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Two goals by Gary Roberts lead the Penguins to a 4-0 defeat of the Senators.
Something tells us the Penguins will have to buy a bag of grass seed when the playoffs are over.
A giant video screen has been erected in front of Gate 3 at Mellon Arena. A few folks so far have set up camp and are going to watch the game in a far more entertaining fashion than they could in their basement.
Hopefully, it doesn't rain.
It's a quality move by the Penguins to do this. The Sabres did this last year in the playoffs and it drew over 15,000 people. Granted there's a lot less to do in Buffalo (We kid, we kid. We dug our 24 hours in Buffalo during the Winter Classic even if we did lose our license plate.), but something like this is just very cool.
We also snapped a picture of the towels they're giving out at the door.
A few jerseys we've seen:
The finest illustration of how bitter the Maple Leafs-Senators rivalry is could be the fact that there's a Maple Leafs fan here wearing a Dave Keon jersey. Wow.
You know it's a big game when they've refreshed the chalk marking the rows in D-4.
-Both teams have taken to the ice. The arena isn't even half-filled, and a pretty loud "LET'S GO PENS!" chant is going.
-Evgeni Malkin is the last Penguins player to leave the ice and the faithful at Mellon Arena give him a cheer as he steps into the ramp.
-If you're reading along, we'll have to ask for radio silence in regards to the e-mails. The wireless situation here in our bunker in C-2 is less than ideal. Sorry. It's all Bryan Murray's fault.
-Someone must've had a gift card to Best Buy or something. A pretty cool video projection is played on the ice. Very sharp.
-The Penguins came on to the ice through a cloud of smoke ala the Miami Hurricanes.
-Right after public address announcer John Barbero asks everyone to stand up and remove their hats, the arena falls silent for a moment almost as if to see who would be singing the national anthems. Jeff Jimerson emerges from the tunnel to an explosion of cheers.
-No one boos "O Canada" thankfully.
-This slob in a Steelers hat can't be bothered to stand up for either anthem or even take off his hat:
-What a pig.
19:22: Brooks Orpik absolutely smashes Dany Heatley into the boards.
18:52: Well that didn't take long. Georges Laraque throws the puck into the crease. Gerber kicks it out. Gary Roberts is there and simply sweeps it with a backhander. It's a bad way for Ottawa to start. "GAR-EEE, GAR-EEE" chants. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
17:53: Sidney Crosby plays a puck into the slot for Hossa. Hossa pushes it on net. Gerber kicks it out.
15:35: Jordan Staal is called for holding. This is a chance for Ottawa to get back into this thing.
13:35: Staal's penalty is killed off. Ottawa didn't mount much of an attack.
11:10: Heatley makes a pass across the crease to former Penguin Randy Robitaille. Robitaille tries to re-direct it on net but Fleury is able to slide over and kick it out. Nice save.
8:20: Coming back from commercial, the "Hell's Bells/More Cowbell" video is played. Oh, and:
8:20: Coming back from commercial, the "Hell's Bells/More Cowbell" video is played.
7:32: Evgeni Malkin breaks loose and streaks down the right side. On a two-on-one with Petr Sykora against Chris Phillips, Malkin slides the puck over to Sykora who hammers it home with a one-timer. Chants of "M-V-P! M-V-P!" can be heard. Ottawa's in trouble. Penguins 2-0.
6:18: "Gerrr-Berrr! Gerrrr-Berrrr!"
5:21: After a brief scrum, Christoph Schubert is sent off for holding. The "Jaws" theme they used to play for the Penguins' power play back in the early 1990s.
4:19: Ryan Malone gathers a loose puck in the slot, spins and fires. A Senators defenseman is able to get in the way and kick it out.
2:07: Tyler Kennedy enters the zone and throws a wrister on net. Gerber eats it up.
1:38: Andrej Meszaros pounds a shot from the point. Fleury kicks it out.
0:00: End of period. The Penguins are showered with applause as they leave the ice. Penguins 2, Senators 0.
-The Penguins out shot Ottawa, 10-8.
-The Penguins also had an edge in faceoffs, 11-10.
-Best text message sent to the Jumbotron:
"Gary Roberts in the conservatory with the candle stick."
18:46: Sykora tees up a slapper from the right side. Gerber stops it but it pops up in the air. Gerber looses track of it. Pascal Dupuis tries to follow up on the rebound but can't quite jam it in.
