Monday, May 7, 2018

Today the Penguins fight

PPG Paints Arena / MF
By: MF, 




PPG Paints Arena / MF
Well, here we sit, facing elimination. The Pittsburgh Penguins are not new to this type of situation. They have seen a few times before and all the numbers that I have looked at are in the Penguins favor. However, this is the playoffs and stats aren't something to stake your claim on.

More good news to add to the Penguins side is that Nicklas Backstrom will be out of the lineup for the Capitals due to an upper-body injury he sustained in Game Five.

The Penguins will have to come out and play their best hockey. This is a do or die situation and Pittsburgh isn't a city that gives up. The Penguins have had a wonderful two seasons, but that doesn't mean that things end here. No. Not today. Today the Penguins fight! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Forwards
Guentzel - Crosby - Simon
Hagelin - Malkin - Hornqvist
Rust - Sheahan - Kessel
Kuhnhackl - Brassard - Sheary

Defense
Dumoulin - Letang
Oleksiak - Schultz
Maatta -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
Pens 1 Capitals 2 OT

Overtime
The Capitals win the game and take the series 4-2. I am beyond proud of this team and we all have been spoiled for the past two years. Next year we go on the hunt for another Stanley Cup and build the dream again. Thank you for a great season Pens.

14:33 - Kuznetsov scores. A bad pinch by the Pens leads the Capitals down the ice on a rush. Kuznetsov beats Murray. 2-1 Capitals

15:33 - Murray denies Oshie after the Pens had a bad line change.

17:06 - Kuhnhackl fires one off the goal post.

17:41 - Sheahan starts this overtime with some great energy. On a personal note, I am freaking out. 

20:00 - Time for some overtime hockey! The Pens need to pressure early and hard. It's do or die. Lets Go Pens!


3rd Period
0:00 - With things still tied 1-1, this game is headed to overtime.

0:05 - Murray with a huge save at the end. Sorry, I haven't been typing much. This is a stressful game. 

2:20 - Finally some offensive pressure by the Pens. Nothing comes of it, but good pressure.

3:19 - Not a whole bunch to update on. Both teams are playing very defensively, not much offensive pressure.

8:32 - Murray has been outstanding since allowing that first goal. Just great goaltending.

12:50 - Capitals have a two-on-one chance, but Letang gets back to break things up.

14:09 - Pretty much non-stop hockey right now. Things are tight.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! Now is the time to ramp things up Pens. Lets Go Pens!


2nd Period
0:00 - The second-period horn sounds and this game is tied 1-1.

0:04 - Malkin spins around and gets the puck to the front of the net. Schultz gets a shot off and Holtby just gets a shoulder to deny him.

1:36 - Evgeny Kuznetsov stick handles at the side of the net, but doesn't get one past Murray.

3:14 - More line changes for the Pens.

5:26 - A great chance for the Pens in front, but the puck just goes over the net.

8:08 - LETANG SCORES! A set faceoff in the offensive zone. They win and get the puck back to Letang at the point. He fires a rocket that goes off the stick of Chandler Stephenson past Holtby. 1-1 tie game.

8:14 - Sullivan has decided to change up the lines and see if that gives the team energy.

10:29 - Oleksiak's stick breaks at the blue line and gives the Capitals a four-on-two chance. Murry makes the save and dives out for the rebound.

12:24 - The Pens are a team that needs a spark and soon. Who will do it for them?

13:47 - Murray denies Jakub Vrana with a pad save.

17:01 - Not a good goal to allow by Murray. Soft.

17:47 - Alex Chiasson scores. Nathan Walker comes flying around the back of the net and outlets a pass to Chiasson. He shoots one short side and beats Murray. 1-0 Capitals

19:11 - Schultz's shot is turned away by the pad of Holtby. The Capitals clear the rebound.

20:00 - It's time for the second period! The Pens have to come out with energy and put the pressure on Holtby. Lets Go Pens!


1st Period
0:00 - The first period comes to an end. 0-0.

2:08 - Hornqvist with a chance in front. The Pens showing some energy.

3:55 - Solid shift for the third line of the Pens.

5:11 - The Pens have looked flat in this period. They more energy as a whole.

6:35 - That does it for the power play.

8:35 - Now the Pens get a chance on the power play. Michal Kempny will head to the box for tripping.

9:33 -  I have thought this for a few games now. Not sure I understand the reason for Simon on the top line. Doesn't seem to be working.

12:08 - Hornqvist just had a great shift. He was working hard to get the puck and disrupt the Capitals in their own zone.

13:49 - That is a successful penalty kill.

14:45 - In the slot, T.J. Oshie fires high-glove and ends up hitting the goal post.

15:49 - Not a good penalty to take. Maatta is called for high-sticking. This is a critical penalty kill.

18:11 - Sheahan forces a turnover at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone. He gets the puck to Kessel who is all alone in front of the net. Holtby poke checks him and is able to cover for a whistle.

18:55 - Malkin fires a shot wide.

20:00 - Game Six is officially underway! Don't let things end here Pens! Go get the win! Lets Go Pens!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The series lead is up for grabs

By: MF, 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in Washington to take on the Capitals and gain a 3-2 series lead.

Nothing to update you on for Game Five. The Penguins need to get the job done.

The Penguins have to come out ready to play and need to put the pressure on from the start. They cannot afford to have a slow start in this one. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Forwards
Guentzel - Crosby - Simon
Hagelin - Malkin - Hornqvist
Rust - Sheahan - Kessel
Kuhnhackl - Brassard - Sheary

Defense
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
Pens 3 Capitals 6

3rd Period
0:00 - The Capitals take Game Five 6-3 and the 3-2 series lead. The Pens have to win the next two. Everything is on the line now.

0:05 - Lars Eller scores an empty-netter. Eller gets the puck and goes up the ice. He easily puts it in the open net. 6-3 Capitals

1:31 - T.J. Oshie scores an empty-netter. Kessel gives up the puck at the blue line and Oshie puts it in the empty net. 5-3 Capitals

1:46 - Empty net for the Pens.

