You are reading live from the press box of Mellon Arena. With the weather expected to start getting nasty soon, we took another walk up to the arena from Downtown Pittsburgh. Here are a few of the sights we took in on a pleasant fall afternoon:
-The West Penn Building on Wood Street:
-One Oxford Center:
-The Allegheny County Courthouse with Mellon Arena's evil corporate lair looming in the background:
-We've been meaning to take a picture of this forever, but there's a trash can up here in the press box that still says "Civic Arena" on it:
-One of the concourses:
A few jerseys we've seen:
-A Jari Kurri jersey although we don't believe Kurri was around when the Oilers adopted this style. So this is a potential jersey foul:
-This is a definite jersey foul. Unless the Penguins introduce a vintage Howard Baldwin bankruptcy jersey, Sidney Crosby will never know the burden of wearing the corporate pigeon on his chest.
-A "proper" Kurri jersey:
-Wayne Gretzky Oilers:
-There are quite a few Oilers fans here. Not Maple Leafs type of levels mind you, but it's a solid showing.
-Mark Eaton and Paul Bissonnette are scratched for the Penguins. This is Eaton's second consecutive healthy scratch.
-Ladislav Smid, Zach Stortini and Dwayne Roloson are scratched for Edmonton.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Mathieu Garon are the starting goaltenders.
-Not only is Jeff Jimerson absent, they couldn't even get his steady back up Sarah Marince to do the anthems tonight. Much disappointment.
-Lot of empty seats here still. We wonder if the early 7 p.m. start has some people thrown off.
19:50: Almost immediately there is a "LET'S GO PENS!" chant.
19:33: Lubomir Visnovsky tees up a slapper from the right wing. Fleury makes the save.
18:48: Maxime Talbot feeds a pass into the slot. Miroslav Satan re-directs it wide.
18:17: Crosby pushes a backhander through the crease and wide of the net.
17:55: Ethan Moreau gathers a puck in the corner and dishes a feed to Fernando Pisani in the slot. Pisani fires a clean shot that Fleury kicks out.
17:18: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
16:06: Crosby zips through the neutral zone into the offensive zone. He backhands a pass to Talbot on the left wing. Talbot feeds it back to Crosby in the slot. Crosby tries to re-direct it on net. Garon makes a great save.
15:32: Satan steals a puck behind the Edmonton net and passes it to Talbot in the slot. Talbot fires a shot. It hits Crosby on the side of the net. Crosby tries to knock it down and sweep it behind Garon. Garon is able to get his stick pack and prevent the goal. It was a little lucky, but it was another nice save by Garon.
14:12: Here's a shocker. Eric Godard gets into a fight before the first television timeout. He drops the gloves with Steve MacIntyre. After some hesitation, they lock up. MacIntyre peppers him with a few jabs. Godard holds him off then tags MacIntyre with a few crosses. The third one gets MacIntyre pretty good and sends him to a knee. He gets up but officials immediately step in and break it up. MacIntyre goes to the penalty box for a moment then leaves the ice presumably for medical attention.
13:54: Darryl Sydor is called for holding. Former Penguins forward Rob Brown is shown in the broadcast booth for the Oilers. His presence is acknowledge along with a video showing a goal he scored against the Flyers that prompted goaltender Ron Hextall to chase him.
12:34: Sheldon Souray fires a wrister from the point. Fleury kicks it out despite traffic.
11:55: Just before Sydor's penalty expires, Visnosky fires a slapper from the left point. Fleury appears to deflect it away with his glove.
10:55: Satan collects a loose puck in the slot and throws it on net. Garon with the save.
10:46: Brooks Orpik wrists a shot from the left point. It misses and bounces off the back boards. Satan is able to collect the rebound from the side of the cage, put it through his legs and push it under Garon. He whiffed a bit on the shot, but it was still spectacular. Brooks Oprik and Ruslan Fedotenko get the assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
(The old "Hey Song" clip we usually use has died.)
