Monday, December 22, 2014

Ding! Ding! Round Two!

By: MF, 

The Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves in the Sunshine State to face-off against the Florida Panthers. However, the last meeting between the two teams (Saturday) wasn't anything, but sunny. It was a nasty, fighting, and an unfriendly encounter in Pittsburgh. In which the Penguins came out victorious. Tonight the Penguins find themselves in enemy territory and it will be another hard fought game. The Panthers want revenge and they will come at the Penguins with everything they got.

Even with nasty games, the Penguins have battled through it all. With injuries plaguing them and mumps/illnesses running rampaged. This Penguin team has come out with a 5-0-2 record in their last seven games and showing the National Hockey League (NHL) how deep their lineup is. All this has been going on and they have the third lowest goals against average in the NHL at 219.

In addition, the Penguins individuals have stepped up their game. Like Nick Spaling who has six points (two goals and four assists) in his last six games. He also is a plus four and has had two multi-point games in that span. While Sidney Crosby recorded seven shots Saturday, against the Panthers, which is a season high for him. Not to mention, Derrick Pouliot scored his first NHL goal on his first shot in his first game (Saturday versus the Panthers).

On defense, Simon Despres has came into his own this season. On Saturday he racked up ten hits, which is the most for him in a game this season. He is now ranked second in the NHL with 109 hits, only ten hits behind the Washington Capitals Brooks Orpik.

Additionally, the Penguins are getting career high and season high numbers from Marc-Andre Fleury in goal. Fleury is 10-1-2 in his last 13 games and in that span he has a 1.80 goals against average, .940 save percentage, and three shutouts. He leads the NHL with six shutouts, which is great news and Fleury deserves it all. During Saturdays game, Fleury notched 45 saves (a season high) and was only two away from tying his career high of 47 saves.

Now onto the morning skate and injury report. Everyone was presented for the morning skate, aside from injured players and Thomas Greiss, Steve Downie, and Brandon Sutter. As for Greiss, Downie, and Sutter traveled back to Pittsburgh to be tested for mumps. Once the results are known the Penguins will give everyone an update. Mike Johnston told the media that he would dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen. He will end up double shifting Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the fourth line. Also he stated that Kris Letang and Rob Scuderi would not be playing up front. In addition, Jeff Zatkoff was called up from Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

The Penguins will have to do without the services of a few key players and a top enforcer. They have proven in the past, they are capable of getting the job done. They will have to play a smart game and stay disciplined. It's game time in the Sunshine State! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Spaling, Crosby, Hornqvist
Spaling, Malkin, Comeau
Farnham, Goc, Rust
Klinkhammer, Chorney, Ebbett

Harrington, Letang
Dumoulin, Despres
Scuderi, Pouliot

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play

Barkov scores with his long reach. The Panthers get the 4-3 shootout win. The Pens battled back and at least ended up with a point after all that. Tampa is tomorrow.

Despres is poke checked.

Fleury denies the five hole!

Pouliot is stopped.

Jokinen shoots wide!

Hornqvist is stopped.

Fleury with the poke check!

Kunitz is robbed by the glove!

Panthers miss the goal!

Letang is stopped!

Fleury with the stop!

Crosby is stopped

Fleury denies Pirri!

Malkin's shot is saved by Luongo.

0:00- Shootout here we come!

0:45- Letang is on a mission!

2:13- Letang hits the goal post!

2:58- The Pens call a timeout.

3:35- Despres working hard behind the net to get the puck and start a play up the ice.

4:27- Two huge saves by Fleury!

5:00- Let the overtime begin! Take it to them Pens! Lets Go Pens!

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

1:08- Panthers sail a shot wide.

3:10- MALKIN SCORES!!! Malkin brings the puck to the front and Luongo makes the save! Malkin goes down, but doesn't give up! He jams the puck home! 3-3 tie game!

3:31- The Pens are down to ten forwards as Comeau is still out.

4:36- Malkin puts the puck on Crosby's stick! Luongo robs Crosby!