4:38 - Jakub Vrana scores. Ovechkin has speed down the wing and makes a backward pass to Vrana. Vrana is left open to put in the loose puck. 4-3 Capitals

4:45 - Holtby robs Dumoulin.

8:30 - Nicklas Backstrom is missing from the Capitals bench. Also, Simon blocks a shot with his hand and he is in some discomfort on the bench.

9:42 - Murray shoulders away a high puck.

14:09 - More whistles in this period unlike the first two.

16:44 - Chances for both teams. The story of this game.

19:08 - Evgeny Kuznetsov scores. A terrible line change for the Pens as Kuznetsov gets a breakaway. Kuznetsov beats Murray five-hole. 3-3 tie game.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens have to keep up the pressure and play smart. Finish this game with a win. Lets Go Pens!


2nd Period
0:00 - The second-period horn sounds and the Pens now have the 3-2 lead.

0:38 - A successful penalty kill for the Pens. Hagelin is having a great game.

1:21 - 43-second power play now for the Capitals.

2:38 - So much for that power play. Crosby now goes to the box for hooking. Four-on-four hockey for 1:17.

3:21 - Smith-Pelly will head back to the box for tripping. A huge power play chance for the Pens.

5:29 - Holtby has been big for the Capitals. He has kept them in this one.

8:38 - The Pens need to remain focused. No time to sit back.

12:15 - HORNQVIST SCORES! Kessel finds Hornqvist in front, who directs the puck on net. Holtby makes the first save, but the puck is loose in the blue paint. Malkin hammers at the loose puck and Hornqvist joins in. He puts the loose puck into the net. 3-2 Pens

13:03 - Now the Pens get a power play chance. Devante Smith-Pelly is called for tripping.

13:05 - Up and down hockey. The Capitals get a scoring chance and the Pens end up with two. Holtby stands strong.

13:50 - The Pens seemed to be called for too many men on the ice. The referees get together to discuss and there will be no penalty. The video shows that it wasn't a penalty.

15:17 - CROSBY SCORES! Kessel snaps a shot from the half circle and the puck deflects off Crosby's hand past Holtby. 2-2 tie game.

15:36 - Hagelin is denied by Holtby right in front. Ovechkin takes a slashing penalty as he ends up breaking Malkin's stick in the process. A power play chance for the Pens.

18:01 - Power play time expires.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens have almost a full power play to start this period, minus 1.2 seconds. Get one here and push forward! Lets Go Pens!


1st Period
0:00 - The first period comes to an end and the Capitals have the 2-1 lead.

0:01 - A very late penalty. Ovechkin is called for slashing. Pens get a power play chance.

1:05 - Brett Connolly scores. The Pens lose the battle on the boards and Connolly fires a shot through the five-hole of Murray. Bad goal to give up there. 2-1 Capitals

1:38 - John Carlson scores on the power play. Carlson fires a high-glove side shot from the point and beats Murray. 1-1 tie game.

2:49 - Simon takes a tripping penalty and the Pens bring out their penalty killers. Not a good penalty to take.

3:38 - Very fast paced game. Holtby has stepped up for the Capitals. Murray has also been outstanding.

7:56 - A successful penalty kill. The Pens held the Capitals to a single shot on that one. Kuhnhackl even had a great shorthanded scoring chance.

9:56 - Now the Pens will have to kill off a penalty. Ruhwedel is called for hooking.

10:45 - Penalty time is up. That power play looked good. Both units.

12:45 - Power play time for the Pens as Matt Niskanen is ticketed for holding.

16:23 - The Capitals come back with pressure, but Murray shuts them down.

17:37 - OLEKSIAK SCORES! Oleksiak has traffic in front of Holtby and fires a hard shot from the blue line. His shot blows past the blocker side of Holtby. 1-0 Pens

18:11 - Sheahan is robbed by Braden Holtby in front. The puck was loose, but the Pens were unable to get a stick on it.

18:52 - Murray denies a wide-open Alex Ovechkin. Great save!

20:00 - The puck has dropped for Game Five! The Pens need to come out with energy and speed. Lets Go Pens!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Time to tie things up

By: MF, 

Tonight's an important game for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they look to tie this series 2-2 in Game Four.

The Penguins suffered some setbacks in Game Three, which included Zach Aston-Reese receiving a hard hit to the head courtesy of Tom Wilson. It resulted in Aston-Reese being diagnosed with a concussion and broken jaw. It was another blow to the Penguins, especially after Wilson had laid a similar head hit on Brian Dumoulin in Game Two. However, this time the league took action and suspended Wilson for three games.

This is a great chance for the Penguins to come back and win this series in three games. The Washington Capitals have really relied on Wilson throughout this series, so it's a big blow for them.

Some more good news for the Penguins is that Carl Hagelin will be back in the lineup tonight. His speed will help to push the Capitals back in their zone. He is a critical piece of the team's offense.

The Penguins have to use the crowd's energy and their speed to put the Capitals on their heels. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Forwards
Guentzel - Crosby - Hornqvist
Simon - Malkin - Rust
Hagelin - Sheahan - Kessel
Kuhnhackl - Brassard - Sheary

Defense
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
PENS 3 Capitals 1

3rd Period
0:00 - THE PENS TAKE GAME FOUR WITH A 3-1 WIN! Now the series is tied up 2-2 as the series shifts back to Washington! Great goaltending by Murray once again!

0:56 - Meanwhile, Oshie leaves his feet to make a hit on Letang. Letang has words with Oshie and the two end up dropping the gloves.

0:56 - GUETNZEL SCORES AN EMPTY NETTER/POWER PLAY GOAL! Crosby gets the puck and stops up to fake out Ovechkin. He gets loose and puts a pass up to Guentzel, who puts it in the empty net. 3-1 Pens

1:11 - Capitals are caught with too many men on the ice. Power play for the Pens.

1:20 - Empty net for the Capitals.

3:53 - Not stop play for quite a few minutes. Up and down hockey. Crosby finds Guentzel driving to the net. Holtby robs him in front.

