Saturday, January 6, 2007


Emotional.
Gut-wrenching.

I'm not talking about the series finale of My Two Dads.
I'm talking about the Penguins game on Friday night.
Against easily the best team in the Eastern Conference and maybe the NHL, the Pens executed their system to a T while getting some big special-teams play.

10 minutes into the first, you knew that the Pens weren't gonna roll over and die. They were getting some decent scoring chances while still being able to weather the Sabres' storm.
With about 5 minutes left in the first, the Sabres sustained an attack in the Pens' zone for a decent amount of time. We were all praying that the Pens would take a penalty. Before we could finish that though, Derek Roy gets one past Fleury. That was a deflating goal.
Joltin' Joe took a delay-of-game penalty late in the first when he threw the puck over the glass, but the Pens held strong.

The second period was fun times. In a weird twist of fortunes, a team other than the Penguins gets slapped with a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. On the ensuing power play, one of the Sabres loses his stick, and it essentially becomes a 5-on-3. Crosby preys on him and gets the puck over to Whitney who does his patented sneaking-in-one-timer-from-Sid to tie the game up. These kinds of goals, from now on, will be known as Whitneys.

About three minutes after that goal, our boy Fleury again tries to play the puck behind the net. I really wish Fleury would stop doing this....or at least learn how to do it. He throws it around the boards, and the Sabres block it. A couple of bounces later, and it's 2-1 Buffalo. That hurt.

But fear not.

Malkin throws on his Superman cape and basically propels the Pens to victory.
Three minutes after the Sabres goal, Malkin dekes in and out of the Sabres defense. He gets it back to the point where Joltin' JM fires a shot on net that bounces onto Jordan Staal's stick. He buries it, and the game is tied at two. I love this team.

Picture: Jordan Staal dumps Derek Roy and starts to date Evgeni Malkin.

Late in the second, the Pens are short-handed. It was gonna be a difficult thing to bear when the Sabres scored to take a 3-2 lead going into the third.
However, the Pens killed off the penalty and eventually got a power play of their own.

With time ticking down, the Pens throw the puck around on the power play. In a defensive lapse, Malkin is left all alone at the (right? left?) face-off dot. With 2.3 seconds left, Malkin winds up his slapshot, reminiscent of holding the "B" button down on NHL 95, and blows it past Reggie Miller. Great celebration, huge goal. Props to Whitney getting the puck over to Malkin.

The third period had only a couple of nervous moments. The Sabres maybe had one or two good chances while the rest of their shots were semi-dangerous. Rob Scuderi took an uncharacteristic hooking penalty in the third, but the Pens' penalty killers got the job done.

Sabres pulled the goalie, and Dominic Moore finished off the Sabres with the Pens' first empty-net goal since the eighth-grade picnic.

Stats
  • Crosby: 1 A (1 Point? Over-rated)
  • Malkin, Staal, Whitney: 1 G, 1 A
  • Fleury: 31 saves
  • Shots: BUF (33) PENS (27)
  • Powerplay: BUF ( 1 for 5 ) PENS ( 2 for 5 )
Miscellaneous
  • Chris Thorburn was a healthy scratch against his former team...interesting.
  • Petrovicky takes a stupid elbowing penalty that leads to a Sabres goal.
  • Staal and Malkin were on the ice together for Staal's goal because the Pens were too late in putting Crosby and Recchi out there.
  • Great play by Alain Nasreddine to sweep the puck away from the net after a bad bounce.
  • Maxim Afinogenov is the only player I've seen this year that has a similar burst to Crosby.
  • Rally at the Mellon Arena on Sunday. 3:00 PM.
SPECIAL THANKS:
I watched the game at casa de Tawm.


18 comments:

Scott said...

It was a great game but i missed most of it...1st period i was at my skools bball game and then durin the 3rd the whole town on Bellevue went dark and it came back on with 3 min left to go...but Malkins slapper= Damn

Anonymous said...

great game .... I think this was the truest glimpse of what the Penguins future holds .... key contributions from everyone - not just Sid.

Joshua said...

I dont think that there was one wrong thing about NHL 95. Even the opening theme kicked ass.
Yeah Geno did act like he held down the "B" button, but probably has no idea how to pronounce the letter in English.

Andrew said...

The game last night reminded me of another great sporting event...

