Saturday, May 9, 2009

Round Two Game Four: Penguins/ Capitals

Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega

by Jan Snyder

Series tied 2-2

Another great game at Mellon Arena! We can all dance tonight – except Sergei Gonchar, of course. Anyway, before he had to leave the game, and maybe the series, Gonch scored the first of the Pens’ five goals. A little Mambo No. 5 in honor of the five different goal scorers? Remember that catchy little song from a few years ago?

A little bit of Gonchar in my life
A little bit of Guerin by my side
A little bit of Ruslan is all I need
A little bit of Sid is what I see
A little bit of Talbot in the sun
A little bit of Fleury all night long

This game turned into a wild one early as Backstrom got the first goal for the Caps just 36 seconds into the contest. After the Caps gave the Pens a power play, Gonchar slammed an unassisted goal past Varlamov. Quickly, Sergei Federov (he of Anna Kournikova fame) came galloping up to Fluery and took a shot, but hit the post. In just another flash, Federov tried again, but Fluery was too good and snatched the puck with his glove.

The score stayed 1-1until Guerin was able to sneak another puck past Varlamov. Then came the bad news – Ovechkin and Gonchar collided knee-on-knee. As Gonch writhed in pain on the ice, the Pens beseeched the refs for a major penalty, but it was called a two-minute tripping penalty. You don’t often see someone who is tripped fly into the air, do a 360 and fall to the ice, but I guess that’s what the refs saw.

Fedotenko, perhaps to honor his fallen Russian mate, scored the next one putting the Pens in the lead, 3-1. And that was just the first period! Lots of Friday night excitement at the Igloo. If the Igloo is rockin’, don’t come a knockin’!

In the second, Chris Clark managed to score in close, closing it to 3-2 Pens. By the third, Sid made a goal-scoring appearance on a beautiful pass from…could it be…Satan, giving our team a 4-2 lead. Just to keep things interesting, Milan Jurcina made it 4-3. But the Pens would not be denied tonight.

Mad Max to the rescue! Max flew down the ice and whipped the puck into the net to seal the deal. 5-3 Pens, series tied at 2-2. The Caps kept on coming and hanging around, but they were never able to get back in the lead. This wasn’t the Sid Show or the Geno Show or the Ovie Show. This was a night for the team to show they can all score and spread it around.

Now it’s back to Washington for a quick turnaround and another game tomorrow night. Will Gonchar play? Sure looks doubtful from what we saw tonight. Big thumbs up to the Pens’ defense who never got down tonight. They sucked it up and played most of the game down a man. Malkin wasn’t a goal scorer tonight but he managed to play a very physical game and had some chances.

For his part, Ovechkin claimed innocence on the hit and said he never tried to hurt anyone. More kudos to Gill and Scuderi who kept #8 pretty much under control again tonight. But he’ll be feeling his oats back in his home arena tomorrow, so there is another big job ahead for the defensemen. Let’s hope they travel quickly to D.C., get a good night’s sleep, lots of ice bags, and are up for the challenge tomorrow night. Can they score five more goals?

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