Friday, December 23, 2005

Battle of Pennsylvania @ Blogspot: IV

It was the fourth meeting thus far in the NHL season between cross state rivals, but a recent revamped Penguins team have come up to challenge the Flyers. Could the Penguins bring holiday cheer to the Three Rivers holiday masses ?

At times, it looked like only a few players on the Penguins actually cared about playing hockey. Young and upcoming American players Brooks Orpik and Ryan Malone hustled themselves while the Slovak tandem of Tomas Surovy and Ziggy Pallfy took shot after shot at Antero Niittymaki.

And then it was Sidney Crosby who stepped up his own play and scored 44 seconds apart to rally the Penguins team ahead and fans started to really get behind the team cheering "Flyers Suck" and "Lets Go Pens". The first goal Crosby took a pass from Pallfy that coasted from the top of the key and zapped it by the goaltender. The second goal was a backhander that Crosby flipped up to the top of the net with Kim Johnsson draped over his back. Crosby also scored an assist with a blind backhand pass on a chip-in goal by Tomas Surovy early in the second period.

Marc-Andre Fleury and the defense let this team down through most of the beginning and end of the game. Fleury let in two soft goals to start the game and an overly aggressive defensive mistake prone Ouellet and Endicott cost the team a game they should have won. Mike Knuble and Peter Forsberg scored two quick goals to put the Flyers ahead 5-4.

Forsberg's 2 goal night and Simon Gagne who also scored his 25th goal tonight proved that they were worthy of their respective country's selections to the Olympic teams.

Other game notables: Matt Murley left the game early after a 5 minute major for fighting, he immediately held his left arm and favored his shoulder. Tonight starts the Flyers 11 game road trip.
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