The battle between Lil' Mac and Heavyweight Champion of the World Mike Tyson. Just like Lil' Mac, the Pens dodged the first period onslaught fairly well, only taking one shot to the face. They didn't even turn purplish/pinkish...

J-Morg said...

Nasreddine really saved the game with that heads up play in front of the cage. That play looked like it was gonna get real bad but Alain really stepped it up.

seth said...

What an effort. They play like this 75% of the time the rest of the year (we know they're gonna have a few slips here and there) it's playoffs without a doubt

Christina said...

Great, great game, and so much fun to watch too!! Finally getting contributions from guys other than Sid was huge, and at last the power play is stepping up consistently.

My favorite moment: Moore's empty-netter...other than the fact that it was the first in FOREVER, i loved how Staal passed it to Moore even though Jordan could have had the goal himself, easy. Seigy and Errey said that it spoke volumes, and i agree. We have quite a team.

Antonette said...

Christina, I totally agree with Moore's empty netter (or Jordan's pass) being the best moment of the game. Hands down, this shows that the Pens are a team, not just some guys that happen to be on the ice with Sid.

Whitney's really stepped it up in the past few games, too. And Malkin's shot is just scary.

Anonymous said...

amazing game! i love malkin but i just don't know what i think of him as a winger. did anyone else notice on the whitney power play goal how malkin just couldn't figure out how to work the guy covering him who lost his stick? malk kept passing it back to gonchar and not taking an opportunity to shoot. finally crosby switched with him (praise the lord), worked around the defender and passed to whitney for the goal. Later in the game Malk shows his ability as a center with the beautiful Staal goal. I'm sick of seeing him on Crosby's wing. but now i'm done complaining because last night was awesome :)

Anonymous said...

what a game.

best game of the season.

biggest win.

pens 2-0 in 2007.

Lloyd said...

I was a little curious as to how many Pens players blew a tire during that game. I think every Penguin was on their butt at some point.

Great game nonetheless. I also will repeat the empty net goal comments. Staal is also a penalty killing machine.

Lloyd from New Castle.

Tee said...

Great game, everyone played their roles. Sid was the smart player, did anyone else watch the MSG feed? not sure if they showed this on FSN or not, but he was creeping behind miller hiding from the D and when miller went down sid literally went down a knee with him and hid behind him before creeping out to the slot. Malkin was the dangling sniper, that was the C button for us genesis children Adam. I think my 13 goals in one game with Fedorov has to be in the NHL 95 hall of fame somewhere. Staal was the rangy power forward, he's really learning to use his size and wingspan. Fleury was rock solid save for his pathetic attempt at playing the puck. You're not Marc-Andre DiPietro, leave that to your D men. Also, Ruutu and Petro lived up to their pest reputations and got under Buffalo's skin. It's nice when the other team scratches their goon against us now that Roy is gone and Cairns is on eternal IR, it gives Ruutu plenty of space to play his games and that's invaluable.

Washington85 said...

I will never forget it, at ice castle for my hockey game then i walk out of the double doors look on the big wall Tv and see penguins 3 Sabres 2 and I went nuts...this win ruled

AT&T said...

buffalo's goalie's name is Ryan Miller, not Reggie.

Andrew said...

I think they were joking around, at&t...sticking with the '95 theme...

Tee said...

adam, on the 95 theme note, I created Ryan Patterson, who was some type of forward that I can't remember currently in my drunken state, in NBA Live 96, and he was incredibly money, he sunk every 3 I could imagine and pulled 30 some points a game. On a side note, in EA video game news, my NHL 07 team is currently 28-2 on the hardest difficulty and Crosby has 71 points through 29 games. Cairns is also leading the league in PIMs with 72, 2 3 fight 25 PIMs in which I won every fight. Andre Roy has a respectable 46 PIMs and I have yet to lose a fight with him and I can't stand to trade him. Vandenbussche has 36 PIMs and hasn't lost a fight yet, while putting up a very respectable 23 points.

Adam said...

hahah vandenbussche with 23 points is staggering.

Adrienne said...

NHL 95 was one of the best games ever.

On another note, Staal's goals keep me on the edge of my seat. I hope he keeps this up. :D

Disclaimer

We are in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League.

In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Pensblog uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey our criticism and inform the public.

Photos on The Pensblog are used without permission but do not interfere with said owner's profit.

If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail us (thepensblog@gmail.com) and we will be happy to oblige.

wooo