Greetings from a terrible day here in Pittsburgh. The weather is uglier than Rod Brind'Amour and Mike Ricci combined. We don't know if technically correct to say it's raining or sleeting or snowing. Let's just say there's moisture of some form coming from the sky.
-Usually when it rains, fans crowd under the awning in front of Gate 3:
(Terrible picture, sorry.)
-Here are the bags being given out tonight:
(They're still wrapped in plastic.)
-A Petr Sykora jersey. You don't really see too many of those:
-An Alex Kovalev jersey:
-Alex Goligoski blue:
-Major jersey foul here. Heath Miller doesn't play for the Penguins. Though, he would make a nice power forward in front of the net:
-This guy's lady friend was wearing a Robert Morris hockey jacket so we'll forgive the error.
-Matthew Barnaby jersey:
-Um... slight jersey foul here:
-Gary Roberts jersey:
-Jay Caufield jersey:
(We wondered if this was a jersey foul in terms of the timing of this jersey. We checked and Caufield finished his career with the Penguins in the 1992-93 season which was the first season that style of jersey was used.)
-The Penguins' scratches are the great Mike Zigomanis, Marc-Andre Fleury and... Eric Godard again? Hmm... We wonder if he's dealing with some sort of injury.
-New York has scratched Jeff Tambellini and former Penguins forward Jon Sim.
-Joey MacDonald and John Curry are your starting goaltenders.
-It got dark in here:
-The Penguins' starting lineup is announced along with pictures of the players on the video board. Behind each player's name is a blue plaid backround similar to the handbags we showed earlier. Hmmm..
-No Jeff Jimerson. Not cool.
19:45: Right off a faceoff in the Penguins' zone, Curry is tested. He stops a quick wrister and a few chances on the rebound.
19:05: Maxime Talbot controls the puck on the right boards, moves in a bit and rips a wrister which MacDonald eats up.
18:22: Mark Eaton takes out Trent Hunter on the right wing with a hip check.
17:46: From the south F balcony you can hear a "LET'S GO PENS!" chant along with a drum. We wondered how anyone brought a drum into the arena. We took a look over and it's actually Iceburgh beating on it.
17:08: Richard Park takes a pass from the corner in the right faceoff circle. He has a clean shot on net but rips a wrister wide of the cage.
16:07: Chris Minard tag Mitch Fritz behind the Penguins' net. That takes guts going after that yeti.
15:07: Kris Letang coast into the offensive zone and zips a wrister from the right wing. MacDonald knocks it away with his blocker.
14:42: Bill Guerin takes a drop pass and drives a big slapper on net. Curry fights it off.
14:00: Sykora takes a pass in the left faceoff circle and rips a wrister. MacDonald knocks it down and covers to freeze play.
13:51: Coming back from commercial, Tim Wallace's parents are shown in attendance. We're willing to be this is their first time in Pittsburgh. What a way to introduce our city to them with weather that's probably as horrid as what they're used to in Alaska.
13:35: Miroslav Satan sends a cross-ice pass to Pascal Dupuis on the left wing. Dupuis moves in and blasts a big slapper to the far side. MacDonald biffs on the save, and let's the bounce off his glove and trickle into the net as Sidney Crosby crashes into the net. Terrible goal by MacDonald to give up but the Penguins will take it. The "Hey Song" is played. Satan and Rob Scuderi get assists. Penguins 1-0.
13:03: Doug Weight is called for interference. Crosby, Sykora, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Jordan Staal are on for the power
12:40: Malkin dishes a pass to Staal in the slot. Staal tries to hammer a one-timer but only gets a gets a piece of the puck.
11:50: Crosby blasts a one-timer from the right wing. MacDonald gloves this one.
11:37: Satan blasts a slapper from the right wing. MacDonald knocks it down and covers despite traffic.
11:19: Andy Sutton drops Ruslan Fedotenko at his team's blue line with a big check.
11:03: Weight's penalty expires. The Penguins had a solid effort on that power play.
