The Daily Bongo

December 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 -- Evening

The Streak Ends
Sidney Crosby wasn't able to get a point in tonight's Pens and New York Islanders game. Rick DiPietro was back in goal for the Islanders, and Marc-Andre Fleury for the Pens. The Islanders got a goal, and then played the trap to keep the Pens from scoring. Chris Conner got a goal for the Pens in the second period to tie things up. Unfortunately, those two goals were the only ones to be scored in regulation and overtime. The game went to a shootout. The Islanders got the first shootout shot, but then Kris Letang got one too. Fleury got passed by the second Islander, but Crosby was stopped. Fleury stopped the third Islander, so it came down to Evgeni Malkin to keep it alive. Surprisingly, Malkin scored to keep the shootout going. Unfortunately, Fleury wasn't able to stop the fourth Islander while DiPietro stopped Mark Letestu. Final score: Islanders 2 - Pens 1.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 -- Evening

Another Win and Another Streaky Game
The Pens played the Atlanta Thrashers this evening here in Pittsburgh. The Thrashers came to play, and they scored two goals in the first period. This despite the fact that Marc-Andre Fleury made some really nice saves. Fortunately, we have Sidney Crosby on our team, and he scored two answering goals in the first period to tie things up. Crosby's scoring streak extends to 25 games with the goals. The second Crosby goal was a beauty with Crosby being attacked by two Thrashers as he broke away for the net. But they couldn't stop him from getting it over the glove of goalie, Ondrej Pavelec. Craig Adams, Chris Kunitz, Mark Letestu, and Matt Cooke got goals in the second and third periods to give the Pens a 6-3 win.

Sunday, December 26, 2010 -- Evening

Crosby's Streak Continues
Sidney Crosby's scoring streak continued tonight, even though the Pens lost to the Senators this evening. The Senators came to play, and they scored first. It looked like they might hold the Pens to a shutout, but Crosby finally got a goal in the waning minutes of the third period. Final score: Pens 1 - Senators 3.

Thursday, December 23, 2010 -- Evening

Precursor to the Winter Classic
In a precursor to the Winter Classic, the Pens were in Washington to play the Capitals. HBO has been showing a documentary leading up to the Winter Classic, and it has been highlighting the winning streak of the Pens and the losing streak of the Caps. The documentary series is very well done and has several entertaining sections. Next week's episode will be about tonight's game, which was very entertaining. It started with a goal by Sidney Crosby, who has scored in 23 straight games. Evgeni Malkin was awarded a penalty shot in the first period, but as we all know, Malkin sucks at penalty and shootout shots. Mike Green scored for the Caps in the second period. The Chris Kunitz scored for the Pens in the third. Unfortunately, the Caps tied things up in the waning minutes of the third to give the Caps a tie. The game went into overtime. There was a review of Mike Green's goal attempt, but Toronto decided that there wasn't any visible evidence that the puck crossed the goal line. There weren't any goals during overtime, so the game went to a shootout. The Capitals went first with Alexander Ovechkin. Marc-Andre Fleury couldn't stop Ovechkin's serpentine move, and Ovechkin scored. Next was Kris Letang for the Pens. Letang scored. Then it was Alexander Semin's turn. He missed the net by a mile. Next was Crosby, but he got stopped. Then it was Niklas Backstrom's turn, but Fleury stopped him with the glove, spinning around afterwards. Malkin was next, and per usual, he sucks at the shootout and miseed. Mike Knuble was next, but Fleury stopped him. Mark Letestu was next, and he was stopped. Next was Brooks Laich. Fleury gloved the shot. Chris Kunitz was next, but he was stopped too. Mathieu Perreault was next for the Caps. Fleury stopped him, although it was tense for a second. Tyler Kennedy had a turn and was stopped. Mike Green was up next, but Fleury stopped him. Next was Pascal Dupuis. He almost lost the puck, but managed to get it back and drive it into the net. The Pens won with a final score of 3-2. Fleury stopped 32 of 34 shots, not counting the shootout, giving a stellar performance.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 -- Evening

Another Win for the Pens
The Pens played the Florida Panthers this evening, and it was another Pens win. Sidney Crosby extended his scoring streak to 22 games with a goal. Mark Letestu, Ben Lovejoy (his first NHL goal), and Matt Cooke also got goals to give the Pens a solid lead. Brent Johnson started the same, but he tweaked a muscle in the second period. Marc-Andre Fleury game took Johnson's place in the third. With just minutes left in the game, we found out that it was a lower body injury for Johnson. This, of course, leads to the question of whether a few days of rest would be sufficient for Johnson, or if the Pens would have to call up a goalie from the Baby Pens. Pascal Dupuis finished things up with an empty netter to give the Pens a 5-2 win. Ben Lovejoy left the game in the third period after a puck hit his visor. It looked like the visor cut his cheek, so we hope that Lovejoy is okay.