8:58: Matt Cooke and an Oilers player get tangled up along the boards.
7:40: Alex Goligoski rifles a shot from the right point. Garon gloves it.
7:14: Petr Sykora jumps on a loose puck near the net and whips it on goal. It hits a body and Garon covers it.
5:58: Theo Peckham tosses a wrister on net. It hits a body in front of the net. The Oilers try to punch in the rebound by a prone Fleury but a Penguin clears the puck.
5:53: Kris Letang is penalized for slashing. Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi, the Great Mike Zigomanis and Jordan Staal are on to kill the penalty. "Your Love" by The Outfield is dusted off for Kiss Cam:
4:23: Fleury makes a big save on a shot from the point.
4:02: Crosby and Talbot rush up ice shorthanded on a two-on-one against Tom Gilbert. Crosby elects to shoot. Garon makes the inital save. Talbot is able to punch in the rebound before Robert Nilsson can knock it away from him. Crosby gets an assist. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 2-0.
3:00: Malkin rips a big shot near the net. Garon is able to keep it out.
2:40: Sydor dives and knocks a loose puck away from Visnovsky
2:18: MacIntrye returns and absolutley destroys Letang with a clean check inside the Penguins' blue line. Letang has trouble getting up at first, recovers and goes to the bench. That was brutal. You could hear Letang's breath leave his body almost.
1:59: Godard goes after MacIntyre in the corner but the Oilers forwad doesn't seem too willing to mix it up with him again. Godard is given two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. Letang is on the bench in pain. Staal, Zigomanis, Scuderi and Gill are on for the kill.
1:01: Souray uncorks that big slapper of his from the point. Fleury kicks it out with a "thud."
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Oilers 0.
-That was a pretty entertaining, fast-paced period of hockey. We had trouble keeping up with it.
-We'll always watch Oilers games regardless of their record. They always try to play an up-tempo, up-and-down brand of hockey.
The Penguins have an 8-7 advantage in shots.
-Crosby leads the game with three.
-The Penguins are dominating faceoffs, 12-2.
-The great Mike Zigomanis is 4-for-4.
-Surprising, Shawn Horcoff, one of the top faceoff specialists in the league, is 0-for-4.
-Lubomir Visnosky logged a pretty impressive 11:12 of ice time that period.
-Scuderi leads the Penguins with 8:38.
-Talbot, Satan and Crosby have something going on tonight. They look pretty comfortable with each other.
-Steve Staios has three blocked shots already.
-One of the best quotes we've ever heard about a hockey player inolves Staios. He once said of former Oilers defenseman Jason Smith, "He has the pain threshold of a dead animal."
-One second of Godard's penalty remains.
-By the way, Kris Letang is 6-foot-0, 201 points. MacIntyre is 6-foot-5, 250 pounds. Yeesh.
19:05: "Gaaaaaa-Ronnnn.... Gaaaaaa-Ronnnnn...."
18:17: Pascal Dupuis leaves a drop pass in the left faceoff circle for Malkin. Malkin takes it and fires a wrister. Garon eats it up.
17:56: Cooke chops at a loose puck in the slot. Garon kicks it out.
17:31: Marc-Antoine Pouliot fights off a check by Matt Cooke along the boards.
17:16: Tonight's attendance is announced as 16,971. It's a standing-room only sellout.
15:44: Gill chops Andrew Cogliano's feet out from underneath him behind the Penguins' net. Two minutes. Orpik, Talbot, Letang and Dupuis are on for the kill. Nice to see Letang's in good enough shape to return.
15:12: Off a cross-ice pass, Horcoff blasts a one-timer. Fleury slides over, knocks it down and covers the puck.
14:33: Ales Hemsky controls the puck on the left wing and blasts a slapper that hits a body and misses the net.
