The Penguins officially took the season series from the Philadelphia Flyers today at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA. With one game left in the series the Penguins now hold a 4-1 record this season and seal that up. With the Flyers creaping up the standings this was a big statement game that the Penguins were still the Stanley Cup Champions and this was going to be nothing like the 7-4 romp that the Flyers put on the Penguins on January 7.
Before the game even started we are graced by the great NBC pregame show for the game. For the record it was an infomercial on how to cook and chop celery or something stupid like that. The intro comes in to say that they are indeed in Philadelphia for a hockey game then straight to commercial. Come back get and interview with Pronger (I think), skip the anthem and then the puck drops. What a joke. It is a crying shame that the Penguins have to play on NBC the next couple Sunday's in ver good games (Detroit, Washington) and have to watch and listen to the horseshit that they put on the air waves.
Back to the game. The first period was all Flyers. They got a lot of good looks on net and outshot the Penguins 10-5 in the period. The Flyers got on the board first with a power play goal on a pretty nice play by Jeff Carter. The puck went in behind and actually was sitting on the back of the net but Carter was able to hit the net, knocked the puck on the ice then bank it off goaltender Johnson for the goal. Barf.
I am actually surprised the Flyers fans knew how cheer for their team because most of the time they boo the other team or start chants about one of the top scorers in the leauge. Jokes.
Things looked like they were going to take a slow way into the period but a huge turn of events changed the pace of this game. Mike Richards actually decided to show up to the hockey game and gets a goal but as they were celebrating we see that the goal might not count. As Richards was about ready to shoot there was a whistle for a delayed penalty. Away from the play Simon Gange actually put Geno Malkin in a bear hug to got called for roughing and a high stick. Geno also went to the box. What a terrible play by Gange.
So the goal comes off the board and the Penguins go on the power play. The Flyers paid. Sarge. Downtown. Cash.
The first period was full of penalties. The referee's were bad both way. A lot of dives and a lot of calls that should not have been made. They were about as big of a joke as NBC is with their hockey broadcast. It wasn't even like one team was getting jobbed a lot, it was all around for everyone.
The second period was a polar opposite of the first. A lot of open hockey and not a lot of whitsles. The Penguins had almost all of the chances in the period and out shot the Flyers 11-5 in the period.
The third period was a little bit of both teams. Great defensive hockey kept this a 1-1 game and Emery and Beej were keeping their teams in it with timely saves. Beej really stepped his shit up after hearing earlier in the week how MAF might play but Beej balled up.
The game would not be complete without a full on scrum and we got that about half way though the period. After the Penguins come into the zone offsides Harnell comes up and grips up Malkin and everyone sort of gets into it.
What was most shocking abotu this was that there was no power play awarded. If you watched the game you saw joke Arron Asham be the third man in on one of those scrums and start throwing punches while a Penguin was laying on top of another Flyer as they were tied up. I guess you are allowed to do that though.
The game looked as if it was going to be overtime but the savior of the Flyers 09-10 season, Chris Pronger, threw a puck over the glass for a delay of game with a little over three minues to go in the game. The Penguins get their 6th power play of the game and knock it home. Sarge from the point, between the legs of two defensemen, off Matt Cooke's stick and gets Emery five-hole.
Here is what a Flyer's fan had to say about that delay of game penalty and why it should not have been called: "That was an off aggressive dump and shouldn’t be penalized for it" and that it should be the referees discression on whether to call it or not. Ha, what an excuse.
I guess it is the refs fault when you go 1-of-9 on the power play. I would definatly blame the refs. Sure the refs were really bad today but it was both ways. If the Penguins lost it was b/c they didn't play well enough and capitalize on their opportunities, not because of the officiating.
-Beej played a really nice game. I felt that the goal he gave up was kinda lazy but you know what if you can give your team that kinda support in net for an entire game you are ok. I said it before but it sucks that MAF isn't playing but it is nice to know we have a quality backup that can come in and get big wins.
-The power play looks good. Malkin is skating all over the place and is everywhere between both half walls, behind the net and the point...Bing and Sarge are moving all over the place and Billy G is in the slot moving. Looks real good and it has shown with six power play goals in the last three games.
-Bing didn't register and official shot but he hit two posts. He is really keyed in. He made an amazing play on the first power play goal in the first period to keep the puck alive for the Pens and earned a secondary assist. Nobody talked about it but that was the main reason we got that power play goal.
-Big game tomorrow against the Rangers. Get these two points. The Devils have been reeling a little bit and are four points up with three games in hand so stringing games would be good. Ottawa is also sneaking up there and the Penguins play them later in the week so it will be interesting.
-The defense finalyl stepped up and played some big time hockey. There were still some turnovers but it was refreshing to see an inspired effort.
-Tanger getting in the mix was good to see too. Gogo got slammed and Tanger took offense to it and went one on one with Darroll Powe and took him down. I like the fight.