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Old 03-18-2007, 09:12 PM   #1451
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

3-3. RUUTU gets the first shootout goal.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:14 PM   #1452
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

PENS WIN 4-3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SID THE KID AND THE CARDIAC KIDS DO IT AGAIN!
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:29 PM   #1453
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

RUUTU with the gamewinner!!!...and Fleury shuts them down...suh-weet!

Gotta learn to protect the lead better though, there's no shoot-outs in the play-offs!
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:41 PM   #1454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityMan786 View Post
PENS WIN 4-3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SID THE KID AND THE CARDIAC KIDS DO IT AGAIN!
I don't like the Cardiac Kids moniker,makes me think of the Cleveland Browns.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:25 PM   #1455
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Penguins, Ruutu shoot down Senators

Monday, March 19, 2007
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins coach Michel Therrien surprised a lot of people when he plugged Jarkko Ruutu into Evgeni Malkin's spot in the shootout rotation Tuesday.

At least that many likely were surprised when he did it again in the Penguins' 4-3 victory against Ottawa last night at Mellon Arena.

Ruutu wasn't one of them.

Not because he was taking anything for granted, but simply because the whole issue hadn't crossed his mind.

"I never thought about it," Ruutu said.

Well, Therrien did. And, after Ruutu was the only shooter on either side to score, it's safe to assume he'll be there again the next time the Penguins have a game stretch beyond overtime.

"He'll get another shot, that's for sure," Therrien said.

So will goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who turned aside Mike Comrie, Dean McAmmond and Antoine Vermette in the shootout to run his current streak to 22 saves in the past 25 shootout chances he has faced.

"When you don't give up goals, you have a pretty good chance to win," Therrien said.

Fleury attributed his success to some unspecified advice he has received from goaltending coach Gilles Meloche and a willingness to avoid being the first to commit when a shooter approaches.

"I just try to be patient, and wait for the guy," Fleury said.

He might have to take the same approach to finding out who the Penguins (41-21-10) will meet in the first round of the playoffs, although it's looking more and more as if last night's game was a preview of that series.

While much can change the final three weeks of the regular season, the Penguins and Senators are tied and holding down second place in their respective divisions.

The Penguins are two points behind first-place New Jersey and 13 ahead of the third-place New York Rangers -- who they will face at 7:08 p.m. today at Madison Square Garden -- in the Atlantic, while Ottawa trails first-place Buffalo by six points and leads Toronto and Montreal, which are tied for third in the Northeast, by 14.

"There aren't too many teams close to us, so that's probably one of the teams that we'll end up playing," Ruutu said. "But we'll see. We might even catch New Jersey. Who knows?"

The Penguins and Senators will meet again April 4 in Ottawa.

There was a little spice added to a potential matchup when Therrien and Senators coach Bryan Murray exchanged words during and after the first period, apparently because Murray was yapping at Penguins center Sidney Crosby.

"I don't like other coaches to talk to my players," Therrien said. "I'm going to stick up for my players every time."

Maxime Talbot put the Penguins in front, 1-0, at 10:44 of the opening period, but just 26 seconds later, Vermette tossed a shot past Fleury from in front to tie the score.

Ottawa finished the first with a 14-6 edge in shots -- "I don't think we had the best first period," Crosby said -- and Fleury had to make an excellent stop on Senators defenseman Chris Phillips from low in the right circle on No. 15 35 seconds into the second period to preserve the tie.

Crosby gave the Penguins another lead on a power play at 4:03, when he backhanded a shot past Ottawa goalie Ray Emery from inside the right circle for his 32nd of the season and fifth in the past five games, but Ottawa bounced back 61 seconds later when Daniel Alfredsson tipped in a Joe Corvo shot.

Therrien reunited the Malkin-Crosby-Mark Recchi line in the second half of the period in an effort to regain the lead. That didn't work, but the Penguins' power play did, as Ryan Whitney put the Penguins back in front at 17:05.

Whitney got a pass from Crosby and beat Emery on the short side from near the left dot for his 11th, and that lead held up until 15:07 of the third, when Wade Redden beat Fleury through traffic from the left point on a power play.