16:58: As Gary Roberts and Georges Laraque muck and grind with Meszaros and Brian Lee behind the net for almost 25 seconds behind the net, a "LET'S GO PENS" chant can be heard.
15:03: Crosby takes the puck from Dupuis and swoops behind the net. The comes around the other side and tries to backhand it in. Gerber stacks them.
14:55ish: Kennedy steals the puck off another former Penguin, Shean Donovan, and blasts a slapper from the slot. Gerber kicks it out. Staal follows up on the rebound but Gerber covers the puck.
14:45: Gerrr-Berrr! Gerrr-Berrr!
13:09: The hole gets a little deeper for the Senators as Cody Bass is sent off for two minutes for hooking. Oh and 17,132.
11:44: Schubert puts Malone in a bit of headlock. No call.
11:05: The penalty expires and Bass almost has a chance at a breakaway, but he's whistled offsides.
10:23: Meszaros is nabbed for interference.
9:53: Malkin blasts a slapper from the point. It hits a body in front. Malone and Hossa both try to get the rebound but can't quite get it.
9:30ish: Malkin bombs another shot from the point. Malone and Anton Volchenkov are wrestling in front for the puck. The puck hits Volchenkov in the head full-bore. Hossa tries to fire the rebound from the slot but Gerber makes a beauty of a glove save. Volchenkov is lying on the ice. A trainer comes out to attend to him. That was ugly. Play is stopped for several minutes. Volchenkov is helped to his feet. Phillips helps him to the ramp to the locker room. Attendants come and scrape blood off the ice. Hopefully Volchenkov isn't injured seriously. That was brutal to watch.
8:38: Letang fires a slapper from the point. It hits a body in front. Sykora pushes the rebound juuust wide.
8:07: "Gerrrr-Berrrr! Gerrr-Berrr!"
7:29: Crosby feeds a puck from behind the goal line to Hossa in the slot. Hossa sweeps the one-timer on net. Gerber is there to cover it up. Gerber made a fine save, but Hossa needs to bury that. He's here to score those goals in the playoffs.
7:01ish: Malkin takes a pass at the blue line and enters the offensive zone.
5:04: Whitney is sent off for holding Nick Foligno. Two minutes.
4:01: Martin Lapointe turns and gives Fleury a jab in the crease. Replays showed Fleury putting his stick in a... uh... "sensitive" spot on Lapointe's body and that's why he was mad at Fleury. Maxime Talbot come flying out of no where and gives Lapointe a cross-body block. A small scrum ensues. Talbot and Lapointe are each sent off. Somehow Sykora is sent off too. In the end the Senators will get a five-on-three advantage. That seems fair.
2:59: Cory Stillman has a chance in the slot. Fleury gloves his wrister however. Bryan Murray calls a tie out.
2:51: Stillman bloasts a one-timer from the point. "Clink!" No goal.
1:59: Talbot's penalty expires and the Penguins dodge a big bullet.
1:20: Staal pushes a wrist shot juuust wide of the net.
0:30: Malone sweeps the leg of Jason Spezza. Sensei John Kreese may have approved of that tactic, but the officials don't. Two minutes. That's a tough time to put Ottawa on a power play.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Senators 0.
-The Penguins own a 25-18 advantage in shots.
-Ottawa is controlling the faceoff circle, 26-18.
-The Senators have been giving the Penguins just about every chance to put this game away but the Penguins won't take it. They can't let Ottawa hang around.
-Gerber has been solid. He's kept this a winnable game for the Senators.
-Conversely, Ottawa needs a big hit or garbage goal to get things going. They've basically been sitting back trying to withstand the barrage from the Penguins.
-Best text message sent to the Jumbotron:
"Pistol Pete Sykora."
-Why do we have the sneaking suspicion Volchenkov will be listed with an "upper body injury."
-Ottawa will get 1:29 of power-play time on clean ice.
19:35: Meszaros throws a puck on net from the point. Fleury locates it in traffic and kicks it out.
19:22: The Senators need to score here if they want to get back in the game. Staal is sent off for high-sticking. Two-man advantage.
17:50: Wade Redden throws a puck on net from the point Fleury kicks it out.
17:22: The Penguins come up with a huge penalty kill. Fans offer them a standing ovation for the effort.
16:02: Malkin is wheeling inhis own end with the puck. Lapointe tries to hammer him, but Malkin steps away from him at the very last second.
