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The Penguins get out-shot heavily and fall 4-0 to the Rangers.
-Ryan Malone and Connor James are the Penguins' scratches. Malone has the flu.
-Marek Malik and Marcel Hossa are scratched by the Rangers.
-Erik Christensen and Tyler Kennedy are on Sidney Crosby's line. No offense to those two players, but there's something simply wrong with having those two on a line with the best player in the world.
-With Malone sick, the Penguins dress seven defensemen again.
-One of the officials is named Steve Miller. Awesome mmmaaaaan.
18:48: Wow. Was that brutal. Martin Staka pounds a loose puck on net. Dany Sabourin makes the initial save. The rebound kicks out to Scott Gomez who fires it into an empty net. Rangers 1-0.
11:28: Evgeni Malkin zooms through the Rangers defense and snaps a shot low that Henrik Lundqvist makes a nice save on with his right leg.
11:08: Kris Letang is sent off for holding.
2:29: The Penguins' first power play of the night ends without them mounting much of an attack. It would become a theme
1:39: A video of the day Gomez and Chris Drury signed with the Rangers is shown. Rangers general manager Glen Sather flipped a puck to see who would wear No. 23. Drury wins the toss, but Gomez doesn't seem too worried. The number he probably cared about that day was the $51 million he signed for.
0:47: Drury fires a quick shot off Sabourin's mask that actually unbuckles it. Sabourin put his hand up so he can fix his cage.
0:00: End of period. Rangers 1, Penguins 0.
-The Rangers are out-shooting the Penguins 10-7.
-Are we the only ones who find it funny that Gomez returns to Alaska in the "summer" and he's dressed like it's fall here.
-Jarkko Ruutu's has a nasty little cut on his face. He got it from Ryan Whitney's stick in practice.
16:55: Brooks Orpik hammers Ryan Callahan into the boards and is sent off for interference.
13:57: Letang slams Ryan Hollweg in the corner. Two minutes.
12:07: FSN Pittsburgh shows a graphic indicating the Penguins haven't had a shot on goal yet this period.
11:26: Crosby and Whitney come down on a two-on-one against Michal Roszival. Crosby passes it to Whitney who gives it back to Crosby. The puck caroms off Crosby's skate towards the net. Lundqvist makes a nice save with his left leg. The fans at Madison Square Garden chant, "Hennnn-rikkkk! Hennn-rikkkk!"
9:30: Marc Staal flings a puck on net. It hits Straka's stick and trickles past Sabourin. Rangers 2-0.
6:39: What a garbage goal. From the corner, Gomez throws it towards the net and it hits a body in the slot and bounces in the net. It counts just as much as a pretty goal though. Rangers 3-0.
5:26: Adam Hall gets dumped along the boards by a nice hip check by Fedor Tyutin.
4:54: Hall swats a puck on net. Lundqvist deflects it into the air with is blocker and fields it like a pop fly. Just as he catches it, Gary Roberts barges in and collides with him. Several Rangers jump on Roberts who is given two minutes.
2:02: Roberts gives the Penguins a chance to get on the board when he goads Colton Orr into a penalty.
0:00: End of period. Rangers 3, Penguins 0.
-The Penguins have only five shots on net. Pathetic.
-The Rangers have 21.
-Being interviewed by Potash, Paul Mara is sporting a pretty crazy looking butt-cut.
-Doing highlights, Rob King refers to the Thrashers as the "Trashers". That's awesome.
16:14: The Penguins get their fifth shot of the period and match their total through the first two periods.
15:55: Blair Betts gets whistled for holding. Two minutes.
13:22: Marc Staal bangs a shot from the point. Straka again re-directs it but Sabourin is able to track it down and absorb it.
11:53: Hollweg flies in on net and fires a shot into Sabourin's equipment. Sabourin makes the save and a scrum ensues. Hollweg throws a cheap punch to the side of Whitney's head and is sent to the box for two minutes.
9:40: Kennedy runs Hollweg from behind with a cheap shot. Hollweg responds by attacking Kennedy by sticking the butt-end of his stick into his face. Kennedy and Hollweg each get thrown out of the game. The Rangers end up with a power play.
8:56: Things just get worse as Colby Armstrong wraps an arm around Jaromir Jagr. Five-on-three for the Rangers for 1:17.
7:40: Roszival sneaks in towards the net and backhands the puck into the crease. Drury bangs at it and pokes it by Sabourin. Rangers 4-0.
0:05: Beautiful Day by U2 is played.
