Doubling up

April 27, 2008

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Marc-Andre Fleury's second shutout of the playoffs leads the Penguins to a 2-0 win and a 2-0 series lead against the Rangers.

PREGAME

We got here a little bit after noon and the lawn outside Gate 3 at Mellon Arena was already full.

crowd2

crowd

-This is two hours before the start of the game mind you.

-A few jerseys we spotted:

-Ron Francis:

francis

-Peter Forsberg Flyers:

forsberg

(No idea what that guy is doing here.)

-We snuck down to the Zamboni ramp and took a picture of the ice:

ice

-We don't know if it just feels cooler in here because it's so sunny outside, but it's definitely a lot chillier in here today. Hopefully the ice conditions have improved for today's game. Both teams had said the ice was a problem in Game 1.

-If cruddy ice can create a dramatic 5-4 thriller again, we say turn up the heat.

-A few other jerseys we spotted:

Bob Kelly:

kelly

-Evgeni Malkin in the 1980s/early 1990s style:

malkin

-Rob Brown:

brown

-Mike Garnter:

gartner

-Paul Coffey:

coffey

-Joe Mullen:

mullen

-Kevin Stevens:

stevens

-Mario Lemieux in the 1980s/early 1990s style:

lemieux

-Shawn McEachern:

mceachern

-Rick Tocchet:

tocchet

-No word yet on the status of Gary Roberts. We assume he's a game-time decision much in the same way Peter Forsberg was for Colorado yesterday.

-With out any sort of encouragement from the Jumbotron or anything or any of the players on the ice, a "LET'S GO PENS!" spontaneously starts.

-Gary Roberts did not take to the ice to warm up.

-The pregame video is projected onto the ice:

pregame

-The Penguins come onto the ice through the Miami-Hurricanes-esque smoke screen:

smoke

-Jeff Jimerson sings the national anthem.

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

-The Rangers scratched 49 people.

-Game rosters.

FIRST PERIOD

19:12: Jordan Staal drives to the net and forces a shot. Henrik Lundqvist gloves it.

19:07: Jaromir Jagr touches the puck for the first time today and is booed.

17:33: Ryan Callahan swoops behind the Penguins' net, turns and fires a wrister high that Marc-Andre Fleury fights off.

17:03: Ryan Whitney is sent off for interference.

16:28: "Yaaaahhh-Geerrrr, Yaaaahhh-Gerrrrrr..."

15:35: Scott Gomez and Brooks Orpik wrestle for a puck in the corner. Gomez is called for holding. Four-on-four.

15:03: Whitney's penalty expires. The Penguins will get a power play for 1:28.

14:35: Hossa gets sprung on a breakaway. He tries to deke but Lundqvist holds it out with his right toe. Hossa needs to lift that.

14:16: Hossa fire a wrister from the left faceoff circle Lundqvist eats it up.

14:04: Sergei Gonchar pounds a "plasser" from the point. Lundqvist knocks it away with his blocker.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: We were going through this post looking for typos and noticed we typed "plasser" instead of "slapper." For some stupid reason, that seems awesome to us and we're leaving it in but acknowledging it at the same time.)

13:53: Whitney fires a quick wrister form in tight. Lundqvist kicks it out.

13:32: Whitney slides a pass across the crease to Crosby who tries to slide it in by Lundqvist. No dice. Lundqvist has come to play.

12:46: As the play is blown dead, Marc Staal shoves Maxime Talbot to the ice. Kris Letang comes up and defends Talbot.

11:49: Chris Drury snaps a quick shot off from in tight. Fleury eats it up.

10:49: Crosby snaps a pass off from the left boards into the slot. Hossa can't conrol it with a Ranger in his face but manages to chop a shot off. The puck flutters just wide of the net.

9:55: Lundqvist must be a jerk or something. During a stoppage, the ice crew come out to clean the crease and he basically refuses to move. He pretty must just stands there hunched over and forces the attendants to work around him.

9:35: Talbot comes streaking down the right side and fires a high wrister on net that Lundqvist punches away.

9:19: Jarkko Ruutu is sent off for hooking.

8:49: Dan Girardi ropes a wrister from the point. Fleury holds it out with a "thud."

7:08: As Ruutu's penalty expires, Talbot slides a cross-ice pass to Ruutu who pushes a one-timer juuuust wide.

6:26: Just as the Penguins are called for being offsides, Letang fires a shot on net which is a no-no when play is halted. Paul Mara takes exception and mugs Letang. The rest of the players follow suit and jump in the scrum. Mara is sent off for roughing while Letang is called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Replays show Tyutin getting a handful of Crosby's jersey.