6:12 - The Capitals are bringing it as the clock whines down. The Pens need to push back. They cannot afford to sit back.

10:01 - Hornqvist is hit on the play and goes down the ice. He does get back up and takes a puck away from a Capital.

15:22 - Crosby feeds the puck out to Guentzel, who is stationed in front of the net. Holtby makes the stop and everyone crashes the net for the loose puck. Holtby ends up covering it up for a whistle.

20:00 - Time for the third period! The Pens cannot let up on the Capitals. Finish this one with a win. Lets Go Pens!


2nd Period
0:00 - The second-period horn sounds and the Pens end the period leading 2-1.

2:29 - MALKIN SCORES! A mad scramble ensues in front of the net as the puck bounces off the goal post and sits on the goal line. Holtby is down on his stomach and tries to reach back. Malkin dives out and pokes at the loose puck. The referees review to see if it crossed the line. They rule it a goal. In addition, the Capitals challenge for goalie interference. It's officially ruled a good goal! 2-1 Pens

3:43 - Now the Pens are on the power play for 1:53.

3:50 - Seven seconds of four-on-four as Oshie is called for interference.

5:43 - Another Guentzel penalty. This time he will take a seat for slashing. Ovechkin and Letang end up exchanging words and Ovechkin gets away with a punch to Letang's face.

7:05 - T.J. Oshie scores on the power play. Nicklas Backstrom gets a pass through to Oshie in the slot area. Oshie beats Murray high-glove side. 1-1 tie game.

8:09 - Critical penalty kill for the Pens as Guentzel is called for tripping.

10:39 - GUENTZEL SCORES! Crosby slides a backhanded pass over to Simon in the slot area. His shot bounces off the leg of Matt Niskanen and Guentzel picks up the loose puck. He elevates the puck over Holtby. 1-0 Pens

11:32 - Sheary with a terrible turnover. He made a blind pass up the center of the ice in his own zone. Murray bails him out.

14:30 - Power play time expires for the Pens.

14:50 - Two-on-one chance for the Capitals shorthanded. Jay Beagle's shot goes high and wide. FYI: My internet went out right when the Pens went on the penalty kill, so I missed some stuff that happened in between. Both teams had amazing scoring chances is what I have gathered. 

16:30 - Power play time for the Pens. Chandler Stephenson is called for slashing.

17:23 - The penalty killing effort is successful.

19:23 - Murray makes a save on a point shot that hits him around the collarbone area. He goes down in pain and the trainer comes out to talk to him. Murray stays on the ice. Also, Malkin gets a slashing penalty and the Capitals head onto the power play.

20:00 - We are back for the second period! The Pens just need to put traffic in front of Holtby and keep at it. Lets Go Pens!


1st Period
0:00 - The first period comes to an end and things are 0-0.

2:10 - Holtby has stepped up for the Capitals. The Pens need to get more traffic in front and create rebound chances.

5:13 - Kessel fires a shot high over the net. Some good offensive pressure by the third and fourth lines of the Pens.

7:20 - Murray is locked into this game. Capitals haven't had a lot of shots, but when they do get a shot on net, it's a quality scoring chance.

11:21 - Schultz blocks a shot and is in some discomfort as he heads to the bench. He stays on the bench though.

12:36 - A really good start for the Pens. Crosby carries the puck up ice and a two-on-one chance develops, but he is unable to get a shot off.

15:11 - Murray with a great save on a deflected shot and he covers up the loose puck.

16:50 - That does it for the power play. Hornqvist had a great chance to put home a rebound, but Holtby denies him.

18:50 - Solid early pressure by the Pens leads to the first power play chance of the game. John Carlson is called for hooking.

20:00 - The puck has dropped in Pittsburgh! The Pens need to use the crowd's energy and their speed to pressure the Capitals early. Lets Go Pens!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Number 71 is back in Pittsburgh

PPG Paints Arena / MF
By: MF, 

The series has shifted to Pittsburgh with things tied 1-1 between the Penguins and Washington Capitals.

There is some great news, which could turn the tide in the Penguins favor. Brian Dumoulin is set to go for tonight after taking a shoulder to the head in Game Two from Tom Wilson. He was out for the rest of Game Two, but it ready to go for tonight's game. He is a huge piece of the Penguins defense.

In addition, the big man, number 71 is back in the lineup after missing the first two games of this series. Evgeni Malkin brings so much to the Penguins lineup and will allow them to utilize different looks and weapons. It will also make the Capitals have to decide on who their top defensive pairing unit should play against. Malkin or Crosby. Either way, someone is left open.

Tonight, the Penguins have to get a better start and put the pressure on the Capitals. Their starts have left a lot to be desired and that has to change. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Forwards
Guentzel - Crosby - Hornqvist
Simon - Malkin - Rust
Aston-Reese - Sheahan - Kessel
Kuhnhackl - Brassard - Sheary

Defense
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
Pens 3 Capitals 4

3rd Period
0:00 - That does it. The Capitals get the 4-3 and take a 2-1 series lead.

0:40 - Pens empty their net for an extra attacker.

1:07 - Ovechkin scores. Maatta turns over the puck at the far blue line, which leads the Capitals down the ice on a rush. Ovechkin's first shot goes off the post, but he bats in the rebound. 4-3 Capitals

1:34 - Some solid pressure by the Pens.

4:37 - Odd man rush for the Capitals after a bad pinch in by Letang. Murray comes up big. Things are getting tighter out there.

6:05 - Great work by Ruhwedel to break up a two-on-one chance for the Capitals. An awesome shift for him.

9:51 - Dumoulin puts a shot wide. That would have blown the roof off this place.

14:54 - Niskanen scores. Niskanen has a clear shot from the point to the goal. Murray gets a piece of the shot with his glove, but not all of it. 3-3 tie game.

17:14 - Malkin fires a shot off the goal post!

19:02 - The penalty kill is good for the Pens.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens need to kill off this 58-second Capitals power play and get back to pressuring the Capitals. Lets Go Pens!


2nd Period
0:00 - The horn sounds to end the second period and the Pens hold the 3-2 lead.

