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Penguins fall to Rangers 3-2 in shootout loss

Final - 12.3.2008 1 2 3 OT SO Total
Pittsburgh Penguins 1 1 0 0 0 2
New York Rangers 0 1 1 0 1 3

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Rock 'em sock 'em hockey at its best.  Unfortunately the Pens might have a few casualties for tomorrow's game against the Hurricanes, but more on that later.

Oh right, the game.  How about that 2-0 lead the Pens had over the Rangers (again)?  How about that lead they blew (again) and then carried to overtime (again) to ultimately lose and salvage a point after a shootout loss (again)?

Shootout aside, Dany Sabourin played a solid game in net.  The first goal by the Rangers was legit, but that second one was the sort of thing announcers and hockey pundits talk about all the time.  "They need a few bounces to go their way," is a popular phrase.  Well Petr Prucha's goal was the epitome of that.

Can we at least find some sanctity in getting a point out of it?  Sure, why not?  After all, it's not like the Rangers can own up to it in the postseason, so no sense in getting too carried away right now.  The Pens might be 0-0-2 against the Rangers so far this season, but I do recall the Rangers were 5-3-0 during the regular season in 2007/08 before losing in a dismal 4-1 series when it really mattered.

Again I say, no worries.

When Sid was on tonight he was making it happen out there.  As much as I hate to give the Rangers credit for anything, they did do a fine job of shutting him down.  After he made a sickening pass to Mark Eaton for the first goal that is.

The defense played a phenomenal game.  Hal Gill was a monster out there and definitely put his body on the line more than a few times.  The Penguins' chances were part of the "close but not close enough" category, whereby a few pucks trickled around Lundqvist's crease but were quickly evacuated from the zone.  Marc Staal also made an impressive play to more or less save a sure goal from Evgeni Malkin with 10 seconds remaining in OT. 

By the way, did you know his brother is Jordan Staal?  They both liked to watch Spider-man as kids.  Marc thinks money is a great Christmas gift, while Jordan Staal prefers a hammock.  These are the exciting things we learn and re-learn every time the two teams meet.

I mentioned a few injuries earlier.  I guess this is one of those things we'll just have to wait and see for tomorrow's game against the Canes. 

Hal Gill left but came back after taking a stick to the face, but Tyler Kennedy and Michael Zigomanis failed to return after sustaining (you guessed it) undisclosed injuries.  Kris Letang also got banged up early in the first, but showed no signs of pain with the Pens' only shootout goal.

Here's to a turnaround win tomorrow night.  I'm OK with starting December off 0-0-1.  Let's just not make it a habit.

The good: The defense played beyond expectations.

The bad: Sid and Malkin were shut down effectively.

The ugly: The Rangers' lucky bounces.

The reprieve: The Rangers still aren't good enough to beat the Pens in regulation.