Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Panthers can't stand the cold in Pittsburgh!

By: MF,

Tonight is the second of back-to-back games for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they host the Florida Panthers at Consol Energy Center! The Penguins are coming off a well needed win against the St. Louis Blues. Last night the team achieved a 4-2 win over the Blues and looked better than they have in the last few games. However, that doesn't mean the trouble they have been experiencing is over. They have to show consistency and that will come into play tonight. The Penguins have to put a few wins together and this weekend is the perfect opportunity. They will have to battle a Panthers team, which suffered a 4-1 loss, last night, to the Ottawa Senators. The Panthers will be hunger and eager to turn their fortunes around tonight. The Penguins have to stay focused and keep working for a full 60 minutes. They can't let the Panthers breathe for one minute or they could regret it later.

Going into this contest, the Penguins have a 14-2-3 record against the Atlantic Division this season. Their 14 wins have them ranked first in the National Hockey League (NHL) in this category. This season they also have a 20-3-1 record when their power play scores a goal. Lately, their power play hasn't been a factor, but last night changed that. Their power play finally put on in the net, but we will see they can stay consistent tonight. Their power play is big when they are home. The Penguins have gone 11-2 when their power play scores at home. They have a 20.3% success rate, which is eighth in the NHL. Last night they put Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Chris Kunitz, and Patric Hornqvist on their first power play unit. They worked well together, put shots on net, and were able to score...finally. Aside from the firepower of Crosby and Malkin, the power play is strong at the blue line. That is where the plays start and Letang is the man responsible for many of the Penguins power play goals. He has 19 power play assists, which is first among the team and fourth in the NHL. Not bad for a defender, but this is Letang we are talking about. 

As for their penalty kill, it has been firing on all cylinders. A large part of their success killing off penalties is goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury. He has a .919 save percentage when the team is shorthanded. Plus while shorthanded, he has faced 258 shots, which is most in the NHL. 

Now let's talk about the offense of the Penguins, which was able to put a few on the scoreboard last night. They have tons of talented guys, but it has been a problem getting them on the score sheet. Last night they were able to do just that. Blake Comeau notched two goals and tied a career high with three points against the Blues, last night. Comeau is now tied with Malkin at 14 for the most even-strength goal leaders among the Penguins. A key factor is getting the upper hand in the offensive zone is winning face-offs. Maxim Lapierre has a 58.8 faceoff win percentage over the last three games.

The key to a successful game is defense and the Penguins have a very good one. This is beside the talent of Letang or Paul Martin. They have to rely on the rest of the pairings. For example, Simon Despres has assisted in back-to-back games, which is the fourth time in his career. Also, Derrick Pouliot has two points (one goal and one assist) in his two career games against the Panthers. The Penguins' defense is known for their offensive talents and look for them to engage in plays tonight. Defense is nothing without a great goaltender to back everyone up. For the Penguins that man is Fleury and my has he held down the fort. He has been the factor in the Penguins staying in the game. His last six starts, he is 3-2-1, with a 1.00 goals against average, a .963 save percentage and has had two shutouts. Playing a solid and smart game will benefit this netminder. In addition, the Penguins can't keep relying on him so heavily. They have to take on some of the weight, so they don't tire out their goalie.

Tonight will be a big game for the Penguins and a test to see if they can bring consistency to their game! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Perron, Crosby, Hornqvist
Kunitz, Geno, Comeau
Spaling, Sutter, Bennett
Sill, Lapierre, Downie

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Bortuzzo
Scuderi, Despres

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 5 Panthers 1

3rd Period

2:20- Perron and Ekblad fight in front of the net and behind even when the puck is at the other end. The refs just watches and no penalties.

3:13- Nice spinning move by Letang, on the boards, to get the puck up the ice.

5:10- Perron rings a shot off the crossbar!

7:37- Upshall Scores. Trocheck wins an offensive zone face-off and goes forward. He snaps a quick pass to Upshall at the side of the net. He puts it in. 5-1 Pens.

7:39- Away from the offensive explosion this period, Despres has had a solid game and been laying huge hits.

