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Maxime Talbot's return to the lineup leads the Penguins to a 4-2 win against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference final.
Today's sign this is a hockey city:
If you're not familiar with downtown Pittsburgh, we have these fiberglass dinosaurs all over the Golden Triangle. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has placed them around the city through a project called DinoMite Days. The purpose of them is to promote the museum's history in the science community and local artists.
Well the one in the picture above is placed in the Steel Plaza "T" Station underneath Mellon's evil corporate complex. Someone has placed "skates" on its four feet and renamed it Penguin-o-Saurus.
Yeah, it's something lame that your grandma might do, but it's that cute kind of lame. We dig it.
-Two hours prior to the game, several folks were lined up in front of the big screen outside Gate 3 here at Mellon Arena filming a "Let's Go Pens!" chant for some broadcaster.
It's an ugly, damp, chilly day here in Pittsburgh today. In the past few weeks when the weather's been nicer, there have been upwards of a thousand folks out here two hours prior to the drop of the puck. There might only be 100 or so today. Some wet weather is supposed to be rolling through out the tonight.
-A few jerseys we spotted already:
-Mario Lemieux Laval:
(We don't care what team you root for. If you show up on the road sporting your team's colors, you're a true fan. You deserve some respect for that. That girl giving us the evil eye doesn't deserve respect though.)
-The towels they're giving out tonight:
(We don't have one idea of what constitutes good ice. All we know is that it's cold as heck in here. Up here in the auxiliary press box, we can actually see our breath. Honest.)
-If you're reading along, hit us up at email@example.com.
-Jordan Staal Peterborough Petes:
-Ty Conklin Winter Classic:
(This is like our obligatory Mothers' Day shot by the way.)
-Coolest sign we've seen:
-The Penguins' scratches are Dany Sabourin, Darry Sydor, Kris Beech, Jeff Taffe and Adam Hall.
-Maxime Talbot will takes Hall's place in the lineup.
-It's a shame Hall is being taken out of the lineup. He's played well this postseason. You could argue he's played better than Gary Roberts.
-The Flyers scratched Ryan Potulny, Patrick Thoresen, Riley Cote, Kimmo Timonen, Denis Tolpeko, Ryan Parent, Scott Monroe and Nathan Guenin.
-Guenin, a defenseman, is a native of Hopewell.
-Thank goodness he's scratched. No offense to him, but the references to him and R.J. Umberger being locals would be insufferable.
-The place turns dark and a video is projected onto the ice:
-The Penguins come onto the ice through the Miami Hurricanes-esque smoke. One of the "guns" didn't work and failed to spit out smoke. Not a good start.
-Marc-Andre Fleury came running out of the ramp from the locker room like he was Jesse Owens.
-Jeff Jimerson's name is announced as the anthem singer and the crowd explodes. Jimerson, normally a rock of concentration, offers his fans a slight smile and a gentle nod.
19:48: Jeff Carter snaps a quick wrister off from the right side. Fleury kicks it out.
18:09: This is the last thing the Flyers need. Hal Gill winds up and takes a shot. The puck appears to hit a skate and deflects into the face of Bradyon Coburn. Coburn drops to the ice immediately holding his face. Blood can be seen pooling under his head. A trainer comes out to attend to him. He is helped to his feet and offered an applause. He leaves the ice with a towel over his face. Attendants come out and clean the ice. The Flyers didn't need that. With Timmonen already injured, they can't afford any other defenseman, let along any as skilled as Coburn, to go down.
16:11: Off a faceoff, Tyler Kennedy and Scottie Upshall drop the gloves. Kennedy throws a wild left then peppers Upshall in the back of the head with a few jabs. They fall to the ice. Offiicals step in to seperate them, but they immediatley pop up. They wrestle some more and throw a few punches before falling to the ice again. That was one of the more spirted fights we've seen all season.
15:38: Talbot charges into the crease with Derian Hatcher. Talbot stops but Hatcher can't because he's a terrible skater. Hatcher runs into Martin Biron and dislodges the net. A Flyers player says something to Talbot. Georges Laraque comes over to Hatcher and says something to him about the economy of Burkina Faso. We think. They exchange shoves. Laraque is given two minutes for roughing which is a really weak call. Perhaps the officials were trying to prevent the rough stuff before it got out of hand.
