykora, "Peter Gunn."

6:41: Cody Bass throws a puck on net. Fleury nabs it with a glove.

6:15: Gill pounds a slapper on net. Gerber kicks it out.

4:26: Bob Errey complains about a maid walking in on him at his hotel room today.

4:06: Martin Lapointe shove Kris Letang into the boards and drops him. Talbot comes over and confronts Lapointe about his collection of artifacts from the Second Boer War. We think. Schubert and Hall are each sent off for roughing. Four-on-four.

2:39: Brooks Orpik fires a shot from the point. Gerber knocks it away.

1:31: "Dueling Banjos" is played for some reason:

0:10: Hossa gets a shot on net. Gerber knocks it away with a blocker.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

The Penguins out-shot Ottawa, 14-5.

The Senators edged the Penguins, 11-10, in faceoffs.

-Georges Laraque is interviewed by Dan Potash. Laraque's goatee is coming in nicely.

-The A&L Motors "tribute" commercial to Colby Armstrong is played.

-Marian Hossa has six shots on goal already.

-Ryan Malone has a John LeClair action figure in locker.

SECOND PERIOD

19:36: Sergei Gonchar reports to the bench a bit late with an apparent equipment problem.

19:12: Heatley is sent off for slashing. "We're Not Going To Take It" by Twisted Sister is played:

18:55: The Senators have a shorthanded chance on a two-on-one against Gonchar. Cody Bass dishes a pass across the slot and Antoine Vermette juuust misses putting the puck into net.

18:20: Gonchar ropes a shot on net. It hits a body in front of the net. Crosby scoops up the rebound and dishes a pass across the slot to Malkin. Malkin's first shot is denied on a fine save by Gerber but Malkin is able to push the rebound under Gerber with a one-handed backhander. A pretty loud cheer is offered for the Penguins. Penguins 1-0.

17:22: Gill appears to get away with a trip on a Senator in the crease.

7:13: Ruutu pushes the puck up ice and slide a pass into the slot for Staal. Staal fires a one-timer on net that Gerber knocks away.

16:29: Chris Phillips fires a slapper from the point. Fleury eats it up.

15:40: Ottawa will get its first power play as Ryan Malone is sent off for hooking. Gonchar successfully lobbies to have the faceoff outside the Penguins' zone.

13:12: Phillips appears to get away with a trip on Malone.

12:49: Foligno takes a cheap shot at Whitney and checks him from behind in the boards. What a gutless play. Foligno should face some sort of discipline for that. It shouldn't matter if Whitney was injured or not. The potential for a serious injury was there. Foligno does get two minutes for the play, but he should face at least a fine for his actions.

11:34: Malkin blasts a slapper from the point. Gerber makes the save.

11:23: Vermette is checked from the side into the boards by Jordan Staal. Fans boo, but it was a clean check from the side.

11:01: Commodore has a chance alone in the slot. He fires a wrister low and Fleury is able to come up with a huge save. The Senators have pretty much dominated this penalty kill.

9:38: Cory Stillman directs a wrister on net. FLeury is able to tip it away with his stick.

9:28: Wade Redden blasts a slapper from the point. It hits a body. Stillman is able to chop at the loose puck and just get it by Fleury and Orpik. Stillman always kills the Penguins. Penguins 1, Senators 1.

9:07: Malkin and Malone come up ice on a two-on-one. Malkin passes to Malone, but Volchenkov makes a fine play and breaks up the pass.

8:28: Phillips fires a slapper from the point and Fleury kicks it away.

8:21: "Flerrrrrr-Eeeeeee.... Flerrr-eeeeee...."

7:45: Malkin comes flying up ice and gets a backhander off. Gerber.

7:35: Redden stops Malkin in the neutral zone with an nice hip check.

6:56: The march to the penalty box continues. Schubert is sent off for slashing.

6:47: Gonchar fires a slapper from the point. Gerber gets a piece of it.

5:58: With his back to the net, Crosby shoots a nifty backhander on net. The puck hits the crossbar and deflects away.

5:46: Crosby enters the offensive zone and snaps a nice pass to Malone in the slot. Malone bears down on net and fires a low wrister on net. Gerber comes up with a big save.

5:08: Errey makes a smooth segue way from how Cody Bass' mother is suffering from lung disease and diabetes to how well he's playing.

