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April 29, 2008

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Superb penalty killing helps lead the Penguins to a 5-3 win in New York and a 3-0 series lead.

PREGAME

As the broadcast begins, Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey are forced to talk over Coldplay's "Clocks:"

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

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

-The Rangers scratched a billion people again.

-Here are the teams' rosters.

-If you're reading along, hit us up at srorabaugh@post-gazette.com.

FIRST PERIOD

19:39: Steigerwald proclaims it "Ruutu Time."

19:03: Crosby touches the puck and is booed.

18:58: Pascal Dupuis takes the puck and makes a hard cut to the inside. Michal Rozsival tries to stay with him but falls down. Dupuis sends a hard pass into the slot. Crosby charges towards the net and re-directs the puck on net. Henrik Lundqvist makes the save but gives up a rebound. Marian Hossa jumps on it and pounds it behind Lundqvist on the stick side. Big goal by Hossa. Penguins 1-0.

17:19: Marc Staal sneaks in from the point and lets loose with a wrister. Marc-Andre Fleury spots it through a screen and fights it off.

14:13: Jaromir Jagr takes the puck and swoops behind the Penguins' cage. Fleury comes out way too far and leaves the net open. Jagr comes around the other side and centers a pass to Martin Straka in the slot. Straka must've been gripping his stick too tight because he totally missed the cage.

13:58: Jagr gets pushed to the ice by Orpik. Fans cry for a penalty but sorry, that's a clean check.

13:37: Hossa works the puck up ice. Jagr trails him and puts a stick near his feet. Hossa appears to go down a little too easily. Jagr complains to anyone who will listen. The officials call Hossa for diving and Jagr for hooking. Four-on-four.

12:38: The Staals are brothers.

12:11: Marc Staal flattens Jordan Staal with a nice check in front of the Penguins' bench. They're brothers by the way.

11:13: Rozsival pounds a slapper from the point. Fleury makes the save. Jagr tries to jump on a rebound but Fleury scoops it up. Errey says Jagr is on fire and is looking like a younger Jagr.

Jagr's All-Star mullet

-Sorry, but without that mullet, he'll never look like a younger Jagr.

10:35: Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora come up ice on a two-on-one. They pass it a bit too much and Malkin misses the cage with his shot.

9:00: Dan Girardi pops Dupuis to the ice with a nice check.

8:37: The Staals are brothers.

8:00: Ryan Callahan fires a slapper from the left side. Fleury stops it and covers the rebound. Nigel Dawes chops away at Fleury digging for a rebound. Orpik and Scuderi give him the business.

6:45: Crosby centers a pass to the slot for Dupuis. Dupuis elects not to shoot, spins and dishes it to Hossa who pounds a shot into Lundqvist's chest. No dice. Dupuis needs to shoot that.

5:28: Jagr and Paul Mara come up ice with the puck. Mara centers it into the slot and Jagr tries to re-direct it by Fleury. Fleury makes the save but the rebound kicks out to the right side. Straka punches it in with Jagr standing in the crease. The officials don't signal anything. The net gets knocked off. Ryan Whitney and Jagr exchange shoves. Mara jumps on Whitney and a near line brawl breaks out. Malkin and Jagr give each other the business. Straka and Sykora pretty much do nothing more than wrinkle each other's uniforms. After a lenghty replay, officials comfirm the goal. Crosby appears to complain that Jagr interfered with Fleury but two Penguins defensemen pushed him into the net. Half the players on the ice seemingly are sent to the box. That stupid "Let's Go Rangers" song is played. Penguins 1, Rangers 1.

3:43: Whoa. What? Georges Laraque scored? Sykora tries to play it to the side of the net for Malkin. The puck deflects of Malkin's skate and goes to Laraque. Laraque snaps off a quick, rising wrister that beats Lundqvist. Dang. Penguins 2-1.

3:11: Ryan Callahan clips Hal Gill with a high stick and draws blood. That's a "four-minuter" as Errey would say.

2:19: At the point, Sergei Gonchar slides a pass over to Malking at the point. Malkin blasts a one timer that hits twine. According to Steigerwald, it's Malkin first goal in Madison Square Garden. Penguins 3-1.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Rangers 1.

