After facing a sizzling Chris Terreri recently I was not looking forward
to facing Mark Fitzpatrick but it didn't matter. Mark was a spectator,
and most likely enjoyed seeing rookie goaltender Danny Lorenz notch his
first NHL victory against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins.
The Pens started the afternoon playing hockey but it was just a tease.
They quit playing early in the first period and didn't return until
sometime in the third. Rick Tocchet admitted after the game that the
team felt they could just cruise through this game. They cruised right
on into the loss column.
Jaromir Jagr scored first at 6:45 of the first period, picking up the
puck in the neutral zone and going in alone against Lorenz. Benoit Hogue
scored an unassisted goal at 14:56 of the first, beating Barrasso after
Ulf Samuelsson lost the puck at center ice.
At 3:25 of the second period (my notes say 2:29 but the summary I saw in
a newspaper had 3:25 so I'll go with that), Green (first name? -- he's not
on my roster) received an interference call and Patrick Flatley scored his
first of two short handed goals at 4:23. It was a pretty goal from
Barrasso made the initial stop but Flatley picked up his own rebound and
popped it by Barrasso. It would be the first of two Islander goals scored
on a player's own rebound.
Barrasso later made a nice save on a break away attempt by Uwe Krupp after
Murphy lost the puck at the point. Hogue also had a break away on the
same Penguin power play but Murphy was able to get back and poke check the
puck off his stick.
Late in the second period the Penguins were on the power play and took, in
my opinion, a stupid chance by having four guys in deep and only one out at the
blue line (in the center). (Staying in the middle like this works in
racquetball; it doesn't work in hockey.) In the flurry of activity around
the Islander goal the Isles came up with the puck and blew by Ron Francis
who was the lone point man, so to speak. Flatley scored his second short
handed goal assisted by Hogue and Lachance at 19:19. Lemieux, Tocchet,
Stevens, and Murphy were the Penguins around the net.
At just about the end of the second period, Lemieux took a high stick to
the face from Tom Fitzgerald (it looked unintentional to me). The customary
pushing and shoving ensued and at 19:51 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties
were issued to Lemieux and Tocchet of Pittsburgh and Fitzgerald and Hogue
of New York. (My notes indicate that Fitzgerald also received 2 minutes
for high sticking but this wasn't in the account I saw in a newspaper. I
could go back through and count Penguin power plays, which should total to
7, to see if Hogue did get the additional minor, but I don't feel like it.)
The Pens showed signs of life in the third when Kevin Stevens scored at 7:44.
They began to pressure the Isles but were stopped when David Volek scored on
his own rebound at 8:55. Jaromir Jagr scored his second of the game at
10:26, bringing the Pens within 1. With Flatley in the box at 16:56 for
high sticking, Barrasso stopped Volek on yet another break away attempt.
The Pens left Tommy on his own for most of the game, and he was out of
the net a lot, even for him. I guess he figured if no one else was
going to play defense he may as well do it.
The Pens eventually pulled Barrasso for the sixth attacker but came up empty.
They were not without chances but when Murphy lost the puck at the point
with about 12 seconds left, it obviously was over.
I don't have the newspaper with me so cannot give you the period summaries.
I think I can reconstruct the goal scoring, though, but definitely not the
1st period: Jagr-Pgh-(Barrasso, Samuelsson) 6:45; Hogue-NY-(unassisted) 14:56;
2nd period: Flatley-NY-(Hogue) (SH) 4:23; Flatley-NY-(Hogue, Lachance)
3rd period: Stevens-Pgh-(Lemieux, U. Samuelsson) 7:44;
Volek-NY-(Delgarno) 8:55; Jagr-Pgh-(Francis) 10:26
Shots on goal: NY 9-14-8 31
Pgh ll-l3-l0 34
Power play chances as I recall them: NY: 0 for 3; Pgh: 0 for 7.
Scratches as I recall them: NY: Kurvers; Pgh: Caufield, K. Samuelsson,
Linesmen: McCourt, Patemen; Referee: Faucette.
Attendance: 16,164 (a sell out).
After the game, Bowman said the Pens will make some changes on the power
play, particularly with the point men because he thinks they're tired.
(Personally, I prefer seeing Francis playing in deep than on the point;
I think he's more effective there.)
The Pens are at home tonight against the Quebec Nordiques, a nice change
from Monday Night Football.