Unlikely hero Neil pulls Senators even with Rangers

Chris Neil

Overtime hero Chris Neil (right) celebrates his winner with teammate Nick Foligno, who had sent the game into extra time, Saturday in New York.
Scott Levy, NHLI via Getty Images

Hands up: who had Chris Neil in their overtime pool of those most likely to give the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers on Saturday?

That many, huh?

Well, it was Neil who pulled the trigger at Madison Square Garden, sending the two teams back to Ottawa tied at 1-1 in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Elsewhere Saturday:

• Nicklas Backstrom scored in double OT to give the Washington Capitals a 2-1 win over the hometown Boston Bruins and a 1-1 tie in that series.
• Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak, who left the game after being splattered by teammate Barret Jackman, combined with replacement Brian Elliott to blank the San Jose Sharks 3-0 in a slugfest in St. Louis, that series now 1-1.
• And Bryan Bickell scored midway through the first OT in Phoenix to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 win over the Coyotes, that series now tied 1-1.

By the way: in Burlington, Vt., Team Canada surrendered a 3-1 lead before beating Team USA 5-4 in overtime at the IIHF women’s world championship, this a week to the day after the Americans plastered Canada 9-2.


  1. smiler2729 says:

    Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby, one of them has to go.

    Malkin only gears it up when Sid’s out and has been completely invisible in playoffs.

    Crosby’s got the iffy melon.

    So which do you trade?

    If I’m Columbus, I’m seeing if there’s a Nash for Malkin or Crosby deal to be made.

    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are gutless weasel pukes.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I don’t think either player is responsible for this debacle.

      The team’s confidence has been shaken by not having a goalie. Every game in the series the Pens took the lead only for Fleury to give up a ridiculous softie.

      Today they just lost it completely.

      Bylsma deserves much of the blame.

      Perhaps Crosby the captain does too.

      This is not unreminiscent of the way they lost it against us two years ago, come to think of it.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        It would also be a big help if Jordan Staal could shut down one of the Flyers’ scoring lines as well as Sean Couturier does one of the Pens’ lines.

        “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
        – Sean Bonjovi

    • EricInStL says:

      i asked the same question during the 3rd period. And each player has their + and -, but I would keep Malkin as I think he’ll last longer. I do believe he’ll end up like Marc Savard unfortunately.

      Although I do think that no GM would trade Crosby, so you ask for Malkin or Staal.

  2. SuperHabFan says:

    Philly really isn’t even the dirty team at all. Every fight has a Pen third man in, every cheap shot is done by Pens mainly. And interestingly every scrum Crosby has been in (which was a few) nobody was really trying to punch him in the head. Pens on the other hand blatantly hit Giroux in the head. Loving Philly and the young players in this series, all sticking up for themselves.. Pens are just looking bad in every aspect. They are scoring some goals though…

    • C_Carta says:

      I had to admit, I never did like the Flyers. However, I have respect for the team that looks to sweep the team which was the odds on favourite to win the Cup this year, and sweep them handedly at that. Fleury is terrible. He has more holes than a block of swiss cheese. So many odd man rushes in this series. If Philly goes on, and I honestly believe they will sweep the Pens, they are a scary team. Would LOVE to see them and the Bruins play. At least with the Bruins there is a goalie who will present a challenge to the offensively gifted Flyers.

      Question: What do you think will happen in the off season for the Pens? Any major moves?

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        My called final is winner of Phi/Pitt and winner of Det/Nas. And I stand by it.

        And I can see Pitt pulling all the cheap shot’s they can in game 4.

        Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.

  3. pmaraw says:

    wonder if crosby’s agent is gonna reconsider his job interview with montreal

  4. jedimyrmidon says:

    Wow. Is Fleury that bad? Or is it just that the players in front of him have no intention to play hockey, but rather go after the Flyers all the time. How can such a talented group of players lose their composure to such a great degree? It really is embarrassing for them.

  5. Hobie Hansen says:

    How about this trade?

    Malkin and Fleury to Vancouver for the Sedins and Luongo.