The Rangers are out-shooting the Penguins, 15-9. They also have an advantage in faceoffs, 12-7.

-Laraque is interviewed by Dan Potash and gives Potash a kiss on the side of the face.

-Is it us or does Rob Scuderi with a beard sort of look like Joe Thornton with a beard?

-Is it us or does Tyler Kennedy with a "beard" look like Booger from "Revenge of the Nerds?"

SECOND PERIOD

17:08: Sykora is nailed for holding Brandon Dubinsky.

16:55: A reader writes:

"Does anyone else find it ironic or strange that there is a UPMC ad on the boards?"

-Tom Rubitz, Orlando, Fla.

EN-Thomas also informed us that the Versus feed is available through channelsurfing.net.

15:49: Dupuis is called for hooking Jagr. The Rangers will have a two-man advantage for 42 seconds. Michel Therrien appears to ask the officials for a where he can get a good deal on bull manure.

15:37: Brendan Shanahan fires a shot from the point. Fleury eats it up.

15:14: Jagr comes down the left side uncontested and drives to the net. He tries to deke but Fleury stands his ground

15:04: Sykora comes out of the box and drives a slapper on net. Lundqvist eats it up. Errey calls Jagr a "Young Jaromir Jagr" again. We think Errey's just trying to do what he can to bring the mullet back.

14:22: Orpik hits Callahan up high. He's sent to the box for two minutes. The rangers will get another five-on-three for 33 seconds.

13:59: Shanahan fires a shot from the point. Scuderi blocks it and is dropped.

13:40: During a scramble in the crease, the puck almost slides across the goal line. At the last second, Hal Gill sweeps it out.

12:43: Mara tries to fire a one-timer from the point but Maxime Talbot shows a lot of guts by laying out to block it.

8:07: Dupuis fires a quick slapper. Lundqvist makes the save.

7:53: Scott Gomez out-works Scuderi behind the net for a loose puck dishes a pass from behind the net to Callahan. Callahan snaps a quick shot by a suprised Fleury. That was a sloppy goal to give up. Not so much for Fleury but the team as a whole. Penguins 3-2.

7:31: Malone shoots a puck at the net. It gets deflected and hits Betts in the face. He leaves the ice hunched over.

6:49: OK, maybe he does look like the young Jagr. Ryan Whitney doesn't cleanly play a puck behind the net. The Rangers captain swoops behind the net, grabs the puck, comes around the other side and rips a wrister by Fleury on the far side. It's an absolutely sick goal. Errey makes a mention of Jagr's blade being illegal, but so what? That was a fantastic goal. Therrien calls a time out to settle his team down. Penguins 3, Rangers 3.

4:58: Steigerwald calls Fedor Tyutin, "Rootin' Tyutin."

4:48: Gomez clinks a shot off the post.

4:04: Ryan Hollweg takes a terrible penalty as he runs Sykora from behind into the boards. The deserves some sort of fine or suspension that Colin Campbell won't dole out. Hollweg killed a lot of momentum by taking that penalty. Hollweg is apparently growing a George Parros-esque porn 'stache by the way.

2:07: Way to go Ryan Hollweg you useless slug. You totally let the Penguins off the hook. Crosby dishes a puck across the crease. Malkin settles it down, holds it and pounds a slapper that rings off the far post and beats Lundqvist. Penguins 4-3.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Rangers 3.

-The Rangers are killing the Penguins in shots on goal, 29-13.

-New York has an a 22-15 edge in faceoffs.

-Talbot is interviewed by Potash. He looks like he's homeless.

-Rob Scuderi has five blocked shots already. That's insane.

-Jagr leads all skaters with six shots.

-The Staals were not brothers at all that period.

-Drury left the ice during the second period during a power play.

THIRD PERIOD

17:48: Errey mentions that Dupuis and Adam Hall were both Rangers at one time. Last February, the Rangers sent Hall to Minnesota in exchange for Dupuis.