10:54- MALKIN SCORES AGAIN! Sill puts the puck around the boards and Malkin battles for the puck! He stick handles to the front and puts it up high! 5-0 Pens!

11:53- Successful kill by the Pens. Fleury with a huge save at the end.

13:53- Lapierre is called for slashing and the Pens will go down a man.  

16:07- HORNQVIST SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Crosby does his fancy work and the puck gets to Hornqvist in front! Montoya with the first save, but Hornqvist puts the rebound up high! 4-0 Pens!

17:56- Pens power play time as Petrovic goes for high sticking.

19:41- MARTIN SCORES! Crosby enters the zone, stops up, and finds Martin coming in late! Martin roofs one over the glove shoulder of Montoya! 3-0 Pens!

20:00- The Pens are back after a short break and ready for the third period! They have to pressure the Panthers and keep them pinned in their own zone! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and the Pens extend their lead to 2-0 over the Panthers! The Pens better thank Fleury for the chance to go up in this game and not having to battle back for the lead!

0:26- MALKIN SCORES! Jokinen tips it back and it goes to Malkin who comes flying into the offensive zone! He catches the defense flat footed! Malkin puts it five hole! 2-0 Pens!

1:31- The Pens haven't taken the shot chances away from the Panthers. It has been a shooting gallery for them.

4:13- Perron finds Malkin with a step up on the Panthers defense. Malkin snaps one, which is saved by Montoya.

5:26- Only five shots for the Pens in this period, not their best. They are relying heavily on Fleury and Panthers have the control. Time to get back into this one Pens!

7:17- The Pens are caught running around in their own zone. Fleury comes up with a huge save and is just unreal. Panthers have 25 shots now.

10:15- The Pens power play is over. They had some trouble with turnovers in the beginning, but at the end kept the puck in the zone.

12:15- Campbell trips up Hornqvist and the Pens will get a power play opportunity.

14:23- The Panthers have the control and the Pens have turned over the puck a few times. They need to stay focused as the Panthers are a deadly team.

17:23- Mark that down as another successful penalty kill. Fleury holding down the fort.

19:23- Perron will now have a seat in the sin bin for holding of the stick. The Pens will have to kill off another Panthers power play.

20:00- Both teams are back and ready to start the second period! The Pens need to keep up the speed and pressure, but limit the shots by the Panthers! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period horn sounds and the Pens emerge with the 1-0 lead over the Panthers!

1:49- Shots are 14-8 in favor the Panthers, but I don't think that will last. Fleury has been sharp.

3:09- The Pens are successful with the kill and Despres is set free.

4:25- Sutter comes flying down the wing and fires a sneaky shot. Montoya is just able to make the pad save.

5:09- Now it will be the Panthers turn on the power play as Despres takes a seat for high sticking.

5:45- The Pens power play doesn't score, but it had a few solid chances and got shots on the net.

6:45- Crosby rips a backhander just wide in front!

7:41- The first power play of the game will belong to the Pens as Bortuzzo draws a holding penalty on Trocheck.

8:35- Huberdeau gets to the front, but Fleury brings out the poke check. Then makes a glove/pad save through a screened shot. He looses his stick and glove, but keeps making the saves. The Flower is tuned into this one.

10:42- HORNQVIST SCORES! Letang with a massive forecheck to pressure Kulikov and he coughs up the puck! Letang puts the puck in the blue paint and Hornqvist jams it through the five hole of Montoya! 1-0 Pens!

12:02- Fleury holds down the pad to make a save on a up front chance.

15:13- Crosby is flying as he flies past Ekblad once again!

16:14- Crosby blows past Ekblad and wrist a hard shot, but Montoya gloves it.

17:36- Sutter feeds to Sill who just misses.

20:00- It's hockey night in Pittsburgh! The Pens take on the Panthers! Lets Go Pens!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Let's stop singing the Blues!

