Thursday, December 18, 2014

Avalanche in Pittsburgh!

By: MF, 

The Colorado Avalanche are in Pittsburgh tonight, at Consol Energy Center, to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins! The Penguins have won five of the last six games against the Avalanche. In that span the Penguins have outscored them by a 20-10 margin.

Also, the Penguins this season have a record of 19-2-1, when they hold their opponents to three or fewer goals. Not to mention their lethal power play, which has given them a record of 13-1 when the power play scores.

In addition, the Penguins are getting contributions from everyone in the lineup, even with the injuries that have pulled the team down. Steve Downie has stepped up on the scoring sheet, not just in penalty minutes. In his last four games, he has two goals, three assists (five points), and 33 penalty minutes. This has put him as one of five players in the National Hockey League (NHL) with 15 points and 50 penalty minutes this season. When it comes to the Avalanche, he has 21 points (three goals and 18 assists) in 33 games from 2012-13. Brandon Sutter has been setting his game to a whole new level. Sutter has accounted for five short handed goals of the Penguins nine total short handed goals. All those shorthanded goals, for Sutter, have come at Consol. Lets not forget, Evgeni Malkin, who has nine points (three goals and six assists) in six games versus the Avalanche. In those games, Malkin has recorded multiple point games in three of those six games.

While on defense, Kris Letang is number 1 among Eastern Conference Defensemen in the month of December! His numbers are top in the league and he has been a major piece on the Penguins defense. Coming off an injury and playing the game like he never missed a beat. However, the rest of the defense isn't lacking, even the new guys.

Some milestones were reached Tuesday during the Lightning game. Brian Dumoulin and Bryan Rust, both scored their first NHL goals! This hasn't happened for the Penguins since October 12, 2006, when Kris Letang and Jordan Staal achieved this same milestone in the same game.

As for the morning practice, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz joined the team. Crosby skated in line rushes and looked well. Marc-Andre Fleury was also on the ice for the practice. Scott Harrington will replace Dumoulin in the lineup tonight, as he makes his NHL debut.

On the injury front, Fleury's mumps test came back negative and he will play tonight. While Thomas Greiss, Olli Maatta, and Robert Bortuzzo's tests are still pending. Kunitz will not play tonight, but will have a full team practice tomorrow. It will be a major step for him to get back in the lineup.

GREAT NEWS! Sidney Crosby skated in the warm-ups and will PLAY TONIGHT! The Penguins are in their 'Pittsburgh Gold' tonight! With Fleury in the net and Crosby returning, the Penguins are on their road to recovery (from injuries). Time to show the Avalanche who the boss is in Pittsburgh! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Spaling, Crosby, Hornqvist
Malkin, Sutter, Comeau
Klinkhammer, Goc, Downie
Farnham, Adams, Rust

Martin, Letang
Harrington, Ehrhoff
Scuderi, Despres

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 1 Avalanche 0 OT


2:36- COMEAU SCORES! Scuderi fires from the blue line and Comeau tips in the rebound! 1-0 Pens

2:55- Comeau does a new style of hockey meets Nascar, as Comeau goes around the offensive zone twice!

4:17- Sutter tries a wrap around shot and almost finds the back of the net!

4:25- Malkin breaks into the zone. He pulls the puck back, Pickard with the save, Malkin dives for the rebound.

5:00- Regulation wasn't enough and it's time to start this overtime! Come on Pens, break Pickard! Lets Go Pens!

3rd Period
0:00- We are headed to overtime!

0:33- Hornqvist is back on the ice.

1:00- This game is: the shot is saved, the shot is blocked, the shot is turned on.

2:30- Hornqvist takes a hard shot off the front of his skate. He goes down and practically crawls to the bench. He is in some pain on the bench.

3:39- Malkin's shot on the rush is turned away by Pickard. Make that 43 shots on net for the Pens, which is a season high.

7:13- Letang enters the zone and passes up to Hornqvist! His backhanded chance is denied by Pickard!

9:16- Fleury holds strong in front as he stops Mackinnon's backhander in front.

9:50- Good pressure by the Pens and they have a lot of shots on net. Pickard standing tall for the Avalanche.

