keithballardhit

Keith Ballard’s first goal came against his current landlord … Dan Cloutier?

It’s a rather specific fantasy, but I imagine it’s one that exists in the imaginations of hockey fans living in an apartment/townhouse/and so on: scoring a goal on your landlord. Maybe the man or woman ignores your desperate phone calls when your toilet overflows and no amount of plunging can save the day. Perhaps that person barely bats an eye when you gripe about the Volkswagen-sized insects inhabiting your living quarters.

Whatever the case, it’s probably one of the 5,078* different scenarios a person might imagine when in such an isolated incident of incitement.

* This number is in no way scientific and is in every way made up on the spot.

For Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard, this unlikely event happened during his first career NHL goal. The Canucks’ official Web site captures the story of Ballard’s his first career goal – which was actually scored against the Canucks – as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Ballard made his NHL debut in Vancouver, where he also notched his first goal and no doubt the emotions were high that day for the, then, 22 year-old.

“I was excited about that whole game. I was so nervous and so excited at the same time just to be playing and to have your first game that I don’t even remember how I felt. I know I was excited the whole day leading up to it.”

“I got a pass out of the corner Mike Johnson, I believe – current TSN analyst. I shot a little left on Dan Cloutier, who’s now my landlord.”

Someone, somewhere, is probably putting together a convoluted Photoshop that somehow combines the “Cloutier allowing a beach ball goal” meme with his new job as a landlord. I shudder to think of the possibilities.

Amazingly enough, the Canucks Web site actually has video of that first goal. Here it is in it’s not-quite-vintage glory.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Click here to read more stories of first ever goals for Canucks players, including Ballard, Mikael Samuelsson, Dan Hamhuis and Raffi Torres.

(H/T to Nucks Misconduct.)

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.

Video: Orpik penalized after catching Maatta with late, high hit

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The Pittsburgh Penguins were without defenseman Olli Maatta for most of the first period of Game 2 after he was on the receiving end of a high, late hit from Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik.

The hit occurred early in the first period, well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck on a rush into the Washington zone.

Maatta, who nearly fell over as he tried to stand back up, was in obvious distress as he went to the dressing room. Orpik was given a minor penalty for interference on the play.