To answer the question posed in the headline: yes, Orange Crush is in fact a brand of cola: http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/9950/crushtg4.jpg.
Flyers fans brought their signs depicting a diving penguin, and "Hit 'em, Hurt 'em 71 87" to the Wachovia Center on Tuesday night.
Note to Philadelphia: clever signs don't win hockey games. Neither does recording seven shots on goal in 40 minutes.
The VERSUS broadcast opened showing the Philly faithful, painted in orange body paint outside of the arena. The crowd was rowdy to start the game, but would soon be taken out of the game by two quick Penguin goals.
The Penguins were called for three penalties in the first period.
During the first intermission, Gary Bettman contacted the lead official and told him that giving the Flyers a power play actually caused a drastic decrease in ratings, as viewers changed the channel for each two-minute segment.
The Pens weren't penalized for the rest of the game.
At 3:33, Derian Hatcher took his 43rd penalty of the series, this time it was a hooking call. (Yes, we know, Malkin dove.)
On the ensuing power play, Ryan Whitney threw a puck toward the front of the net and was the beneficiary of a (to borrow a phrase from Bob Errey) fortuitous bounce off of a defenseman's skate that gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead. It was Whitney's first goal in 30 games.
Two minutes later, Marian Hossa made a play that changed people's lives.
He took the puck at center ice, deked around two defensemen, an equipment manager, and a cotton candy vendor, before unleashing a shot that Biron still hasn't seen to make it 2-0 Pens.
The Wach Center was surprisingly quiet after the Pens took the two-goal lead, until R.J. Umberger gave the Flyers a glimmer of hope.
Umberger put a puck behind Fleury in front of the Penguins' net to make it 2-1 Pens.
This marked the first, and last, appearance of a Flyer in front of the Penguins' net in the game.
Some guy named "Breer" or "Brier" assisted on the Umberger goal. Who is he?
The first period ended 2-1 Penguins, but the Flyers had to feel like they were very much alive in this game.
During the second period, the Penguins passed the puck around effortlessly, while the Flyers struggled to gain the red line.
Martin Biron kept his team in the game, making the saves that he's paid to make.
From the shot on which Umberger scored the goal, for the next 29 minutes, the Flyers managed to record just three shots on goal.
Cry about the officiating, diving, and cheap shotting all you want. But when you shoot the puck three times in 29 minutes during the playoffs you don't deserve to have a questionable call go your way, let alone win a game.
Philadelphia's lone scoring chance in the second period came when Mike Richards once again found himself one-on-one with Fleury on a shorthanded breakaway. But, Sergei Gonchar showed all the kids at home the meaning of the phrase back-check and was able to sweep the puck away from Richards before he could get a shot off.
The second period ended the same way that it started, 2-1 Pens heading into intermission.
The third period started as a tight checking affair, and both teams were able to maintain that pace until the halfway mark of the period.
Evgeni Malkin soared into the offensive zone and fed a pass to Petr Sykora, who put the puck on net. Ryan Malone was in front for the rebound, and whirled a quick back-hander past Biron to make it 3-1 Pens and put the game seemingly out of reach for the Flyers.
During/after the play, Sykora (playing in his 100th career playoff game) took a vicious hit from Steve Downie. The eight people in the arena who still thought the Flyers had a chance to win the game let out a collective cheer.
Was it a late hit? Who cares? Next week, Sykie will be playing for the Stanley Cup while Downie is making commercials to promote the softness of a certain brand of paper towel.
The Penguins' defense once again went into New Jersey Devil mode, and locked up the Flyers in their own zone for the remainder of the game.
With about a minute to play, John Stevens put his French toast back in the refrigerator, and Marian Hossa added insult to injury by scoring an empty net goal with 54 seconds to play.
The game ended 4-1 Penguins, and the Penguins took a 3-0 advantage in the series. They will look for the sweep at the Wachovijoke Center on Thursday night.
•Enough with the Timonen and Coburn stuff already. They aren't Nik Lidstrom. The Pens were without their starting goalie, their captain, and Gary Roberts for three months of the season. Good teams don't make excuses. Good teams also aren't based in Philadelphia, so whatever.
•The Penguins are 9-0 in the playoffs when they score first.
•The last time a sweep occurred in the Conference Finals was in 1992 when the Penguins and Blackhawks both swept their respective series. Just ask Dom Hasek what happened in the next round that year, whoo.
•Mike Richards is playing some very motivated hockey right now. His teammates should consider just giving him the puck and then standing in a circle behind their own net.
•There were no penalties called during the third period, and none on the Pens after the first period. That's probably only happened a handful of times or something like that.
•Scott Hartnell recorded his first hit of the series in this game. Too bad it was a post.
•There were two dives in this game. The first occurred when Gonchar dove to sweep the puck away from Richards. The second occurred when the six people who were still awake in the Wachovijoke Center at the end of the game joined hands and dove off of a balcony.
•Brian Engblom has the worst mullet I've ever seen.
•Game Four is Thursday, 7:30 PM, VERSUS.
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