  6. Timo says:

    Wow, that was something. How long did that game last? Man, if it weren’t for Briere, I would almost like the Flyers.

    And both teams need a Halak.

  7. Hobie Hansen says:

    Aaron Asham should be kicked out of hockey. The guy belongs in the ECHL because he is total bush league.
    The Flyers/Pens game was pretty ridiculous but generally clean in my opinion. Nobody was deliberately trying to injure anyone, except Asham, and tempers just boiled over.
    James Neal even let up on the Sean Couturier hit and didn’t target his head when he was defenseless but Asham has no respect for anyone, as we’ve seen multiple times before, and should be suspended for a long time.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The way some of these goons and quasi goons lose it in games, makes you wonder what is in their system that makes them lose it so bad with regularity.

      I haven’t seen the play just have read about it. However, thankfully Don Cherry says there is no steroids in hockey, so at least we know there isn’t Roid Rage going on out there….

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I have no problem with Carkner pounding the crap out of Boyle last night because Boyle picked on Karlsson. Boyle all of a sudden decides not to fight back against Carkner but Asham constantly goes bonkers and tries to injure people.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I was thinking specifically of Asham, recalling back to his fight earlier in year when he did his play sleep gesture, then apologized essentially saying he lost it on the ice.

          I do honestly wonder about some of these players and how they do lose complete control of their facilities. I am not excusing them at all.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I like fighting in hockey but cheap shots and showing zero respect for your opponent is just gutless.

          • boing007 says:

            Cheap shots are more than gutless, they are dangerous.

            Richard R
            Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  8. Duracell3 says:

    Tell me again how he doesn’t leave his feet.


    Which is why he got a charging penalty on the ice. Not so tough to figure out.

    That said, I don’t think he will have any real suspension for just charging, obvious interference (notice how you generally don’t hit someone as your own player is dumping the puck), and possibly kneeing . His principle point of contact isn’t the head, and the league doesn’t really care about anything else. He is also James Neal, and a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, I would be very surprised if anything at all happened.

    • pmaraw says:

      hard to tell in that pic, its after contact and theres a guy in the way

    • Phil C says:

      When is saw the replay, I thought Neal was turning to track the puck, then Couturier turned directly into Neal at the same time. I think Neal jumped to protect himself, not to crush Couturier. I don’t think it was on purpose because it happened so fast. There is no way Neal could have known Couturier would turn into him.

      But Neal definitely went after Giroux’s head.

      • Duracell3 says:

        I agree on the hit, the whole reason he is over there with Malkin and Kunitz is because he’s coming in with speed and looks like he is going to track down the puck after the dump in against a bunch of players standing still, it looks like he sees Couturier coming and puts his arms up to shield and jumps.

  9. twilighthours says:

    The view from here:

    1) The game got a bit stupid. That’s playoff hockey though. I don’t have a particular issue with any of it (even though there were some cheap hits) except for asham on schenn. However, if schenn is going to rag doll sidney then he is going to get his, too.

    2) 2 weeks ago, I thought it impossible for the flyers to beat pitts. Now it looks like Pitt should be relegated to the Swiss league. Flyers are so much better than penguins

    3) bryzgalov sucks, but fleury is horrendous. Egregious. Heinous. Horrific. If the Pens even get average goaltending, they might be in this

    4) but probably not, as the flyers forwards are toying with the pitt D.

    5) I have a man-crush on bylsma, but he is being schooled by laviolette.

    Total domination. Shocking.

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Doesn’t sound like I missed anything in the Philly / Pitt game….

    So if Pittsburgh gets swept what happens in Pittsburgh this summer? There is a contract for a certain number 87 which if they don’t sign in the offseason will probably become a big distraction heading into the next season, just sayin’ is all.

  11. HardHabits says:

    2 minutes for unmanly like conduct.

  12. Mattyleg says:

    Hey, you know what I’ve noticed, reading the HI/O posts during these playoffs?

    Every team is bad. Every one. Or, at least, has terrible elements.