14:19: Talbot pushes the puck up ice and gets pushed down by Vishnovsky before he can get a clean shot on net. Fans boo but Visnovsky just played the body there.
14:05: Talbot gets another chances and fires a low wrister from the left wing. Garon makes the save and freezes play.
13:44: Fleury makes a save and Gill's penalty expires.
13:16: Crosby pushes the puck up ice against Jason Strudwick. Crosby does an in-and-out move against Strudwick and makes him look silly. Crosby pushes a backhander wide however.
12:55: Goligoski slides the puck to Malkin at the right point. Malkin tees it up and blasts a slapper. Satan directs it in from the side of the cage by an out-of-place Garon. The "Hey Song" is played. Officials review the goal for some reason. Malkin and Goligoski get the assists. Erik Cole ends up with a two minutes for tripping. No idea what happened there folks. Either way the Penguins got a goal. Talbot, Crosby, Malkin, Satan and Goligoski are on for the power play. Penguins 3-0.
10:55: Edmonton kills the penalty without the Penguins mount much on an attack.
10:06: Pouliot rifles a slapper from the left point that misses the net.
9:38: Staal gets a chance in tight, controls the puck for a moment and fires a wrister that misses the net. He needs to get that on goal at least.
8:44: Talbot controls the puck on the right wing and tosses a shot on net that Garon kicks out.
8:36: This game is starting to get out of hand. Right off the faceoff, Malkin puts it through the legs of Sam Gagner and zips a quick pass to Petr Sykora in the slot. Sykora roofs a wrister by Garon. The Oilers looked weak on that one. Garon had no chance. Malkin gets the assist. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 4-0.
8:25: Visnovsky fires a slapper from the high slot. Fleury gloves it.
7:58: The great Mike Zigomanis fires a wrister. Garon gloves it.
7:36: The ever dangerous Rob Scuderi fires a shot from the left point. Garon knocks it away with his blocker.
7:09: Gagner is sent off for slashing. Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Satan and Sykora are on for the power play.
6:57: This is getting ugly. Malkin fires a slapper from the high slot. It hits a body in front. Sykora is there to punche loose puck by a helpless Garon. Malkin and Letang get the assists. If the Oilers have any compassion, they'll pull Garon. Oh wait they do. Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers gets the call. We have to spell this flipping name the rest of the night?!?!?! The "Hey Song" is played again. The goal horn almost sounds like its running out of juice. Penguins 5-0.
5:59: Visnosky fires a puck from the top of the slot. It hits a body and alllllmost goes in. It hits the side of the net.
5:45: Horcoff fires a puck from the corner. Fleury knocks it down and the rebound is cleared. He's cheered with "FLEERRR-EEE! FLEEERRR-EEE!" chants.
3:54: The Penguins put a shot on net. Drouin-Deslauriers gloves it.
3:31: We just looked up Drouin-Deslauriers' profile on the Oilers' Web site. He looks like Michael Phelps with more hair:
1:38: Staios tosses a puck at the net. Cole is there and tries to re-direct it by Fleury. Fleury kicks it out.
1:27: Moreau controls the puck behind the net and dishes it to Staios at the point. Staios tries for a one-timer but his stick breaks. Pisani scoops up the loose puck in the slot and throws a blind backhander on net. It hops up off the ice and beats Fleury on the stick side. It's a garbage goal but the Oilers will take it. Moreau and Staios get the assists. Penguins 5-1.
0:04: Horcoff chops a shot from in tight. Fleury kicks it out.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 5, Oilers 1.
-Well this certainly has devolved into a butt-kicking. The Penguins looked like they were on a power play most of that period.
-We wouldn't really expect this to turn into a fight fest in the third period. Edmonton generally isn't a team that will start taking runs at the opposition if they go down big. Additionally, we'd be surprised if MacIntyre wants to fight anyone else tonight. And Edmonton's other goon, Zach Stortini is scratched. But never say, "never."
-The Oilers actually have a 23-21 edge in shots if you can believe that.