9:24: Hunter steals a puck in the offensive zone and fires a slapper that's off the mark.
8:47: Freddy Meyer is called for holding. Crosby, Sykora, Malkin, Staal and Letang are on for the power play.
7:54: On a delayed penalty, Letang blasts a one-timer which MacDonald fights off. An Islander touches the puck to freeze play. Nate Thompson is sent off for hooking. The Penguins will have a two-man advantage for 1:07. They have to score here.
7:18: Malkin winds up and blasts a slapper that misses the cage.
6:58: Another Islanders' penalty?!? Wow. Brendan Witt is sent off for slashing. The Penguins will have a two-man advantage for at least 1:02.
6:24: Crosby zips a sharp pass across the slot to Satan who isn't prepared for it and can't get a blade on the puck.
6:18: Satan tries to play a backhander in but MacDonald kicks it out.
6:11: Satan finally gets one. Crosby dishes the puck into the slot. It hits a skate or a stick and rattles around before Satan jumps in and pokes it in with a backhander. The Penguins will have a one-man advantage for 1:23. Matt Cooke and Crosby get assists. "Hey Song." Penguins 2-0.
5:32: MacDonald eats up a shot.
4:58: The final Islanders penalty expires.
4:47: MacDonald kicks out a shot by Letang.
4:26: Wallace drops Mark Streit behind the Islanders net with a nice check.
4:00: Curry eats up a shot.
3:06: Cooke is called for tripping Sutton. Fans boo but it's the right call. Dupuis, Talbot, Mark Eaton and Scuderi are on for the kill.
2:31: Weight makes about 13 fakes with the puck at the top of the slot before he finally dishes it to Streit on the right wing. Streit blasts a slapper which beats Curry. Weight and Hunter get assists. Penguins 2-1.
2:20: Lots happening in this game so far. Malkin picks up a loose puck in the neutral zone moves it into the offensive zone and dishes it to Sykora on the right wing. Sykora blasts a one-timer that trickles through MacDonald's equipment. Another terrible goal for him to give up. He's not sharp tonight. "Hey Song." Malkin and Fedotenko get assists. Penguins 3-1.
1:41: You've got to be kidding. Crosby plays a puck from behind the net to Philippe Boucher at the right point. Boucher fires a slapper that MacDonald doesn't appear to see at all. The puck hits twine and we hear a the goal horn which sounds like it's running out of juice. MacDonald is rattled. We can't keep up with all this. "Hey Song." It's Boucher's first point as a Penguin. Crosby and Satan get assists. Penguins 4-1.
0:48: MacDonald eats up a shot.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Islanders 1.
-Wow. We don't know if the Islanders are that bad or what, but that might've been the Penguins' most dominant period of the season. They controlled the play, shot the puck at will almost and just dominated the Islanders.
-Hopefully they keep the pace and don't let up like they have in other games. Not to be a killjoy, but they were up 3-1 against the Sabres Monday and still lost, 4-3.
-The Penguins have a 19-5 edge in shots. Wow.
-Letang and Satan lead the game with four.
-Bill Guerin leads New York with two.
-The Penguins have a 14-12 edge in faceoffs.
-Crosby leads the Penguins going 6-for-9 (67 percent).
-Park leads the Islanders going 3-for-4 (75 percent).
-Crosby also leads the game in ice time with 8:47.
-Streit leads the Islanders with 7:59.
-Scuderi and Park each lead the game with two blocked shots.
-The Islanders have mercifully pulled MacDonald and have replaced him with Yann Danis.
19:08: Comeau whips a puck through the slot.
18:56: Crosby works his way down the left wing and zips a wrister which Danis eats up. Attendance is announced as 16,972.
17:48: Goligoski takes a pass from Malkin in the slot and fires a wrister which Danis kicks out. Malkin's right there on the doorstep to push the rebound behind Danis. This is ugly. We wonder if the Islanders will start with some rough stuff at some point here to make a "statement." "Hey Song." Goligoski and Sykora get assists. Penguins 5-1.
