Reversal of fortune
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A day after they shut down the Rangers' offense, the Penguin have the tables turned on them in a 2-1 overtime loss at New York.
-Surpringly, Kris Letang was scratched in favor of Jeff Taffe essentially. Ryan Whitney was moved off the wing and back to his natural position of defense.
-The Penguins' scratches are Letang, Kris Beech, Adam Hall and Dany Sabourin.
-The Rangers scratched Marek Malik, Colton Orr, Blair Betts and Jason Strudwick.
-Mike Emrick and Ed Olczyk are doing the game for Versus. They had the call for NBC on Sunday.
-Brian Engblom has his mullet slicked back on the sides.
-Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start in net. We'd go with Ty Conklin ourselves considering Fleury played the night before. Plus you really don't have any other opportunities to get Fleury any rest before the playoffs.
-Henrik Lundqvist starts in goal for the Rangers.
16:00: The first shot of the game comes from some familiar faces. Martin Straka works it into the offensive zone and leaves a drop pass for Jaromir Jagr. Jagr grabs it and fires a wrister through traffic that Fleury knocks away.
15:21: Avery fires a shot on net from the left boards. Fleury kicks it out.
14:41: Ryan Malone and Avery collide at center ice and decide to dance. They remove their helmets and gloves and size each other up. They lock up and Avery lands a two quick rights. Malone holds him at bay, and lets him tire out a bit. He counters with a few punches including a nice uppercut. Avery regains position, throws a punch and they fall to the ice. We'll give the decision to Avery. Malone seems to have gotten a hair cut. We're sure if he had kept his mane, he would've done better. Kind of like Samson.
13:10: Rob Scuderi appears to get away with a hook or hold on Jagr.
12:21: With Fredrik Sjostrom creating a screen, Scott Gomez blasts a high slapper from the slot that Fleury knocks away with a glove.
10:55: Paul Mara gets a puck on net. Fleury directs it away with his left leg.
10:27: Jagr feeds the puck to Straka in the neutral zone. Straka goes to the outside of Sergei Gonchar and gets a backhander on net. Fleury says no.
9:03: The Staals are brothers.
8:48: Nigel Dawes enters the offensive zone, gets around a stick check by Sydor and gets a wrister on net. Fleury gets down to absorb it and we get our first commercial break of the game.
8:06: Ryan Callahan blasts a slapper from the right boards. Fleury kicks it up in the air.
7:06: Sidney Crosby brings the puck up ice. Pascal Dupuis charges to the net to create a screen. Crosby crosses into the slot and lifts a backhander on net. Lundqvist makes the save. It is the Penguins' first shot on net.
6:17: Shanahan throws a low wrister on net. It deflects off Hal Gill's skate. Fleury is still able to kick it out. Malkin gets tripped up while scooping up the rebound. Gomez gets two minutes. The Gonchar-Hossa-Malkin-Crosby-Malone power play goes on the ice. (We're not fans of it.)
4:17: The power play expires with the Penguins failing to get a shot on net.
3:43: Mara passes the puck up ice and Georges Laraque checks him. Mara is directed into the boards a bit but it's seemingly nothing significant. The officials don't see it that way, Laraque gets two minutes for boarding.
2:04: Scuderi gets away with a trip on a Rangers forward.
1:43: The Rangers' power play expires without them mounting much of an attack.
0:50: Ryan Hollweg crunches Malkin in the boards with a big hit.
0:00: End of rather boring period. Penguins 0, Rangers 0.
-Other than the Avery-Malone fight, nothing happened that period. The Rangers controlled the play for the most part. The Penguins just withstood the barrage.
-The Rangers out-shot the Penguins, 9-1.
-The Penguins owned the faceoffs, 5-4.
-Keith Jones picks Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette to win the Jack Adams award as coach of the year. Jones cites Laviolette's ability to keep his team in first place in the Southeast Division despite numerous injuries as reason for his pick. That's a valid argument, but the Southeast Division is easily the weakest division in the NHL. 16 games against the Thrashers and Lightning would make life a lot easier for a lot of other coaches.