1:02 - Too many men on the ice for the Pens and the Capitals get a power play chance. A critical penalty kill.

2:05 - Four-on-four play comes to an end.

3:33 - CROSBY SCORES! Crosby lets go of a bullet pass over to Guentzel who stickhandles this way around Dmitry Orlov to the front of the net. He makes a pass over to Crosby, right in his wheelhouse. Crosby's rocket shot blows past an outstretched Holtby. 3-2 Pens

4:05 - Four-on-four hockey time as Michal Kempny sits for hooking and Kuhnhackl for holding the stick.

4:45 - That does it for the power play. Malkin had a great chance, but Matt Niskanen ended up batting away the puck before it could cross the line.

6:45 - Tempers flare on the ice. Ovechkin, Wilson, and Oleksiak all head to the box. Ovechkin and Oleksiak get cross-checking minors. Wilson gets unsportsmanlike conduct. As a result, the Pens head onto the power play.

8:56 - Chandler Stephenson scores. A bad turnover by Oleksiak that leads to a Stephenson getting the puck in front. He beats Murray. 2-2 tie game.

10:09 - Tom Wilson takes out Aston-Reese and leaves his feet in the process. Looks like the head was the main contact point. Aston-Reese goes right to the locker room and is bleeding. No call.

13:11 - HORNQVIST SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Malkin walks down low to the side of the net. Malkin backhands the puck over to Hornqvist who puts it over Holtby. 2-1 Pens

14:24 - Power play time for the Pens. Brooks Orpik heads to the box for hooking.

15:26 - GUENTZEL SCORES! Schultz with great stick handling work to keep the puck along the blue line. He fires a point shot that is tipped in front by Guentzel and goes under the glove of Holtby. 1-1 tie game.

16:01 - Sheary hits the side of the net with his shot.

19:12 - John Carlson scores on the power play. Carlson fires a hard shot from the point that goes off the stick of Rust and past the blocker shoulder of Murray. 1-0 Capitals

20:00 - The second period is underway! The Pens have to kill off a Capitals power play for 50 seconds to start. Get the kill and move on. Lets Go Pens!


1st Period
0:00 - The first period comes to an end and things are 0-0.

1:10 - Dang it! Penalty troubles will come back to haunt the Pens. Malkin takes a tripping penalty and the Capitals head right back onto the power play.

1:30 - Another solid penalty kill for the Pens. They held the Capitals to zero shots.

3:30 - A terrible penalty for Letang to take. He takes a seat for interference and the Capitals get a power play.

3:32 - Letang's stick breaks at the blue line and that gives Ovechkin a breakaway chance. Ruhwedel skates his heart out to get back and disrupt Ovechkin. Murray also helps with a poke check and kicks the loose puck out of the way.

4:56 - Wow! The Pens get really lucky. Lars Eller fires a hard shot from the wing that Murray gets a piece of it, but it trickles through the blue paint and just past the goal post. Way too close.

5:45 - Holtby has kept the Pens at bay, so far this period.

8:57 - Hornqvist gets the puck while driving down the center of the ice. His shot just goes wide!

10:13 - Power play time expires. Holtby with two big saves at the end of that Pens' power play chance.

11:04 - The power play looks much better. Having Malkin as a weapon on it makes a big difference.

12:13 - Back on the power play for the Pens. T.J. Oshie will head to the box for holding.

13:21 - That does it for that power play. The Pens did a great job on the penalty kill. Murray came up big and Rust did a fantastic job of blocking shots.

14:04 - Capitals will now have a power play for about 42 seconds.

15:21 - Now four-on-four will be played as Hornqvist is called for tripping. A much better-looking power play for the Pens. They weren't afraid to shoot the puck.

16:04 - The first power play of the game goes to the Pens as Brett Connolly sits for tripping.

16:23 - Shots are 2-0 in favor of the Pens.

20:00 - Game time! The Pens need to utilize the energy of the crowd and take things to the Capitals. Get things started right! Lets Go Pens!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

No Malkin, no problem? - Part Two

PPG Paints Arena / MF (good luck now, no?)
By: MF, 

Welcome back to Game Two between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals! The Penguins took Game One, 3-2 and lead the series 1-0.

This will be a big game for both teams. The Capitals are looking to bounce back in this one, while the Penguins are wanting to keep their foot on the gas pedal.

Nothing will change for the Penguins in this game. They will still be without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin.

The Penguins have to stay focused, play smart, and keep on the pressure. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Forwards
Guentzel - Crosby - Hornqvist
Simon - Sheahan - Kessel
Sheary - Brassard - Rust
Aston-Reese - Rowney - Kuhnhackl

Defense
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
Pens 1 Capitals 4

3rd Period
0:00 - That does it for this game. The Capitals get the 4-1 win and tie the series 1-1. We are headed back to Pittsburgh now.

0:06 - Nicklas Backstrom scores an empty-netter. He fires into the empty net. 4-1 Capitals

1:19 - The Pens empty their net once again.

1:41 - Power play time expires for the Pens.

1:43 - Hornqvist and Smith-Pelly get tangled up in front of the net. They both head to the box.

2:44 - Empty net for the Pens.

3:12 - Power play time for the Pens for 1:31.

3:41 - 29 seconds of four-on-four hockey. Kuznetsov to the box for slashing.

5:12 - Another penalty to the Pens. This time Brassard. Penalty killing time. On a side note, the officiating has been terrible. Inconsistency strikes once again.

6:23 - Solid penalty kill for the Pens.

8:23 - Capitals getting a power play. Letang to the box.

8:47 - Murray robs Chandler Stephenson on a breakaway chance.

10:57 - Crosby goes for the wrap around, but it doesn't quite get there. Hornqvist helps it the rest of the way. Holtby puts his skate at the pole to try and keep the puck out. The referees take a long look and call it a no goal. Terrible call once again by the NHL. Even the NBC announcers show a picture to show that it was a goal. Come on.

12:22 - The power play time expires.

14:22 - T.J. Oshie is ticketed with interference. A power play chance for the Pens.