6:06: Crosby tries to skate by Fedor Tyutin in the corner. Tyutin throws Crosby to the ice and is called for holding. Jagr skates over to Crosby and tells him what his favorite Lou Reed song is. We think. Orpik comes over and sticks a shoulder into Jagr's chest.

5:34: Evgeni Malkin blasts a one-timer. Drury makes a nice play by falling to the ice and kicks it away.

4:21: Whitney fires a wrister from in tight. Lundqvist says no.

3:22: Ruutu is sent off for high sticking. Officials have to seperate both some players from both teams near the benches. This game has been much more chippier than Game 1.

3:02: Hal Gill knocks Jagr down with almost a reverse clothesline.

2:22: Off a faceoff, Tyutin pumps a slapper on net. Fleury grabs it easily. A "Flerrr-Eeeee! Flerrr-Eeee!" chant can be heard.

0:26: Malkin tries to make a "leap-move" (if that makes sense) around Michal Rozsival. Rozsival makes a nice play and taks the puck away from him.

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

-It's fair to say the Penguins controlled the play slightly that period. Lundqvist kept them off the scoreboard with some nice saves.

-The Penguins out-shot the Rangers, 14-10.

-New York had a 14-11 edge in faceoffs.

-Hossa needed to score on the breakaway. That's why he's here.

-Hossa led all skaters with four shots on goal.

-According to EN reader Nick Porto, Pierre McGuire, the NBC analyst stationed between the benches, said Sean Avery make a remark to Crosby near the benches during a television timeout. Hal Gill responded, "You know what? You just weren't hugged enough as a child. That's why you have issues."

-Sigmund Freud impressed:

Freud 2

-Best text messages sent to the Jumbotron:

"We call our two year old daughter Ruutu"

"Dupuis or not Dupuis... that is the question."

SECOND PERIOD

19:37: Ruutu and Jagr and separated after having a discussion on Superbowl XVII. We think.

17:49: Using a few players as a screen, Ryan Malone sends a wrister on net. Lundqvist eats it up.

16:59: Talbot gathers a loose puck, enters the offensive zone and fires a slapper. Lundqvist kicks it out.

16:20: Avery absolutely runs Rob Scuderi over behind the Penguins' net.

12:11: Whitney fires a slapper just wide of the net from the point.

11:55: The Penguins hold the puck in the Rangers' zone for almost 30 seconds on just pure effort. Lundqvist gloves a shot and freezes play. The crowd at Mellon Arena offers a standing ovation for the effort.

11:28: Jagr comes winding through the slot with the puck and shoots from the left side of the net. Fleury knocks the puck down and covers it.

10:40: Georges Laraque cruches Avery into the glass. The crowd offers an appreciative cheer.

9:42: Callahan fires a slapper from the right boards. Fleury knocks it away.

9:03: Using Gonchar as a screen, Brandon Dubinsky fires a wrister on net. Fleury locates it and gloves it.

8:26: Adam Hall throws a puck at the net from the point. Petr Sykora tries to re-direct it. Lundqvist stands his ground.

7:38: Drury is called for hooking. A goal here would be nice.

6:55 Hossa has a chance in near the net but can cash in.

6:05: Malkin brings the puck into the right faceoff circle and sneaks a nifty pass into the slot. Jordan Staal takes it, dekes to his left and lifts it over a prone Lundqvist. Mellon Arena erupts after waiting for over half the game for something to cheer about. The "Hey Song is played. Penguins 1-0.

4:18: Crosby tries to make a move around Rozsival but is held up. No call.

4:06: Hossa is sent off for hooking.

3:23: We're not sure if a shot actually got off, but the Penguins manage to keep the puck out of the net after a scramble in front of the the net that featured six bodies falling to the ice.

2:02: The Penguins kill off Hossa's penalty.

1:04: For the first time all day, we notice Brendan Shanahan as he gets dropped behind the Penguins' net by Letang.

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

-The game has really slowed down for the most part. There aren't exactly a lot of prime scoring opportunities. This is a far cry from the run-and-gun style of Game 1.

-The Penguins control the shot total, 23-17.

-The Rangers are dominating the faceoffs, 26-15.

-Best text messages sent to the Jumbotron:

"My puppy's name is Mark Eaton. Get better!"

"What would Jarkko Ruutu do?"

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: Before the third period, you can see Jagr and Ruutu continuing their discussion on Habib Bourguiba. We think.

18:49: Girardi is sent off for delay of game. An insurance goal here would be nice for the Penguins.