-Horcoff and Crosby lead the game with five shots each.
-The Penguins have a 26-12 lead in faceoffs.
-Crosby is 10-for-13 in faceoffs.
-Visnovsky leads the game with 19:02 of ice time.
-Scuderi leads the Penguins with 14:41.
-Staios leads the game with four blocked shots.
-We did see him before the game by the way:
-Best message sent to the video board:
"Obama names Fleury secretary of defense"
-A BlackBerry commerical is played on the video board. That's kind of ironic considering BlackBerry overlord Jim Balsillie attempted to kidnap the Penguins a few seasons ago.
-The Oilers coaching staff and others are late leaving the locker room and delay the third period a bit. Jerks.
19:29: Dustin Penner, Edmonton's $4.25 millon player who has no shots and is a minus-1 so far tonight, gets his first shot on net. Fleury covers it up. Penner then pushes a Penguins defenders on top of a prone Fleury. A scrum ensues. Penner gets two minutes for roughing. The officials made the right call. Hopefully that prevents any further chippiness. Talbot, Crosby, Satan, Goligoski and Malkin are on for the power play.
18:10: Crosby tees up a slapper from the left face off circle. An Oiler blocks it.
17:29: Penner's penalty expires without much of a threat from the Penguins.
17:03: Penner brings the puck inside the blue line and leaves a drop pass for Gilbert. Gilbert fires a wrister that hits off Scuderi and bounces into the net. Another garbage goal but it counts. Penner and Cole get assists. Penguins 5-2.
16:35: Wow. What a goal. That was not a garbage goal. Ales Hemsky is amazing to watch. He steals teh puck off Scuderi, Moves in on net and coolly move to the backhand and slides the puck by Fleury who was totally frozen on the play. Ales Hemsky could be a top ten player in this league if he ever put every thing together. Michel Therrien calls a time out to organize his team. Scuderi's had a rough period so far. The goal is unassisted. Penguins 5-3.
15:09: Right off a faceoff, Gilbert tosses a puck on net
14:54: Matt Cooke finally shows what the Penguins brought him to Pittsburgh for. He runs over Gilbert in front of the Penguins bench then he tags Gagner in the neutral zone with a fantastic check. Theo Peckham says that's enough and goes after Cooke. Peckham controls the fight for the most part and appears to attempt a DDT on Cooke. Peckham gets about 103 minutes in penalties while Cooke gets two for roughing. The Penguins will have a power play for five minutes.
14:31: Its nice too see the OIlers getting physcial but not this way. Moreau and Horcoff run into each other in the Penguins' zone and fall to the ice. The Penguins work the puck up ice while those two recover. Satan gets it on the doorstep but can't beat Drouin-Deslauriers.
13:08: Fedotenko tosses a puck on net. Drouin-Deslauriers covers it up. Staal digs for a rebound. Souray takes exception and gives him the business. All heck breaks loose. Tyler Kennedy and Cole wrestle each other to the ice. Souray is sent off the ice alogn with Kennedy and Cole. The Penguins will have a two-man advantage for two minutes. Peckham is sent off to the locker room. The Penguins need at least one goal here to put this away. Malkin, Talbot, Crosby, Satan and Sykora are on for the power play.
11:43: Sykora takes a cross-ice pass from Malkin and rips a wriste rthat Drouin-Deslauriers fights off.
11:13: Edmonton gets a big clear.
11:01: What in the world has happened here? Souray's penalty expires and he gets the puck and is off on a breakaway, he approaches the net and roofs a backhander by Fleury on the glove side. Wow. This is just stunning right now. It's a shorthanded goal. Kyle Broziak gets an assist. Penguins 5-4.
9:54: Peckham's fighting penalty expires. Edmonton dodged a major bullet there. The Penguins completely failed on that power play. It's inexcusable for any team not to get a goal with either a five-minute major or a two-man advantage, let alone both.
