-We were watching Inside Penguins' Hockey when we woke up this afternoon and noticed Mathieu Garon has a new Penguins-themed lid:
-Someone needs to get Scott Hartnell a dang hair cut by the way:
-How does he stick his helmet on top of that rats' nest?
(Kudos to EN Flickr contact neat1325 for the photo.)
-By the way, it's Hockey Day in Canada. All the Canadian teams are playing each other today. The CBC (and by extension, NHL Network in the United States) has something like 243 hours of hockey on today. Our math could be off on that a bit. Either way, if you have access to either channel, we encourage you to take advantage of it.
-In his pregame interview with Dan Potash, Dan Bylsma reveals Kris Letang will be a healthy scratch once again. We'd love to know what's he's done to deserve a scratch that today's six blue liners haven't done at one point or another this season. Other than Sergei Gonchar maybe.
-An EN reader found another photo of Hartnell's mop. We think:
-The Flyers will be wearing their Creamsicle jerseys:
(Tom Mihalek/Associated Press)
-Bill Thomas and Letang are the Penguins' scratches.
-Flyers coach John Stevens apparently have something against Finnish defensemen with double letters in their names. He has scratched Lasse Kukkonen and Ossi Vaananen. We assume that prejudice doesn't extend to Kimmo Timonen.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Biron are the starting goaltenders.
19:45: Paul Steigerwald mentions Sidney Crosby begins on a line with Evgen Malkin and Ruslan Fedotenko. That line was fantastic in the third period versus Montreal.
19:38: Biron fights off a point shot by Sergei Gonchar.
18:51: Hartnell's hair trips up Gonchar or something. Matt Cooke and Jordan Staal take exception and give the business to a few PennDot road workers Flyers. Hartnell actually cross checked Gonchar from behind. That
18:40: Petr Sykora gets a shot off in tight. BIron covers. Malkin goes digging for a rebound. Timomen pops him in the face. A scrum breaks out this didn't take long to get nasty. Timonen is sent off for roughing. The Penguins will have a two-man advantage for 1:49. Big time opportunity against a tough opponent on the road here for the Penguins. They need at least one goal here.
18:07: Gonchar winds up and blasts a slapper from the left point. It misses the net.
17:44: Crosby controls the puck at the lef wing and is booed.
17:33: Staal and Mike Richards battle for a puck . Staal trips up Richards. That's two minutes. Good call. The Penguins will still have a four-on-three for 43 seconds. Richards got a way with a bit of dive there. Bob Errey refers to him as "Greg Louganis."
17:06: Sykora punches a shot on net from the slot. BIron eats it up.
16:51: Hartnell's penalty expires. The Flyers dodged a big bullet there.
16:40: Timonen's penalty does as well. The Flyers will have a five-on-four power play for 1:07.
16:31: Hartnell cranks a slapper. Fleury kicks it out.
15:34: Hal Gill blocks a shot by Joffrey Lupul.
15:26: As Staal's penalty is killed, Fleury denies a shot by Lupul despite a nice screen by Hartnell. Fleury got away with a dive there. Apparently diving isn't a penalty today. Scuderi also got away with a slash on Carter as he lumberjacked Carter's stick.
14:44: Tyler Kennedy directs a pass to Staal in the crease. Biron appears to make a save.
14:26: A shot by Ryan Whitney is deflected out of play.
14:15: Biron fights off a shot by Crosby.
14:01: The ever dangerous Rob Scuderi fires a slapper from the right point that deflects wide.
13:41: FSN Pittsburgh shows us today's forward and defensive combos:
13:05: Fleury denies (Who else?) Mike Knuble in tight.
12:19: After a turnover by Andrew Alberts, Staal whips a wrister on net from the left faceoff circle. Biron is in perfect position to eat it up. Cooke and Arron Asham, a match made in heaven, exchange words on the Conscription Crisis of 1944. We think.
9:51: Hartnell chips a puck high. Fleury kind of jumps up for make save.
9:49: Carter collects the rebound in the slot, spins and whips a slapper on net.
9:29: Hartnell collects a loose puck on the left wing and throws it on net. Fleury makes th save. The rebound pops up into the slot. Lupul collects it and snaps a nice backhander by Fleury on the stick side. That goal was a product of the Flyers getting to loose pucks before the Penguins. They just outworked the Penguins there. Especially Hartnell who got the only assists. "Bro Hymn" from Pennywise is played. Flyers 1-0.