Monday, December 20, 2010 -- Evening

Pens Back in Action
The Pens were finally back in action this evening against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Pens had a two loss streak going on, so it was important for them to get back on the winning track. They did just that with Evgeni Malkin scoring two goals and three assists. Sidney Crosby continued his scoring streak with a goal and two assists. Poor Marc-Andre Fleury lost his shutout when the Coyotes got a goal in the third period. Final score: Pens 6 - Coyotes 1.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 -- Evening

Crosby's Streak Continues
Sidney Crosby's scoring streak now numbers 20 games after he gave an assist to Evgeni Malkin in tonight's Pens/ NY Rangers game. Marc-Andre Fleury got a break from the action, and Brent Johnson was in goal. Unfortunately, the Pens had a breakdown in the third period, allowing the Rangers to score four unanswered goal. It seems that the Pens are starting a new streak; this time a losing streak. Final score: Pens 1 - Rangers 4.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 -- Evening

Pens Lose
We knew this day would come. No team can win every game in a season; and even stringing together several in a row, must at some point end. That end came today when the Pens played the Flyers. The Flyers scored the first goal. That wasn't a good stat because usually the Pens were the first to score. Evgeni Malkin was back on the ice, and he scored two goals, with assists from Sidney Crosby. But those were the only goals the Pens got, while the Flyers got three goals. Crosby continues his scoring streak, and tomorrow is another game for the Pens to start a new streak. Final score in tonight's game: Pens 2 - Flyers 3.

Saturday, December 11, 2010 -- Evening

Pens on the Road
The Pens were in Buffalo this evening to play the Sabres. The Sabres haven't been doing well this season, and there has been talk about firing LIndy Ruff. I'm always amazed at how quickly coaches, even coaches with lots of experience and results like Ruff, are quickly put on the chopping block. So far, Ruff has kept his job. The Pens quickly scored two points and went on to win the game. Sidney Crosby didn't get a goal, but he did get an assist to continue his scoring streak. The Pens won with a final score of 5-2, and Marc-Andre Fleury got the number one star.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 -- Evening

Pens play Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs were in town this evening to play the Pens. Colby Armstrong now plays for the Maple Leafs, and he performed in his usual incompetent way. The only good move that Armstrong made was to draw a penalty off of Sidney Crosby. That was to the detriment of the Leafs, because when Crosby came out of the penalty box, he must have been hot to score. Crosby teamed up with Chris Kunitz to get a goal. This is the 17th game in a row in which Crosby has scored. The Pens had a mini-scoring spurt in the end of the second period, with goals by Pascal Dupuis, Mark Letestu, and Crosby. The Leafs didn't pull goalie, Jonas Gustavsson because Jean-Sebastien Giguere has a strained groin. The Leafs started fighting back with their fists, getting into several fights with the Pens. The Leafs then got two goals in the first half of the third period to make the game closer. With only a few minutes left in the game, Letestu got his second goal of the game. The Pens won their eleventh game in a row with a final score of 5-2.

Monday, December 6, 2010 -- Evening

Guerin Retires as a Pen; Pens Win 10 in a Row
The Pens had a busy night. Before the start of tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils, the Pens had a ceremony to honor Billy Guerin. Guerin had the honor of retiring as a Pen, and the organization did a nice job of honoring him, presenting him with a mural painting and a trip to Hawaii for him and his wife. It was a very nice ceremony. The Pens went on to a play a good game with Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby scoring goals. Ilya Kovalchuk stunk up the arena, ending the game as a -2. Johann Hedberg did a nice job in goal for the Devils, keeping the Devils in the game, and winding up with the third star in the game. The Pens have won ten in a row, and Crosby has scored in 16 straight games. The Pens are hot! Final score: Pens 2 - Devils 1.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 -- Evening

Pens in Columbus
The Pens were in Columbus to play the Blue Jackets. A huge number of Pens fans must have traveled to Columbus because whenever the Pens scored, and boy did they score, the arena would reverberate with cheers for the Pens. The Blue Jackets have been having problems of late, and lost their last five games. In fact, in their game last night against the Buffalo Sabres, the Blue Jackets looked really lackluster. Steve Mason was in goal for the Blue Jackets, and was pulled in the first period after the Pens had scored four goals. Mathieu Garon, former Pen backup goalie, went in and had to face the fire of the Pens' shooting. Paul Martin and Sidney Crosby both got two goals to give the Pens a 7-2 win. Evgeni Malkin did not play in the game today because of an undisclosed injury.

Thursday, December 2, 2010 -- Evening

Crosby Gets a Natural Hat Trick
The Pens played the Atlanta Thrashers this evening. I missed the game because I was in class, but I did make sure to check out the highlights on the NHL web site. Sidney Crosby got a natural hat trick to give the Pens the win. A natural hat trick is when the player scores three goals in a row. Crosby has really been hot over the past several games, and the team in general has really turned up the heat, winning eight in a row. The final score for tonight's game was Pens 3 - Thrashers 2. In a way, it's a good thing that Crosby got the three goals, or it might have been a shutout for the Thrashers!