0:00: End of period. Rangers 4, Penguins 0.
-The Rangers do this cool thing after home wins where they "salute" their fans:
-This might've been the worst effort all season by the Penguins. Granted they're dealing with injuries to Maxime Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury and several members of the team are dealing with illness, but that was brutal to watch. As poor as they looked on opening night in Carolina, they looked worse last night in Manhattan.
-This may have been the worst performance by anyone since Celine Dion sang AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long:"
-OK, maybe not.
-With Malone out of the lineup, it would've been a nice opportunity to stick Petr Sykora on Crosby's line in order to break him out of his slump (he has two goals in his last 12 games). Crosby's a great player who makes those around him better, but he needs better linemates than Christensen and Kennedy.
-Kennedy should be disciplined for his hit on Hollweg. It doesn't matter if Hollweg's a rough and tumble player or if he didn't even get hurt. It was a dangerous, careless play by Kennedy.
-The Rangers won the shot battle, 31-18.
-Henrik Lundqvist picked up his league-leading sixth shutout of the season.
-Jordan Staal led all Penguins forwards with 23:19 of ice time.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Sidney Crosby still leads in All-Star voting.
-Interchangeable Parts took a crack at making Sidney Crosby's mom's meatballs and came away with some mixed results.
-William Houston of the Globe and Mail ranked the 25 most influential people in the Canada's sports scene in 2007. A duck (and not of the Anaheim variety) ranked ahead of Sidney Crosby who finished No. 2 on the list.
-The Flyers traded Ben Eager, the thug who took a cheap shot at Georges Laraque and then got beat up by Gary Roberts last Tuesday, to Chicago for defenseman Jim Vandermeer.
-Chris Simon met with Colin Campbell, the NHL's disciplinarian, over his stomping of Jarkko Ruutu.
-The Newark Star-Ledger has put out a pretty interesting book about the New Jersey Devils.
-Jason Spezza's two goals helped the Senators edge the Bruins 3-2.
-The Maple Leafs recalled forward Jiri Tlusty from the AHL.
-With Senators goaltender Martin Gerber sporting an all-black helmet this season, some fans have come up with a pretty funny nickname and t-shirt for him.
-Fire Ray Shero. Former Penguins Mark Recchi and Chris Thorburn each scored a goal for the Thrashers in a 6-2 rout of the Lightning. Tampa Bay has lost five of its last six.
-Scott Walker's overtime goal gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 win against the Maple Leafs. Carolina's Cory Stillman and Ray Whitney scored in the final 1:25 of regulation to force overtime.
-Tomas Vokoun made 23 saves for the Panthers in a 3-2 win at Montreal.
-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun has a pretty interesting piece on Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk. The Atlanta star lists Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as his favorite players.
-The Blues' new top line consists of Brad Boyes, Paul Kariya and Andy McDonald.
-Roberto Luongo's first game back from a rib injury saw him make 31 saves and former Penguin Markus Naslund score two goals in a 5-0 shutout of the Devils.
-Miikka Kiprusoff made 36 saves and Kristian Huselius had two assists for the Flames who won their sixth consecutive game, 3-1, at Columbus.
-Eric Belanger had a goal and an assist for the Wild which edged the Predators, 3-2.
-There was some hub-bub about Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky not being acknowledged by the Rangers in the Coyotes' win at New York Sunday. It was Gretzky first official appearance at Madison Square Garden since he retired in 1999.
-A goal by former Penguin Sergei Zubov lifted the Stars to a 2-1 win at Edmonton.
-Ilya Bryzgalov mades 26 saves for the Coyotes in a 3-2 win at Philadelphia. The Coyotes have won four of their last five.
-Check out this nifty short-handed goal by Fredrik Sjostrom last night. Nice pass by Shane Doan:
-Bobby Ryan scored his second career goal for the Ducks in a 2-0 win at San Jose. The chase is on. Sidney Crosby 265, Bobby Ryan 2.
-Todd Bertuzzi's testimony in Steve Moore's lawsuit was made public. Bertuzzi, now with Anaheim, basically blamed his former coach in Vancouver, Marc Crawford, for the attack.
-If you want to make it to the NHL, it might be a good idea to avoid a stop in the ECHL.
-Steel Hockey very politely encouraged us not to get injured. Thank you.
-Kudos to EN reader Mark Faix of Cranberry for spotting an omission on our end. We missed the names of two other ex-Penguins on Canada's roster for the Spengler Cup: Ramzi Abid and Jeff Toms.
First Published December 19, 2007 5:33 am