10:47- Loose puck right in front of the Avalanche net. Malkin just chips the puck over the goal!

12:49- Great shift by Malkin! He was all over the offensive zone...puck handling like no other.

14:17- Scuderi blocks a shot and wobbles a bit.

17:12- Crosby takes a lofting pass to get a breakaway! Pickard commits highway robbery with the flash of his glove. That is to say, Crosby did shoot the puck on edge.

17:24- Fleury makes a save look easy. The Pens are doing a great job of boxing out the Avalanche, so Fleury can see all the pucks.

17:50- Crosby tries a wrap around shot, but Pickard gets there. Crosby evens get a crack at his own rebound.

18:07- Harrington fires a hard shot from the point, but Pickard is able to make the pad save through traffic.

19:09- Ehrhoff is not on the bench to start this period. He went off sometime during the second. Update from the Pens to come after the game.

20:00- Final period of regulation hockey is on! Time to put some pucks behind Pickard! Do it Pens! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and this game is still scoreless!

1:58- We are witnessing a battle of the goalies right now! Who will give first?

2:44- Scuderi gets a great chance, but his shot finds the pad of Pickard!

3:58- The Pens get a rush up the ice. Crosby (with eyes in the back of his head) makes a beautiful backward pass to Hornqvist! His shot goes off the goal post!

4:47- Letang is having a rough night of hits and blocking shots. He blocks another hard shot and hobbles to the bench.

7:18- DING! DING! Farnham and McLeod drop them with no love loss between them!

8:30- Talbot with a quick save, but Fleury is ready to make the pad save!

10:14- Fleury makes two solid saves with the Avalanche on the rush.

10:52- Despres shot is stopped by Pickard. The puck is loose in the blue paint and everyone crashes the net! The puck stayed out...somehow.

11:11- Another great shift for the 4th line! Franham with two awesome shots, but Pickard holds strong.

11:53- The Pens power play comes to an end. The first unit had some great passing going on.

13:53- Everberg launches Letang into the boards from behind. He is shaken up on the play and Klinkhammer gets in Everberg's face after the play. The Pens get a power play and Letang is on the ice for it.

15:24- Comeau with a nice, bad angle, backhanded shot. Pickard comes up with the save.

16:41- The Pens ice the puck.

18:35- Fleury flashes the pad to make a quick save.

19:04- Hornqvist with a huge chance! Crosby outlets a pass to Hornqvist, but Pickard makes the save.

20:00- Now it's time for the second period! The Pens need to keep battling for the puck and put more pressure on the Avalanche! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- That is the end of the first period and this game is scoreless.

1:36- Fast pace period with little whistle stoppages. Crosby looks good to start, but time will tell as fatigue kicks in.

3:27- Fleury keeps shutting down the Avalanche. Solid period for the Flower.

6:19- Comeau and Downie get behind the Avalanche defense. Comeau decides to pass the puck to Downie, who is knocked off the puck in the process. That is a play where you be selfish and shoot the puck.

6:21- That is all she wrote for the Pens first power play of the game. Nothing generated on that power play.

8:21- Malkin draws a tripping penalty on Stuart. Now it's time for the Penguins power play!

8:25- Fleury with a huge save on Iginla.

8:59- Fast pace game and barely any whistles. Fast skating and moving game.

9:58- The Pens gets some amazing chances on net. Pickard makes the saves and the Avalanche defense boxes out when they can.

12:53- Another successful kill for the Pens penalty kill units. Tons of blocked shots for the Pens defensemen and Fleury shutting down the door early.

14:53- Now Downie will head to the box after laying Landeskog out. He is called for elbowing and the Pens bring out their penalty kill once again.

15:44- Mark that down as a successful penalty kill. The Avalanche registered zero shots on the power play.

17:44- The Avalanche's 26th ranked power play will get a chance, as Despres is sent to the box for interference.

17:50- Rust with a nice shot from the blue line, but it's turned wide by Pickard.

18:17- Avalanche get a early chance to start. Fleury blocks a up high puck away from the net. Odd turn on events in the Pens zone there.

20:00- The puck has dropped in Pittsburgh! Welcome back to Crosby! Congrats to Harrington on his NHL debut! Lets Go Pens! 

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