by Tony on 11/07/08 at 12:59 AM ET
Well, um, they won.
That’s the important thing, isn’t it ??
To borrow a phrase from the late great Pirates’ announcer Bob Prince, the Penguins came within a knat’s eyelash of blowing a 5-goal lead within the last 21 minutes of the game but hung on for dear life to barely defeat the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 at the Igloo.
Marc-Andre Fleury, who was having an outstanding game for the first two periods, gave up two goals 28 seconds apart early in the third period to cut the Penguins’ lead to 5-3, followed by a short-handed goal by defenseman Sheldon Souray to make it 5-4 with 11 minutes still remaining in the game.
For those first two periods, the Oilers, who played their fifth game on a seven-game road trip, including last night in Columbus, looked like quite a tired hockey team. They committed several turnovers in the process, mostly in their defensive zone, and a result, the Penguins were teeing off on Oilers’ goalie Matthew Garon, who was eventually pulled after allowing five goals for Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. Drouin-Deslauriers shut the door, although the Penguins hit a few goal posts during his time on the ice.
The Oilers’ comeback was yet another example of the Penguins getting a comfortable lead, then getting comfortable and lackadaisical. Listening to the interviews after the game, you’d think the Penguins lost the game judging by how quiet it was.
Things looked great for the Penguins early on. Midway through the first period, Miro Satan started the scoring for the Pens with a great between the legs shot that caromed off Garon and into the net to make it 1-0 Pens. Their lead doubled to 2-0 while short-handed, when Sidney Crosby stole the puck, started a 2-on-1 break with Max Talbot, and fired a shot on net that Garon stopped with his left leg pad. However, Talbot was there looking for the rebound and he banged it past Garon.
Satan got his 2nd goal of the game about seven minutes into the game when he deflected an Evgeni Malkin slapper into the net to make it 3-0 Pens. That was followed by two Petr Sykora goals less than two minutes apart to give the Penguins a seemingly insurmountable 5-0 lead with seven minutes remaining in the second period.
The Oilers got on the board with about a minute and a half left in the second period on a backhanded shot by Fernando Pisani that somehow squirmed through a few bodies and past Fleury to make it 5-1. Tom Gilbert was credited with their second goal when his wrister deflected off Pens’ defenseman Rob Scuderi to cut the lead to 5-2. 28 seconds later, Ales Hemsky stole the puck in the Pens’ zone and put a great move to wrap the puck around Fleury, who should have easily made the save, and into the net to make it 5-3. Souray’s short-hander made it 5-4.
- Pascal Dupuis and Ruslan Fedotenko both returned, Dupuis on the second line and Fedotenko on the fourth line.
- The game got pretty nasty in the third period, including Matt Cooke making two jarring hits, the latter resulting in a bout with rookie Theo Peckham. Peckham got the majority of the blows, albeit those coming to Cooke’s helmet.
- Darryl Sydor was a team-high +3, with five Penguins (Gill, Scuderi, Staal, Cooke, Zigomanis) having a -2.
The Penguins next head to Long Island to face the Islanders on Saturday night.
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Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
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