That put the game into overtime, but the Penguins were again able to survive a shootout, running their record in them to 10-6. And, in the process, pull even with a team they might face in a best-of-seven next month.

"There's a lot of hockey left," Crosby said. "We'll see what happens."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07078/770683-61.stm
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:33 PM   #1456
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Penguins Notebook: Gonchar offensive weapon on power plays

Monday, March 19, 2007
By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Perhaps quietly, Penguins veteran Sergei Gonchar has been hanging with the top-scoring defensemen in the NHL. Going into last night's games, his 59 points had him tied for third, three behind Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer.

Gonchar isn't surprised he hasn't gotten more notice for his offense -- a key to his game throughout his career -- because he's not racking up a lot of even-strength points. All but 17 of those 59 points have come on the power play.

Penguins coach Michel Therrien this season has regularly matched Gonchar and his defense partner against each opponent's top line.

"I'm pretty happy with the way I'm playing," Gonchar said yesterday before the Penguins played Ottawa. "My role has changed a bit. I have to play against the top lines. I'm proud the coach trusts me in that role and I'm happy to do it."

Now that he's got his refined role down, Gonchar is making another adjustment -- one players hate to make during the season.

He was having problems with the skate model he used most of the season, but the last straw was when the rivets on one of his skates failed while he was handling the puck at the point during a power play at New Jersey last week.

With one blade dislodged, he fell, allowing the Devils' John Madden to have a long breakaway. Madden missed the net while Gonchar struggled to get back to the bench on one foot.

Now he's wearing a different type of skates each game.

"I ordered five pairs from different companies, and I have to decide which one I'm going to wear in the playoffs," he said.

Rangers hobbled

The banged-up Rangers won't be getting Brendan Shanahan back tonight. The veteran winger and 2006-07 all-star told the New York Daily News he hopes to be allowed to have contact tomorrow and play Wednesday against Philadelphia.

It was against the Flyers on Feb. 17 that Shanahan got a concussion in a horrific collision with Philadelphia's Mike Knuble. Shanahan was taken from the ice on a stretcher.

The list of those out for the Rangers includes Fedor Tyutin, Marcel Hossa and Karel Rachunek, all of whom have knee injuries.

Former Penguins forward Martin Straka, who plays alongside leading scorer Jaromir Jagr, is day-to-day after leaving Saturday's 7-0 win over Boston with a knee injury that Rangers coach Tom Renney described as less severe than the others on the team.

Milestone for Melichar

Defenseman Josef Melichar played his 300th NHL game last night, all with the Penguins.

Melichar, a third-round pick by the Penguins in 1997, is the longest-tenured member of the team. He broke into the league in 2000-01 with the likes of Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Kevin Stevens.

Melichar, who has been paired with different defensive partners this season but right now is playing with Gonchar while Mark Eaton is hurt, is aware that fans have been unhappy with his play.

"It's not very fun to hear people criticize you, but they have the right to do that," he said. "I've been struggling the past few games, but [Friday against Montreal] I played a little better. I'm hoping to get my confidence up. That's what I need."

Slap shots

Eaton (sprained right knee) is skating with his teammates but is not cleared for contact, so it could be several more days before he can play. ... Gonchar said of Russian rookie Evgeni Malkin's grasp of English, "He understands more and more, but he's shy to speak it. Hopefully, he'll break that barrier and be all right." ... Mark Johnson, a former Penguin and the son of late Penguins coach "Badger" Bob Johnson, led the Wisconsin women's team to its second consecutive NCAA title. The Badgers beat Minnesota Duluth, 4-1, yesterday in the Frozen Four final at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07078/770682-61.stm
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:35 PM   #1457
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LeClair should be Penguins' MVP

By Guy Junker
FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, March 19, 2007

The Penguins' incredible and unexpected run toward the top of the Eastern Conference can be attributed to a lot of things -- a great sophomore year from Sidney Crosby, a terrific freshman year from Evgeni Malkin and the improvement of Marc-Andre Fleury, to name a few. But my vote for team MVP this year goes to John LeClair. That's right: John LeClair.