By: MF, 

Will the Pittsburgh Penguins’ woes continue? Will they snap out of this inconsistent funk, they are currently in? The Penguins are 0-2-1 in their last three games and haven’t had any consistency in their game play. It has been disheartening to watch them loss like this. They have dropped to fourth in the Metropolitan Division and seventh overall in the Eastern Conference. This is not the same team who dominated earlier in the season. The last month for them has been lackluster at best. To top it off, they lose 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Thursday night. This was after an outstanding performance by Marc-Andre Fleury. He put all his energy into that game and was let down in the end. It was frustrating to watch and still sticks with me after two days.

Evgeni Malkin commented on the current situation, “When you lose a couple of games and aren’t playing right everyone gets nervous, coaches, players, the organization…(The situation is) not bad, but it’s not good. We know we can come back. I believe this team has good guys and good players. We need to support each other, relax and we’ll be back.”

The Penguins can still redeem themselves tonight. They are only one point from second in the Metropolitan Division and six behind the top spot, held by the New York Islanders. They have plenty of time to bounce back, but they need to get started sooner rather than later. That starts tonight in St. Louis against the Blues. This weekend of back-to-back games will be big for the Penguins and a chance to get things turned around.

Let’s look over the numbers going into this game. At least the positive ones, so everyone can get in a happier mood. The Penguins are going into this contest with an 11-4-2 record versus the Western Conference, this season. Their 11 wins tie them for first among Eastern Conference teams. They also only have seven regulation losses on the road, which is the fewest in the National Hockey League (NHL).

As for their special teams, they have killed 39 consecutive St. Louis power plays since February 14, 2004. The Penguins’ penalty kill has stepped up in recent games, but the problem lies in their power play. Their power play has been lacking in several areas. It seems more likely for the other team to score than the Penguins on their own power play. That has to change fast if they want to put some wins together. Be on the lookout tonight for some change ups and hopefully they work. Personally, I would use Sidney Crosby, Malkin, David Perron, Chris Kunitz, and Kris Letang as my top unit. Then put Patric Hornqvist on the second unit. That is just my opinion.

Onto offense, which will be another key factor to putting up some wins. The Capitan, Mr. Crosby has a team leading 16 points (six goals and 10 assists) against Western Conference teams. While the Penguins’ second line of Blake Comeau, Malkin, and Hornqvist has accounted for 36.7% of the team’s goals. That means four out of 11 of the Penguins’ goals, since being paired back together. A big reason for that is Malkin’s beast mode talent. He has points in 64.3% (nine out of 14) of games versus the West, which stacks up to two goals and nine assists. The Penguins have the talent, they just have to get on the scoreboard more often and stick to their game.

As for defense, I could talk all day about Fleury. However he won’t be in the goal tonight. That privilege will belong to Thomas Greiss. The defenders will be the same though. Like Simon Despres has two goals, 14 assists, and 16 points, which are all career highs. He has been doing big things this season. The defense still has to step up and support the offense. If all else fails, they can’t. They have been on it and then not, so they have to be consistent also.

On a side note, Christian Ehrhoff traveled with the team and participated in the morning skate. Sadly, Mike Johnston said he won’t be playing tonight.  

This game could be a season changer for the Penguins and a chance for them to get things back into gear! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Perron, Crosby, Hornqvist
Kunitz, Geno, Comeau
Spaling, Sutter, Bennett
Sill, Lapierre, Adams

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Bortuzzo
Scuderi, Despres

Greiss in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 4 Blues 2

3rd Period

1:04- Blues with empty net.

1:22- Cole Scores. Jackman goes to Cole at the half boards, who is all alone. He rifles one past a screened Greiss. 4-2 Pens!

2:13- Blues are making a push and really taking it to the Pens. So far, the Pens are weathering the storm.

5:27- Jaskin Scores. The Pens and Blues battle in the corner, but the Jaskin comes up with the puck. He goes to the front and slides one through the five-hole of Greiss. 4-1 Pens!

7:38- SUTTER SCORES! Comeau goes to Sutter, who drags the puck into the slot and backhands one up high past Elliot! 4-0 Pens! 

7:39- The power play comes to an end for the Pens.

8:01- Crosby and Malkin flying on the power play!

9:39- The Pens will get another power play as Tarasenko goes to the box.

