Friday, November 23, 2007

Game 22: 11/22/07: Penguins 6 - Senators 5 SO

After a day of giving feasting and giving thanks with close friends and family in America, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators put on a show in Ontario. Collectively they put up 10 goals, swapping the lead back and forth, and ending on the backhand of a very unlikely stick, that of Penguins agitator Jarko Ruutu.

Marc-Andre Fleury was in the net again for the Penguins after a dissappointing 2-1 loss to New Jersey the previous night. But the Senators scorers got to Fleury and the Penguins early, scoring twice on their first 9 shots, resulting in Michel Therrien pulling Fleury in favor of back-up tender Dany Sabourin.

Later in the first the Penguins recovered, getting goals from Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Malone, only 18 seconds apart, taking the game into the intermission tied up at 2.

In the 2nd the Penguins took the lead when Tyler Kennedy's turn around wrister surprised Senators goalie Martin Gerber.

But back came the Senators scorers, putting up another pair of goals in the 2nd period, from Heatley and Spezza, regaining the lead, 4-3. Early off in the 3rd the Senators added to their lead with a Christoph Schubert tally.

Once again down by 2, the Penguins offense fired back. Malone's second of the game put the Penguins within one. And after being knocked to his knees, Colby Armstrong found Sergei Gonchar stepping up from the blue line, who tied the game up at 5.

After a scoreless overtime the teams went to the shootout. Jason Spezza lead off the shootout for the Senators, and beat Sabourin to put the Sens up 1-0.

Erik Christensen was apparently stopped by Ray Emery, but a video review revealed that the puck had trickled across the line, tying the shootout at one a piece.

Fleury stopped Heatley, Vermette, and Fisher. Crosby and Petr Sykora were stopped by Gerber, and the game came down to the Penguins fourth shooter. To the face-off circle skated Penguins basher Jarko Ruutu.

Skating down the ice, Ruutu's deke opened Gerber's 5-hole, and Ruutu backhanded the puck into the net, completing the Penguins comeback against the NHL best Ottawa Senators.

Although the night ended on a high note for Ruutu, it is apparent that he has become a target of the NHL's officials, as he was called for 2 diving calls in the game.

Colby Armstrong, who has often found himself a healthy scratch this season, gave head coach Michel Therrien a couple big reasons to keep him in the lineup, mainly, 2 huge assists. The Penguins are always a better team with #20 on the ice, and he's a hard-woring forward who is badly needed with the absence of Maxime Talbot.

The Penguins (9-11-2) take on the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday, and then will have a 5 day break before getting back into action at home against the Dallas Stars.

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