Failing to close

May 1, 2008

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Three points by Jaromir Jagr lead the Rangers to a 3-0 win against the Penguins.

PREGAME

-We want to let you folks now we've been having some wireless connection issues here at Castle Empty Netters. We know that's hard to believe considering we have the always flawless service Comcast offers. So if there are lulls in the action in tonight's post, please bear with us.

-No Max Talbot tonight. Gary Roberts will take his place in the lineup.

-Evgeni Malkin was nominated for the Lester B. Pearson award which is the "sort of MVP award."

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

-The Penguins scratched Talbot, Kris Beech, Jeff Taffe, Darryl Sydor and Dany Sabourin.

-The Rangers scratches can be found here.

-Amazingly, the Rangers are dressing Ryan Hollweg. He totally killed any momentum they had after tying Game 3, 3-3, when he checked Petr Sykora from behind.

-Christine Simpson interviews Sidney Crosby. Those "sideburns" he has just make us uncomfortable.

-These Edge shaving gel commercials, (the ones with the attractive women in skimpy clothing) are some of the most mind-numbing things we've ever watched in our lives. We honestly feel like our intelligence decreases everytime we watch them.

FIRST PERIOD

18:35: Michal Rozsival and Crosby chase after a puck in the corner. Crosby takes a hard spill.

18:07: Marc Staal is nabbed for goaltenders interference. Crosby can be seen on the bench a bit shaken up.

17:50: Ryan Whitney throws a soft wrister on net. Henrik Lundqvist eats it up. Crosby returns to the ice to take the faceoff.

16:06: Marc Staal's penalty expires. The Penguins didn't mount much of an attack on that power play.

15:38: The injury report they flash showing injuries to Talbot, Sean Avery and Blair Betts pretty much runs the full spectrum of injuries. Foot, Spleen and Orbital Bone.

15:08: The Staals are brothers.

14:08: Sergei Gonchar turns the puck over. Jaromir Jagr scoops it up and fires a quick wrister five hole. Marc-Andre Fleury closes the gates.

13:28: Marian Hossa is called for holding.

12:28: Jagr coasts down the left boards and centers the puck. Martin Straka one-times it and appears to miss the net.

11:12: Brandon Dubinsky swoops behind the net, turns and throws the puck on net. Fleury traps it against his leg.

10:18: Hossa grabs a rebound behind the net. He tries to sneak it in on a wraparound on the other side but Lundqvist is able to hold it out with his left toe.

8:40: Marc Staal lumberjacks Tyler Kennedy's stick in two. He's sent off for slashing. The Staals are brothers.

6:18: Jordan Staal plays a puck with his hand into the corner. Pascal Dupuis chases it but doesn't touch it because play would be blown dead. Chris Drury comes but doesn't play it for some reason either. After about 12 seconds of looking at the puck with Dupuis and Hossa, Drury finally clears the puck.

5:23: Rozsival pounds a slapper from the point. Fleury snares it with his glove.

5:03: Gonchar plays the puck up ice. Kennedy outraces Jason Strudwick for it and gets a quick shot on net. Lundqvist kicks it out.

3:46: Dupuis takes the puck wide and throws a sneak backhander on net that Lundqvist is forced to kick out.

2:26: Jordan Staal appears to get away with a trip.

0:33: The Hossas are brothers.

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

-That was a really tame period by any standard. Neither team really pressed the attack except for a few short spurts.

-The Penguins out-shot New York, 8-6.

-The Penguins also had an 11-7 advantage in faceoffs.

-Crosby already has 8:19 of ice time.

SECOND PERIOD

18:10: Dupuis swipes a backhanded pass across the slot to Malkin. Malkin tries to deke on Lundqvist but lost control of the puck.

17:20: Drury fires a quick wrister on net. Fleury eats it up.

15:05: Rob Scuderi nudged Ryan Callahan into the boards from behind with a check.

14:49: Brendan Shanahan charges to the net fighting off a check from Kris Letang and pushes the puck on net. Fleury knocks it away. Letang is called for holding.

14:22: Shanahan gets a quick slapper off. Fleury kicks it out.

12:10: It's fair to say Therrien has totally torn apart his lines and put new ones out there. Hossa fed a pass across the slot to Malkin who drove a slapper on net. Lundqvist deflects it out of play. Gary Roberts was there to clean up any potential rebounds.

11:08: The Malkin-Malone-Sykora line is back together.

9:55: Kennedy tries to pound in a wrap-around. Lundqvist holds out the initial shot. Kennedy wipes out but manages to force the rebound on net. Lundqvist traps that against his leg.

8:28: Nigel Dawes fires a quick wrister on net. Fleury eats it up.

7:15: Jagr comes up the left side, moves into the slot against Gonchar and rifles a wrister that beats Fleury on the stickside. Just as Jagr releases the puck, he gets popped on a nice check by Brooks Oprik. Jagr lays on the ice without movement for a few moments. Some of the Rangers players get in Orpik's grill about the hit. A trainer comes out to attend to Jagr. He gets up looking a little dazed but collects himself. Nice hit. Dazzling goal. That lame "Le-eet's Go Rang-Ers!" song is played. Rangers 1-0.

4:52: Jarkko Ruutu is sent off for holding.

4:24: Dan Girardi loses control of the puck at the point. Ryan Malone takes it off him and force it up ice. Malone approaches the net and shoots low. Lundqvist kicks it out with his left foot. Huge save. "Hen-Rik! Hen-Rik!" chants can be heard.

4:04: Shanahan fires a slap shot from the left boards. Fleury shrugs it away.