14:43: Whitney appears to get away with a trip on Donovan. No call.
14:20: Jarkko Ruutu fires a wrister on net. Gerber gloves it. Lee and Kennedy exchange cross checks and almost drop the glovs. Lee said something about Kennedy's Cheif Wiggum nose. The both go off for two minutes. Four-on-four.
13:56: During a commercial break, "Hey Ya" by Outkast is played:
12:56: Malkin enters the offensive zone with steam and tries to cross up Redden and falls. Redden is given two minutes for tripping. It looked like a bad call to us.
12:33: Malkin blasts a one-timer from the point. Gerber knocks down the puck and scoops it in. The "old school" power play unit of Gonchar, Whitney, Malkin, Sykora and Crosby takes to the ice.
10:58: Gerber snags a loose puck. Roberts bumps him. Meszaros puts a hand on him, but looks as interested in engaging Roberts physically as Steely McBeam does in drinking an O'Douls.
9:26: Crosby races with Schubert for an iced puck. Schubert appears to touch it first. Crosby goes crashing into the boards awkwardly and everyone here holds their breath with the memory of his ankle injury still fresh. Crosby gets up and skates away to the relief of many. "Cotton Eyed Joe" is busted out.
8:56: Pascal Dupuis is called for hooking
8:40: Staal blocks a slapper by Meszaros from the the point with some combination of his stick or ankle.
7:35: Staal knocks the puck down with a high stick. Officals blow the play dead. Staal shoots the puck on net anyway. Redden gives him a shove. Schubert then comes over and talks to Staal about his favorite Joseph Henry Shorthouse novel. We think.
6:54: Off the faceoff, Dean McAmmond tries to sweep a backhander on net. Fleury says no.
6:02: When things are going right, they're going right. Whitney takes the puck in the corner and dishes it into the slot. It carroms off Malkin's skate. Malkin regains control of the puck and punches it by Gerber. "M-V-P! M-V-P!" Malkin looks almost reluctant to celebrate the goal but pumps his fist anyways. Penguins 3-0.
3:56: Some genius begins chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Because the Penguins aren't from six different countries or anything.
3:56: Crosby and Redden begin throwing punches at each other. A crowd gathers. Redden and Whitney emerge from the pile and drop the gloves. Redden does nearly the impossible and makes Whitney look like a tough guy. Whitney absolutely hammers him in a fight. A bunch of people are sent to the penalty boxes. Somehow the Penguins emerge with a power play.
1:35: Just as John Barbero is announcing the penalties, the Penguins strike. Malkin takes the puck in the corner and feeds it into the slot. It deflects off Roberts' skate and goes into the net. What leg injury? Gerber complains that the puck was kicked in. The officials aren't having any of it. Penguins 4-0.
1:00: Barbero announces that there's only one minute remaining and everyone stands to cheer. "Garrrr-Eeee! Garrr-Eee!"
0:11: Roberts drops an Bass along the boards. Several Ottawa players decide life isn't worth it and jump Roberts. A scrum ensues. It takes officials few moments to break it up. Roberts is escorted to the ramp. He turns and begins to challenge Schubert and Bass to a fight. Bass tries to get at Roberts. Officials hold them at bay. Another scrum ensues. WWGRD? Dominate. Roberts gets seemingly every penalty in the rule book.
0:00: End of period. "Song 2" by Blur is played. Penguins 4, Senators 0.
Remember that feeling when the Penguins were run out of Scotiabank Place last season by getting hammered in the first game of the playoffs? Yeah, we don't either.
-It's hard to believe the Senators were at one point the best team in the Eastern Conference. They look like a team that should've been in the draft lottery the other night. The Islanders would've put up more of a fight than this "effort".
-The Penguins power play went 1-for-5. Ottawa's went 0-for-7.
-Gerber had no help. He was the only reason the score wasn't 7-0.
-The Penguins out-shot Ottawa, 35-26.
-Ottawa won the faceoffs, 37-28.
-Bryan Murray said Volchenkov suffered a "pressure cut" on his head. The puck hit his helmet and pushed it back into his head. He received stitches for the cut and was unable to get his helmet back on his head.
-This isn't an exact quote, but Murray said something to the extent of "You have to wear helmets in this league these days." Because that's not been a rule in place for almost 30 years or anything.
First Published April 9, 2008 5:59 pm