14:36: Short-handed, Pascal Dupuis pushes the puck up ice, undresses Mike Richards with a fantastic move and comes in on net on a breakaway. He shoots five hole, but Biron kicks it out.
13:37: The Penguins kill Laraque's penalty.
11:34: Vaclav Prospal throws a wrister on net from the left side. Fleury eats it up.
11:16: Carter trips Jordan Staal. Two minutes. The theme from "Jaws" is played for the Penguins' power play.
10:08: Ryan Whitney sneaks in from the point and snaps a loose puck on net. Biron kicks it out.
9:20: Mike Knuble is nailed for cross checking. The Penguins will have a two-man advantage for four seconds.
9:12: Just after Carter's penalty expires, Sidney Crosby controls the puck in the corner, spots an opening and rips a wrister from a tough angle that beats Biron on the glove side. There are maybe three players in this building that could've done that and one of them is in the owners' suite. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
8:31: "Marrrr-Teeeee.... Marrrrr-Teeeee..."
5:48: Hatcher pops Ryan Malone in the neutral zone with a nice shoulder check.
4:41: Scott Hartnell skates into the offensive zone and just narrowly avoids a check by Sergei Gonchar but looses his glove. Hartnell stumbles to the ice and directs a weak shot on net that Fleury covers. Daniel Briere charges in on net and gets shoved into the cage by Jarkko Ruutu.
4:35: "Marrrr-Teeeee... Marrrrr-Teeeee...."
4:28: Dupuis and Jason Smith are sent off. Dupuis is called for hooking while Smith is nabbed for interference. Four-on-four. The scoreboard here shows "92" instead of Dupuis' "9." Rick Tocchet not amused.
3:19: The Penguins control the puck for the bulk of the four-on-four. Gonchar sneaks in from the point and directs the puck into the crease. It trickles through Biron's equipment towards the goal line. Crosby is on the other side of the cage to give it a push. It appears to go over the line completely for moment before Biron reaches back and pulls it out. The Penguins point at the net for a goal. An officials waves it off but to to a video review. Nothing conclusively shows the puck totally over the line because Biron's glove obstructs the puck. Fans chant "Goal! Goal! Goal!" After a delay of about five minutes, the officials confirm the non-goal. Fans boo, but it's the right call. There was nothing definitive that showed the puck totally over the line.
2:38: Malone drops a Flyer with a nice check along the boards.
1:54: Whitney throws a puck on net from the point. Biron kicks it out.
1:25: Upshall is sent off for holding Crosby. Not a great time to take a penalty.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Flyers 0.
-The Penguins will have a power play for :34 seconds on clean ice to start the period.
-Shots are even, 9-9.
-The Penguins have a 13-10 advantage in faceoffs.
-Carter leads all players with four shots.
-Hatcher has blocked three shots already.
-We totally missed the text messages this intermission. Sorry.
19:26: Hossa takes a pass from Malkin and rips a shot from in tight. Biron knocks the puck down and covers it.
18:43: Dupuis dishes a puck into the slot for Sykora who fires a wrister on net. Biron denies it.
18:25: Brooks Orpik has Daniel Briere lined up for a hit at the blue line, but Briere avoids it at the last minute.
18:13: Scott Hartnell and Gonchar exchange words about Daniel Neal. We think.
17:22: Fleury covers a loose puck. Orpik gives Hartnell a jab to the stomach. Hossa is called for holding.
15:02: Dupuis dumps Lasse Kukkonen in the crease. Two minutes for interference. The Penguins need to quit taking penalties.
14:14: Eventually the Flyers were going to cash in on the power play. Joffrey Lupul controls the puck in the corner, makes a slick move to fend off Hal Gill and centers the puck into the crease. Carter is there uncovered and bangs home the puck by a helpless Fleury. Sloppy defense. Flyers 1, Penguins 1.
13:38: Randy Jones pumps a shot on net from the point. Fleury kicks it out with a "thud."
12:40: Ruutu drops Jaroslav Modry near the Flyers net with a nice check. "Ruuuuuuuu...."