19:28: Crosby tries to split the defense but gets tripped up. No call.
18:23: Dawes gets sprung on a breakaway. He bears down on net and shoots high. Fleury nicks it away with his glove arm.
17:10: As he seemingly does every time he does a Penguins game, Olczyk mentions he was the Penguins' coach.
16:37: Brandon Dubinsky uses Brooks Orpik as a screen and throws a wrister on net. Fleury eats it up.
15:35: Callahan takes a pass in the slot and comes in untouched. Fleury says no
15:20: Callahan tries a wraparound. Fleury keeps it out with his right toe.
13:59: Petr Prucha drives the puck from the corner into the slot. Fleury again keeps it out. A scrum in crease ensue. Sydor lays on top of the puck. Several Rangers get their pickaxes out and try to mine it out. The officials blow the whistle. It's a good play by Sydor to freeze play, but that's something we hate to watch. It slows the sport down. That should be a delay of game penalty.
12:45ish: Marian Hossa throws a shot on net. Lundqvist makes the initial save. Crosby follows up on the rebound. Lundqvist again says no. (Thanks to Versus for not having the game clock up!)
11:19: Malkin charges on net and throws a backhander on net. Lundqvist knocks it away with his shoulder.
10:55: Shanahan takes a pass in the slot and fires a wrister through traffic. It clinks off the crossbar. Dawes jumps on the rebound and hits the far post with his shot. Fleury needs to thank that iron.
10:14: Dupuis tries to run over a Rangers player in the neutral zone and ends up getting planted in the ice.
10:04: Olczyk says Michel Therrien isn't afraid to make changes in regards to his lines. That's like saying Alistar Hennessey isn't afraid of hitting three-legged dogs named Cody.
9:33: The Penguins put themselves into a pretty deep hole. Taffe (hooking) and Whitney (roughing) each go to the box. The Rangers will get a two-man advantage.
8:17: Jagr fires a backhander on net. It gets through Jordan Staal's legs. Fleury makes the save. The puck pops up in the air. Scuderi tries to swat it away. The stick of Gomez appears to touch it at the same time. It doinks off Fleury's mask and bounces into the net. An official immediately waves off the goal. They say Gomez knocked it in with a high stick. Replays show Scuderi's hand actually knocked Gomez's stick away before it could make contact with the puck. It's a legit goal. The replay officials did a wonderful job of getting that goal right. Before the season, the NHL had high-definition cameras installed over the nets of every NHL arena so clear decisions involving replays like that could be made. Jagr gets credit for the goal. The "Let's Go Rangers" song is played. Rangers 1-0.
7:17: Malkin and Crosby are teamed up on a line.
6:51: Sydor throws a puck at net. It gets deflected and Lundqvist keeps it out.
5:19: Jarkko Ruutu gets away with a bit of a cross check on Ryan Hollweg who's growing a pretty sweet porn 'stache.
4:45: Crosby feeds a puck from behind the net. Hossa takes it and fires a shot. Lundqvist keeps it out. Crosby jabs at it to get a rebound. He then exchanges shoves with a Ranger.
4:08: Jordan Staal tries to work the puck around the boards. His brother Marc does a wonderful job of rubbing him out of the play.
3:35: Olczyk mentions that Shanahan headed to the locker room.
2:58: Mara is called for holding the stick.
0:51: Petr Sykora gets a chance in the slot and pushes it just wide.
0:37: "I Want To Rock" by Twisted Sister is played.
0:00: End of period. Avery and Whitney argue over the best way to cook a turkey. We think. Rangers 1, Penguins 0.
-The Rangers own a 17-10 edge in shots.
-Faceoffs are even, 14-14.
-Rob Scuderi has three blocked shots.
-Pascal Dupuis is credited with seven hits.
19:28: Malone tries a wraparound and jabs at the puck twice. Lundqvist's left leg holds it out.
18:42: Hossa feeds the puck into the slot for Malkin. Malkin then directs it to Crosby in the crease who tries to deflect it on net. Lundqvist stands him up.
14:52: Ruutu is called for high sticking.
