A bottle of Maple Syrup might be hard to come by tomorrow morning in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Penguins started the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals with a bang by pouring the metaphorical Maple Syrup all over Martin French Toast Biron tonight at the Igloo.
If you were watching the game from outside of the Western Pennsylvania area, I feel sorry for you.
Not because you didn't get to hear Bob Errey bash the Flyers all night, but because you likely had to listen to whichever jokes VERSUS supplied in the commentators' booth talking about what an amazing human being/captain Mike Richards is and how Kimmo Timonen is the best defenseman in the National Hockey League.
Richards hit three posts in the game tonight. Real captains make those shots count in the playoffs.
Richards also blew a two-on-one scoring chance in the first period when Mark Eaton made a terrific play to break up the centering pass. Real captains find a way to get that puck through.
Real captains/team leaders have also never played in the city of Philadelphia. Just ask Donovan McNabb.
After Pittsburgh legend Jeff Jimerson once again energized the Igloo for the start of a huge game, the opening minutes of this hockey game seemed about as far away from playoff hockey as you can get.
Then the Penguins third line hit the ice and possessed the puck down low in the offensive zone for what seemed like an entire period.
Chris Kunitz, who just became the proud father of a baby boy this morning, came flying into the zone and sent Kimmo Orr-Timonen into orbit.
Kunitz kept rolling into the corner where he introduced Ryan Parent to the boards of the ageless Mellon.
If you aren't from Philadelphia, or a Flyers fan, and you know have heard of Ryan Parent before, you are alone.
Arron Asham did what he does in hockey games; took a penalty.
The Pens' power play hit the ice for the first time and Sergei Gonchar didn't waste any time in firing pucks at the net.
One such shot ricocheted off the end boards where Evgeni Malkin corralled it and centered a pass to Sidney Crosby, who was streaking toward the front of the net.
Sid kicked the puck up to his stick, rung the puck off the post, and Toast helped it along with his skate to give the Pens the early advantage.
The play was reviewed in Toronto's War Room and they deemed that Sid did indeed get the tip of his blade on the loose puck after kicking it forward to his stick.
The Flyers and their fans won't like the call. Maybe the Flyers should learn how to box out in front of their goaltender when they're shorthanded. 1-0 Pens.
The Pens' fourth line hit the ice after the power play and continued to carry the play. Max Talbot got an opportunity off of a nice feed from Pascal Dupuis, but the shot trickled through Biron and wide of the net.
Scott Hartnell, Andrew Alberts, and Matt Cooke all went to the box a couple of minutes later, in an obvious even-up situation resulting from John Stevens throwing used tissues on the ice.
The Flyers killed off the penalty, but the Pens' third line hit the ice again and kept the Flyers bottled up in their own zone.
Rob Scuderi dumped some joke on his head with a solid hip check.
The Flyers' first legitimate scoring chance of the game came on a two-on-one led by Little Richard.
Mark Eaton made an unreal play to prevent Richards' centering pass attempt from getting through to his teammate. Real captains make that play happen.
Hartnell ran over Fleury in the goal crease, leading to another Penguin power play, but they came up empty.
After the penalty was killed off, Brooks Orpik destroyed Hartnell behind the Pens' net to bring the first period to a screeching halt with the Penguins leading 1-0.
Someday, Chris Kunitz will show his new baby boy the footage of his performance in the first period of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs and Zachary will be in awe. What an effort.
The Flyers mounted virtually no offense in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Pens started the second period where they left off in the first: looking for an insurance goal.
The third line hit the ice again and generated a three-on-one rush up the ice after a Braydon Coburn turnover in the neutral zone.
Tyler Kennedy was the puck carrier and he froze the Flyers' defenseman, Biron, a cotton candy vendor, and likely Mike Emrick's voice box, then delivered a quick wrist shot through the five hole to make it 2-0 Pens.
That's how you execute an odd-man-rush. Watch and learn, Richards.
The Pens got another power play when Alberts tripped someone, but nothing doing.
Things started to pick up after the penalty to Albets. Jordan Staal and Craig Adams put in a solid shift in the offensive zone, hitting anything that moved.
Gonchar threw a body into Daniel Brie-where?
Gordie Hal Gill was unreal tonight. He hasn't played a bad game in three months, which is saying a lot for a guy who looked like he belonged at the bottom of an AHL depth chart early in the season.
The rest of the second period was a tight checking affair, ending with the teams combining for just 10 shots on goal.
The Flyers came alive with 30 seconds remaining in the period, but Orpik turned in "The Shift V. 2.0" and racked up four hits and an elbowing penalty that would put the Flyers on the power play to start the third.
Gary Bettman and his uneven eyebrows joined Penguins' broadcaster Paul Steigerwald in the press box during the second intermission.
As you can imagine, not much happened during that conversation between two of the biggest jokes in the hockey world.
The Pens killed the rest of the penalty off to start the third and the Flyers looked deflated.
Mike Knuble forgot his team was down by two goals and tried to send a pass around the net using the boards. Hal Gill makes that play with his eyes closed.
It's hard to say if Knuble's angle was worse than Biron's attempt to play the puck off the boards, but however it happened, Geno got the loose puck in front of the net, danced around Biron and two defensemen, and slipped the puck into a gaping cage. 3-0 Pens.
The Flyers generated their second decent scoring chance of the game when Jeff Carter fired a shot on Fleury and followed it to the net looking for a rebound.
He got the rebound, but Marc-Andre Fleury made a superhuman play to get the paddle down and rob Carter of a goal.
10 minutes into the third, Crosby won a huge face-off in the offensive zone, Kris Letang slid the puck to the opposite point to Mark Eaton and he fired it past French Toast to extend the Pens' lead to four goals.
Flyers fans will undoubtedly talk about the officiating in this game, because that's just what they do. The Flyers had three power plays in the last eight minutes of the game.
Richards hit another post, joke, and Gagne cleaned up the trash to get the Cryers on the board. 4-1 Pens.
Fleury stood tall the rest of the way, but not surprisingly, the Flyers started taking liberties late in the game to try to make up for their sub par effort in the previous 59 minutes.
Alberts and Asham, who has to be Chinese, went to the box for slashing and roughing, respectively.
On the faceoff that started the power play, Parent took a whack at Staal's ankles then cross-checked him in the back.
That earned him a trip to the box, where he made out with Alberts and Asham for the remainder of regulation time.
Having not had enough yet, Coburn took a whack at Billy Guerin on the next face-off, and Guerin decided enough was enough.
The laundry came off and Guerin dragged Coburn to the ice, in what was more of a "we just beat your ass, stop taking cheap shots" statement than a fight.
Hartnell received a 10-minute misconduct for having a horrendous haircut.
The Pens held on for seven more seconds and ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has boastfully left the building.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4 Filthadelphia 1
Series: 1-0 Pittsburgh
- Did Daniel Briere even play tonight? Talk about a great disappearing act, Briere still hasn't shown up for last year's Eastern Conference Finals series, let alone Game One tonight.
- Someone please tell me who Ryan Parent is?
- Marty Biron. whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
- See you on Friday.
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