15:57 - Crosby's shot goes up into the netting. Decent start for the Pens.

19:59 - No Dumoulin.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens need to keep up the pressure. Lets Go Pens!


2nd Period
0:00 - That does it for the second period. 3-1 Capitals.

3:44 - Devante Smith-Pelly gets a step on Ruhwedel and goes right to the front of the net. He loses his edge on the play and ends up running into Murray.

5:54 - Crosby missed a chance on a wide open net. The puck just jumped off his stick!

6:56 - LETANG SCORES! Letang fires a hard shot from the point with traffic in front. His shot blows past Holtby. 3-1 Capitals

8:46 - Hornqvist and Dmitry Orlov exchange some blows. Both get roughing minors. Four-on-four hockey time.

9:02 - Guentzel is absolutely robbed by Holtby.

15:04 - Now Guentzel is holding his left arm close to him. He goes to the bench in some discomfort.

15:34 - Dumoulin goes down hard onto the ice and the trainer comes out to him. He skates to the bench and goes to the locker room. Tom Wilson came up behind and put his shoulder right into Dumoulin's head, while Ovechkin hit him from the other side. Dirty hit by Wilson.

17:53 - Brett Connolly scores. Another bad turnover to the Pens allows for Connolly to get a breakaway chance. He targets the high-glove side of Murray. Murray gets a piece of the puck, but not enough. 3-0 Capitals

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens have to clean up their game and put on the pressure. Murray cannot do it all. Lets Go Pens!


1st Period
0:00 - The first period comes to an end. 2-0 Capitals.

1:48 - Murray is getting a workout.

5:06 - Jakub Vrana scores on the power play. Vrana stickhandles right to the front/side of the net. He puts his shot high-glove. The Pens challenge for goalie interference. The call stands. 2-0 Capitals

7:01 - Now the Capitals get a power play chance as Crosby takes a seat for hooking.

7:53 - Finally some offensive pressure by the Pens. Holtby came up with some great saves.

8:48 - Crosby's line gets some offensive pressure going. Braden Holtby ends up robbing Crosby in front.

9:57 - The Pens are a turning over way too many pucks. Just unreal.

11:03 - A terrible power play for the Pens. It looked like the Capitals were on the power play instead. Murray had to hold down the fort.

13:03 - Pens to the power play as Kuznetsov goes off for tripping.

13:55 - Niskanen's shot from the slot is saved by the blocker of Murray. Really solid save. The Capitals are pinning the Pens in their own zone.

14:43 - Similar to Game One, the Capitals are pressuring early. They are outshooting the Pens and Murray is trying to weather the storm for the Pens. Also, the Capitals are going for high-glove shots on Murray.

15:59 - By the way, that goal was high-glove. That has been a problem for Murray for a while now.

18:34 - Alex Ovechkin scores. A bag pinch by the Pens leads to a rush for the Capitals. Evgeny Kuznetsov pokes the puck away from Hornqvist and it goes right to Ovechkin, who has plenty of time and space on the wing. He puts a rocket shot past Murray. 1-0 Capitals

19:23 - Letang fires a shot from the point that Crosby redirects just wide. Solid play.

20:00 - Game time! The Pens need to come out with speed and put the pressure on the Capitals. Don't let them have any hope. Lets Go Pens!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Old rivals collide once again - Round Two - 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

PPG Paints Arena / MF (the reason for the same picture is that I am very superstitious)
By: MF, 

The Pittsburgh Penguins have made it to the Second Round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs as they dispatched the Philadelphia Flyers in the First Round in six games.

Now the challenge gets harder. Every round raises new challenges, obstacles, and physical dilemmas. It seems to be destiny for the Penguins to meet the Washington Capitals and they will do just that in this round. It won't be an easy series for either team, but it will be an interesting one as always.

However, the Penguins will start the series down two critical forwards. Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin will not be in the lineup for Game One. Malkin did travel with the team to Washington, but Hagelin did not. The Penguins have to rise to the challenge, which they have done before in the past.

Old rivals collide once again in the playoffs. The question is, do the Penguins still have the Capitals number or is this finally the season for the Capitals? It all starts tonight! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Forwards
Guentzel - Crosby - Guentzel
Simon - Sheahan - Kessel
Sheary - Brassard - Rust
Aston-Reese - Rowney - Kuhnhackl

Defense
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
PENS 3 Capitals 2

3rd Period
0:00 - THE PENS TAKE GAME ONE 3-2! They come back after being down 2-0 and get the win. What a game for them. Murray was huge for them!

0:36 - What a game by Murray.

0:47 - The Capitals call a timeout. Murray has been unreal. 

1:40 - Empty net for the Capitals. 

2:37 - Murray robs Brett Connolly at the side of the net. Unreal save. 

6:10 - A set faceoff win for the Capitals. Ovechkin's quick shot hits the mask of Murray and goes up into the netting. 

7:48 - A successful penalty kill for the Pens. 

8:20 - 32-second power play for the Capitals. 

9:48 - Guentzel gets a high-sticking penalty. Four-on-four hockey for 1:28. 

10:20 - Now the Pens get a power play chance. Chandler Stephenson is ticketed for high-sticking. 

12:12 - GUENTZEL SCORES! Crosby gets the puck off the half-boards and quickly fires a shot on net. Guentzel gets a piece of the puck as it travels to the net. The puck goes between the post and blocker arm of Holtby. 3-2 Pens 

13:21 - A bad turnover for the Pens. Lars Eller gets the puck and Murray ends up denying him. 

14:40 - CROSBY SCORES! Dumoulin finds Hornqvist right at the blue line. He chips the puck over to Guentzel who fires a pass across the ice to Crosby. Ovechkin gets a piece of the pass to slow it down, but Crosby still gets the puck. He beats Holtby five-hole. 2-2 tie game. 

17:01 - HORNQVIST SCORES! Schultz fires a shot from the point and is able to elevate the puck over a fallen Ovechkin. Hornqvist redirects the shot past Holtby. 2-1 Capitals 

19:32 - Ovechkin scores. Another two-on-one chance for the Capitals. Ovechkin holds and fires a shot over the glove of Murray. 2-0 Capitals 

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens have to put the pressure on Holtby even more, but not let the Capitals get quality chances in the process. Lets Go Pens! 


