Monday, December 15, 2014

Let the Streak Continue!

By: MF, 

Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins will face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins are dealing with some injuries and misfortune, but are continuing to move forward and win some hockey games. It hasn't been a smooth road for them lately, but hopefully they can endure, for now, until those on the injury list come back into the lineup.

Even with the injury woes in the past seasons and currently, the Penguins have good numbers against the Lightning. They have won nine straight games, which is the longest winning streak in the history of the series for both teams. The last loss to the Lightning came on November 17, 2011 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Also, the Penguins have won seven consecutive home games that is the second longest active home winning streak. Only their home winning streak against the Winnipeg Jets at 13. The overall record, dating back to January 5, 2011, between both teams is 10-2 in favor of the Penguins.

In addition to the team record, the Penguins are putting up great individual numbers, as always. The top three point-per-game leaders since 2010-11 are Sidney Crosby (1.45), Evgeni Malkin (1.21), and for the Lightning Steven Stamkos (1.14). Even without the services of Crosby, the Penguins are not lacking in talent (when they work hard during games). Not to mention, Malkin has 21 points (12 goals and nine assists) during his eight game point streak verses the Lightning, which dates back to January 15, 2012.

Other milestones for Penguin players include, Craig Adams recorded his 18th career shorthanded point (seven goals and 11 assists), during their Saturday game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This is the most among all active Penguin players. While on defense, Kris Letang has points in five straight games (four goals and four assists), with nine total points. Letang also recorded his 5th career two goal game during Saturday's game and his third career shorthanded goal. Then there is the Penguins netminder, Marc-Andre Fleury won has won six consecutive games versus the Lighting, which dates back to January 15, 2012.

Switching gears to the Penguins morning skate today, only Robert Bortuzzo was missing. The injured players were also absent, which included Beau Bennett, Scott Wilson, Olli Maatta, and Zack Sill. Chris Kunitz didn't skate with the team, but did skate before practice with the strength and conditioning coach.

Other news on the injury front, Bortuzzo left Saturday's game with an upper-body injury and he is day-to-day. While Kuniz is progressing and could join practice later this week. Scott Harrington will not play tonight, but could possibly play sometime this week.

As for the mumps situation, Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford said, Crosby was over his infectious period and could of returned today, but they decide to have him not return to be cautious. Sadly, Beau Bennett has presented some symptoms and his test results will be back tomorrow.

Hopefully, the Penguins can endure the misfortune with injuries and illnesses. They will have to stay focused and play a smart game of hockey. They will have to battle and work hard, as much of their talent is not available. However if history proves anything, it's that the Penguins know how to keep battling and winning when injuries plague them. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Klinkhammer, Malkin, Comeau
Spaling, Sutter, Hornqvist
Farnharm, Goc, Downie
Adams, Ebbett, Rust

Martin, Letang
Dumoulin, Ehrhoff
Scuderi, Despres

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 4 Lightning 2

3rd Period

1:26- Pens ice the puck and call a timeout to rest tired players.

2:52- Lightning have an empty net.

3:04- Kucherov scores. Comeau's shot goes off Letang's skate, which leads to a breakaway chance. Kucherov goes five hole. Lightning cut the Pens lead in half. 4-2 Pens.

5:25- That is all for the Pens power play.

7:33- Power play chance for Pens as J.T. Brown goes to the box for roughing.

8:55- After blocking a shot Spaling heads to the locker room with a trainer.

9:04- Fleury making some huge saves as the Lightning got a few chances on net.

10:43- Fleury is the reason the Pens are able to take such a lead. He has been a wall for them and keeping the Lightning at bay.

12:08- DUMOULIN SCORES HIS FIRST NHL GOAL!!!! Dumoulin fires a rocket shot from the point, through traffic! It blows past Nabokov! 4-1 Pens!  

13:47- Rust and Makin crash the net and scramble ensues as the loose puck in in the blue paint! The puck somehow stays out of the net!

17:01- Malkin, in the high slot, rips a wrist shot goes over the net!

20:00- Third period is now underway! The Pens need to keep coming at the Lightning and not lay back! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- That is it after two periods and the Pens have the 3-1 lead over the Lightning!

0:33- DOWNIE SCORES A POWER PLAY GOAL!!! Malkin passes up to Hornqvist, at the side of the net! Hornqvist's shot bounces up after going off of Nabokov! Downie is there to put in the loose puck! 3-1 Pens!

1:43- Callahan to the box for holding and a power play is coming to the Pens.

3:40- The Lightning ring a shot off the post, but the Pens are able to clear the loose puck.

5:44- Downie with a nice check on Barberio to start the Pens forecheck!

7:08- Mark that down as a successful penalty kill for the Pens. Fleury shut the door on Filppula on a huge scoring chance. Fleury has been brilliant.

9:08- Time for some Pens penalty kill time as Comeau is called for high sticking (only two minutes). The Lightning get their third power play chance.

10:09- Sutter comes flying down the wing and backhands a shot over the net!

15:23- Spaling is robbed by Nabokov! The Pens have some fire and speed to their game now. They need to keep it up.

17:00- RUST SCORES HIS FIRST NHL GOAL!! The Lightning turn over the puck behind the net! Rust gets the puck in the slot and rifles one top shelf, over the glove of Nabokov! 2-1 Pens!

18:30- Fleury denies Killorn once again! This time with the outstretched pad!

19:55- Nabokov is in the net for the Lightning. Bishop is not on the bench either.

20:00- Lets see if the Pens come out with some fire and speed to start the second period! Time to out work and out battle the Lightning! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- That will end the first period and this game is all tied up 1-1.

0:26- Droulin Scores a Power Play Goal. As the Lightning crash the net, Fleury makes the first save on Johnson. However Droulin gets a piece of the rebound and it goes of Letang into the net. 1-1 tie game.

0:51- SUTTER SCORES A SHORTHANDED GOAL! The Pens clear the puck and Sutter gets a chance! He goes flying down the ice to the Lightning zone! Then he rips one past Bishop! 1-0 Pens!

1:14- The Lightning get a power play now as Downie is called for tripping.

1:16- The Pens power play comes to an end. Goc gets a chance and was by far the best chance.

3:16- Another Pens power play as a hooking penalty is asset to the Lightning.

4:45- Despres blows a tire and the Lightning get a chance. However, Fleury has something to say about that! Killorn gets an amazing chance, but Fleury shuts the door in his face, once again!

6:53- That is it for the Pens PP, which registered no shots. It wasn't much of a power play as the Pens didn't even get a chance to set up.

8:53- Morrow jumps on Franham and they drop the gloves. About three seconds later they go down and the fight ends. The Pens end up with a power play as Morrow gets a double roughing minor.

9:01- 11 minutes into the game and Comeau gets the first shot for the Pens. It was a sneaky shot up high, which Bishop fought off with a shoulder save.

10:33- The Pens are turning over the puck way to much, when they are in the neutral zone. They need to dump the puck and battle on the boards.

12:36- Killorn has been deadly lately, so it's great to see Fleury deny him early on the power play no less. The Pens have to generate some offense as the Lightning are carrying the play to start this game.

14:13- Make that a great kill for the Pens. The Lightning had some great chances, but Fleury denied!

16:13- The Lightning will get the first power play of the game as Letang sits for high sticking on Johnson.

17:42- No shots yet, but the Lightning have some jump in their step to start this one.

20:00- The puck has dropped at Consol! The Pens have to take it to the Tampa Bay Lightning and so them who is boss! Lets Go Pens!

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