8:28: Staal pumps a big slapper on net from the left side. Drouin-Deslauriers fights it off.
7:46: Gill tosses a wrister on net from the left point. Drouin-Deslauriers eats it up.
6:54: Right off a faceoff, Gilbert sneaks a wrister through traffic that Fleury absorbs.
6:33: Talbot puts a quick wrister on net that Drouin-Deslauriers shuffles away with his blocker.
5:58: Cooke snaps a wrister that hits the side of the net.
5:48: A fan in a Winnipeg Jets jersey is shown in the stands. That Smythe Division rivalry must still burn in someone's heart.
5:23: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
3:40: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
3:18: Orpik hammers Cogliano in the corner.
2:55: Staios avoids a high check by Dupuis in the neutral zone.
2:43: Drouin-Deslauriers fights off a wrister by Sykora. Visnovsky tosses the puck out of play. That's two minutes for delay of game. Fans actually begin to leave. Why even buy tickets if you're going to leave at a moment like this?
2:26: Crosby fires a wrister into Drouin-Deslauriers' midsection. The goaltender eats it up.
1:40: Malkin works the puck up ice, drags it into the slot and lifts a backhander on net that Droin-Deslauriers fights off.
0:43: Visnovsky's penalty expires. Nice job by Edmonton to kill that.
0:24: The Penguins ice the puck. Edmonton calls time out to rest up. Drouin-Deslauriers is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:00.7: The Penguins ice the puck. Edmonton will get a faceoff in the offensive zone.
0:00: Gagner pushes the faceoff on net. Fleury fights it off with his blocker. Horcoff charges the crease and runs over Fleury. He can't get a shot off before the clock expires. End of game. Whew. Penguins 5, Oilers 4.
-This was an absolutely crazy game. Very entertaining though. Is it too much to hope for an Oilers-Penguins Stanley Cup final? As Penguins fans, you might not have been thrilled to see the team fall apart in the third period like that, but as hockey fans, you had to be extremely entertained tonight.
-The Penguins were lucky to hang on to the lead that period. We can't describe how they looked that third period without vulgarity.
-Give Edmonton credit for continuing to push the issue. How many teams would've simply given up or just start dropping the gloves after going down 5-0 and pulling their goaltender? Could you imagine if this was a game against the Flyers? We'd still be in the third period watching Scott Hartnell take a run at Malkin.
-The power play with the five-minute major and the two-man advantage was ridiculous. Anytime you have a team by the throat like that, you need to score at least once. There so much ice for three players to cover, you almost can't help but score by accident. And to allow a shorthanded goal during that stretch. That as a complete failure.
-Is it us, or do the Penguins almost seem dumbfounded when they have two-man advantages? It's almost like they're given too much room to play with the puck and can't help themselves in terms of playing with the puck? They just passed and passed and passed waiting for the absolutely perfect scoring attempt.
-Give Drouin-Deslauriers credit for capping the Penguins' scoring when he came in. He didn't enter the game under ideal circumstances and was able to calm his team down.
The Penguins actually ended up with 34-31 lead in shots after that horrible third period.
-Crosby led the game with seven shots.
-Horcoff led Edmtonton with six.
-The Penguins controlled the faceoffs, 39-21.
-Malkin was 6-for-9.
-Souray led the game with 27:48 of ice time.
-Crosby led the Penguins with 22:52.
-Moreau and Staios led the game with four blocked shots.
-Goligoski, Scuderi, Dupuis and Letang each had two blocked shots.
-Officially, Peckham was given five minutes for fighing, a 10 minute misconduct and two mintues for being an instigator when he tangled with Cooke.
-Malkin extended his point-scoring streak to nine games. He had three assists.
-Is it us or does Oilers coach Ted Danson look like Ted Danson?
-MacTavish was pretty blunt with his assessment of Garon:
"Garon was not very good, you have to makes some saves."