13:04: Michal Rozsival is nabbed for interfering with Orpik. It will be four-on-four for 13 seconds and the Penguins will get a power play.
11:34: Whitney sneaks in from the point and gets a backhander off. Lundqvist makes the save Whitney is tripped up. No call.
11:01: Callahan swoops in by Gonchar and throws a backhander off. Fleury makes the save.
10:44: Sykora piggybacks Prucha to the ice. No call.
10:08: Orpik tags Jagr in the neutral with a nice shoulder check.
9:57: Malone and Maxime Talbot approach the net on a give and go. Malone dishes by Roszival to Talbot who sneaks it by Lundqvist's left foot. It's a very pretty goal. Penguins 1, Rangers 1.
9:41: From the right wing, Dupuis fires a rising shot that Lundqvist fights off.
7:50: Orpik is going after anything blue. He wallops Dawes with a check that sends both men flying. Brainy Smurf better watch out.
7:14: Olczyk tells us Shanahan has a vaguely-worded "lower-body injury" and will not return.
6:23: Malkin chops at a one-timer. Lundqvist stabs at the puck with his glove but bobbles it. But unlike the day before, he's able to cover it up and freeze play.
5:30: Avery fires a wrsiter from the left side. Fleury stops it with a "thunk."
5:12: Avery is called for high sticking. He slashed his blade on the side of Crosby's neck.
4:02: Malkin blasts a one-timer from the point. The save Lundqvist makes actually has an echo.
3:32: Whitney directs a shot on net from the left boards. Lundqvist again makes the save.
3:17: Chris Drury goes offsides. Crosby hits him to the ice just after the whistle. You can hear a classy Rangers fan yell "&#@$ You Crosby!"
2:23: Prucha fires a slapper from the left faceoff circle. Fleury kicks it out. This is a battle between Fleury and Lundqvist at this point.
1:08: Crosby tries to stick-handley by Rozsival. Rozsival does a nice job to force him off the puck.
0:34: From the corner Hossa feeds the puck to Malkin who's charging to the net. Malkin shoots low. Lundqvist absorbs it. Malkin jabs at the puck and Callahan gives him the business.
0:28: Off the faceoff, Malone charges to the net. Lundqvist says no. A scrum ensues and the puck slides away safely.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Rangers 1.
4:36: Jagr drives to the net and Gonchar rides him like a horse all the way to the ice. Two minutes. Shanahan returns to the Rangers' bench.
3:40: The puck deflects out to the boards. Talbot makes a great play by diving and swatting it out of the zone before Jagr could get to it.
3:14: Who else but Chris Drury scoring a clutch game-winning goal? Jagr feeds the puck into the slot for Gomez. It bounces out to Drury who is able to find the back of the net with a slap shot. Fleury walks off the ice and smashes his stick into the door. Rangers 2, Penguins 1.
-It's time for the Penguins to scrap whatever they're trying to do with the power play. It's a combined 1-12 the last two games. It went 0-for-4 Monday.
-If Ty Conklin's in net, that's a 4-1 loss.
-The Penguins had one shot on goal for the first 27 minutes.
-The point they did get gave them 100 for the season. It's the fifth time in franchise history they have reached that mark.
-The Rangers out-shot the Penguins 27-22.
-The Penguins controlled the faceoffs, 25-23.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Mario Lemieux is coming back for the playoffs.
-Adam Hall and Gary Roberts could return soon.
-The Penguins-Rangers game from Sunday drew a 1.0 television rating.
-James Mirtle talked about his trip to Pittsburgh and Columbus.
-Rookie Bruins forward Jeff Hoggan made his NHL debut Sunday at the age of 30.
-Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals and Keri Lehtonen made 36 saves in a 2-0 shutout of the Lightning.
-Holik became the Thrashers' iron man.
-Lightning forward and former Penguin Michel Ouellet has been hot since the trade deadline.
-Some Capitals fan made a "corrected" version of Sidney Crosby's Gatorade commecial:
-The Coyotes signed 2007 first-round draft pick Kyle Turris.
First Published April 1, 2008 7:51 am