4:52- SPALING SCORES ON THE PP!! Pouliot rifles a shot from the point and it's redirect by Spaling, stationed in front! The Pens pull within one! 3-2 Panthers.

6:47- Huge power play chance as MacKenzie is headed to the box for slashing.

10:36- That is all she wrote for the Pens power play. Comeau headed down to the runway to the locker room.

12:36- Comeau draws a hooking penalty and the Pens will get a power play chance.

15:03- Hayes scores. Fleury makes the first save and tries to freeze the puck. Hayes finds the loose puck and puts it in. Panthers up 3-1

16:10- Crosby camps at the side of the net and sings at the puck, but just misses it. Great chance, but he just missed it.

17:09- Now the Panthers have jump in their step.

19:38- Hayes scores. Hayes fires a shot from the half circle, which bounces off the ice, Fleury's blocker, and somehow bounces over the pad of Fleury into the net. Puck had eyes on that one. 2-1 Panthers.

19:50- Farnham is back on the ice.

20:00- Third period is underway! Time for the Pens to come out with speed and fire! Just unleash on the Panthers! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and this game is all tied up at one.

0:36- Jokinen scores. Fleury is without his goalie stick and Jokinen is able to sneak a shot past him. This game is tied up at one.

0:40- The penalty kill is successful.

2:40- Despres is called for slashing and the Panthers to a power play opportunity.

3:13- Farnham is crushed by Bergenheim into the boards. He does down and the trainers come out. He skates off, but goes to the locker room. It was a late hit, for sure.

3:32- Luongo comes out to of his net and Franham comes crashing around him into the back of the boards. Close one.

5:09- Panthers ice the puck and end up calling a timeout.

6:12- Fleury has been a fort in the net for the Pens. The Panthers have 19 shots and the Flower has stopped all 19.

8:32- That power play comes to an end. It had some good looks and puck movement was A+.

10:32- Time for a Pens power play chance as Ekblad goes to the box for high sticking.

11:21- Kunitz rings one off the goal post!

14:47- Successful penalty kill number two for the Pens. Fleury standing strong in the net.

16:47- Well the Panthers will head right back onto the power play. Comeau takes his own interference penalty.

16:34- Mark that down as a successful penalty kill for the Pens!

17:37- Gubranson fires a shot from the blue line and it rings off the crossbar into the netting.

18:12- Fleury made an unreal save on the penalty kill. I couldn't see the puck due to the amount of players crashing the net.

19:34- Now the Panthers will get a crack at the power play. Malkin is called for tripping.

20:00- The second period is here! The Pens need to put shots on net and take it to the Panthers! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and the Pens have the 1-0 lead over the Panthers!

1:34- Crosby comes flying down the wing, on  the rush. He fires a wrist shot, but just shoots wide of the net. Luongo may of gotten a piece with his glove.

2:28- This game has lost the speed from the start. More whistles and faceoffs have slowed the game down.

4:15- There haven't been any altercations after the whistle, which is a major difference from last game, but there has been huge hits by both teams and words exchanged.

7:59- The power play for the Pens has come to an end. Panthers notched a successful penalty kill.

8:15- The Pens puck movement is a on a whole other level. I am more for shooting the puck, but talk about dominating puck possession.

9:58- Oslen goes to the box for the Panthers for interference. The Pens will get the first power play of the game.

10:39- Seven shots for the Panthers and Fleury has been sharp to start. Fleury freezes the puck and a scrum ensues. The refs are quick to break it up!

13:16- Fleury comes out with a two huge pad saves as the puck in loose in front.

15:14- HORNQVIST SCORES! The Pens set up in the Panthers zone and Despres slaps a shot from the point! Hornqvist redirects across his body and has a man right on him! He puts it past Luongo! 1-0 Pens!

15:52-Definite carry over from last game as the hits are coming. No love loss between these two teams.

17:30- The Pens have come out flying against the Panthers. Great start!

20:00- Time to battle the Florida Panthers in the Sunshine State! The Pens have to play a smart game and take it to the Panthers early! Lets Go Pens! 

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