Quote of the night, courtesy of Darmok:
There's no "I" in "team", but there's three "U"s in "Ruutu"!
First, the bad news:
- Nils Ekman missed another game with a stomach virus.
- Evgeni Malkin was a -2, with only 1 shot on goal.
- Marc-Andre Fleury let a few soft ones in.
Now, the good news:
- We were playing the Flyers.
OK, I'll make with the details:
- Sidney Crosby had a goal and 5 assists. This is the first time he's scored more than 4 points in a game. With this 6-point night, he has taken the lead in scoring in the NHL. And, believe it or not, 1+5 is not enough to adequately describe just how dominant Sid was tonight. He was skating circles around everything in white and orange. If anybody wants video evidence of how slow the Flyers' defense is, show them this game.
- Ryan Malone had a goal and 3 assists. I think this is his first 4-point night in the NHL. This was also his first goal of an injury-shortened season.
- Sergei Gonchar had 2 goals and 3 assists.
- Michel Ouellet got off of his personal schnied with a goal.
- Jarko Ruutu has a point in consecutive games for the first time this season, assisting on a goal by Chris Thorburn. That's the second goal in as many nights for a third line that's been flying lately. Max Talbot must have been bummed, though. Normally, he owns Antero Niittymaki, and he was held pointless tonight.
- Jordan Staal added to the Pens' highlight reel parade with a short-handed goal with seven seconds left in the game. Another day, another defenseman and goaltender faked out of their shorts by a teenager in black and gold. Ho hum. That's Staal's 4th shorty of the year, which is a record for Penguins rookies.
- If the Flyers have played a more undisciplined period of hockey this season, I can't imagine how bad it could have been compared to the 2nd tonight. Todd Fedoruk took 8 consecutive minutes in penalties between the 1st and 2nd periods. After a call in the middle of the first, he tried to start something with
Ryan WhitneySidney Crosby (!) as the teams were leaving the ice after the 1st ended. He started the 2nd serving a double minor. 1:28 after those minors expired, he was back in the box for another minor. So thank you, Todd Fedoruk, for 2 power play goals! Oh, and thank Mike Knuble while you're at it. The extra unsportsmanlike conduct minor he got tagged with on a holding penalty led to Ouellet's goal. (Update: My seat is at the end of a row, so the rush of people headed to the concourse blocked my view of the ice at the end of the 1st. I didn't see how that fracas started, and thought it was just Fedoruk and Whitney. It wasn't until I read the morning paper that I got the full story. Fedoruk shoved Crosby as he skated to center ice for an interview with TSN. Whitney got involved to defend Crosby. So Fedoruk was even dumber than I originally thought!)
Oh, and did I mention the goaltender substitution weirdness?
- First, at the start of the 2nd, while each team's captain was debating those end-of-the-1st penalties with Kerry Frazier, Fleury suddenly skated off the ice, with the equipment manager in hot pursuit. Jocelyn Thibault played the first 6 minutes or so of the second, stopping the only shot he faced.
- Later in the 2nd, after Gonchar's second goal, Niittymaki skated to the bench with an equipment problem of his own. This gave Martin Houle his first appearance in the NHL. He stopped the two shots he faced, then returned to the runway as Niittymaki jumped over the boards. Not so fast! That stoppage was for icing. No substitutions, not even the goalie. Houle goes back in, and promptly gives up his first NHL goal to Mark Recchi.
Final score: Penguins 8, Flyers 4, Martin Houle's ice time: 2:12
- Sidney Crosby (1G, 5A)
- Sergei Gonchar (2G, 3A)
- Ryan Malone (1G, 3A)