16:30: Sean Bergenheim jumps on a loose puck on the left wing and whips a shot on net. Curry kicks it out.
16:19: Bailey is called for holding Wallace. Why would you hold Tim Wallace? Letang, Malkin, Stal, Crosby and Sykora are on for the power play.
16:10: Curry fights off a wrister from Bailey.
15:45: Malkin zips a pass across the slot to Crosby who tries a one-timer as he falls backwards. His shot is off the mark.
15:15: Letang blasts a one-timer which hits the backboards.
15:07: During a stoppage, a few players are separated.
14:30: Boucher blasts a slapper which Danis appears to fight off.
14:17: The Penguins are called for too many men. Sykora will serve the two minutes. Brooks Orpik, Dupuis, Scuderi and Talbot are on for the kill.
13:33: Hunter plays a puck into the slot. Scuderi tips it up into the netting.
13:11: Staal works the puck up ice and whips a wrister on net that sails into the netting.
13:09: Right off the faceoff, Cooke almost punches a puck in behind Danis but can't quite get it in.
12:53: Guerin is called for slashing. We're not sure who he took the wood... err... composite to, but there's a broken stick on the ice. We'll have four-on-for for 43 seconds.
12:16: Sykora comes out of the box and the Penguins will have a power play for 1:23.
12:07: The Islanders might want to stop taking penalties. Talbot leaves a drop pass for Goligoski. Goligoski cruises down the left wing and tosses a pass into the slot. Sykora chops a shot on net despite the presence of a defender the shot beat Danis. Geez this is getting bad. Somewhere Paul Steigerwald is talking about Sykora never having a hat trick. Goliogski and Talbot get assists. "Hey Song." Penguins 6-1.
11:55: Tim Jackman tries to start something with Orpik who isn't biting.
11:50: Orpik tosses a wrister on net which Danis kicks out despite traffic.
10:44: Danis keeps out a backhander tossed towards the net.
10:15: Malkin appears to get away with a trip on Bergenheim near the Penguins' net.
10:09: Sykora fires a one-timer from Malkin but it gets blocked.
10:06: The officials are the only people on the ice who can keep the Penguins from scoring. Danis keeps an initial shot from going on. The officals blow a quick whistle. Sykora appears to poke in the puck and seemingly has his first career hat trick. The horn goes off. Fans cheer. But an officials is waving his hands signaling no goal. Sykora skates to his bench laughing and gets a hug from a teammate. Fans chant something about manure.
8:11: Just as Jackman tags Dupuis with a nice check at the Penguins' blue line, Crosby clangs a shot off the post.
7:53: Curry gloves a shot.
7:33: Malkin and Hunter exchange a few shoves behind the Islanders net.
7:23: Meyer appears to get clipped with a high stick. No call.
7:07: Curry fights off a wrister.
5:24: Scuderi fires a one-timer from the right point. Danis eats it up. Dave Hanson of the Hanson Brothers is shown in the crowd.
4:48: Wallace just dodges a hit by Jackman.
4:39: Jackman's been running around for about 10 minutes trying to start something. He punches Minard in the head. Appears to clip Satan in the face with his stick and cross-checks Minard. None of the Penguins bite. Jackman is sent off for roughing. Michel Therrien puts his first power-play unit out there with Crosby, Malkin, Sykora, Letang and Staal. Good. If the Islanders going to take stupid penalties like that, punish them even more.
4:18: Finally Sykora gets his hat trick and he ends our long national nightmare of constant "You know, he's never had a hat trick" comments. Crosby controls the puck along the right wing, surveys the ice and zips a pass into the slot where Sykora chips it by Danis. Sykora celebrates and jumps into Crosby's arms behind the net. Hats and those giveaway bags fall on to the ice. "Hey Song." Crosby and Staal get assists. Penguins 7-1.
3:38: Goligoski almost scores the Islanders second goal as he slide a pass to Curry with a little too much zip.
3:17: A shot by Sillinger is covered up by Curry.