11:28- Both teams are back to full strength.

11:38- Backes and Bortuzzo have a chat. They both get misconduct penalties and head to the locker rooms.

13:28- Letang lays out Backes! Pietrangelo doesn't like it and goes for Letang. They exchange words and blows. Both end up in the box and some 4 on 4 hockey.

13:58- The Pens power play is killed off by the Blues.

15:14- Crosby snipes one in the corner. He celebrates like it went in, but the ref says no goal. They review for eight whole minutes...yes that long...just to say it was a no goal.

15:58- Cole will go to the box for boarding and that will give the Pens their second power play of the game.

18:25- Greiss makes a snow angle save!

20:00- Everyone is back for the third period! The Pens need to keep up the pressure and getting shots/traffic to the net! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period horn sounds and the Pens have extended their lead to 3-0 over the Blues!

2:21- The Pens need to keep the pressure up on the Blues. I would like to see a goal by the 3rd or 4th line of the Pens, but they are doing fine the way they are.

4:22- COMEAU SCORES! The defense signals for a switch and Despres fires from the point! Comeau redirects in the slot, while Kunitz battles/screens in front! Make that 3-0 Pens!

5:28- Letang and Scuderi team up to take away the puck from Oshie.

9:35- Some back and forth hockey going on right now.

13:32- HORNQVIST SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Letang carries to the back of the net and passes to Crosby in the corner! Crosby snaps one to Hornqvist to the slot! Hornqvist rifles one past Elliot! 2-0 Pens!

14:44- Lapierre gets a breakaway chance on his old team, but can't get a shot off. He draws a holding penalty from Tarasenko.

14:56- The Pens successful kill the Blues power play!

16:56- Blues go to the power play as Pouliot is called for tripping. This is a chance for the Pens to squash the swinging momentum towards the Blues.

17:12- The Blues start to tick up their play. Tarasenko is robbed by the lightning quick pad of Greiss!

17:46- What a way to start the second period! Crosby's line crashes the net and almost stuffs one home.

20:00- The Pens are back to start the second period! Just need to keep working and put shots on net every chance they get! Lets Go Pens!

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

0:03- Crosby rushes to the cage and rings one off the goal post! He goes flying into the air and Elliott saves the rebound chance. What a move by the Captain!

1:13- This looks like it will be a low scoring, tight game. The Pens have to stay focused.

2:20- The Pens are 25-5-5 in they score first. Now that is what I call a great stat.

3:29- COMEAU SCORES! The Pens get an offensive zone faceoff and Comeau gets the puck and takes it to the front! He puts it through the five hole of Elliott! 1-0 Pens!

5:01- Not many whistles this period. Quickly moving game.

6:59- A lackluster first period for the Penguins. I am not feeling any energy in their play.

11:14- Wide open feel to this game.

15:39- Steen just gets behind Scuderi, but Greiss gets a piece of the puck to steer it wide.

18:35- Crosby with a solid start, but Elliott denies him with the glove.

20:00- Puck drop in St. Louis! Time for the Pens to get things turned around against the Blues! Lets Go Pens!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Time to hang up the Blue Jackets!

By: MF, 

It's another hockey night in the city of Pittsburgh! The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Columbus Blue Jackets at Consol Energy Center tonight. The Penguins are coming off yet another hard fought loss and want to turn the tables around with a win tonight. If any team can accomplish this, it would be the Penguins. Here is what the numbers look like going into this game tonight.

They go into this game with six wins in their last seven games against the Blue Jackets, dating back to February 26, 2012. They only have one regulation loss in the last 13 games when facing the Blue Jackets, going back to October 21, 2006. These kind of numbers usually means the offense is clicking and the Penguins continue to have great offensive numbers against the Blue Jackets. Our Captain, Sidney Crosby is currently riding a 10 game point streak versus the Blue Jackets. He has racked up five goals and 12 assists during the streak. The team is 9-0-1 during that stretch, so Crosby getting on the scoreboard is key. That is no secret, if Crosby gets on the board the Penguins are usually on the winning side of the battle. The other head of the two-headed monster is Evgeni Malkin and he likes to put points up against the Blue Jackets. Malkin has 10 points (three goals and seven assists) in his eight career regular-season games versus the Blue Jackets. This includes racking up six points (three goals and three assists) in five games held at Consol. During this span, the Penguins are 6-0-2 in those eight games. Getting the two-headed monster on the score sheet will help lead the Penguins to victory tonight.