4:32: Brian Lee mishandles a pass at the point. Tyler Kennedy scoops it up and springs Ruutu on a bit of breakaway. Lee catches up to Ruutu and forces him to pull a spin move at the cage. Ruutu backhands the puck and somehow it gets by a surprised Gerber. Scotiabank Place falls silent. Penguins 2-1.

2:59: Wow what a goal! Oh wait. It's not. Alfredsson spins in the left faceoff circle and rockets a wrister on net. Fleury makes the save but gives up a bad rebound. Vermette charges towards the net and appears to score a very nifty goal as he falls over. But replays show him going all Gary Anderson on the puck and kicking it in. The official actually does an NFL type of announcement of the decision and says "After review, there was a distinct kicking motion. There is no goal on the play." The only thing missing was a reminder that it was still second down. Coming back from commerical, we can see Gary Bettman is in the crowd. How we would love to "accidently" spill a Coke on him.

2:15: Spezza enters the offensive zone and fires a slapper. Rob Scuderi deflects it out of play with his stick.

2:08: Errey talks about Ruutu throwing a knife into the Senators' backs. "Bill The Butcher" not impressed.

Bill the Butcher

1:14: Phillips directs a shot on net. Fleury knocks it away with his glove.

0:50: Sykora directs the puck towards the net. Malone charges on net to try and make a play on the puck but is upended by Phillips with a slash. No call.

0:23: Steigerwald refers to Gill as the "U.S.S. Gill."

0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Senators 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-The Penguins are dominating the shots, 30-13.

-They also have an edge in faceoffs, 23-20.

-After being interviewed by Potash, Ruutu says, "Thanks Potash."

-Mike Yeo gets some face time.

THIRD PERIOD

18:25: Scuderi is nabbed for tripping.

17:38: Foligno and Vermette try to jam a puck in by Fleury who holds his ground. "The Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani is played:

16:34: Alfredsson blasts a one-timer from the point that hits Spezza in the foot.

16:23: Gill throws a shot on net that Gerber knocks away with a blocker easily.

15:06: Hossa pounds a slapper on net. Gerber knocks it away.

12:30: A picture of Gary Roberts as a 16-year-old is shown. We believe he had possessed a drivers license for at least eight years at that point.

9:39: Heatley backhands a loose puck in the slot on net. Fleury snags it out of the air. The Senators charge the net. Fleury jabs his stick into the back of Vermette's legs.

8:29: As Errey says hi to all the people watching the game outside Mellon Arena, the Senators show their desperation by busting out "Cotton-Eyed Joe:"

6:14: Fleury may have just ended the Senators's season. Commodore throws a puck at net from the point. Lapointe makes a masterful re-direct but Fleury makes a huge save. He also denies Lapointe on the rebound. Absolutely clutch.

2:28: Sykora blasts a slapper and Redden blocks it with his backside.

2:14: Redden firs a shot that Staal blocks with his ankle.

1:56: The Penguins are in full-out Devils mode. They're dumping the puck and changing lines.

1:45: Orpik absolutely dumps Foligno with a hip check.

1:18: Gerber is pulled for an extra attacker.

0:47: Hossa clears the puck out of the offensive zone. Brian Lee goes back to ice it. Bryan Murray calls a time out to rest his team. "The Final Countdown" by Europe is played:

0:28: Alfredsson gets a shot on net in the slot. Fleury saves it.

0:20: Meszaros fires a slapper. Dupuis blocks it.

0:07: Crosby brings the puck up ice and fires a laser from the neutral zone into an empty cage for one of us. Penguins 3-1.

0:00: End of Game. Penguins 3, Senators 1.

POSTGAME

-As the teams shake hands, Senators fans offer an "Alll-Feee, Allll-Feeee!" chant for Alfredssson.

-Hossa exchanges words with some of his former teammates.

-This is the fifth time in team history the Penguins swept a team in the playoffs.

-EN editor Dan Gigler sent us this picture of the crowd outside Gate 3 at Mellon Arena:

outside

-The bottom line with this series is that the Penguins were clearly a better team. There was nothing stategically they did that was better than the Senators other than show up to play the game. They were a healthier and more cohesive team. Their stars players showed up to play while Ottawa's were invisible.

-The Penguins won the shot battle, 34-22.

-The faceoffs were tied, 32-32.

-Marian Hossa finished with nine shots.

-Martin Gerber was the least of Ottawa's problems this series. He received very little help.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.



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