12:14: Hatcher and a few Penguins scrum behind the Penguins. They were arguing over if George Bernard Shaw deserved his Nobel Prize. We think.
10:10: Off the faceoff, Ruutu blocks a shot at the point with his feet. "Ruuuuuuu...."
9:24: Sykora fires a slapper from the right boards. Biron snags it. According to EN reader and EN Facebook group founder Michael Janicki, Versus is reporting Coburn will not return to the game.
8:08: Hal Gill pumps a slapper on net. Biron eats it up.
7:39: Whitney comes down the left boards and directs a pass on net. Dupuis tries to re-direct it, but Biron stands his ground.
7:12: Sykora fires a quick shot on net. Biron makes the save.
6:26: Malkin drives to the net. Hatcher tries to stand him up but wraps his hand and stick around him. Two minutes for hooking. Hatcher takes about 43 minutes to get off the ice.
6:17: The Penguins don't waste time. Gonchar drives a slapper from the point. It appears to hit Malone in the crease. Hossa is there to clean up the garbage. Michel Ouellet would be proud. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 2-1.
5:35: Briere fires a shot from the right boards. Fleury kicks it out.
3:46: Dupuis appears to get away with a hook on Knuble.
2:48: Hartnell tries to tackle Malkin. No call.
1:43: Hatcher cross checks Staal in the head. Two minutes. Hartnell tris to drag another Penguin player off the ice and punches Ruutu in the chest. Hartnell gets sent off along with Ruutu. Ruutu was called for unsportsmanlike. Apparently getting punched isn't a noble thing to do. Before the faceoff, the players have to be seperated again.
1:00: Carter fires a shot from the left corner. Fleury traps it against the post and freezes play.
0:42: Gonchar fires a bomb from the point. Biron kicks it out.
0:23: Malkin enters the offensive zone and makes a horrible pass along the blue line. Mike Richards steals it and is off to the races. He approaches the net along and burns Fleury with a wrister by his glove side. Awful goal for the team to give up. Flyers 2, Penguins 2.
0:00: End of period. Flyers 2, Penguins 2.
-The Penguins are out-shooting Philadelphia 25-22.
-The Flyers have a 26-22 lead in faceoffs.
-We don't know if he just can't get out of the way or what, but Hatcher has five blocked shots.
-Jeff Carter leads all skaters
-Best text messages sent to the Jumbotron:
"Gary Roberts invented Mothers Day."
"Jeff Jimerson's hair shines like the sun."
"I'm inside and my mom's outside."
"NHL breaking news, Flyers sign broken stick to three year contract."
(NOTE: During the first period, the Penguins had a power play where one of Malkin's sticks broke and literally broke up two passes and helped the Flyers a great deal.)
-The Penguins will have a 16 seconds of power-play time on clean ice.
19:16: Richards and Malone each get away with hooks on one another.
18:25: Hartnell tries to jab in a wrap-around. Fleury says no and Orpik runs over Hartnell.
18:08: Briere makes contact with Fleury. Fleury sells it a little and Briere is sent off for two minutes.
16:58: Gonchar fires a slapper from the point. Biron absorbs it.
16:39: Kris Letang directs a shot on net from the right faceoff circle. Biron eats it up.
16:09: Richards dumps the puck and kills off the rest of Briere's penalty.
15:01: Hatcher chokeslams Kennedy in the corner.
14:39: Ruutu skates into the crease and is pushed down by Hatcher. Ruutu gets up and is slashed in the face by Biron. Hatcher tries to get at Ruutu who has this absolutely evil smile on his face the Joker would be proud of. Ruutu skates to his bench. Hartnell is literally held away by an official. Biron is given two for roughing and Ruutu is called for unsportsmanlike conduct because, again, getting punched, attacked, mugged, etc. isn't noble. Ruutu was basically penalized for being Ruutu. Four-on-four.
13:27: Whitney directs a shot on net. Biron easilyt kicks it out.
13:18: Carter is able to split Whitney and Letang, but Letang is able to reach back and poke the puck away before Carter can get a shot off.