2nd Period
0:00 - The second-period horn sounds. The Capitals still hold the 1-0 lead. 

1:17 - Sheahan is back on the ice, sporting a black eye. 

3:05 - Holtby denies the Pens with chances right in front. 

3:40 - Sheahan takes a puck up high and he heads straight to the bench holding his face. 

5:52 - Murray has been really solid for the Pens. He makes another pad save with bodies in front. 

8:04 - Finally a whistle. None stop up and down hockey for quite some time. 

9:34 - Crosby's line has been generating some good chances. If Malkin was here, the Capitals would be in trouble. They haven't been able to really contain Crosby. 

11:57 - Murray and Holtby have settled into this game well. Both teams are flying and trading chances. 

15:04 - Power play time expires. Only two shots on net for the Pens during that power play. 

17:04 - The first power play of the game goes to the Pens as Tom Wilson is called for interference. A huge chance for the Pens. 

18:18 - What a save by Murray. He comes sliding across to deny a shot with his blocker. Unreal. 

19:45 - Guentzel and Crosby have a two-on-one chance. Guentzel holds and fires a shot that rings off the goal post! 

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens need to communicate better and clean up their defensive gameplay this period. Lets Go Pens!


1st Period
0:00 - The first period comes to an end and the Capitals have the 1-0 lead.

0:58 - Some nice work by the first line of the Pens in the offensive zone. Holtby makes a save on Hornqvist's shot.

3:07 - It seems the Pens have settled into the game a little bit. Both teams getting looks and chances.

6:16 - Holtby shuts the door on Guentzel's chance.

7:01 - Sheahan holds strong to go behind the net and outlet a pass to Simon, who is driving down the center. Holtby gets a piece of his shot to direct it wide.

7:47 - To be honest, if the Pens end this period down by one that would be great. The Pens have given up way too many chances. Luckily not much develops, but still, the chance is there for the Capitals.

8:42 - Murray holds strong as Devante Smith-Pelly as he comes crashing into him. Murray keeps the puck out. The Pens are breaking down defensively. They have to pick up their gameplay.

9:11 - Simon beats Holtby, but he cannot beat the goal post.

9:50 - The Pens have gotten lucky on a few plays now. Murray with a solid glove save.

10:41 - Brooks Orpik lays a heavy hit on Hornqvist. Hornqvist seems to be okay.

13:02 - Crosby is robbed by Braden Holtby.

13:30 - Murray gets a piece of the puck. It trickles through the blue paint. Luckily two Pens were there to clear the puck out of blue paint.

15:12 - Another odd-man rush for the Capitals. Ovechkin has a wide open net but fires the puck wide. The Pens got lucky there.

16:20 - Dumoulin was hit hard into the boards. He was slow to get back up and is not happy with the referee.

17:52 - Not the start they were looking for, but the Pens have been able to generate some chances in the offensive zone.

19:43 - Evgeny Kuznetsov scores. Ovechkin chips the puck up to Kuznetsov who is behind the Pens' defense. He beats Murray high glove. 1-0 Capitals

20:00 - The Second Round of the playoffs has officially started! The Pens need to come out with energy and speed. Time to quiet down this building. Lets Go Pens! 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Round Two or Game Seven?

PPG Paints Arena / MF
By: MF, 

Well, here we sit. Game Six. The Pittsburgh Penguins allowed the Philadelphia Flyers to get some life back into their game and keep themselves alive in this playoff round.

It wasn't a good Game Five for the Penguins. The Flyers had the energy and determination, whereas the Penguins did not. The team that worked hard all game came out with the win. Today, that has to be the Penguins.

However, the Penguins have some good and bad news when it comes to their lineup today. Patric Hornqvist will be returning, but Evgeni Malkin will not be in the lineup. Malkin had a Flyer fall on his leg, which caused it to bend in an odd way in Game Five. Not surprising to see him out, but hopefully, it's nothing very serious and won't affect the team moving forward.

The Penguins can still close out this game even without Malkin. They just need to play smart, stay disciplined, and play a game full of energy. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Forwards
Guentzel - Crosby - Guentzel
Hagelin - Sheahan - Kessel
Sheary - Brassard - Rust
Aston-Reese - Rowney - Kuhnhackl

Defense
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
PENS 8 Flyers 5

3rd Period
0:00 - THE PENS HAVE WON 8-5! THEY ARE HEADED TO THE SECOND ROUND! 

0:29 - Flyer fans are still throwing things onto the ice. Full beer cans at that. Show some respect. Just terrible. 

0:30 - RUST SCORES AN EMPTY NETTER! 8-5 Pens 

2:24 - Empty for the Flyers again. 

2:53 - Couturier scores. Hat trick. Sheahan tires to clear the puck down the center, but the puck goes right to Giroux. Murray makes the initial save and Couturier puts in the rebound. The Pens challenge the goal, but it's ruled a good goal. 7-5 Pens 

3:01 - Empty net for the Flyers. 

7:02 - GUENTZEL SCORES HIS FOURTH! What a game for Guentzel. He is firing everything he can on the net. This time he gets his fourth one past Neuvirth. 7-4 Pens

7:11 - After watching that play by Letang. To be honest, a bit of a missed call. Looked like a slight trip by Letang. However, many calls have been missed that have benefited both teams. So that is the way of the NHL playoffs it seems. 

7:12 - GUENTZEL SCORES! HAT TRICK! Letang pokes the puck away from Couturier, who ends up going down in the process. The puck bounces out to Guentzel in the slot. He snaps one past Neuvirth. 6-4 Pens 

7:23 - Letang is set free. 

7:55 - The first set of penalties expire. Regular Flyer power play for 32 seconds. Murray comes up with some big saves. 

9:23 - Not a good penalty by Letang. He sits for cross-checking. Four-on-three power play for the Flyers for 1:28. 

