Penguins-Rangers: Pittsburgh Blows Two-Goal Lead En Route to Shootout Loss

WoooooSenior Writer IDecember 3, 2008

To try and recap everything that happened in this game would be quite a daunting task. The PensBlog will probably do a solid job at it, so go there for the full recap.

Despite the Pens blowing a two-goal lead, this game was actually one of the better games to watch this season. If you are a casual hockey fan, you were probably ready to shoot yourself, but if not, you probably enjoyed it.

Both teams played a tight-checking game, and the Rangers finished off their checks every chance they got.


The Rags came out pissed off in the first period. They just got shut out by the Florida Panthers, so it was to be expected coming into this game.

The Blueshirts were all over the ice in the first period, finishing off checks like it was their job. Then again, it kind of is.

The Pens held their ground through the onslaught of blue jerseys flying at them from all angles during the first period.

Despite the Rangers trying to inflict carnage on every inch of the ice, the Pens actually carried the play through the first 20 minutes.

The God-ard-father dropped the mitts with Colton Orr just under three minutes into the game. Godard challenged him a few times before Orr accepted, and I think it is safe to say that Orr got the best of the big man in the bout. Godard landed a few big blows, but the underdog Orr was determined to get the win.

Later in the period, Orr started jobbing Sidney Crosby. He slashed at Sid's hands after a face-off, no big deal. He finished a check on Sid, no big deal. After the check, Orr prevented Crosby from getting back on his feet and the two got tangled up once again.

Sid did not take too kindly to this and had some choice words for the Rangers' agitator. The two exchanged slashes, before Brooks Orpik stepped in. Orpik threw a quick shoulder into Orr, then tripped him at center ice.

The referees issued a double minor to Orpik, two minutes for tripping, and two for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Rangers power play hit the ice, but would not get much of a chance to get anything going.

The Rags got caught with like 12 men on the ice (which is seven too many for all you football fans out there) and we got a chance to see some four-on-four hockey.

A Rangers' defensemen forgot he was playing in the National Hockey League and turned the puck over to Crosby at the blue line. Sid flew behind the net, buying time for his teammates to complete a line change.

He whipped the puck toward the front of the net, where Mark Eaton scored his first goal in like six years, and also his first goal as a Penguin. 1-0 Pens.

The tight-checking nature of the game worn on into the second period. The Penguins' third line was unreal as usual, with Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy handing out checks like the New York City welfare department.

At 9:35 of the second, Cooke got the puck to Rob Scuderi at the point. Scuderi unleashed the Scud Missile, which was re-directed by Jordan Staal in front of the net.  2-0 Pens.

Just over a minute later, Scott Gomez decided to do something relevant in a game against the Penguins.

Gomez skated 40 laps around the Penguins' zone before firing a slap shot to the net. The shot was tipped in the slot by Nikolai Zherdev. 2-1 on the Rangers' first goal in over 100 minutes of play.

Gomez put the Rangers on his back again in the third period when he picked up speed through the neutral zone and fired a shot wide of the net. The puck bounced off the end boards, right on to the stick of Petr Prucha who tapped it home to even the score at two.

Everybody made a big deal out of Prucha, who had been scratched and supposedly told he was going to the minors, scoring the goal, but really, who would not have scored that goal?

The game wore on, eventually into overtime, and then the shootout, where the Rangers were 6-1 coming into tonight's game.

Naslund scored, Satan was denied, Zherdev scored, Letang scored, Sjostrom scored. Game over.

Final Score: New York 3 Pittsburgh 2 (SO)


- The Pens are now 5-0-3 against the Atlantic Division.

- Kris Letang led all Penguins with 22:51 of ice time tonight. He recorded four shots on goal, after switching back to his old stick before tonight's game. He was a beast in the defensive zone, and that shootout goal was sick.

- Where is Hal Gill?

- Mike Zigomanis and Tyler Kennedy both left the game with undisclosed injuries and did not return. No word on the nature or severity of the injuries, but let's hope neither one of these guys has to miss any substantial time.

- Crosby picked up an assist, Malkin was held scoreless. Sid now trails his teammate by four points in the NHL scoring race.

- Eaton, Scuderi, Orpik, and Letang blocked a ton of shots tonight. All four guys played very well, something that is good to see from Eaton since Boucher looks like he will be out of the lineup at least for the rest of the week.

- Max Talbot played a great game tonight. He had a couple of solid scoring chances but most of his shots were blocked in front of the net. He looks like he is finally starting to adjust to playing with Sid.

- No rest for the weary as the Pens play again tomorrow night in Carolina. Fleury is on the trip with the team, but John Curry seems the more likely candidate to get the start in goal tomorrow.