The Daily Bongo
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 -- Evening
Pens Lose to RangersThe Pens were in New York to play the Rangers without Kris Letang. Letang was sent back to Pittsburgh with a broken nose. He was also going to get further testing; I suppose to make sure he didn't have a concussion. The Pens scored first with a goal by James Neal. Unfortunately, the Rangers scored four goals in the second period. Evgeni Malkin got a goal at the end of the second, and Pascal Dupuis got one in the third period. That wasn't enough to tie things ups. The Rangers won with a final score of 4-3. On Thursday, the Pens will be in DC to play the Caps, sans coach Bruce Boudrea who was fired yesterday.
Saturday, November 26, 2011 -- Evening
Letang ControversyThe Pens played back to back games with a trip to Montreal to play the Canadiens this evening. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal for the Pens, playing in back to back games, probably because it was Montreal. The Pens scored quickly with Evgeni Malkin getting a goal in the first 21 seconds of the game, with an assist from Sidney Crosby. The Canadiens managed to get a 3-1 lead with two goals in the first and another in the third. Pascal Dupuis got a goal in the second, and then Jordan Staal got a goal in the third to tie things up. At the end of the third period, Kris Letang took a shot to the head from Max Pacioretty, which knocked him down and bloodied him. Letang got back into the game for the overtime, and scored the overtime goal. There was controversy over the goal because Carey Price tucked the puck under his pads, but there was no whistle and Pascal Dupuis knocked it free, and Letang knocked it in. The Canadiens thought that it was not a goal, but you play until the whistle. That's what the Pens did, and they won. Final score: Pens 4 - Canadiens 3.
The head shot by Pacioretty was controversial. Pacioretty did not get a penalty from it, even though he blindsided Letang to the head with his shoulder. After the game, some of the Canadien sports guys were asking Crosby how Crosby could elbow Nick Foligno in yesterday's game, but then call out about the hit on Letang. Crosby did a great job of explaining the differences. Pacioretty blindsided Letang when Letang was playing the puck, and Pacioretty put a shot on Letang's head with his shoulder. Foligno had been interfering with Fleury, falling all over Fleury, and in the ensuing scrum, when Crosby was sticking up for his goalie, Crosby elbowed Foligno and caught him in the jaw. As Crosby said, that's what you get when you get into a scrum. Foligno is an agitator, and got what he deserved in a scrum. The Pens aren't like the Buffalo Sabres. The Pens stand up for their goalie and don't let him get abused by the other team. Ryan Miller has been out for over a week with a concussion that he suffered because of a shot by the Boston Bruins' Milan Lucic. Pacioretty should be hanging his head in shame because he wanted to have Zdeno Chara arrested for the hit Chara put on Pacioretty that resulted in Pacioretty's broken neck last year.
Friday, November 25, 2011 -- Evening
Pens Feast on the SenatorsAfter a lackadaisical game before Thanksgiving, the Pens came out to play tonight. Granted, they were lucky that their opponent was the Ottawa Senators. The Senators are in eleventh place in the Eastern Conference and last in the Northeastern Division. The Senators scored first, but within the first nine minutes of the game, the Pens had four goals, and Senator goalie, Craig Anderson, was pulled in favor of Alex Auld. Sidney Crosby had three assists in the first period and a penalty in the first three minutes of the third period, for throwing an elbow at Nick Foligno for falling all over Marc-Andre Fleury. In the scrum that ensued, Fleury managed to get in a well-concealed punch to Foligno's stomach. Goal scorers for the Pens: Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy, Steve Sullivan, Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis, and Jordan Staal. Final score: Pens 6 - Senators 3.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 -- Evening
Pens' BluesSidney Crosby did not suffer any ill effects from Monday's game: only some sore muscles and tiredness. Of course, that is what you would expect after playing a full game for the first time in 320 days. Sid was back on the ice this evening for the Pens and St. Louis Blues game. The Blues got the only goal in the first period. Then there was no more scoring until the third period. Evgeni Malkin was the force in the third period. First he got an assist on Steve Sullivan's goal. Then he assisted on James' Neal goal to tie things at 2-2. The game ended in a tie, so it went on to overtime. Unfortunately, the Blues got one past Marc-Andre Fleury in overtime to give them a 3-2 win.
Monday, November 21, 2011 -- Evening
Sid the Kid ReturnsSidney Crosby returned to the ice tonight against the New York Islanders, and the news media had a huge presence at the game. TSN sent a slew of reporters, and the game was added to the Hockey Night in Canada schedule. When Sid took the ice, and the fans all held up their "Welcome Back Sid" signs that the Pens' handed out to fans before the game. Sid started the game, and his line came out flying, which, of course, had everyone screaming. After only 55 seconds on the ice, Sid almost had an assist on a Chris Kunitz shot. at 5:24 into the first period, Sid came charging down the ice, with three Islanders on him, and scored his first goal of the season! The whole arena exploded. Then later in the first, Sid fed the puck to Brooks Orpik who got the goal!
Three minutes into the second period, Sid had an assist on an Evgeni Malkin goal. It was great to see Malkin, Sid, and James Neal on the ice together. Steve Sullivan scored goal number four for the Pens with an assist from Malkin and Neal. In the third period, Sid shot the puck at Anders Nilsson, the Islanders goalie. The puck shot off of Nilsson's chest and into the net. Of course all of the attention on Sid doesn't put the spotlight on Marc-Andre Fleury, who was doing a great job in net, grabbing pucks out of mid-air to keep the Islanders scoreless.
Towards the end of the third period, the Pens started to feed the puck to Sid in the hope that he could get a hat trick. The clock ticked down to 20 seconds. Sid was on the ice, and the Pens were trying to feed it to him, but Sid could not get the hat trick. Fleury did get the shutout! It was the second of shutout for Fleury this season and 21st of his career. Crosby completed the game, looking good and healthy. Crosby was looking for the game puck at the end of the game, not for himself, as he said in his post-game presser, but for Fleury because it was a shutout. That's Sid for you: thinking of his buddies first. Sid's total ice time: 15:54. Sid got the first star of the game, Pascal Dupuis got the second star for his three assists, and Fleury got the third star for the shutout. Final score: Pens 5 - Islanders 0.