The Peerless is coming to you live, from his family room, prognosticommentating on this evening's Ottawa - Pittsburgh contest . . .
7:00...Ottawa doesn't want the series to go any further. Now that's analysis. Right outta the gate, at that! Way to go, Andy.
7:02...meanwhile, "the greatest onus will fall on Sidney Crosby." Looks like Joe doesn't want to be outdone.
7:05...The Peerless wonders, does anyone actually buy a Bowflex TreadClimber, and do they use it as a clothes hanger?
7:07...Keith's right, Fleury has to be the difference. Nothing gives a team confidence like a goalie coming up big in their end.
7:10...time for the drop of the puck, and we've only heard Crosby's name twice?
7:11...Ottawa gets the first big chance. Alfredsson missed from in close...beautiful eye-hand stopping the puck and trying to bat it out of air.
7:13...penalty...penalty...5-on-3 for the Penguins.
7:14...Emery hangs on, Crosby issues his first whine.
7:16...another delay of game to Ottawa. The game could rest in the balance right here...and Emery is sharp early.
7:19...Crowd is into it, now...the penalties are killed
7:20...Pittsburgh is skating with their heads up, looking for Senators...and now another penalty, this one to Pittsburgh -- Orpik.
7:22...Ottawa doesn't have a shot and has killed three penalties. They score on this PP, it'll be a deflator for the Penguins.
7:25...excellent kill by Pittsburgh, didn't give Ottawa any time or space to collect the puck and make a play.
7:27...the teams seem to be settling into a rhythm. Ottawa still doesn't have a shot on goal, but they're starting to get looks -- a lot of pucks riccocheting in front of Fleury.
7:30...looks like Roberts is looking to start something...went high on Comrie and another Senator in the neutral zone.
7:33...nice play by Redden...played the reach on Staal, not the body. He took away any attack angle.
7:35...uh, question...did Malkin dress for this game?
7:38...Pittsburgh doing a good job getting sticks in the shooting and passing channels. Nothing is getting through to Fleury.
7:44...taking a penalty in the last minute...Orpik again.
7:46....and there's the horn...0-0 after one.
7:48...fun number: "2"...Pittsburgh had two shots on goal in the last 15:34 of the period. Deceptive number: "5"...Crosby had five of the Penguins' nine shots, but three of those came in a 27 second span four minutes in. Big number: "4:32"...the Senators were shorthanded for 4:22 of the first 5:32 of the game and did not yield a goal.
7:54...meanwhile, Kyle Wilson ties the Hershey game against Albany. This is a little too competitive for comfort in the first round.
8:03...the second starts, Ottawa on the PP...
8:05.....Alfie with a sweet from-behind-the-net pass to Heatley for the score, Ottawa draws first blood....and Fleury makes a big stop on Kelly on the next shift. Penguins need to settle down a bit.
8:07...FLURRRR-EEEE...FLURRRR-EEEEE . . . and the kid accommodates...another big save. Fisher is not a happy guy.
8:10....Volchenkov goes off...two minutes for falling on Crosby.
8:12....welcome to the game, Geno....about time.
8:13....and there goes Vermette...dinky-doo, and in, while he's being hauled down from behind...2-0.
8:14...the momentum has certainly shifted....Pittsburgh goes to the box -- Ouellet. A PP goal here, and we're just about done.
8:19....yeesh, now that was an ugly power play.
8:25...Malkin seen ordering a dog with chili and mustard on the concourse.
8:27...and speaking of MIA, where's Colby Armstrong?
8:29...Roberts tried to hit Fisher from behind. Roberts bounced off him and onto his own bee-hind...fans chanting RAHHH-berts...RAHHH-berts...
8:36....Ottawa is wearing them down..they're winning races to the puck and battles along the boards....and it pays off -- Kelly jams it home...Scuderi got tangled up with Fleury, and Kelly had an empty net to shoot at...3-0
8:38....Comrie in alone, beats Fleury clean -- CLANG!....off the far post.
8:40...end of two...standing-O for the home team...and whose name was conspicuously not mentioned in this period?...Sidney Crosby.
8:41...fun number: "25" -- Ottawa is outhitting Pittsburgh, 25-13 through two periods. It's taking a toll. Funner number: "8" -- Pittsburgh has eight shots total in the last 35:34. Funnest number: "1" -- the combined shots on goal in the second for Crosby, Malkin, and Staal.
8:46...The Peerless has one ear tuned to the Hershey feed...2-1, Bears, the third period just underway.
8:50...Fluery needed to be great. He's been good...that's why the Penguins are down 3-0. "Good" ain't gonna cut it in April.
8:53...a commercial for something called, "The Slice Bullet" -- some contraption to eliminate a slice from your golf shot. $29.95, plus shipping and handling. My God, IT'S A HOCKEY PUCK WITH A STRING ON IT!!!
8:58...Volchenkov, closing his hand on the puck....two minutes. Why does The Peerless think that won't be the last time we see McCreary make a call?
9:02...Ottawa, too many men...uh, yup, they got caught...
9:04...why is it that Michel Therrien always looks like he's posing for a statue in the town square when he's behind the bench?
9:05...Malkin took a shot....it didn't get through, but at least it's a sign of life.
9:07...delayed penalty to Pittsburgh....and a penalty to Ottawa on the same shift...goaltender interference to Ottawa?....uh, ok.
9:11...Alfie almost stuck the dagger in...still, Ottawa is making Pittsburgh skate 200 feet every time down the ice -- they're getting the puck in deep, working the clock.
9:13...Ottawa will play catch with the puck behind the Penguin net for the rest of the night if Pittsburgh is going to let them...
9:17...looking at the shift chart, Crosby and Gonchar have missed about three minutes of time in the first 11 minutes of the period.
9:18...Volchenkov hit by Roberts....Volchenkov absent from the Senator bench...he was holding his arm to his side when he came off...looked like a shoulder injury.
9:21...the Penguin bench looks devoid of life...
9:24...Senator fans are singing...winding down to four minutes....Pittsburgh will need to think about lifting Fleury...and there is Emery to shut the door again. Fleury hasn't been bad, but Emery is the better goalie on this ice tonight. Right now, he should get the game's first star for his work during all that Penguin PP time in the first.
9:30...and now, it's handshake time....3-0.
- Pittsburgh had 13 shots in the last 55:34.
- Ottawa killed the last 15 shorthanded situations they faced in the series.
- Pittsburgh had only 10 of 18 skaters register a shot on goal; only four managed more than one shot (Malone, Gonchar, Malkin, Crosby)
- Therrien drastically shortened his bench in the third -- Laraque: 2 shifts, Armstrong: 4 shifts, Christensen: 5 shifts, Talbot: 5 shifts, Ouellet: 2 shifts
- Crosby looks to have played about 12 minutes of the third period.
- Ryan Whitney had 8:37 of power play time and did not register a shot...he had no shots at all for the game.
- Chris Phillips had a whale of a game...26:35 of ice time (four minutes more than any other Senator), six hits, five blocked shots, and not a single turnover.
- Anton Volchenkov probably would have had Phillips' numbers but for the short stint shaking off his injury at the hands of Roberts. As it was, he still had 22:36 in ice time, three hits, five blocked shots, and no turnovers (makes the two minors he took easier to take).