2:07: Girardi fires a slapper from the point and breaks his stick. Malkin blocks the shot with his blade. Crosby grabs the loose puck in the air, settles it down with his hand and sends Malkin off to the races on a breakaway. Malkin approaches the net, gets nudged from behind by Girardi and tumbles down feet first into the net like a Slip 'N Slide. The puck goes into the net which gets dislodged. The officials immediately point for a penalty shot. They then review the play to see if a goal was scored. After a delay, they rule nothing was scored. Malkin takes his shot. He approaches the net very slowly, hesitates and shoots glove side. Lundqvist holds his ground and knocks the puck away with his glove. "Hen-Rik! Hen-Rik!"

0:45: Petr Sykora is nabbed for hooking Petr Prucha. Sykora was mad Prucha stole the spelling of his name actually.

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

-The Rangers will get 1:15 of power play time on clean ice.

-Shots are tied, 17-17.

-The Penguins are edging the Rangers in the faceoffs, 18-16.

-Is this game boring for anyone else? Game 2 seems like a 7-5 scorefest in comparison to this snoozer. Malkin's penalty shot was certainly intriguing and Orpik had that nice hit on Jagr, but in addition to the lack of scoring, there's been relatively little hitting or any sort of physical play.

THIRD PERIOD

19:16: On the power play, Dubinsky takes a puck in the slot, spin in front of Rob Scuderi and throws it to the far side of Fleury's right foot. Rangers 2-0.

18:11: Whitney fires a loose puck on net. Lundqvist makes the save. Sykora right in the slot and throws the rebound back on net. Lundqvist eats it up. Rozsival pushes Malone on top of Lundqvist. "Hen-Rik! Hen-Rik!"

17:45: Jagr takes a drop pass from Straka and throws a wrister at the net that Fleury is forced to kick out.

15:48: Replays show Colton Orr taking a run at Crosby. Crosby ducked at the last minute.

15:19: The Penguins just missed a big opportunity to cut the lead in half. Malone backhands a pass into the slot. Sykora chops it it. The puck doinks off the crossbar. Jordan Staal tries to clean up the rebound but shoots it through the crease. They needed a goal there.

14:55: Hal Gill fires a shot from the point. Dubinsky gets down and blocks the shot.

13:43: Pat Healy and Nuke LaLoosh are at the game.

11:40: Gonchar is called for cross checking Fredrik Sjostrom.

8:30: Therrien has a Hossa-Malkin-Crosby unit on the ice.

7:48: Straka feeds a pass into the slot for Dubinsky. Dubinsky drives the shot on net but Fleury deflects it out of play.

7:08: Shanahan pumps a slapper on net from the right wing. Fleury makes the save.

6:35: Hossa gets run over by Girardi infront of the teams' benches.

6:28: Malkin and Crosby try to discuss the reign of Nicolae Ceausescu with Girardi. We think. A scrum breaks out. Letang drops his gloves for some reason. Girardi goes to the box along with Malkin and Crosby which seems like a fair exchange. (Cough, cough.) The Rangers will get a two-minute power play. Rangers fans bust out the ever creative "Crosby Sucks" chant. That seemed like a bad penalty for the Penguins to take. You still have a lot of time to tie this game up. Why take your two best players off the ice and put the Rangers on a power play? We know they were defending Hossa, but still, why put yourself at a disadvantage?

4:10: Scott Gomez is called for high-sticking. The Penguins need to score here.

3:35: Crosby tries to play the puck behind the Rangers' net but an officials gets in the way. The Rangers clear and Crosby appears to say something to the official.

3:09: Gonchar has a wide open opportunity. He tees up a slapper. Lundqvist makes the save and collects the rebound.

1:14: Dupuis is sent off for high sticking Nigel Dawes. Michel Therrien calls a time out.

1:03: Shanahan drives a shot on net. Fleury eats it up.

0:41: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.

0:39: Fleury is put back in with a faceoff back in their own end.

0:21: Fleury is pulled again.

0:13: Jagr is fires home a shot for one of us. A scrum breaks out in the corner. In perhaps the unlikeliest combo of fighters, on the ice, Gonchar and Rozsival decide to drop the glove. They hold each other and stare at one another as if waiting for instructions on what to do. Like a whistle or a flag was to supposed to tell them when to fight or something. We'd say maybe one punch was thrown, but that's being kind. Replays show Malkin tripping Mara on a dangerous play. Mara and Malkin each get ten-minute misconducts. Rangers 3-0.

0:00: End of period. Another small scrum breaks out. Ruutu seems to be the focal point of it if you can imagine that. Rangers 3, Penguins 0.

POSTGAME

-That game was about as exciting as that 2-0 game the Penguins "played" against Philadelphia at the end of the regular season. They just seemed lifeless.

-Did anyone see Gary Roberts? He only had 7:33 of ice time.

-Rozsival led all skaters with 27:06 of ice time.

-Shanahan had seven shots and an assists. It's nice to see he finally showed up.

-Give the Rangers credit, they played like a desperate team, but the Penguins needed to close this game and get some rest. This was a missed opportunity.

-The Penguins had several opportunities to stay in this game as well. Malkin failed to convert on his penalty shot and Staal could've pounded in that rebound off the cross bar.

-Ruutu was called for roughing and got a ten-minute misconduct at the end of the game.

-Fleury was solid for the most part. He played well enough for the Penguins to win.

-Lundqvist obviously rebounded from a poor effort in Game 3.

-The Rangers out-shot the Penguins, 34-29.

-The Penguins controlled the faceoffs, 31-27.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.



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