3:04: Sutton is called for roughing. Staal, Sykora, Letang, Crosby and Malkin are on for the power play. Sutton's penalty wasn't like Jackman's. In terms of being stupid. We would put the second power-play unit on here.
2:31: Sykora tips a shot just wide.
1:33: Cooke and Guerin crash into the net.
0:51: Minard takes a pass and blasts a slapper on net from just inside the blue line. Danis eats it up.
0:30: Wow. What an effort by Staal. He coasts into the offensive zone going by Islanders like they were cones. He moves to the right of the cage and slide a pass to a trailing Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis bangs in the easy goal. "Hey Song." Are we going break the "Hey Song" YouTube clip? Freddy Meyer looked like was skating for the first time in his life on that play. Staal gets the only assist. Penguins 8-1.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 8, Islanders 1.
-This has easily been the Penguins' most dominant game since the 6-0 beating they gave the Flyers to clinch the Eastern Conference title, May 18. We don't know what the team has done since losing in New Jersey last night, but it's working obviously.
-The Islanders don't even belong on the ice right now. They look slow, out of order and simply terrible. They should be embarrassed.
-We're guessing if the Penguins let up and fail to play a complete 60 minutes tonight, it won't be as big of an issue as with other games.
-Unless the Islanders keep taking stupid penalties like Jackman's, the Penguins should let up and put some more of the third or fourth liners out there, including in power-play situations. They got awfully cranky last season when the Flyers blasted them, 8-2, Dec. 11, 2007. Therrien accused the Flyers of running up the score by putting their top players on the ice. Unless he's a hypocrite, he should put the likes of Jeff Taffe and Chris Minard out for the bulk of this period.
-The Penguins have a 33-15 advantage in shots.
-Sykora, Letang and Satan each lead the game with five.
-Guerin and Bergenheim lead New York with three.
-Letang leads the game with 15:34.
-Brendan Witt leads New York with 14:56.
-The Penguins have a 28-23 lead in faceoffs.
-Crosby leads the Penguins going 13-for-19 (68 percent).
-Park leads the Islanders, going 5-for-7 (71 percent).
-Boucher leads the game with three blocked shots.
Park leads New York with two.
-Scuderi (two assists), Dupuis (two goals), Staal (two assists), Goligoski (two assists), Sykora (three goals, one assist), Malkin (one goal, one assist), Satan (one goals, two assists) and Crosby (three assists), all have multiple points tonight.
-They might have to hold up the period in order for FSN Pittsburgh to run the "What You've Missed" segment.
-Bob Errey talks Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter about the federal government's bail out of the auto industry. Or the Penguins' power play. One or the other.
19:19: A slight skirmish develops near the team's benches as Mitch Fritz attempt to eat Wallace. We think.
18:39: Meyer knocks Fedotenko off the puc.
18:13: FSN Pittsburgh shows a replay of Letang getting hit into the boards from behind by Hilbert. It's a fairly innocent play as Letang moved the puck along and he wasn't injured. But Hilbert needs to let up there. Letang's prone and the potential for injury is there.
17:54: Boucher is called for hooking. Time for the Islanders to start their comeback. Staal, Malkin, Scuderi and Orpik are on for the kill.
17:38: Streit jumps on a rebound and has a wide-open net to shoot at but he hits the near post.
17:34: Sillinger rips a wrister from the slot which a prone Curry is able to save some how.
17:22: Curry kicks out a shot from the point with a "thud."
17:08: Crosby dishes a pass to Dupuis in the slot but Dupuis can't quite get his stick on it.
15:54: Boucher's penalty is killed.
15:31: Meyer blasts a loose puck on the left wing on net. Curry fights it off.
14:27: Malkin dishes a backhanded pass to Dupuis who was streaking down the slot screaming for it. Dupuis takes it and rips a wrister. MacDonald fights it off and denies Dupuis of a hat trick.
13:38: Letang gets run over in front of the team's benches by an Islanders player.
12:57: The hitting has picked up a bit here as Blake Comeau drops Orpik in front of the Islanders' bench.