17:30: Off a faceoff, Letang pops a shot into the slot. Malone re-directs it on net and it beats Lundqvist. What a sneaky goal. Penguins 5-3.

14:59: At some point here, Drury has returned to the ice.

14:25: Dupuis is sent off for slashing. Dupuis is sent to the box and appears to yell something that rhymes with "duck."

14:00: Jagr dances towards the net and tries to jam it by Fleury. Fleury stacks the pads. Gill knocks Jagr to the ice. Hall and Rozsival mix it up. A replay confirms the non-goal.

13:57: Mara fires a slapper off the faceoff on net. Fleury kicks it out with a "thud."

12:25: Hossa clears the puck and the Penguins kill off Dupuis' penalty.

10:37: Callahan pounds a slapper from the the left boards. Fleury eats it up. Hall slams Fredrik Sjostrom into the boards. Not a bright play. The Rangers will get a power play. They need a goal badly here.

8:56: Christian Backman blasts a slapper on net. It smacks Fleury in the mask.

8:17: The "U.S.S. Gill," as Steigerwald calls him, wipes out Dubinsky behind the net. The Pensblog smiles.

7:18: Backman sweeps a shot at the net. Orpik blocks it.

5:41: Tyler Kennedy snaps off a quick wrister that Lundqvist fights off.

2:12: The Penguins are in full Devils mode as they're dumping the puck and changing lines.

1:51: Rangers coach Tom Renney calls a time out. Madison Square Garden is quieter than Evgeni Malkin in a spelling bee.

1:30ish: Lundqvist is pulled for an extra attacker.

0:20: Avery waits until now to to do something as he drives an elbow into the back of Orpik's head while Orpik is laying on the ice.

0:00: End of period. Jordan Staal drives Dubinsky into the Penguins bench. Jagr comes over to defend his teammate. Avery bravely socks Hossa in the back of the head. It's nice to see Avery actually do something once his team is down 3-0. Penguins 5, Rangers 3.

POSTGAME

-The Penguins scored five goals, a high total for any team in the playoffs, but that wasn't the main reason they won. The penalty killing was amazing. It shut down the potent collection of the talent the Rangers have despite being down by two men on two seperate occasions. The Penguins gave the Rangers every opportunity to pull even on the scoreboards, but their penalty kill nullified those opportunities.

-Give Jagr credit. He did everything he could to carry his team tonight. But he didn't have a lot of help. When he's motivated, Jagr can still dominate.

-Unless they have a rash of injuries, how can the Rangers dress Ryan Hollweg the rest of the series? His penalty totally killed any momentum the Rangers gained after tying the game.

-As Stan Savran interviews Adam Hall, you can see Penguins logos posted all throughout the visiting locker room. They even have one stuck on a heater in the locker room.

-Lundqvist looked bad for the first time this series. He made 12 saves on only 17 shots.

-Fleury was sterling again making 36 saves.

-The Penguins were offically credited with 16 blocked shots. Scuderi had six.

-Assuming the Rangers don't extend this series to six games, this was the final game of the season for FSN Pittsburgh. We know we've ridiculed Steigerwald and Errey a lot of time in this forum but they're pretty good at what they do. We have Center Ice and watch a lot of games from a lot of local broadcasters and can say FSN Pittsburgh's crew is one of the better ones out there. They may say a lot of stupid things from time to to time like "pterodactyl," but they know what they're doing.

-The last time the Penguins had back-to-back sweeps was in the 1992 playoffs as they swept the Bruins in the Wale Conference final and the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup final.

(Kudos to EN Reader Jason Long who spotted a really dumb error we made with that last note.)

-Has anyone seen Brendan Shanahan? Or his he still trying to figure out when it's appropiate to call interference?

-EN Reader Leonard Cote or Regina Saskatchewan informed us that the CBC broadcast of the game showed Brandon Dubinsky on the ice punching Jarkko Ruutu in the face on the bench during that scrum at the end of the game. Dubinsky deserves some sort of punishment for that, but we'd be surprised if the NHL acted on it. Colin Campbell seemingly doesn't act on something like that anymore unless the person on the business end of a punch or check is paralyzed.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary

-Highlights.



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