9:55 - Four-on-four hockey time. Guentzel (interference) and Jakub Voracek (embellishment). 

10:32 - Sheahan has done a great job today. It's not an easy task to slot in for Malkin, but he has stepped up to the challenge. Solid game for him. 

11:45 - Another successful penalty kill. Flyers had zero shots on their power play chance. 

13:45 - Dumoulin puts the puck over the glass and will head to the box. Delay of game penalty. This is a huge penalty kill. 

19:30 - GUENTZEL SCORES! Ivan Provorov turns over the puck to Kessel in the defensive zone. Kessel has Guentzel on the wing as he drives to the net. He holds and makes a pass over to Guentzel, who puts it in the open net. 5-4 Pens 

19:59 - No Hagelin on the bench. 

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens have to put the pressure on Neuvirth and step up their game. Now is the time to finish this. Lets Go Pens! 


2nd Period
0:00 - That does it for the second period. Things are tied 4-4. 

0:53 - GUENTZEL SCORES! Some great work behind the net by Guentzel to get the puck out to Maatta at the point. Maatta fires a shot and Guentzel redirects it past Neuvirth in front. It trickles over the goal line. 4-4 tie game. 

1:51 - Sheary and Konecny are set free. 

3:51 - Sheary and Travis Konecny have a disagreement and exchange some hits. It took the referee a long time to make a call. They both end up getting a penalty. Four-on-four hockey. 

6:25 - HORNQVIST SCORES! Dumoulin keeps the puck in the offensive zone and goes up to Crosby. He goes to Guentzel, who finds Hornqvist in the slot. Hornqvist beats Neuvirth. Beautiful passing play. 4-3 Flyers

7:46 - Laughton scores. Laughton snaps a shot from the wing and beats Murray, blocker side. Bad goal for him to allow. 4-2 Flyers

8:17 - The penalty kill is good. 

10:17 - Giroux hits Hagelin hard. Hagelin is slow to get up. Kessel goes after Giroux and ends up taking a penalty. The Flyers get a power play chance. Hagelin heads to the locker room as he is bleeding from the mouth. 


12:10 - Murray robs Claude Giroux in front. What a save! Murray got a snowed in the process by Giroux. Letang responded with a hit on Giroux.  

13:32 - Pens need a spark. 

16:18 - Kessel rings a shot off the goal post. 

16:34 - Frustrating game to watch right now. The Pens are not matching the determination of the Flyers every shift. 

19:20 - Couturier scores. Couturier gets a breakaway chance and Hornqvist is unable to disrupt him. Couturier drives right to the net and stickhandles to put a shot through the five-hole of Murray. 3-2 Pens 

19:25 - Power play time expires. 

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens start with 35 seconds still left on their power play. Get a goal here and push forward! Lets Go Pens! 


1st Period
0:00 - Horn sounds to end the first period. Things are tied 2-2.

1:25 - The Flyers get possession of the puck and the delayed penalty situation ends. Scott Laughton heads the box for interference and the Pens power play unit comes onto the ice.

2:22 - Neuvirth looks to be down and out, but still robs Sheary at the side. A scramble in front of the net. A penalty will come to the Flyers. Delayed penalty situation right now.

3:44 - Not a surprise that things are tied up. The Pens have been sitting back way too much since Hagelin scored. The Flyers have the energy and jump.

4:12 - Andrew MacDonald scores. MacDonald fires a rocket shot from the point and beats a screened Murray. 2-2 tie game.

6:58 - The Pens have done a good job of disrupting passes and plays of the Flyers. More pressure by the Pens in the offensive zone is needed. They cannot afford to sit back.

11:21 - Hornqvist lays a solid shit on Jakub Voracek.

12:43 - HAGELIN SCORES! Claude Giroux turns the puck over at the blue line to Sheahan. Sheahan goes behind the net and leaves the puck for Kessel. Kessel quickly outlets a pass to Hagelin in front. His quick release beats Neuvirth. 2-1 Pens

13:30 - CROSBY SCORES! A set faceoff for the Pens and Letang gets a shot off from the point. Neuvirth makes the pad save, but Crosby is right at the side of the net to send the rebound to the back of the net. 1-1 tie game.

13:34 - Finally some good pressure by the Pens. Their third and fourth lines getting to work in the offensive zone. Michal Neuvirth makes a save on Ruhwedel's shot.

14:49 - Murray has made a few solid saves. The Flyers have the jump to start this game.

17:45 - Couturier scores. Murray gets a piece of Simmonds' shot, but it trickles past him and lays behind him in the blue paint. Ruhwedel and Oleksiak are unable to clear the puck over put it under Murray. Couturier gets to the loose puck and puts it in. 1-0 Flyers

20:00 - Game Six is underway! The Pens have to come out with some energy and put the pressure on the Flyers early. Lets Go Pens! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Penguins look to wrap up Round One

PPG Paints Arena / MF
By: MF, 

A chance for the Pittsburgh Penguins to finish this series in the Burgh. They have that chance tonight, all they need is a win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Five.

The Penguins have dominated in three of the four games they have played. Matt Murray has been outstanding and the guys have stepped up to the challenge. Tonight is a whole new challenge, as the Flyers will be a desperate team trying to hold onto their playoff dream. The Penguins have to close this game out in Game Five. History has proven that it needs to be done and it will give the Penguins a chance to rest up a bit before moving onto the second round. That will be critical for them in Round Two.

On the injury front, Patric Hornqvist is still out for the Penguins tonight, but he did skate with the team this morning. As for the Flyers, Sean Couturier took pre-game warmups and seems to be ready to join the Flyers lineup after missing Game Four.

In addition, the Flyers will start with Michal Neuvirth in net tonight.

Time to finish this series and put the Flyers onto the golf course. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Forwards
Guentzel - Crosby - Simon
Hagelin - Malkin - Kessel
Sheary - Brassard - Rust
Aston-Reese - Sheahan - Kuhnhackl

Defense
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Oleksiak -  Ruhwedel

Murray in the net!