8:39: Randy Jones directs slapper on net. Fleury fights it off with his blocker.
8:12: Eric Godard and Riley Cote find each other. After a lot of hugging, Cote gets in a few punches in tight before he kind of forces Godard to the ice. Godard is pretty steamed as he tries to throw a punch after the officials step in. Those two could see each other later. Their fight back on Oct. 14 was muuuuuuch better:
8:04: Off a faceoff, Sykora rips a wrister on net. BIron eats it up. Sykora's had a few chances here early.
7:15: Hartnell thumps Maxime Talbot inside the Flyers' blue line with a nice body check.
6:29: Brooks Orpik strikes a slapper from the top of the slot. It hits Cooke in front.
6:13: Fleury covers a puck that slide into the crease.
5:47: Fleury shrugs away a high shot from the right point.
5:41: Fedotenko chops a shot on net from the slot. Biron fights it off.
5:22: Malkin snaps a wrister off from in tight that seems to miss the mark.
5:03: A shot by Gill is deflected wide.
4:15: Hartnell pins Staal against the boards as they chase a loose puck in the corner. Apparently interference isn't a penalty today either.
3:10: WIth Eaton pinned in a little too deep, Richards and Simon Gagne come up on a two-on-one against Ryan Whitney. Gagne drives to the net as Whitney lays out block a shot or pass. Richards controls the puck, allows Whitney to slide by and has a fantastic open chance on net. He hesistates a bit and has Fleury poke the puck away. Richards needs to get that on net. Great play by Fleury though.
2:34: Lupul undresses Scuderi with a nice move but Scuderi is able to recover and lunge in order to poke the puck away from the Flyers forward.
2:08: Alberts blasts Malkin to the ice with a nice check in the corner.
1:58: Scottie Upshall pumps a slapper on net with is off the mark.
1:45: Claude Giroux has a chance and snaps a wrister wide.
0:54: Fleury bails out his teammates. After a turnover, Richards has a chance in the slot. He strikes a half slapper which Fleury kicks out with his right leg. Big save there.
0:44: Whitney takes a pass from Crosby, drags the puck by RIchards on the right wing and gets a shot off in tight. Biron hangs on for the save.
0:20: Fedotenko throws a wrister on net from the corner. Biron kicks it out.
0:15: Whitney tees up a slapper from the right point that's off the mark.
0:02: Richards rifles a shot over the cage.
0:00: End of period. As time expires. Carter and Whitney shove each other. A scrum develops. Flyers 1, Penguins 0.
-A really entertaining period. Regardless of who you're rooting for, you were treated to some entertaining hockey that first 20 minutes.
-Outside of the Lupul goal, the Penguins matched the Flyers' effort. And they were very aggressive.
-Each goaltender has been sharp.
-The Penguins have a 12-9 lead in shots.
-Sykora leads the game with three.
-Carter and Hartnell lead the Flyers with two each.
-The Penguins are controlling faceoffs, 13-5 (72 percent).
-Crosby is 7-for-8 (88 percent).
-Carter is 3-for-6 (50 percent).
-Malkin leads the game with 9:04 of ice time.
-Braydon Coburn leads the Flyers with 8:46.
-How does Kimmo Timonen only have 5:55?
-No one has more than one blocked shot.
-Brooks Orpik with the crazy eyes:
-Rob Brown is still apparently conscious of his hair line:
19:39: Fedotenko leaves a drop pass for Crosby in the slot. Crosby picks it up, uses Fedotenko as as a screen and snaps a wrister by Biron's glove hand. The puck clinks off the post and into the net. Nice shot. It's Crosby's first goal in his past seven games in Philadelphia. Heck of a set up and screen by Fedotenko. He's really playing like he belongs with Crosby and Malkin. Fedotenko and Malkin get assists. Flyers 1, Penguins 1.
19:16: Malkin rockets a shot wide.
19:03: Biron denies Crosby in tight.
17:58: A shot by Darroll Powe from the right wing is deflected out of play.
17:03: Miroslav Satan strikes slapper from outside the Flyers' blue line. Biron calmly steers it away.
15:58: Malkin steps out of the way at the last moment as Coburn tries to line him up for a check.