    Which leads me to a conclusion: Hockey is played by humans, who are unreliable, fallible, and prone to the same foibles and shortcomings as other humans. The fact that we have humans on our hockey team means that we won’t win as many games as many people would like, or always play to our potential, but as the analyis on here of on the teams currently in the playoffs proves… neither do they.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    This is Pierre McGuire – the man some of you want as a GM:

    “he’s pulling his hair. He’s pulling his hair.”

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  14. L Elle says:

    Maybe Bryz should do The Pose, then all hell would break loose. haha

  15. Toe Blake says:

    Sidddddddddddddddddddddd’s out and he looks maddddddddddd!!!

    • punkster says:

      I’m enjoying the brotherly love expressed by the fans there.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • habs11s says:

      The zebras need to let crosby actually fight someone, so he can get his clock cleaned and stop his ‘tough guy’ act…


      “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

      • Toe Blake says:

        Yep. Time to get his head rattled real good for one last time.

        • hablifting says:

          Lets advocate injuring the best player in hockey. Cool! Must be nice to be an armchair tough guy. Any of us was on the ice for this game and we’d be shivering in the corner somewhere hoping nobody would notice us.

          • Toe Blake says:

            Best player? Been pretty invisible thus far. Re toughness: I have never given an opposing player a “ball shot” from behind at any level of play. Not so with Sid.

          • L Elle says:

            Crosby embarrassed himself with his antics, as usual, and Fleury was Swiss cheese. I don’t feel sorry for them.

            Bylsma was outcoached as well.

            RDS is in mourning, they all picked Pens. Maybe they’ll win 4 straight? Not

          • habs11s says:

            Not advocating anything just tired of seeing the ‘tough guy’ when the refs are there…


            “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

      • twilighthours says:

        He’s been in 6 fights in his career.

  16. twilighthours says:

    Pittsburg is so so bad. 20 GA in 3 games.

  17. pmaraw says:

    I want to see a Boston Philly series.

  18. L Elle says:

    I’m having flashbacks to Habs/Nordiques games.

    Philly is looking like a team that will go all the way.

    No Pronger, Richards or Carter. Pretty impressive.

  19. Toe Blake says:

    Put a fork in the Pens. They are done like dinner. Don’t risk it Sid! Rest your weary head!

  20. habs11s says:

    Adams for a game for being the third man in?

  21. Adidess says:

    This doesn’t look primitive to anyone?

  22. Stev.R says:

    PIT is acting drisgraceful. Crosby and Adams need suspensions for this BS

  23. hablifting says:

    Oh wow he’s back. Another faker.

  24. HabFab says:

    Bulldogs win their last game of the season 3-2. Finish with 75 points in 76 games.

  25. EricInStL says:

    I know this will sound bad, but Phily has all the rights to go after Crosby from now on.

    Neal should get at least 1 game, but I doubt it.

    All the dirty play will be taken care of in game 4

  26. hablifting says:

    Couturier with his head up his ass and takes a shoulder to the chest. This is not peewee. Keep your head up.

  27. twilighthours says:

    Craig berube should return to the circus from which he escaped.

  28. EricInStL says:

    Neal will answer the bell pretty soon

  29. Mark C says:

    Dirty, dirty, dirty hit. Man, both these teams are a joke.

  30. hablifting says:

    Night Night Sean. Best to not bite off more then you can chew.

  31. habs11s says:

    The respect in this game is just embarrassing…..

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • hablifting says:

      What does respect have to do with a clean hit?

      • habs11s says:

        Dirty hit on an unsuspecting player which seemed a bit high… and then the dirty play continues, I’m all for ‘old-time’ hockey but this is just embarrassing


        “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  32. Toe Blake says:

    I think Sid will have a meltdown before this game is over.

  33. twilighthours says:

    19 GA in 3 games. Pittsburg is awful. They have no business even playing in these games. This is so frustrating to watch.

  34. naweed235 says:

    is there any team that has a better depth on forwards than the Flyers?
    I mean: Van Rimsdyk, Giroux, Simmonds, Vorascek, Couturier,Schenn, Read, Jagr, Hartnell, Briere… most if not all of these guys are potential 1st liners…. that’s just scary… They’ll be good for many many years to come…

  35. EricInStL says:

    What would it take for Pitt to trade Staal ?