In addition, the Penguins have been showing their depth in their lineup this season. To keep a lead and get the win, the team will have to rely on the rest of the guys and not just the superstars. Don't get me wrong, Malkin and Crosby are key factors in getting wins, but not just them alone. Steve Downie became scored his 10th goal Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals. He became the ninth player on the Penguins to have 10 or more goals. The only team with more 10-plus goal scorers is the Tampa Bay Lightning at ten. The depth of the Penguins will bring them more wins and help when it's time to make a push to the Stanley Cup.

Now games aren't just won by the offense, but the defense has to be on point as well. The Penguins have some of the most talented and underrated defensemen, not to mention a goaltender having a magnificent season. Kris Letang is one of those talented defenders and should be a Norris Trophy candidate after this season ends. Letang has led the Penguins in ice time in 11 consecutive games, which shows how much Letang does along with defensive partner Paul Martin. Letang goes into this contest with points in five of his last six games (one goal and 10 assists). He also has a .88 point-per-game average, which ranks him first in the National Hockey League (NHL) among defensemen. I think the other defensive pairings are great, but when Letang and Martin step onto the ice, I feel much better. Watch for them to come out and shut down the top line of the Blue Jackets.

Let's move on to the magnificent season Marc-Andre Fleury has been having. He may be coming off a loss to the Capitals, but he was phenomenal in the net and kept the Penguins in the game. Fleury is 3-1-1 in his last five starts with a 0.79 goals-against-average and  .969 save percentage. The Penguins will have to step up offensively and get shots on the net. Fleury has been upholding his part of the deal in the net, but now the Penguins need to help him out.

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Comeau, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Bennett
Adams, Lapierre, Downie

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Bortuzzo
Scuderi, Despres

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
Pens 1 Blue Jackets 2

3rd Period
0:00- The Pens blow another game with a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets. Fleury was outstanding and kept them in the game. They better snap out of this funk and soon.

0:16- Blue Jackets ice the puck.

1:22- The Pens have an empty net.

1:50- The Pens power play comes to an end.

2:17- Dubinsky Scores shorthanded. Comeau goes crashing into Fleury and Dubinsky takes advantage to put in the loose puck. 2-1 Blue Jackets.

3:50- Pens power play time as Connauton goes for tripping on Sutter.

5:45- Fleury comes out to challenge and make another amazing save. He has been the star in this game.

9:04- Second one killed and thank you Mr. Fleury!

9:26- Pens kill the first one! Fleury was huge in the net!

11:04- Lapierre for highsticking now. The Pens will be have to kill off a Blue Jackets 5 on 3 power play for 1:38.

11:26- Bennett with a slashing penalty and the Blue Jackets with a huge power play opportunity.

13:58- McElhinney and Fleury are having solid games. It's another battle of the goalies game.

16:08- Crosby with a backhanded chance, McElhinney with the save.

19:26- The Pens power play comes to an end.

20:00- Time for the third period and the Pens have a power play for 34 seconds to start! They have capitalize and take over! Lets Go Pens!

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

1:26- The Pens will get a power play as Foligno sits for roughing.

2:08- Well I hope everyone is over the shock and awe of the Crosby fight. The Pens seem to have more life in them now, but how could they not?!

5:38- CROSBY IS IN A FIGHT! YES I SAID CROSBY! Crosby has had it with Dubinsky and drops them! Crowd is fired up and so should the team!

6:17- Downie and Boll are set free and things are back to full strength.

8:17- Time for some four-on-four hockey as Downie and Boll both sit for roughing.

11:02- MALKIN SCORES! Martin goes flying down the wing and puts the puck on net! Malkin snipes one home! 1-1 tie game!