15:46: After a steal, Malkin and Sykora have a chance in tight but fail to get a shot on net after making one pass too many.
15:05: Upshall whips a low wrister on net from the right wing. Fleury closes the gates.
14:22: Lupul whips a wrister over the net.
14:16: As Fleury covers the puck despite a car wreck in the crease, Carter cross checks Kennedy into Fleury. That's two minutes.
14:06: Whitney slides a pass to Gonchar at the right point. Gonchar hammers a one-timer. Biron eats it up.
13:59: Biron fights off a wrister by Gonchar.
13:13: Malkin whips a pass right by Gonchar at the point. Not a good pass.
12:46: Greatest. Power. Play Ever. Whitney moves a backhanded pass to Gonchar the top of the point. Gonchar hammers another one-timer. Malkin appears to get a stick on the shot in front and deflects it by Biron on the glove side. Who told the Penguins they can go to the front of the net? Gonchar and Whitney get assists. Penguins 2-1.
12:04: Off a sloppy Penguins turnover, Upshall gets two chances in tight but misses the net with each of his shots.
11:38: Eaton stops Giroux in his tracks with a solid check outside the Penguins' blue line.
11:12: Coburn whips a wrister on net from the left point. It hops up and pops Hartnell in the face. That looked ugly. Ironically enough, Coburn was injured in the playoffs last season against the Penguins when he took a shot in the face. Replays show Sykora also deflecting the the goal by Malkin. Sykora should get the assist along with Gonchar. Sorry Whitney.
10:18: Richards whips a pass into the slot for Gagne coasting down the left wing. Gonchar is there to break it up. That's such an underrated part of Gonchar's game. He gets tons of accolades for his offense and justly so, but he also just knows how to position himself well defensively. He's not someone like Orpik or Gill who will bang bodies and be a physical threat on defense. He just knows where to be and how to disrupt plays.
10:10: Dupuis throws a shot/pass on net. Biron tries to glove it but Crosby charges the net and knocks the puck away.
9:11: Malkin and Talbot each have a chance in tight but both fail to get a shot on net.
8:46: The ever dangerous Rob Scuderi tees up a slapper that gets blocked by a Flyer at the right point.
8:16: Fleury, Gill and Scuderi miscommunicate on a puck dumped behind the Penguins' net. Fleury plays it to the corner but has Gill and Scuderi run into him. Powe chases down the puck and throws it on net. Thankfully for the Penguins, no one in a Creamsicle uniform is there to punch it in.
8:11: Cote throws a puck on net. Fleury gloves it.
7:51: What in the world has Ruslan Fedotenko eaten? We want some! Dupuis zips a pass from the left wing into the slot. With Crosby driving towards the net, Fedotenko kneels down and fires a one-timer that rips by Biron's glove and clinks off the cross bar and into the net. What a shot and a really nice pass by Dupuis. Fedotenko is on fire. Dupuis and Crosby get assists. Dupuis may have been offsides there. Penguins 3-1.
6:29: Satan dishes a pass to Malkin. Malkin hammers a one-timer. Biron knocks it away.
6:03: Malkin has a chance on the left wing. He fires a slapper. Matt Carle appears to reach back and deflects the shot over the net.
5:41: As the Penguins come in offsides, Hartnell gives Gonchar a shove from behind. Nothing major. Malkin responds by giving Hartnell a big check to the chest. Hartnell embellishes it a bit. Malkin needs to be a little bit more discipined there. The Penguins have a lead. They can't let the Flyers goad them into taking a penalty. As it is, Malkin gets a double minor. That was just stupid. Especially for a guy with an "A" his chest. He needs to be smarter than that. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
5:26: Carle strikes a slapper from the left point that deflected away.
5:14: Richards fires a slapper that hits a body in front.
4:20: Staal pushes the puck into the neutral zone and dumps it into the corner for a change.
3:39: As Malkin's first penalty expires, Coburn throws a shot on net. Lupul is there to deflects it on net. Fleury stands his ground.
3:22: Jones drives a slapper on net. It hits someone in front.
3:19: Dupuis lunges and pokes puck out of the zone.
3:05: Cooke whips the puck down ice. Flyers fans boo their team's power play.
2:41: Gonchar clears a centering attempt by Gagne.
