Two big losses
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The Penguins lost 3-0 to the Lightning, and lost Sidney Crosby to a high-ankle sprain.
-If you're reading along, hit us up at email@example.com.
-It's 6:57 p.m. EST and the Cotton Candy Guy's already trying to ruin people's teeth. This guy's on the ball.
At 6:59, both teams take the ice for warm-ups. Tyler Kennedy came streaking down the middle, fired a shot on the empty net and crashed in the corner. It's not a good way to start the night, but he's fine.
-Good news tonight. WDVE's Val Porter is handling the in-game entertainment and not those two idiots from Kiss 96.
-Public address announcer John Barbero just welcomed everyone to Mellon Arena. Always good.
-The Lightning have scratched Andreas Karlsson.
-The Penguins' scratches are Erik Christensen, Ryan Stone and Ryan Lannon.
-Why exactly is Lannon up with the NHL club? We realize with Mark Eaton injured, you want to have a full compliment of defensemen on the roster, but being with the NHL club and not dressing for any games only stunts his development.
-It's safe to say Alain Nasreddine has reached his potential. Why not have him up at this level and sit in the press box instead of Lannon?
-Via text message, EN friend Nick Zahrahtka tells us he spotted an Alexander Mogilny Team Russia jersey.
-The teams have come back onto the ice. After a little booing for the Lightning, cheers are heard for the Penguins.
-No Jeff Jimerson for the national anthem. In order to fill his pennyloafers, a pair singing a duet was required.
-Ty Conklin gets a pretty loud cheer when he's introduced in the starting lineup.
19:44: Martin St. Louis fires a shot that deflects off Rob Scuderi and takes an akward bounce towards the net. Conklin was able to kick it out at the last second.
19:04: Mike Lundin takes a hooking penalty. Penguins on the power play.
18:17: Petr Sykora fires a one-timer that Johan Holmqvist kicks out with a loud "thunk."
15:26: Former Penguins goon Andre Roy grabs the puck in the crease and works it to the corner. From there, he sends a pass back into the crease where Kyle Wanvig is able to punch it past Conklin. The crowd sits in stunned silence having seen Andre Roy actually make a decent pass. Michel Therrien looks as if he's waiting in line at the DMV. Lightning, 1-0.
13:04: During a commercial stoppage, a video tribute to Willie O'Ree, the first black man to play in the NHL, is played. Fifty years ago today, he made his NHL debut with the Bruins. Classy.
12:23: Crosby works the puck through the neutral zone into the offensive zone, goes to his backhand and is tripped up by Paul Ranger. Crosby falls but still manages to get a shot on net. Ranger is penalized for slashing but Crosby gets up a little gimpy and leaves the ice for the locker room.
12:15: The Penguins' power play lasts all of eight seconds as Jordan Staal gets called for tripping. Four-on-four.
11:34: Lecavalier makes a marvelous pass to Martin St. Louis that hops up on him a bit but eventually springs him on a breakaway. He shoots but Conklin is up to the task. No goal.
10:40: Malkin fires a nice low shot. Holmqvist is able to make the stop and freeze the puck.
10:36: Off the faceoff, the Penguins fire a puck on net. Holmqvist makes the save but the puck squeezes through his equipment and and comes to a stop in the crease. It sits there for a moment before a Penguins punches it in. The fan cheer, but the officials rule they blew the whistle and froze play.
10:24: St. Louis gets another breakaway and again Conklin denies him with the left pad.
9:32: A reader informed us via e-mail that the game is available outside the Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay markets only on NHL Network. And to make matters worse, NHL Network is picking up the Tampa feed. No offense whoever does the Tampa Bay games, but we couldn't imagine not being able to watch a game without Paul Steigerwald and his animal nicknames like "Tyler the Tiger" or "Pterodactyl."
-Also even if you have NHL Center Ice, you're not getting this game. Thanks NHL.
9:09: Roy again? He works the puck into the offensive zone and makes a pass to Chris Gratton who backhands a puck by Conklin. We need to pick Roy up in our ex-Penguins fantasy league. Lightning 2-0.
7:01: Maxime Talbot and Filip Kuba exchange words.
6:44: Sergei Gonchar runs St. Louis into the boards face first. Not a smart play. St. Louis gets up a little groggy but appears uninjured. Gonchar gets two minutes for boarding. Penguins fans boo, but it's a penalty. You can't check a guy like that. FSN Pittsburgh is on the ball and pulls out an old video of Josef Melichar dumping St. Louis in that same corner a few years ago.
4:44: The Penguins come up with a pretty big penalty kill
3:23-ish: Jordan Staal dumped Jason Ward with a nice check in front of the Penguins benches.
0:35: Nick Tarnasky throws a shot on net and Conklin is able to eat it up.
0:00: End of period. Lightning 2, Penguins 0.
