The House That Mario & Sid Built
A quick breakdown:
- Asham is on the IR list; he's being replaced by Tangradi, who was a Flyers fan in his youth - something tells me that will change after tonight. ;)
- Letang isn't feeling well and is a game-time decision.
- Brace yourselves, the game is on Versus. On the plus side, our out-of-market Friends will get to watch. :)
Mario christened the ice at the Consol Energy Center with a bottle of water gather from the ice from the Igloo.
After a ceremonial puck drop featuring the Man himself, the play was intense. Both teams look good. The refs pocketed their whistles and let them play. Flower made an incredible poke check on a Flyer who was close to the net and gearing up for a shot. The Pens had several near misses, including hitting a post, but Bobrovsky is the real deal. He's the only reason the first period was scoreless. It was 12 minutes in before the first penalty was called. Cooker was nailed for holding Giroux. The penalty was beautifully killed. Comrie and Malkin looked good together. At one point, Comrie was robbed by Bobrovsky. (South Park fans - do you also think of Kyle Broflovski every time they say his name? :P)
Speaking of Comrie, woodstock and I were wondering why Versus felt it was necessary to include that he was married to Hilary Duff on his stats screen. Then again, we were wondering why Versus broadcast some crappy free concert in Toronto on instead of the festivities at the CEC. Tangradi was called up. That kid looks great. He's filling a hole left in front of the goaltender that hasn't been the same since Ryan Malone left the team. The Pens got a power play when O'Donnell was busted for tripping Letestu, but it didn't work out well for the Boys. The Flyers had two better chances than the Pens did with the advantage. The teams played all the way to the buzzer, but no one lit the lamp in the first period.
Early on, Engelland was called for a super lame hooking call. Seconds later, Danny Briere became the first player to score in the CEC. >:( [Pens 0, Flyers 1] The puck was collected for historical purposes. Soon after, Shelley was called for goaltender interference on Flower. The power play was unreal. Siddo and Comrie just couldn't buy a goal. They didn't score, but they did look better on this PP than they did on the first. Letestu hit the pipe. Briere got a breakaway but shot the puck high. Bettman made a guest appearance with the Versus announcers; the flattery dished his way was pretty sickening. Also sickening: seeing that A-hOle™ CCM commercial in damn near every commercial break. I just hope that for the next Caps game on Versus, the newest Crosby commercial is played in a continuous loop.
Coburn was called for interference, and on the ensuing power play, Siddo missed a goal by a hair. The Pens were unable to sneak one past Bobrovsky. Orpik drilled Briere, which lead to jostling between the two men. Ultimately, only Brooks was penalized for roughing. The Pens had a few shorthanded chances that were denied while they killed the penalty. But the momentum shifted back to the Flyers as Betts sent one home off a bouncy rebound. [Pens 0, Flyers 2] There was a confrontation between the teams as the period came to an end.
Tyler Kennedy became the first Penguin to score in the CEC via his trademarked corner shot. [Pens 1, Flyers 2] Meszaros was called for roughing after popping our Captain in the mouth. On the ensuing power play, Letang made a horrible backwards pass in his own zone that was intended for Martin but was snatched by Giroux, who promptly scored. [Pens 1, Flyers 3] With just one second left in the advantage, Michalek fired a long shot and scored to cancel out the shorty Giroux scored. [Pens 2, Flyers 3] After a terrible missed call when a Flyer held Geno's stick, our favorite Russian was called for another lame hooking penalty. The Flyers didn't score with their advantage. The Pens suffered another blow with a terrible offsides call (that puck did NOT come all the way over the blue line). Bobrovsky lost track of the puck between his legs but somehow managed to prevent Siddo from scoring. At the other end of the ice, Flower made an incredible save to keep the game within one.
So, did anyone else find the Versus announcer adding a letter to the Head Coach's name ("By-alsma") incredibly obnoxious? Anyhoo, with just 1:13 left in the game, Betts was called for hooking after an extremely quick whistle (the Flyers didn't even touch the puck, let alone have control of it). Despite pulling Flower for an extra attacker, the Pens just couldn't get the tying goal. The Flyers earned the first regular season victory in the CEC.
Next up: Montreal on Saturday. We'll be ready.