14:03: Ruutu drives a slapper on net. Lundqivst kicks it out. Tyler Kennedy tries to follow up on it but Blair Betts goes all Paul Bunyan on him. Betts goes off for slashing.

15:56: Crosby directs the puck into the slot. It glances off Ryan Malone's leg and just goes wide of the net.

11:57: Whitney checks Rozsival into the boards. Rozsival pops him in the back of the head with a little rabbit punch.

11:46: Jordan Staal squares up on a Ranger at the point and blocks a shot.

9:37: Sykora pushes a weak wrister on net. Lundqvist shuffles it away.

8:26: Malone pops Callahan with a shoulder near the boards and almost sends him into the Rangers bench.

7:21: Malkin charges up ice and throws a backhander on net. Lundqvist eats it up.

6:56: Jagr dumps Ruutu inside the Penguins' blue line.

6:06: Sykora gets Girardi in the face with his stick. Two minutes. The Rangers need a goal here.

4:18: Talbot makes a nice play by blocking a wrister by

4:13: The Rangers get a puck by Fleury into the net but the officials immediately wave it off. They rule Fleury had trapped it. It seemed like an awfully quick whistle to us.

3:02: Hossa pushes a shot wide of the net from the slot.

2:22: Gill and Avery wrestle in the slot and fall on Fleury. Fleury takes a quick jab at Avery. Gill is sent to the box for cross checking. This is pretty much do or die for the Rangers here. During a television timeout, a "Flerrr-Eeeee! Flerrrr-Eeeee!" chant breaks out.

1:31: Malone comes up ice with the puck on a partial two-on-one. The Rangers catch up to him. Instead of forcing a bad shot, he makes a wise decision and throws it around the corner to kills some time.

1:00: Lundqvist leaves the net for an extra attcker.

0:16: What a lucky but brilliant goal. Adam Hall tries to control the puck in the corner of the Penguins' zone. He turns and fires it off the glass. As Gill leaves the box the puck rolls on edge directly into the empty cage for one of us. The Rangers look completely dejected on the bench. Penguins 2-0.

0:00: End of period. As time expires Fleury gives Avery a jab in the backside with his stick. Avery turns and spears Fleury. Gill grabs Avery and drops his gloves. Avery backs away as that happens and waits for an official to get between them. Georges Laraque comes over to get at Avery. Both teams scrum in the corner. Officials break it up. The crowd chants, "Flerrr-Eeee! Flerrr-Eeee!" Penguins 2, Rangers 0.

POSTGAME

-That game was very boring in comparison to Friday's dazzling spectacle. The Rangers wanted to shut it down and they accomplished that. Despite that, the Penguins were able to eek out a win.

What else can you say about Marc-Andre Fleury? He's the only goaltender to start all of his team's games in the playoffs and remain undefeated. Detroit Chris Osgood is undefeated but he he didn't start his team's first four games against Nashville in the first round.

-Fleury and Montreal's Carey Price lead the playoffs with two shutouts.

-The Penguin had 32 shots while the Rangers had 26.

-New York won the faceoffs 37-20.

-Sergei Gonchar led all skaters with five blocked shots.

-Nice to see Sean Avery had his mind in the right place prior to the game.

-Fleury's shutout overshadowed Lundqvist's 30 save effort. This could've been a 5-0 game if it weren't for him.

-Did anyone see Brendan Shanahan? Other than the time Letang dumped him behind the Penguins net, we barely noticed him. We guess he was busy trying to figure out when it was an appropiate time in the game to call interference.

-The Penguins are on a 12-game winning streak at home including the regular season. They're last loss at home was a 2-1 shootout loss to San Jose Feb. 24.

-You can't really tell from this photo, but the "beards" Crosby and Fleury are growing are really bad when you see them in person. They looks like some kids you would see outside a 7-Eleven waiting until someone older would come by so they could ask them to buy cigarettes.

fleury

-Jordan Staal's beard makes him look like a blonde Abraham Lincoln.

-A few of you have e-mailed us about this. What is up with that combo Hitler moustache/flavor saver Jagr is growing?

-When we see things like the facial hair on Fleury, Crosby and Jagr, we pause and wonder if playoff beards are really a good thing.

-Therrien said the ice was not a problem. Crosby said it was better.

-Rangers coach Tom Renney didn't have a problem with the call on the Rangers' "non-goal." Renney said, "I thought the whistle had blown before I saw any kind of indication of a goal. To me it seemed like a good call. I thought it was an accurate call."

-Fleury said, "I knew I had it underneath my pads."

-Crosby on his "conversation" with Jagr, "Just ask him. I wasn't the one talking."

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights.



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