-It's hard to see from our vantage point up here, but to our knowledge, Crosby never returned after leaving the ice.
-Andre Roy picked up his first two assists of the season. What a talented player.
-The Lightning are killing the Penguins in shots, 16-10.
-The Delta Dental Penguins Patrol (i.e. the cheerleaders) have been wearing these type of warm-up jackets the last two games. We wonder if the change has been made due to the weather or if someone told them to quit showing off so much skin.
-A Penguins official has told us Crosby suffered a high ankle sprain and is done for the night. He will be evaluated tomorrow.
17:40: Gratton slams Jeff Taffe from behind along the boards. No call.
16:44: As Tampa Bay takes a time out, the attendance is announced as 17,132 which is a complete standing room only sell-out. It is the 37th consecutive sell-out for the Penguins.
16:22: Tarnasky accidently touches the puck as he's leaving and the Lightning are called for having too many men on the ice. Lightning head coach John Tortorella is screaming at the officials as if they dumped trash in his lawn.
13:35: Tyler Kennedy fires a slapper on net that Holmqvist eats up.
12:05: Kennedy feeds a puck into the crease and Taffe juusst misses it. If he's a second faster, Taffe scores a goal.
10:43: Scuderi takes a pass at the point, coast in on net and fires a wrister. Holmqvist is there again to eat it up.
8:09: The action has picked up here. Evgeni Malkin leveled Shane O'Brien behind the net. Letang fired a nice one-timer that Holmqvist made an even nice save on. Tarnasky dumped Talbot in the slot. O'Brien then tried to drop the gloves with someone during a scrum at center ice. He was sent to the penalty box. O'Brien got minors for closing his hand on the puck and for roughing. The Penguins got a team penalty for too many men on the ice while Ryan Malone was given two minutes for roughing. We think WTAE's Andrew Stockey is here at the game. If that was him on the video board, he's wearing more blue than Papa Smurf.
4:45: Malkin makes a nice feed to Talbot who fires a slapper low. Holmqvist kicks it out. Sykora tries to jump on the rebound but gets tripped up in the crease.
3:24: Doug Janik goes off for holding.
2:55: Malkin blasts a hard one-timer that clears the net and hits the glass.
2:39: Malkin makes a bad turnover along the boards. Brad Richards picks it up and weaves his way towards the Penguins net. He uses Gonchar as a screen and fires a shot just wide.
0:02: Rob Scuderi fires a quick one-timer on net. Holmqvist gloves it. Holmqvist is seeing everything to night.
0:00: End of period. Lightning 2, Penguins 0.
-Kudos to EN reader Mary Jones of Plum for getting our backs. We have mistakenly identified Holmqvist as Karri Ramo, the Lighting's other goaltender tonight on a few occasions. We apologize for the error.
-The Penguins played better in that period. They evened the shot totals, 20-20.
-Johan Holmqvist seemingly shuts the Penguins down every time they play. He's 4-1-0 in his career against them with a 2.34 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.
18:08: Gratton flicks a backhander on net from the crease that Conklin gloves.
17:10: A few EN readers just let us know FSN Pittsburgh's Bob Errey said Crosby could miss up to four weeks due to his injury.
14:28: What in the names of Krzyzstof Oliwa is going on? Roy just threw a shot on net that beat Conklin high. Lightning 3-0.
10:51: Sykora is called for slashing.
9:14: With Lightning players in his crease, Conklin keeps the Penguins in this game. He makes a nice toe save and the puck slides underneath him. A Tampa Bay player jumps on it, fires into the side of the net.
4:15: Georges Laraque slams Doug Janik behind the Lightning net.
4:04: A Conklin gloves a puck we get a commerical timeout. Several "fans" begin to leave.
2:55: Malkin sends a cross ice pass to Whitney. Whitney fires a slapper that Holmqvist knocks away with a blocker.
2:38: The Penguins take another too many men on the ice penalty.
0:00: End of game. Lightning 3, Penguins 0.
-Just about everything that could go wrong for the Penguins did tonight. A former player, who didn't exactly leave on the best of terms, came back in a big way. A mediocre goaltender continued his dominance of the team. And the Penguins' best player suffered an injury that could keep him out for a month. Other than that, everything was peachy.
-We're starting to think we were partially responsible for tonight. Counting the playoff last season, the team is 3-7-0 when we blog live. Please don't send us hate mail.
-Who would've though the fight would be the only thing Andre Roy wouldn't have while trying to compile a Gordie Howe Hat Trick?
-Conklin wasn't dominant, but he wasn't exactly bad.
-The Penguins were out-shot, 34-27.
-It looks like the dreaded Sports Illustrated for Kids jinx struck again.
-The one night we bookmark "Song 2" by Blur on our laptop, we don't get to use it. Bummer.
-Highlights. (So to speak.)
First Published January 18, 2008 7:02 pm