Penguins-Senators: Dany Heatley Pleads Guilty...to Being a True Goal Scorer
For those of you who aren't familiar with Dany Heatley's recent history, he was drinking, speeding, and was eventually deemed responsible for another human being's death in 2003. So, why isn't he in prison? Well, he gave some speeches and served community service—and c'mon, the guy has a wicked wrist shot, your Honor.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will disembark from Sweden tonight, following a disappointing loss in the second game of the NHL Premiere against the Ottawa Senators.
The Pens will surely be anxious to return home and get back to their normal regular-season routines before their home opener on Saturday night against the New Jersey Brodeurs.
The first period of this game was a defensive struggle for both teams. Each team was granted two power play opportunities, but neither team was able to capitalize.
The Penguins' power play is in shambles right now. The Pens went a combined one-for-14 on the power play over the course of two games against Ottawa. They tried numerous combinations, but nothing really seemed to click.
I'll admit that I was a little skeptical about just how much Gonchar's absence would affect the Pens' power play, but I can say with a fair amount of certainty that things definitely aren't looking good.
Jarkko Ruutu was flying around the ice again in the first period, mixing it up with anyone within an arm's length of him. The Sens' Ruutu-Neil combination of agitators has the potential to amass the most penalty minutes between any two teammates in the NHL this season—and judging by what they've done shorthanded, that's not a bad thing.
The first period ended scoreless, with the Senators holding a nine-to-eight advantage in shots on goal.
The next 30 minutes of the game belonged solely to Dany Heatley. Heatley, who netted a power0play goal yesterday, tallied two consecutive power-play goals in the second and third periods to give the Sens a 2-0 lead by the 12-minute mark of the third period.
Like I said yesterday, Healtey-Spezza-Alfredsson is the best line in hockey, no questions asked.
Alex Auld turned away 15 shots in the second period for the Sens, and you have to believe that Marty Gerber cringed a little with each save from his position on the bench. Gerber's job is in no way safe—although after just two games, it's a little early to pull the plug on him just yet.
After Heatley's second goal, it seemed that all was lost for the Penguins. Judging by Marc-Andre Fleury's mannerisms in the crease, you could tell the Flower was coming undone.
Antoine Vermette added another goal for the Sens at 15:50 of the third, when he beat Fleury on the backhand.
Someone on the Penguins' blue line has got to wake up and realize that you can't give NHL players multiple breakaways during the course of a game and expect to walk away unharmed. Spezza burned MAF on the break yesterday, and Vermette repeated it today.
Alex Goligoski scored what seemed like a meaningless goal with just over one second remaining on the clock. However, the goal came on the power play, and it came off of an offensive-zone faceoff win for the Pens. Both of these things have obviously been points of concern throughout the past two games, and ending the game on a faceoff win and a power play-goal can't have been a bad thing.
Final Score: Ottawa 3, Pittsburgh 1
From a fan's perspective, I am glad the Eurotrip has to come an end. The games were different, but not necessarily in a good way. The rink was smaller than an NHL rink, the boards were higher, and the glass was lower. The player benches extended about halfway into their respective defensive zones, which just looked weird and had to make changing lines somewhat abnormal for the players.
All in all, I think the NHL trying to garner some more support in Europe is a good thing—but I feel it should be limited to the pre-season or exhibition match-ups only. Both the Pens and Sens each lost a home game because of the Eurotrip, and if I were a season-ticket holder, that wouldn't sit well with me.
The Pens came out of Sweden with two of four possible points. The Sens picked up three, and the Rangers picked up all four possible points in their two-game sweep of the Bolts in Prague.
I think it will be a more-than-welcome sight when the Pens take the ice at Mellon Arena on Saturday night for their home opener against those bunch of players from New Jersey who play on Martin Brodeur's team.
Full recap at Experiencing the Evolution.
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