Play - by - Play
Pens 2 Flyers 4

3rd Period
0:00 - This game comes to an end. The Flyers stay alive with a 4-2 win in Game Five. The Pens still have a 3-2 series lead. 

0:17 - Read scores an empty-netter. Another turnover by the Pens, this time Letang, leads to Read getting the puck. He puts it in the open net. 4-2 Flyers

0:50 - Neuvirth robs Crosby at the side of the net. 

1:00 - Empty net for the Pens. 

1:15 - Sean Couturier scores. More bad turnovers by the Pens and they cannot clear the puck. Couturier fires from the point, the puck hits Dumoulin, and beats Murray. 3-2 Flyers

3:56 - My computer decided to update in the middle of this game. Bad turnover by the Pens leads to the Flyers getting chances. Murray holds strong. Also, Neuvirth makes a good save on Sheary's shot. 

9:25 - Still some sloppy gameplay by the Pens. They need to clean up with play and keep the pressure on Neuvirth. 

15:13 - Oleksiak lays a hard hit on Giroux. Giroux ends up going to the locker room. Gudas goes after Oleksiak and they drop the gloves. Also, Giroux is back on the bench now. 

15:50 - Bodies and sticks everywhere in the Flyers' zone. Letang and Malkin both denied by Neuvirth. 

17:45 - The Flyers kill off Filppula's penalty. The Pens had some great scoring chances, but couldn't find the back of the net. 

19:45 - Power play time for the Pens. Filppula takes a seat in the box for tripping. This is a critical power play chance for the Pens. 

20:00 - The third period is underway! The Pens have to pick up their game. Sloppy plays have cost them dearly in this one. Lets Go Pens! 


2nd Period
0:00 - The horn sounds to end the second period. Things are tied 2-2. 

1:45 - Valtteri Filppula scores a shorthanded goal. Kessel with terrible play turns the puck over to Filppula. He makes a pass over to Lehtera and his shot is stopped by Murray. Murray is unable to control the rebound and Filppula goes around Letang to get the loose puck. He puts it past Murray. 2-2 tie game. 

2:58 - Another power play chance for the Pens as Radko Gudas is called for holding.  

3:15 - GUENTZEL SCORES! Simon makes a perfect touch pass over the Crosby in the center. Crosby drives down the center and outlets a pass over to Guentzel on the wing. Guentzel beats Neuvirth five-hole. 2-1 Pens 

4:41 - Power play is up for the Pens. 

5:05 - Aston-Reese and MacDonald are released. The Pens still have a power play for 24 seconds. It is now a regular five-on-four power play. 

6:41 - Gostisbehere takes down Crosby and he will head to the box for holding. The Pens get a four-on-three power play for 1:36. 

7:05 - Things are getting chippy. We will get some more four-on-four hockey as Aston-Reese (interference) and Andrew MacDonald (roughing) get matching minors. 

8:00 - RUST SCORES! Great forechecking by the Pens. Rust keeps at it and stripes Read of the puck. He then gets separation from Reading and goes behind the net. His wraparound shot beats Neuvirth, short-side. 1-1 tie game. 

8:55 - Neuvirth robs Brassard. 

9:35 - Pens are taking more shots. Lots of them are going high or wide of the net. 

11:18 - Power play time ends for the Pens. The second unit had the best chances on net. Neuvirth comes up big for the Flyers. 

13:18 - Malkin gets the puck and splits the Flyers defense. He ends up drawing a slashing penalty. Shayne Gostisbehere is the guilty party. Power play time for the Pens. 

13:25 - Malkin and Manning are set free. 

15:25 - Great pressure by Malkin's line in the offensive zone. Manning goes after Malkin. The Flyers are definitely targeting him. Manning initially gets called for roughing but goes after Malkin when the play ends. Malkin ends up taking a roughing penalty in the process. Four-on-four hockey. 

16:49 - Guentzel's shot is turned away by Neuvirth. 

17:22 - As for how Malkin looks. He doesn't look 100% percent out there. Hopefully, he doesn't make things worse. 

18:52 - Nolan Patrick has a breakaway chance, but Murray shuts him down. The rebound chance is bobbled Michael Raffl. Pens get lucky there. 

20:00 - We are back for the second period! The Pens have to clean up their gameplay and put more pressure on Neuvirth. Malkin is back on the bench to start this period. Lets Go Pens! 


1st Period
0:00 - That will be the end of the first period. The Flyers hold the 1-0 lead. 

1:17 - Matt Read rings a shot off the goal post. 

2:31 - Claude Giroux scores. Giroux is left wide open in the slot. He receives a pass right on his stick and blows a shot past Murray. 1-0 Flyers

3:32 - Jori Lehtera and Malkin battle for a puck. Lehtera ends up flying down and Malkin's leg is twisted underneath him. Malkin is slow to get up and heads to the locker room. 

5:49 - Pens are playing sloppy hockey. They need to pick things up. They cannot afford to let the Flyers have any life in this series. 

7:56 - Power play time expires for the Pens. Neuvirth had two solid saves during that penalty kill. 

9:56 - Now the Pens will get a chance on the power play as the Flyers are called for too many men on the ice. 

10:44 - A successful penalty kill. A great effort all around by the penalty killers. 

12:44 - Crosby's line gets some pressure in the offensive zone. Guentzel and Crosby both get quality shots on net, but Michal Neuvirth turns them away. Great shift until Simon takes an interference penalty. Flyers to the power play. 

13:37 - The Pens are still looking for their first shot on net. They have been passing the puck too much. 

15:20 - Malkin with some great stick handling to gain the zone. He finds Kessel open on the wing. Kessel tries to make a pass to Aston-Resse, who is in the slot. The puck goes wide of his stick. Kessel needs to shoot that puck there. 

17:23 - Flyers with some pressure and traffic in front. The puck never gets to Murray in the end. Sheary gets the puck up the ice. Solid work by him. 

19:04 - Murray with a solid pad save on a shot by Brandon Manning. 

20:00 - Puck drop at PPG Paints Arena! The Pens need to use the crowd's energy and get on the board early! Lets Go Pens!