Monday, October 29, 2007

10/27/07: Game 10: Penguins 3 - Candiens 4 SO

Carey Price got the call again for the Montreal Canadiens as they headed into Pittsburgh to take on the enigmatic Penguins. So far this season it's been impossible to get an accurate read on this team. One thins is for certain, they have the talent. But it seems as if a new line combination is taking the ice every minute, and Marc-Andre Fleury continues to baffle the Penguins faithful.

This game was truly a story of two games for me. I caught the first period and beginning of the second before heading out for holiday shenanigans, leaving the game in the trusty hands our the DVR. Already, by the time I left the game the Penguins had allowed 3 goals, and Fleury had been pulled in favor of backup Dany Sabourin. I was almost thankful to leave.

Later, when I returned, I battled if I even wanted to watch the rest of the game. I was tired, and the Penguins were down 3 goals early. Reluctantly I decided to give it a shot.

Only moments after the 3rd goal Alex Kovalev boarded Evegeni Malkin, on what appeared to be a dead play due to offsides. An infuriated Sidney Crosby tackeld Kovalev to the ice. He received 2 minutes for Roughing, as did Kovalev, along with 2 minutes for Boarding.

Energized by Crosby's play, the Penguins 2nd power play united scored on the break, Adam Hall to Evgeni Malkin, who found Petr Sykora who put it home.

Five minutes later Crosby picked up one of his own, rushing down the ice Crosby and Malkin preformed the give and go, who scored to put the Penguins within one.

It stayed at 3-2, due to the play of Sabourin and Price, until Evgeni Malkin drew a slashing penalty with less than 3 minutes in the game. On the power play, when working out of the corner Malkin found Ryan Whitney across ice, and Whitney beat Price to tie the game with only 1:52 left in regulation.

In overtime the Penguins found themselves killing a power play thanks to an extremely weak hooking call on Ryan Malone. Two minute 4-3 penalty kills are dangerous, but Sabourin made some big saves to keep the game alive.

The shootout arrived, and it became the Carey Price-Dany Sabourin show. Combined, they stopped the first 15 shooters, before Andrei Markov scored in his first shootout appearance, giving the Canadiens the 4-3 victory.

The most disappointing part of the Penguins shooters wasn't that they were stopped by Price, who was once again on his game, but instead how many players didn't even get a shot on goal. Erik Christensen, Petr Sykora, Jarko Ruutu, Sergei Gonchar, Ryan Whitney, and Mark Reechi missed the net. 6 of our 8 shooters didn't even put it on net.

Now, after such a superb performance by Dany Sabourin, it's time to see just how much confidence the Penguins have in Marc-Andre Fleury. Pittsburgh take on the Wild on Tuesday night in Minnesota, and I would not be surprised to see Sabourin between the pipes.

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