2:18: Gonchar clears another puck in the slot. More booing.
1:51: Carter picks up a puck in the right faceoff circle and whips a wrister on net. Fleury is there to eat it up.
1:41: Malkin's second penalty is killed. He owes his teammates a case of beer for that penalty killing effort.
0:53: Fedotenko drives a slapper wide.
0:21: Powe trips up Eaton in the corner. No call.
0:07: Coburn fires a slapper from the right point. Fleury gets a piece of it. The puck deflects behind the net and rattles off the boards.
0:01: Jones drives a loose puck on net from the left point. Fleury makes the save. A rebound is there but the horn sounds ending the period before anyone can do anything with it.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Flyers 1.
-Great period for the Penguins. Especially when you consider they had to fight off Malkin's two stupid penalties.
-This is very much Dan Bylsma's team. He preached aggresive hockey and that's exactly what the Penguins are doing.
-Fedotenko is just playing awesome right now.
-The Penguins have a 20-18 edge in shots.
-Sykora, Gonchar, Crosby, Carter and Richards each lead the game with three shots.
-The Penguins have an 18-16 edge in faceoffs (53 percent).
-Crosby is 11-for-15 (73 percent).
-Glen Metropolit is 3-for-4 (75 percent).
-Coburn leads the game with 16:45 of ice time.
-Crosby leads the Penguins with 15:12. Malkin is right behind him with 15:02.
-Gill, Eaton and Staal each lead the game with two blocked shots.
-We may have asked this earlier in the season, but does Gilles Meloche give you a little Ron Francis?
18:32: After Kennedy hustles to force a turnover, he and Cooke each a get a chance in tight but can't cash them in.
17:53: Alberts has a chance in the slot but Dupuis makes a marvelous play to dive and knocks th epuck away.
17:46: Upshall trips up Crosby. Crosby didn't exactly put up a ton of resistance on that. Two minutes. Even Errey suggest Crosby took a bit of dive there.
16:53: Ughhhhhhh... Whitney makes a brutal turnover at the point. Richards steals it and is off to the races. He moves in on net and calmly slides a backhander under Fleury's five hole. Awful turnover by Whitney. He couldn't have telegraphed that pass more if he sent Richards an e-mail about it. You have to wonder if Letang would've made that mistake. The goal is unassisted though we would argue Whitney deserves one. Byslma immediately puts the jay-vee power play unit on. "Bro Hymn" Penguins 3-2.
15:45: As Upshall's penalty expires, Satan snaps a wrister on net from the left faceoff circle. Biron traps it against his chest. Terrible power play for the Penguins there.
14:55: Fleury fights off a nice shot by Lupul off a Flyers faceoff win.
14:50: Lupul has a chance in the slot but Talbot is there to break up the pass.
14:07: Steigerwald compares Hartnell to Ogie Oglethorpe:
-Paul Steigerwald +1.
13:34: Knuble punches a loose puck in tight
13:23: Coburn gets a pass at the right point and rockets a one-timer by Fleury's glove hand. Replay show the puck deflecting off Scuderi's stick. The Penguins were dealing with a short deck there as Gill's stick was broken. Carle and Richards get assists. "Bro Hymn" Flyers 3, Penguins 3.
12:37: Jones works his way through the defense and backhand chips a puck from the corner on net. Fleury kicks it out.
12:12: Carter whips a puck wide of the net.
11:48: Fleury covers a puck deflected on net.
10:10: Is it too early to hang No. 26 to the rafters of Cosol Energy Center? Who cares if there aren't even rafters there. Fedotenko is carrying this team today. After Dupuis outworks Ryan Parent for apuck behind the net, Crosby flicks a backhanded shot on net. Biron makes the save but the rebound kicks out to Fedotenko. He collects the puck and whips it by Biron on the glove side. This guy's on fire. Kudos to Dupuis for gaining possession of the puck behind the net. Crosby and Dupuis get assists. Penguins 4-3.
10:03: Dupuis is nabbed for hooking. Big two minutes here. Hartnell took a dive there. Errey screams murder against Hartnell but outright condoned Crosby doing it. We guess it's alright when Crosby does it.
9:28: Carter slides a pass throught he slot to Coburn on the right wing. Coburn has a prime chance but his shot hits the outside of the post. He had a goal there. Fleury was in no position for a save.
