The NHL Closer is written by the five Masters of Their Universe over at Melt Your Face Off. When not trying to fix the damn trap door in their Castle Grayskull, they can be found debating whether Teela or the Sorceress would have been the easier lay.
Luckily, Riunite Was Not Involved This Time. On the ice at the same time when the winning goal was scored in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 2-0 shutout of the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon, the wild and crazy Staal brothers left their parents conflicted on whether to be excited or depressed (kind of like me when the circus comes to town - don't ask) regarding the outcome of the game. Jordan (the one that's into hip hop) put the puck past Henrik Lundqvist after Evgeni Malkin shook off Marc (the quiet, brooding one) and fed Jordan for the game-winner.
Marc-Andre Fleury was solid between the pipes, stopping 26 shots. Lundqvist was no slouch either, making 30 saves, many of them with a traffic jam in front of his crease. Adam Hall sealed the victory for the Penguins with an empty-netter with 17 seconds left.
The Rangers appeared to tie the game when Martin Straka got the puck past Fleury, but referee Dan O'Halloran, suffering from premature whistleation, blew the play dead before the puck trickled in when he lost sight of it. Rumor has it a hit has been put on O'Halloran by the Lucchese crime family.
The Rangers appear to have lost their edge and confidence after blowing a 3-0 lead in Game 1 of the series, ultimately losing that game 5-4. New York will have the opportunity to get back on track with some home cooking as Game 3 is at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
Sean Avery was up to his usual antics at the end of the game, invading Fleury's personal space as the horn sounded. Fleury and Avery exchanged shots with their sticks, a fracas ensued and the stage has been set for a bit of the old Ultra-Violence. At this point, Versus Studio Analyst Keith Jones, closed his notebook, walked down to the railyard and carved "Game Over" into a transient's chest. That guy's bloodlust cannot be satiated. Perhaps Avery and Jones both need Elisha to soothe their savage tendencies. It couldn't hurt.—Weed Against Speed
Smile, You Son-Of-A ...: For two periods, the Sharks controlled the energy and tempo of this game. Marty Turco did the splits, stood on his head, and controlled his urges to nutmeg a forechecking forward to hold the Sharks to a 2-1 lead.
Then, the Sharks lost their will and desire to play, surrendering four goals in the third period en route to a 5-2 victory, giving the Stars a 2-0 series lead heading back to Dallas. Thirty seconds into the period, Joel Pavelski lost an edge in the Sharks zone, allowing Brad Richards to steal the puck and rip it past Evgeni Nabokov stick-side. Three minutes later, Mike Modano gave the Stars their first lead on an abbreviated power play. Two Niklas Hagman goals provided ample insurance and a chorus of boos at the Shark Tank.
Although Turco stopped 29 of 31 shots, he showed signs of turning into the "bad" Turco. In his attempts to become the Stars #1 defenseman, he turned the puck over twice in the third period. First, he tried to clear the puck through the center of the defensive zone, which lead to a Mard-Eduoard Vlasic shot that missed everything. Two minutes later, he misplayed another puck behind the net, giving the Sharks a chance which they did not deserve. Marty, you have an oversized stick for a reason. Do not play the puck and your team will advance. —Raskolnikov
* The folks at NBC seem to believe that Alexander Ovechkin plays for the Canadiens. If that were the case, would the residents of Montreal insist we refer to Ovie as Unfrozen Cro Magnon Hockey Player. instead? On Frozen Blog
* Barry Melrose Rocks authors a post about Flyers fans editing Barry Melrose's Wikipedia page. Universe caves in on itself. Barry Melrose Rocks
* It appears my dream of Sidney Crosby and Jaromir Jagr starting a band together isn't ever going to happen. I imagine they would have sounded a lot like Seals & Crofts, only they wouldn't be the GREATEST BAND EVER! NHL Fanhouse
Finally, video of Brad Richards reacting to getting a beer dumped on him in the penalty box during Game 1 of the Habs/Flyers series. No word on whether the fan who committed the act was ejected from the arena. The last time I dumped a beer on someone, I was kicked out of the Ball Pit at Chuck E. Cheese's.