Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Wait is Over - Game On Pens!
Amidst the hype and media frenzy regarding the intense mutual dislike and heated rivalry between the Caps and Penguins, it's finally time to drop the puck already!
The Caps found themselves in the sin bin early as "the Donald" took a bogus high-sticking penalty (which was loudly contested by Coach Boudreau, as it should have been), followed by a cross-checking call on Jeff Schultz. So the ice birds got a bit of a lucky break with a 5 on 3. Jose Theodore was successful in fighting them off for a good while, but then Ovie's pal Evgeni Malkin scored first for the home team.
So the feud continued on the ice with Malkin taking lots of shots at the Great Eight, finally drawing a penalty late in the first giving the Caps a man-advantage. Alas the boys were unable to take advantage and get on the scoreboard. The Pens' Rob Scuderi tried to block a shot and took a Mike Green wizbanger of a shot right to his face - making for a pretty scary mess. HM hopes he makes a full recovery...I never like to see any player go down like that.
So the Caps Viktor Kozlov lit the lamp first for the D.C. darlings - assisted by who else, young Nick Backstrom. As any Caps/Pens game is usually played tit for tat, former Islander Miroslav Satan added another for the Pens, making it 2 - 1.
But one of the highlights for HM was seeing Alex Semin net a beauty assisted by a healthy (we hope 100%) Sergei Fedorov and Tomas Fleischmann. So far we have scores on the board for red-hot Russian players from each team so if you happen to playing the Caps/Pens drinking game courtesy of Caps Chick, you're feeling really good right about now! Just don't forget to drink lots of water and take some ibuprofen - your hockey mom hangover prevention tip to make sure all you faithful Caps fans make it work tomorrow!
The end of the second saw a wicked hit on Sid the Kid courtesy of AO and former Capital and current Penguin Matt Cooke took great exception (and took an interference call for defending his captain). And yes, HM knows that Sid is legally not a 'kid' anymore but sorry - he still has that baby face! Um, and he still lives in Mario Lemieux's basement...
Things got pretty exciting in the third as the Caps took a brief 3-2 lead as a result of an Alex Ovechkin goal - much to the dismay of the Penguins fans who booed him loudly every time he touched the puck. Yet Ryan Whitney netted another for Pittsburgh to tie it again at 3-3.
Tomas Fleischmann (who has definitely lived up to his nickname "Flash" thus far this season) came through on a power play goal to give the Caps the lead and Alex Ovechkin added some insurance to make it 5 -3.
And the big defenseman, Jeff Schultz, put a fork in this one with his long range empty net goal!
So the Caps win their third against the ice birds in a row and Hockey Mom can venture into Pens territory for the boys' tournament this weekend with her head held high!
With the exception of some unecessary penalties, the Caps seemed a bit more like the team we know and love - playing the familiar gritty style of hockey with exciting offensive prowess. Now that's more like it - and a win against the Penguins at the Igloo is always gratifying.
Way to go boys and safe travels!