Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Battle of Pennsylvania 07-08: Game One

[Note: This Year, my Battle of PA game reviews will be shared with the new BattleBlog Battle of Pennsylvania in which I have been the inspiration for.]

It is a new season with the Flyers improved in the standings, the balance in the Atlantic was at stake in the first game. In net, we see Marty Biron, another steal from the "Buffaslugs" who can bring his consistent performance day in and out. And in the Penguins net, we see the hot performing Danny Saburin starting over Fleury who hasn't been earning time.

Less than a minute in, the Penguins get scored on at 1-0. Clearly, the Penguins are out of sync. Then the game got a little feisty, signaling that the Flyers were back and that their brand of rough bullying were going to play out. Then Jeff Carter, who scored a lot of goals in the last year's series, just shell shocked the home Penguins fans as well as the players. The Penguins saw themselves on the opposite end of a 2-0 lead, something that they had recently given to their opponents. But a resurgent Ryan Malone would answer the call in the first period, clicking with his new favorite linemates Crosby and Malkin. Thanks to the real "favored Pittsburgh son", Malone brought the Flyers lead in half at the first intermission. 2-1.

And in the second, the Flyers did not let up and kept to their gameplan. Turnovers and forced shots let the Penguins fall back on their heels. But Orpik and "Benedict Arnold" Umberger got into a great fight 40 seconds into the next period. With the Penguins powerplay streak in jeopardy, the Pens couldn't complain that they weren't getting the calls. Both Crosby and Malkin were getting the Flyers to get caught for interference and hooking calls. But Mike Richards brought the score to 3-1 and just out of reach for the inept Penguins offence.

As the third period closed without a goal, there were a few questionable calls as both teams tried to use their muscles instead of brains. Recchi gets called for boarding that infuriates him. But when the clock wound down, the Flyers raised their arms in victory effectively exercising the embarrassment of the winless previous Battle of Pennsylvania campaign.
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