13:51- The Pens have six shots this period, but need better breakouts and zone entrances.

18:35- Crosby is robbed by the glove of McElhinney!

20:00- Second period starts and the Pens have to step their game up! Fleury is doing his job, now it's time to help him out! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and the Pens are down 1-0 to the Blue Jackets.

2:17- Hartnell Scores. Hartnell gets alone in front and gets it past the outstretched leg of Fleury. 1-0 Blue Jackets.

2:52- Shots are 10-5 in favor of the Blue Jackets.

5:44- Another successful kill by the Penguins and Fleury held strong.

7:44- Adams off for interference and Blue Jackets with second power play.

9:13- The Pens have to get more shots on net. The Blue Jackets have the edge on the forecheck. Fleury coming up big in this one.

12:42- Calvert denied by the blocker of Fleury on a 2 on 1 chance by the Blue Jackets! #29 is holding down the fort.

14:41- Nice shot by Bortuzzo at the point, which is saved by McElhinney. The Pens are skating well.

16:57- The Pens kill the Blue Jackets power play and Fleury was amazing. Quick reactions and making huge saves early.

17:11- Fleury with a lightning quick glove save!

18:57- Perron takes a seat for high sticking and the Blue Jackets get the first power play of the game.

20:00- It's game time! The Pens have to come out with speed, fire, and pepper the net with shots! Lets Go Pens!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Capitals in Pittsburgh!

By: MF,

Can you feel it in the air? The city of Pittsburgh is hyped up and a rivalry feel is in the air. This all for tonight's game as the Pittsburgh Penguins will battle the Washington Capitals. The Penguins are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. It was a hard fought game for the Penguins and Marc-Andre Fleury did an amazing job in the net. They have put together some good games and will look to keep that going. The Penguins are known for having trouble against those in the Metropolitan Division, but maybe they can start to turn that around.   

A key factor in a win is the Penguins getting on the board first. They have five consecutive wins when they score the first goal and a record of 25-5-5, when they strike first this season. The Penguins are having home ice advantage tonight and that seems to be a big factor when they face the Capitals. They have won five of their last six games against the Capitals at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins have to come out with speed and take control of the game.

In addition, the Penguins have had a great offensive showing as injured players have returned to the lineup. Let's start with the third line of Nick Spaling, Brandon Sutter, and Beau Bennett in the last three games. Spaling has two goals, Sutter has notched two assists, and Bennett also has two assists. The Penguins have to rely on their other lines to create a buzz and produce, so they don't have to focus on their top two lines to get on the board. A key player recently has been Bennett, who has shown the coaching staff that he should no longer to scratch. He has assisted in back-to-back games and notched a career high nine shots during Sunday's game against the Blackhawks. It's the second highest total by a Penguin this season, only behind Patric Hornqvist who tallied 12. Bennett played a great game on Sunday and was flying on the ice. He is proving why he deserves a spot in the lineup. It's not always about the superstars, but they guys who are there to support them. 

Another major piece to the Penguins' success is their defense. The shut down defensive pair is Kris Letang and Paul Martin. You will see them go up against the Ovechkin line and they are truly a shutdown pair. They log the most ice time on the team, Letang recorded a season high ice time of 30:27 during Sunday's game against the Blackhawks. This was his ninth time skating for +30 minutes in his 472 career games. Now we can't talk defense without talking about the guy between the pipes, Fleury who has been having a sensational year. The Penguins are 20-0-2 when the Flower allows two or fewer goals this season. Not to mention, Fleury has allowed one even strength goal in his last 264:29 minutes of play. His last four starts, he is 3-0-1 with a .980 save percentage and 0.49 goals-against-average. In this span he has turned away 97 of 99 shots faced. This game will be a battle of the goalies as Braden Holtby is also having a great year. He is below Fleury in all categories, but wins where the two are tied at 26 (sixth in the National Hockey League).

Some good news today as Christian Ehrhoff joined the morning skate. He spoke to the media saying, "I'm feeling better and getting in the right direction...Hopefully not too much longer, but it's kind of day-to-day how I feel, so it's tough to give an estimate or prognosis."