    Pitt need a defensive D man. So maybe Josh Gorges + next years #1 ?

  36. habsfan0 says:

    I think Bylsma should pull Johnson and put Fleury back in.

    At the very least, that’ll really confuse the Flyers.

  37. otter649 says:

    Budai or Johnson….

  38. hablifting says:


    Rangers in 4.

  39. Mr. Biter says:

    Having seen only highlights (gotta be brutal old time hockey with Hudson Bay Rules thrown in) this is why we must have a 4th line of Staubitz, White and Moen/ Bluden and a large aggressive defenseman for next year when we are back in the playoffs.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • TomNickle says:

      Having seen all three games in their entirety it would be quite easy to make the argument that had either of the Pens or Flyers chose to ignore the thuggery they would be dominating.

      The Flyers have done a great job of retaliating without crossing the line, the Penguins have lost control of themselves.

  40. Cal says:

    The “Worst Goalie Award for the 2012 NHL Playoffs” thus far is Fleury. He is closely followed by Bryzgalov.
    As the Scottish newspaper vendor used to shout no matter the Headline of the day: “Terrible, horrible!”

  41. Mavid says:

    when I think of the Neil goal last night..one thing comes to mind..even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then..so it will take the Rangers 5 instead of 4..

    The flyers fans have to be the biggest morons on earth…why can the pens not win a game…

    • hablifting says:

      Flyers are very lucky to not be down 2 games already. The Pens have folded somewhat in the face of all the adversity. Fleury has not been great, were he even half of his usual self, this is a blowout for the pens and a very shortly a sweep.

      Funny how that bad offside call pretty much started this whole thing. They dont score that goal, who knows.

      • The Jackal says:

        I’m not so sure, Philly has always been able to score like that and they’ve pulled a few upsets and comebacks recently, and Bryz is not as bad as he is made out to be. All he needs to do is stop more than the other goalie, Philly is capable of outscoring their opponents.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      “why can the pens not win a game…”

      Right now… Marc Andre Fleury.

      Can’t say he’s not getting goal support.

      “I got a feeling, a feeling deep inside” – Lennon/McCartney

      I’ve got a feeling

  42. twilighthours says:

    It’s hard to defend fleury’s play. He has been awful.

    • The Jackal says:

      Fleury isn’t that great, and he likes to chirp the Habs whenever we play Pittsburgh, such as when he made the same pose CP did after a win, and some other comments. He’s a connard 😉

  43. Stev.R says:

    Is it pronounced Dew-pwee, or Dupe-wee?

  44. hablifting says:

    Heh Flyers cannot miss right now. Wow.

  45. neumann103 says:

    Man that building got quiet in a hurry. Sounded like the mute button was pressed on the Staal goal.

    BTW the Staal line has been really good. From the “glass is half full” school

    “Et le but!”

  46. Mark C says:

    After watching these two, do people still think Price isn’t a great goalie?

  47. hablifting says:

    Bryzgalov the worse of the two goalies. No question. Fleury having a bad series, Bryzgalov is pretty much always this bad.

  48. ZepFan2 says:

    Hardly any scoring in the Boston – Washington series. Eight goals already in this game…in the second period alone. Unreal!

    Edit: make that nine.

    “I got a feeling, a feeling deep inside” – Lennon/McCartney

    I’ve got a feeling

  49. hablifting says:

    Wow. Never seen so many fluke bounces in my life. Unreal. Rangers in 4.

  50. habsfan0 says:

    Why doesn’t Bylsma pull Fleury?

  51. ZepFan2 says:

    I love Cole and know he was a great signing over the season. But I’m starting to wonder if he really was the best signing last year after watching James Neal. I know it’s not fair to compare, considering Cole’s not in the playoffs. But even in the regular season he had 40 goals. Wow!

    “I got a feeling, a feeling deep inside” – Lennon/McCartney

    I’ve got a feeling

  52. hablifting says:

    Philly goaltending is bad.

