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The Penguins overwhelm the uninspired Panthers, 3-1.
-Paul Steigerwald opens with a bold segue. He notes that the Penguins are playing in Sunrise, Fla., and that the sun is rising on the second half of the season.
-Steigerwald won't let that "Little Tiger" nickname for Tyler Kennedy die.
-The Penguins scratched forward Ryan Stone and defenseman Ryan Lannon.
-The Panthers' only scratch was defenseman Branislav Mezei.
18:43: Erik Christensen is hauled down by Ruslan Salei and the Penguins get a power play.
16:43: The power play expires without the Penguins mounting a serious attack.
16:04: Olli Jokinen drives to the net and bowls over Ty Conklin. He tries to jam the puck in but Adam Hall is Johnny-on-the-spot and pokes it away.
15:52: Jokinen is sent to the box for goaltender interference.
13:52: The Penguins allow another penalty to expire without mounting much of an attack.
11:02: Jay Bouwmeester lobs a shot on net. Jozef Stumpel does a masterful job of re-directing it on net, but Conklin is there to absorb it.
9:52: Salei out-races Georges Laraque for a loose puck behind his own net and juuuuust avoids getting slammed into the boards by the Penguins tough guy with a nifty move.
7:59: Sidney Crosby comes down the right side and feeds a pass through Brian Allen's feet into the crease. Streaking towards the net is... uh... Brooks Orpik?!? Uh... OK. Orpik re-directs it on net right into Vokoun who hangs on for a save.
5:38: While talking about Panthers defenseman Marty Lojek (pronounced Low Jack), Errey wonders if that's something you use to fix your car. We thought it was a bad movie with Emilio Estevez, Rene Russo and Mick Jagger. Oh wait, that was "Freejack."
3:32: The puck is cleared into the Penguins zone and Conklin tries to play it. It caroms off his stick and deflects towards the net. Before it goes in, Conklin sweeps it away.
2:45: Nathan Horton is fed a puck into the slot and has a wide open shot. He responds by launching the puck into the orbit well over the net. Horton needs to choke up on that stick a little.
0:00: End of a pretty quick period. Panthers 0, Penguins 0.
-The Penguins own a 10-7 advantage in shots.
-Brooks Orpik says the ice is bad. So clearly that's the reason he didn't score his first goal in 165 games.
-Dan Potash scars our retinas by wearing the train wreck that is the Eastern Conference All-Star jersey.
-The music to the segment about the All-Star starters sounded like something from the "Bourne Ultimatum."
-Before the second period starts, "Right Now" by Van Halen is played. We all of a sudden have a craving for Crystal Pepsi:
15:11: After an icing call against the Penguins, Allen and Colby Armstrong get into an argument. Armstrong contends Bennett from "Commando" was the lamest bad guy ever in a movie. Allen feels the Night Slasher from "Cobra" holds the honor.
11:37: Allen fires a quick slapper from the point. Conklin makes the save, but the puck deflects high up in the air and lands in the crease. Stephen Weiss kicks it in and couldn't be more obvious about it if he were Fuad Reveiz. Officials immediately wave it off.
10:55: Ryan Malone drives to the net and gets a quick shot off as he's hooked by Salei. Vokoun makes a nice save and Salei goes to the box again.
10:15: Short-handed, Gregory Campbell generates a breakaway. He bears down on the net and shoots low. Conklin goes low and stacks the pads for the save.
9:55: Crosby works the puck from behind the net to the side of it. He feeds a pass across the crease to Petr Sykora who punches the puck just under Vokoun's right leg. Penguins 1-0.
8:39: Crosby picks the puck up in the neutral zone and blows by Bouwmeester and Allen. He attacks the net and snaps a wrister by Vokoun stick side. Penguins 2-0.
8:29: The amazing goal Crosby scored last season against the Panthers is replayed:
6:49: You know things are going bad when Georges Laraque is scoring goals. Jeff Taffe throws a puck from the side of the net towards Vokoun. It hits the far post and trickles into the crease. Georges Laraque is standing there and punches in the puck for an easy goal. Vokoun is mercifully taken out of the net in place of Craig Anderson. Penguins 3-0.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Panthers 0.
-The Penguins are out-shooting Florida, 25-11.
-Andre Savard is interviewed before the third period instead of Mike Yeo. Not cool.
18:57: Conklin clears the puck out of play and gets two minutes for delay of game. Sykora will serve the penalty.
17:43: Bouwmeester blasts a one-timer from the point. Conklin makes the initial save and is able to keep the Panthers chopping at the rebound from getting a goal.
7:05: What in the name of Kent Manderville was that? Jarkko Ruutu works the puck towards the net from the corner and scores. Or does he? Replays show the puck squirt through Anderson's equipment and slide along the goal line. Before Ruutu can punch it in, Anderson sweeps his leg to cover the puck. Officials initially call off the goal and the review the video. Nothing on the tape indicates that a goal was scored.