13:27: Dupuis drops Vaclav Prospal with a shoulder in the corner. Not that he's some legendary clutch playoff performer, but Prospal has been very quiet so far this series.
11:45: "Marrrrr-Teeeee.... Marrrr-Teeeeee..."
11:08: What a way to return to the ice. The puck gets dumped behind the ice. Gary Roberts makes a nifty backhanded pass into the slot where Maxime Talbot punches it by a helpless Biron. Derian Hatcher, who's about five miles behind the play, checks Talbot after the fact. Talbot gets up and celebrates. Mellon Arena explodes. The "Hey Song is played. Penguins 3-2.
10:48: "LETS GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
10:09: "MARRRRR-TEEEEEE..... MARRRRRR-TEEEEEE....."
9:22: Upshall pumps a slapper from the left side. Fleury easily eats it up. "Marrrrr-Teeeeee.... Marrrrr-Teeeeeee....."
9:05: Crosby rips a backhander in the slot on net. It beats Biron up high but hits the cross bar and deflects out of play.
7:01: The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting Braydon Coburn needed 40 stitches to close that cut on his head. (Kudos to EN reader Tony Lepore for the heads up.)
6:01: Biron has become a bit unhindged here. During a stoppage, he leaves his crease and says something to an official. The official skates away. Some of Biron's teammates seemingly implore him to compose himself. Not a good time to loose your head. "Cotton-Eyed Joe is busted out:
-Then "Right Now" by Van Halen:
(Were we the only ones that like Crystal Pepsi?)
4:44: "Marrrrr-Teeeee... Marrrr-Teeeee..." morphs into "Go-Home Fly-Errs... Go-Home Fly-Errs."
4:30: Mike Knuble fires a shot from the right boards. Fleury easily snags it.
4:10: Ruutu grabs a loose puck at the point, sneaks in, gets Biron to drop, moves to the left and shoot. Biron somehow is able to glove it.
2:38: Briere gives Orpik a clothesline. No call.
2:18: Kennedy has chance in deep but sails his shot wide.
1:58: Upshall comes down the left wing and fire a low wrister. Fleury kicks it out but gives up a tough rebound. Jeff Carter can't pounce on it before it's cleared.
0:56: Sykora drives a shot on net from the slot. Biron knocks it away.
0:43: Fleury gloves high puck over his net and simultaneously manages to give Carter a facewash. A scrum ensues. The Flyers call a time out to get rested. Biron is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:28: The puck is cleared out of the Penguins' zone. Richards has trouble collecting it. Jordan Staal take it right off of him. And sends it into the cage for one of us. The "Hey Song" is played. Mike Lange's "Elvis has just left the building" is played. that normally reserved for when the clock has three zeroes on it. Penguins 4-2.
0:00: End of game. "Song 2" by Blur is played. Penguins 4-2.
-Same score, same result, same trills. It took a slightly different route to reach its conclusion, but this was another thrilling, high-energy contest.
-How depressing must it be for the Flyers that the Penguins hardly played their best game, but still came out with a win?
-We have to wonder if the result would've been different had Coburn been in the lineup. With Kimmo Timonen out of the lineup, he is easily their best defenseman in the lineup. Playing with five blue liners most of the night was tough.
-Tyler Kennedy quietly had a solid game.
-After the game, Michel Therrien said he planned on talking to the officials about the two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties Ruutu was given.
-Therrien described his decision to bench Adam Hall a tough one, but said it something you need to do in the playoffs. He also pointed out that its an example of the depth his team has.
-It's hard to give Fleury any grief over the two goals he gave up. He didn't have help on either.
-Biron looked shaky at best. Seeing him suffer a bit of melt down wasn't a good sign if you're a Flyers fan.
-This isn't a clear photo, but Fleury's "beard" is growing in a little. He has that Ethan Hawke thing going on sort of:
-We won't even dignify Crosby's with the word, "beard." It's more a collection of random facial hair.
-Jeff Carter led all skaters with eight shots on net.
-Sykora led the Penguins with six.
-Sergei Gonchar had three assists.
-The Penguins had 38 shots on net. The Flyers had 32.
-The Flyers controlled the faceoffs, 41-31.
First Published May 11, 2008 6:27 pm