  53. hablifting says:

    Personally I’m not that impressed with Philly so far in this series. A metric TON of lucky bounces, some very shaky goaltending have covered for what has been a slow starting team with stinky defence of its own and some awful goaltending.

    Rangers will smash this team if Philly makes it that far.

  54. Malreg says:

    Boy could the Pens ever use a defenseman like Gorges…

    Their D is absolutely terrible.

    • TheMock780 says:

      Their D has never recovered from letting Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill leave after they won the cup. A whole bunch of puck movers, no shutdown guys

  55. JoeC says:

    And we have a bad coach Fleury is still in then net ???

  56. joeybarrie says:

    I also thought the Pens were the team to beat. They look worse than when we played them. Scared to touch the puck. No one getting back. And Fleury crapping the bed.
    No big knocks on MAF though, happens to every goalie. He is still pretty good. But its on Bylsma, he should have pulled him. Or started Johnson.

  57. mrhabby says:

    Luongo out tonight.

  58. mrhabby says:

    Every series is bitter…thug hockey rules.

  59. kempie says:

    Okay so, Asham is a huge Massengill Canoe, Crosby is still a dink, Neal is a beast and MAF is just terrible. And I thought this was the team to beat. Wow.

  60. TheMock780 says:

    I love how all of my friends out west here who are complaining about the hockey we’re seeing here between the Flyers and the Pens and how it’s awful are the same people who were high fiving and cheering while the Boston Bruins were dragging the game of hockey back to the stone age last year.

    The garbage acts we’ve seen today are a direct result of the NHL letting the Bruins run wild on other teams last season. I hope the NHL head office likes all the ridiculous injuries we’re going to see in these playoffs cause it’ll be their fault

    • mrhabby says:

      Bruins took it upon themselves to adopt there current style as the nhl could not police the league…

    • hablifting says:

      Huge fan of the hockey I’m watching. Sorry to hear you don’t like it.

      Asham will get some games and deserves it, however I’m not going to toss it all out because of a couple of incidents.

    • The Jackal says:

      It’s a joke all Weber got was a fine… that’s nothing to these millionaires, he should have been suspended. And that hit on Alfredsson last night, WTF? Tough hockey is great, but thug hockey is BS and is a result of the NHL having no balls to suspend players.

  61. mrhabby says:

    Damn 1st period over.

  62. FanCritic says:

    You’re knocking Crosby again, but I bet you would like him on the Habs… who’s fleury? he won a cup with a good team same as Niemi with the Blackhawks. Niemi won’t win with the Sharks…

  63. HabFanSince72 says:

    The replay shows Asham barely hit Schenn.

    And sure enough he’s back.

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • pmaraw says:

      schenn doing the ole’ mike ribeiro on the ice eh? i paused the game and rewound it to see it in slomo, and sure enough at 1/15th the speed the angle i got had one of those bars between the glass covering asham the whole play lol. I did see the one after the commercial from the other angle and it looked like a good head fake.

  64. habs11s says:

    so when does Cooke take someone out, second or third period?


    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  65. Habsolutely says:

    They need to get Fleury out of there, he is just garbage.

  66. pmaraw says:

    omg this is still the 1st period?

  67. BJ says:

    Fleury is useless. Make a change

  68. EricInStL says:

    Calling Mr Johnson….Mr Johnson

  69. HabFanSince72 says:

    Bylsma is really screwing up. Should have pulled Fleury after the first goal. This is what has the Pens spinning out of control.

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  70. showey47 says:

    lol,wow is fleury ever a sieve.

  71. gmd says:

    Fleury should have just stayed at the hotel and had brunch.

  72. otter649 says:

    Nice goal by Neal but a better play was when he ran the Flyer goalie & faked being hurt but seems pretty well now…….lol

  73. TheMock780 says:

    People like to call Philly a classless, dirty organization? (granted most of the time that is true and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up). But the national media needs to take off their Pittsburgh coloured glasses. The arrogance of that franchise has led to this gong-show of a game. Aaron Asham is a disgrace

  74. EricInStL says:

    Wow, thuggary does work……hahaha

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