LeClair scored two goals for the Penguins before getting the early Christmas present of an unconditional release after he refused a demotion to Wilkes-Barre in December. He was an aging power forward that just didn't produce enough in the new NHL and who couldn't keep pace with the young Penguins.

But way back in September, it was LeClair who collided with Evgeni Malkin during the Penguins' first preseason game and caused Malkin to hurt his shoulder. It was Malkin's first game of any kind in a Penguins uniform and the injury caused him to miss all of training camp and the first two weeks of the season.

That allowed rookie Jordan Staal to get a lot of ice time during the preseason, impressing the team enough to keep him on their opening night roster despite the fact that he was 17 years old when training camp started. He played so well that thoughts of ever returning him to his junior team quickly disappeared and he has been the biggest individual surprise in a season full of collective surprises for this hockey team.

You knew Crosby would be great again. You figured Malkin would be an immediate star. You hoped Fleury would mature. But nobody, not even Staal's mom and dad, could have expected this out of the fresh-faced kid that entered last night's game with 28 goals. Those include a league-leading seven short-handed goals, the most ever by a rookie.

In the process he's become the youngest player in league history to record a hat trick, the youngest to score two short-handed goals in the same game, and the youngest to score on a penalty shot.

All of those are statistical ways to measure Staal's success. But the fact that coach Michel Therrien even trusted him to kill penalties, nearly three full years before he can buy his first legal beer here in Pittsburgh, is a story in itself.

We've all seen teenagers who can perform incredible physical feats in their respective sports. But even they usually take a while before truly knowing and understanding the nuances of their particular sport. Not Staal. His physical skills are dwarfed by his hockey sense. He's a crafty veteran at age 18 using his long reach and long stick to have a legendary rookie season. His season has helped propel the Penguins to their unlikely quick rise.

It sounds crazy, but if Malkin doesn't get hurt in Moncton in his first appearance in a Penguins uniform, there is a good chance Staal is sent back to Peterborough if not before the season, then before he played 10 games, so this year wouldn't count as a full season contractually.

So John LeClair, wherever you are, as you come to grips with retirement, know that even in your partial, final season, you played a major role in helping the Pittsburgh Penguins.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_498438.html
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:37 PM   #1458
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'Badger' Bob's son coaches Wisconsin women to title

By The Tribune-Review
Monday, March 19, 2007

The Penguins have separated themselves from the pack of teams vying for the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, but the New York Rangers are right in the thick of it. Going into Saturday's game against the Boston Bruins, they were in 10th place but a 7-0 win put them a point ahead of the New York Islanders, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs and into the East's eighth and final spot. The Rangers are 6-2-3 in their last 11 games and have picked up points in 14 of their last 18 games (9-4-5). They are 5-1-1 in their last seven home games.

? The Mark Johnson-coached Wisconsin women's hockey team won its second consecutive NCAA title on Sunday with a 4-1 win over Minnesota Duluth. Johnson played 136 regular-season games for the Penguins from 1980-82, and his father was the late "Badger" Bob Johnson. The game was played at Herb Brooks Arena.

? Sidney Crosby went into last night's game against the Ottawa Senators with 106 points (31 goals, 75 assists), the most in the NHL. With 11 games left in the season, including last night's game, he was 10 points ahead of Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lecavalier, holding the second spot in the scoring race, and 19 points behind last year's winning total of 125 set by the San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton (29 goals, 96 assists).

? Defenseman Josef Melichar played in his 300th career NHL game last night. They have all been with the Penguins.

? The Penguins scratched defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski and forwards Chris Thorburn, Ronald Petrovicky and Nils Ekman. The Senators scratched defenseman Lawrence Nycholat and forwards Brian McGrattan and Oleg Saprykin.

Digits

45 - The Penguins' combined number of wins in the 2005-06 and 2003-04 seasons.

1.88 - The Rangers' goals-against average since Jan. 13, lowest in the NHL.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_498432.html
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:05 AM   #1459
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What a game! Those Pens always have to give you a heart attack!
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:41 AM   #1460
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Just think...tonight vs. the Rangers, the Pens have a chance to tie the Devils for the division lead. Who would have ever thought they'd be in this position at the beginning of the season???
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