12:27: Dupuis' wants his hat trick. He fires a slapper which gets deflected wide.
12:10: A wrister by Boucher is deflected by a stick.
12:00: According to EN commenter "raccoonnine," Errey and Steigerwald have mentioned that Dupuis' never had a hat trick. We end one nightmare and another begins.
11:39: Fritz tosses a wrister on net which Curry knocks away.
11:08: Curry covers a puck which dribbles into his crease.
10:44: Satan dishes a pass into the slot. Crosby swipes at it but doesn't make contact.
10:09: Crosby zips a puck into the slot for Satan who can't bang it home.
9:53: Malkin brings the puck up ice and tries to make a move around Hunter who makes a nice defensive play and separates Malkin from the puck.
9:26: Malkin swoops behind the net and dishes a pass to Boucher on the right wing. Boucher snaps a wrister on net which Danis eats up. The Penguins acknowledge a few active members of the military in the crowd. Normally the Penguins do two or three of these through out the game, one at a time. This time, they have to do them all at once. All the goals have prevented public address announcer John Barbero from doing it at his normal pace.
8:27: The Penguins play the puck with a high stick. It rest in the corner where Sutton and Malkin stare at it. Malkin doesn't play it because it play would blown dead. Fedotenko actually kicks Sutton's foot hoping he would touch the puck. Play is blown dead. A scrum ensues. Malkin, Fedotenko and Hilbert are sent off. Scuderi, Cooke, Staal and Orpik are on for the kill.
8:03: Curry stops a shot by Guerin.
7:09: Dupuis plays a puck into the slot
7:06: Crosby works the puck into the slot and whips a backhander on net which Danis kicks out. Weight is called for hooking. We'll have four-on-four for 38 seconds.
6:54: The comeback is on! Sutton takes a pass at the point, moves in without a challenge and tosses a weak wrister on net that beats Crruy on the stick side. Penguins 8-2.
6:34: Chris Campoli tags Satan. Minard gives Campoli the business.
6:26: The Penguins'' penalty ends. They'll have a power play for 1:24.Crosby, Letang, Malkin, Boucher and Sykora are on for the power play.
5:20: Crosby dishes a pass into the slot for Dupuis who's shot is wide. They are trying to get him that third goal.
5:11: Danis covers a shot. Jackman goes after Malkin trying to start something again. A scrum develops. Jackman is called for roughing. The Penguins will have a two-man advantage for six seconds.
5:05: Weight's penalty expires.
4:39: Goligoski is called for hooking. Four-on four for 1:28.
3:56: Meyer pushes a backhander on net which Curry keeps out.
3:23: Campoli blasts a slapper that mises the net.
3:12: Wow what a pass and what a move. Cooke moves into the offensive zone, and dishes a pass under Sutton's stick. Dupuis takes it on the forehand, dekes Danis out of his shorts, and puts a backhander behind him. It's his first career hat trick. Wow. We wonder if two players have ever gotten their first career hat trick in the same game. More hats and bags are thrown on the ice. Barbero instructs fans to quit throwing bags on the ice. The fans pretty much ignore him. "Hey Song." Cooke and Orpik get assists. Penguins 9-2.
2:50: "WE WANT 10! WE WANT 10!" Ha! Awesome.
1:13: Fedotenko blasts a slapper that hits the back Boards.
1:01: Guerin is sent off for unsportsmanlike conducts and gets a game misconduct. He's booted. Comeau will serve the penalty. Taffe, Minard, Wallace, Boucher and Goligoski are on for the power play. "WE WANT 10! WE WANT 10!" Kiss Cam is finally busted out. They haven't had a chance to use it.
0:02: Goligoski takes the puck behind the Penguins net and kills the clock.
0:00: End of game. The "Woo-Hoo! song" is played. Penguins 9, Islanders 2.
-Uh wow. We can't immediately recall a Penguins game where the were that dominant. The Islanders stunk it up but the Penguins had everything working for them tonight. They just went up and down the ice at will, controlled the puck any way they wanted and just owned this game totally.