9:16: Carter drives a shot wide.
8:26: Knuble (Who else?) deflects a pass wide of the cage from in front.
8:03: Dupuis' penalty is killed. Big kill for the Penguins.
7:57: Giroux is denied from the slot by Fleury big save.
7:45: Dupuis directs a shot on net. Biron hangs on for a save.
5:40: Huge save for Fleury. Richards throws a backhander towards the net. Knuble (Who else?) is there to deflect it on net. Fleury makes the save. Gagne jumps on the rebound but Fleury eats up his shot. Big time play by Fleury there. We would argue Fleury's biggest contribution is the commercial stoppage FSN is allowed to take. It presents us an opportunity to see Debbie Flaherty:
5:35: Off a faceoff, another broken stick hurts the Penguins. As Gonchar wrestles for a puck with Gagne, his stick breaks. Gagne collects the puck and dishes it to Richards. Richards then distributes the puck to (Who else?) Knuble in the slot. Knuble pokes the puck behind an out of place Fleury. Buster Poindexter's "Hot, Hot, Hot" is played. Why do the Flyers play that song for their fourth goal? Flyers 4, Penguins 4.
4:56: Talbot absolutely tags Giroux in the corner. GIroux lumbers to the bench in discomfort. He's in bad shape.
4:49: Gonchar (roughing) and Upshall (slashing) go off for matching minors. Four-on-four.
3:36: The ever dangerous Rob Scuderi drives a slapper from the right point. Fedotenko is in front and deflects it wide.
3:02: Whitney whips a shot on net. A Flyer blocks it.
2:49: Gonchar and Upshall come out of the box.
2:45: What in the world was Biron doing there?!? After getting a nice pass through the crease, Dupuis tries to fight through two Flyers down the slot. Biron comes sliding out like Ty Cobb to break it up. He has the puck and just drops it. He would've been called for delay of game. Dupuis picks it up and slides a backhander into the crease. Carle is there to stop the shot but Crosby kneels down to tip it into the net. Dear Dominic Roussel what was Biron doing there?!? Dupuis gets the only assist. Biron should get one too. Penguins 5-4.
2:22: Biron denies Staal in tight.
1:34: Richards has a chance in tight but blasts a shot wide. He had a goal there.
1:06: Coburn sores through the neutral zone and puts a shot on net. Fleury makes the save. Biron is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:49: Hartnell deflects a puck on net. Fleury covers it. The Flyers call a time out to get organized.
0:37: Cooke dishes a pass to Talbot. Talbot throws a shot on net but a Flyer deflect it just wide.
0:03: Scuderi chips the puck up off the glass with a backhander and essentially ends the game.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 5, Flyers 4.
-Wow. What a game. That had just about a little of everything. Lots of emotion. Up and down skating. Plenty of goals. Even more hitting. Some big saves and fortunately for the Penguins, a mental breakdown by Biron. Just a marvelous, entertaining game.
-Crosby was FSN's player of the game, but sorry, Fedotenko was the top player in our book. He just has taken off in the past two games.
-For that matter, Dupuis was strong as well.
-How much of a difference does Gonchar make? He just does so many little things that mean so much to the Penguins.
-We still saw a few things on defense that didn't sit well with us though. Whitney's turnover on Richard's goal obviously was awful and Gill had a few turnovers in his own end that caused some trouble for the Penguins.
-Not to be a buzzkill, but can the Penguins play that way against Washington tomorrow? Are they good enough to run and gun with Washington? We have our doubts.
-Shots were even, 27-27.
-Crosby and Richard each led the game with four shots.
-The Penguins had a 27-26 edge in faceoffs (51 percent).
-Metropolit was 4-for-6 (42 percent).
-Crosby was 13-for-20 (65 percent).
-Coburn leads the game with 25:08 of ice time.
-Crosby led the Penguins with 21:59.
-Gill led the game with four blocks.
-Richards led the Flyers with two.
-Timonen failed to score a point for the first time this season against the Penguins.
-Dupuis' three assists moved him into the top 200 scorers in team history. He now has 31 career points as a Penguin.
-Fedotenko had three points for the first time as a Penguin.
-We'd love to know how many goals Knuble has against the Penguins from less than 10 feet away from the net. He always seems to kill them there.