6:26: Salei's terrible night continues as he's called for hooking Laraque.
5:58: The Panthers finally decide to show a little emotion as Ryan Malone collides with Campbell in the neutral zone. Allen comes to his teammates' defense and breaks his stick by cross checking Malone. Before a fight can start, Malkin gets in the way and the officials break things up. Allen is given two minutes for cross checking.
5:39: Penguins fans round the world have their cries answered as Kris Letang, a right-handed shot is playing the left side of the power play. This potentially allows him to shoot one-timers.
4:09: Short-handed, Radek Dvorak comes down the right side and feeds Campbell in the slot. Campbell fires a wrister through traffic that beats Conklin five-hole. Penguins 3-1.
2:38: Steve Montador trips Crosby behind the net and gets two minutes. This pretty much kills any scant hopes the Panthers had remaining.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 3, Panthers 1.
-What a pathetic effort by the Panthers. They looked about as interested in playing that game as Ohio State does in winning national titles.
-The lack of effort falls on the shoulders of captain Olli Jokinen and head coach Jacques Martin. Not giving an honest effort is the ultimate sin in hockey and the supposed leaders of this team shouldn't allow it to happen.
-If you're one of the 39 Florida fans that showed up for this game, how are you not disgusted that you wasted your money going to this game?
-Conklin was 4:09 away from becoming the first Penguins goaltender to record shutouts in consecutive games.
-Conklin had a shutout streak of 124:29 before Campbell's goal. The Penguins record is held by Jocelyn Thibault who went 136:13 without giving up a goal.
-As Errey mentioned during the game, Vokoun called out his teammates.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Sidney Crosby was named a starter for the All-Star Game.
-The Penguins have too many dang Ryans on the team.
-After the Pittsburgh Penguins recalled Stone and Lannon, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins called up forward Joe Jensen from the Wheeling Nailers.
-We're a little late with this. The Wheeling Nailers named Greg Puhalski head coach. He replaced Glenn Patrick.
-LeBron James recently gave Sidney Crosby some props. (Last note.) At Deadspin, Greg Whyshynski wonders if James had an ulterior motive for heaping praise towards Crosby.
-Scott Hartnell had a goal and two assists while Jeff Carter scored twice for the Flyers in a 4-1 win at Atlanta.
-Patrik Elias' shootout goal gave the Devils a 2-1 win against the Sabres.
-The Devils have a new "Crash Line."
-An overtime goal by Guillaume Latendresse gave the Canadiens a 4-3 win against the Blackhawks.
-The Canadiens assigned goaltender Carey Price and forward Kyle Chipchura to Hamilton of the AHL. In their place, they recalled goaltender Jaroslav Halak and forward Corey Locke.
-ESPN's David Amber had a pretty good Q&A with Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, a former Penguin. One of the subjects they discussed was his fight with Sidney Crosby last month.
-The Maple Leafs are using forward Alexander Steen on the point on their power play.
-After getting into a fight in practice this week, Senators goaltender Ray Emery made up with teammate Brian McGrattan via text messaging. LOL.
-Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and team owner Eugene Melnyk had a wager over the final of the IIHF World Junior championship. After Melnyk's Canadian team beat Alfredsson's Swedish team, Alfredsson was forced to wear a Team Canada jersey during practice this week. You can take a look at Alfredsson in the jersey here.
-A little bit more information on the Senators:
-The Sabres are underachieving.
-Chris Gratton had two goals and an assist for the Lightning in a 5-3 road win against the Rangers.
-Cam Ward made 19 saves for the Hurricanes in a 1-0 shutout of the Bruins.
-The Hurricanes, who have lost some key forwards to injury (Matt Cullen, Justin Williams), claimed forward Sergei Samsonov off waivers from the Blackhawks.
-Carolina is seeking a puck-moving defenseman.
-David Legwand had a goal and two assists and Chris Mason made 28 saves for the Predators in a 7-0 rout of the Kings.
-Andy McDonald had two goals and an assist for the Blues in a 6-1 stomping of the Blue Jackets.
-Dominik Hasek made 19 saves and led the Red Wings to a 1-0 shutout of the rival Avalanche.
-Alexander Edler's shootout goal gave the Canucks a 3-2 win against the Islanders.
-Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun had a pretty good piece on Jarome Iginla's evolution as a goal-scorer.
-The Oilers' ownership group is kind of a mess these days.
-Friction is building between Wild forward Marian Gaborik and head coach Jacques Lemaire.
-Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves for the Coyotes in a 3-1 win at Calgary.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail says Wayne Gretzky should win another trophy; The Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.
-Psuedo-retired Ducks forward (does that make sense?) Teemu Selanne hasn't officially retired yet.
-TSN ranked the top ten plays this season by the players who were names starters for the All-Star Game:
-James Mirtle argues for a longer overtime period.
-Shout Out of the Day: Check out Illegal Curve. We visit them at least once a day and found a lot of material for today's post there.
First Published January 9, 2008 4:31 am