-To say the least, this was just what the Penguins needed. They were in the midst of a three-game slide and generally weren't playing all that well as of late.
-Not to be a buzzkill, but the Islanders are terrible. This would not have happened against too many other teams in this league. Some AHL teams would've given better efforts and not have been treated like the new guy in prison.
-That said, this was a combination of the Islanders being awful and the Penguins having everything working their way.
-The last time the Penguins had two players score a hat trick was a 10-4 road win against the Ragners, April 9, 1993. Joe Mullen and Mario Lemieux each had three goals against Corey Hirsch and Mike Richter. That was also the game they broke the 1981-82 Islanders' record for consecutive wins with their 16th in a row.
-The Penguins have placed a call to Elias Sports Bureau to find out if two players have ever recorded their first hat tricks in the same game. We'll have that as soon as it's available.
-Dupuis got creamed right before he was interviewed by Dan Potash:
-The Penguins' power-play was "only" 3-for-11 (27 percent). Time to fire Mike Yeo.
-Other than Curry, the only Penguins players who failed to score a goal were Eaton, Taffe, Minard, Wallace and surprisingly Letang. Considering he was on the first power-play unit most of the night, that's shocking he didn't even get a secondary assist.
-As we stated before, Boucher scored his first career goal as a Penguin. Only 689 more before he takes over the all-time lead on the Penguins.
-The Penguins obviously did let up a bit in the third period, even as they were trying to get Dupuis his hat trick. Kudos to Michel Therrien for taking his foot off the gas.
-The Penguins had a 38-22 advantage in shots.
-As hard as it might be to believe, Dupuis led the game with six.
-Sillinger led New York with five.
-The Penguins had a 35-32 edge in faceoffs.
-Crosby led the Penguins going 14-for-23 (61 percent).
-Park led New York going 6-for-9 (67 percent).
-Letang led the game with 23:53. That makes his personal shutout even more surprising.
-Streit led New York with 23:15.
-Scuderi led the Penguins with four blocked shots.
-Hilbert and Sutton led the Islanders with two.
-Maxime Talbot only recorded 7:20 of ice time. We didn't notice him get injured and obviously the team won't publicize that knowledge. Did the announcers say anything about him?
-Sykora vaulted past Michel Ouellet (80 points), Milan Kraft (82) and Darius Kasparaitis (83) for 89th place on the team's all-time scoring list. Sykora now has 84 career points in the black and gold (and blue and white).
-Staal moved past Jiri Slegr (86) and Chuck Arnarson (86) for 86th place on that list. Staal now has 87 points as a Penguin.
-Orpik's assist broke him into the team's top 150 all-time scorers. He now has 43 points along with Tom Edur, Ab McDonald and Dale Tallon.
-The Penguins' last nine-goal game was a 9-4 home win Feb. 7, 2001 against the Flyers. Alex Kovalev had a hat trick and two assists. Jaromir Jagr had two goals and two assists. Robert Lang and Janne Laukkanen each had three assists. Mario Lemieux, Kevin Stevens and Martin Straka each had a goal and an assist. Kent Manderville ended an 122-game scoring drought by getting a goal as well. Jean-Sebastien Aubin and current Islanders general manager Garth Snow ironically enough, were in net for the Penguins. Snow was pulled after giving up three goals in the first period. Aubin got the win. Roman Chechmanek (six goals) and Brian Boucher (three) were the Flyers' goaltenders. Rick Tocchet actually scored for the Flyers.
-Petr Sykora's last four-point game came in a 7-1 rout home rout of the Flyers March 16. He had two goals and two assists. Dupuis' last three-point effort came in that game as well.
-Satan's last three-point game came in a 6-3 win in St. Louis Nov. 1.
-Our apologies if there were some incomplete thoughts throughout tonight's post. This was a very difficult game to blog live.
-We're not going to check the books on this one, but we're pretty confident we set a "Hey Song" record tonight.