Mike Johnston also talked to the media saying Ehrhoff still needs to be cleared for contact and take part in a full practice. There will be a full practice tomorrow, so they can see if he can take part in it and go from there.

The Penguins have to come out ready to battle, but not let the Capitals get under their skin. It will be a physical game and tough, but if they can stick to their system they will earn the win. Time to get ready for battle! Lets Go Pens!

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Comeau, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Bennett
Adams, Lapierre, Downie

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Bortuzzo
Scuderi, Despres

Fleury in the net!

(FYI: I have some matters to take care of tonight, so I won't be able to give updates on the game on the site or Facebook. Updates will be provided by my pal GF on twitter, so check it out!)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Penguins are in Chicago!

By: MF,

Good afternoon everyone! Today we have a rare afternoon game as the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Chicago Blackhawks. The Penguins are coming off two great back-to-back game wins and will look to keep that streak going. This will be only the second meeting, this season, between these two teams.

Going into this game the Penguins have only allowed one opposing power-play goal to the Blackhawks over Chicago's 16 previous opportunities on the power-play, dating back to February 27, 2009. Also, Zach Sill scored his first National Hockey League (NHL) goal against the Blackhawks earlier this season. This game will have superstars up against superstars. The Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby has 24 points in the first period, which is ranked first in the NHL. Not to mention, Patrick Kane (Blackhawks) currently leads the NHL in the scoring race at 63 points, but Crosby is fourth with 58 points. Crosby has been on fire lately and will be right at the top in no time. Since January 1st, the scoring leaders in this game are Patrick Kane with 23 points, Kris Letang 21 points, and Crosby with 20 points. It will be a test for the goaltenders today.

In addition, the Penguins defense has been key to the Penguins last two wins. First, Rob Scuderi has recorded three assists in his last four games. The team has a record of 6-0-1 when Scuderi records a point. Paul Martin is a plus six, which ties him with Letang for second in the NHL since February 4th. No time to talk about the main guy who has been on fire, Kris Letang. He has 19 assists since January 13th, which leads the league and the next closest defensemen is three assists away. He also has the most multi-point games since January 1st among defensemen at seven. We can't talk defense without mentioning the amazing goaltending by Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury in his last five starts is 4-1, has a 1.19 goals-against-average, .943 save percentage, and two shutouts. When it comes to the West, the Flower is 9-2-1, has a 1.56 goals-against-average, .943 save percentage. During the month of February the netminder has a 1.26 goals-against-average, which puts him in the top spot in the NHL. The Penguins will rely heavily on Fleury during this game, but he looks up to the task.

Now the Penguins practiced yesterday and Christian Ehrhoff was there. He has been undergoing the concussion protocol, since January 28th against the Washington Capitals. He took part in a partial practice and didn't take part in contact drills. It's good to see him getting back into practice with everyone else. The only one absent during the practice was Paul Martin, who suffered a undisclosed injury Wednesday night. However, Martin will be in the lineup for today's game.

The Penguins have to play a smart defensive game and take it to the Blackhawks! This should be an interesting game! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Comeau, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Bennett
Adams, Lapierre, Downie

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Bortuzzo
Scuderi, Despres

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
Pens 1 Blackhawks 2

The Blackhawks come out with the 2-1 shootout win. Fleury was amazing in this game and kept the Pens in this game. Good afternoon game, but the Pens just couldn't get the win.

Sharp Scores.

Letang is stopped by Crawford.

Kane Scores. 


Toews Scores. 


0:00- We are going to a shootout!

0:57- Fleury with two awesome saves on Hossa! Unreal goaltending today by the Flower!

2:35- Letang with great skating moves to keep the puck safe.

4:15- Fleury with a huge save on Toews!

5:00- Time for some extra hockey! The Pens have to hold strong and not let up on Crawford! Lets Go Pens!

3rd Period
0:00- 60 minutes of regulation wasn't enough as things are still tied up at one! We are headed to overtime!

1:58- Letang lays out Kane at the blue line.

3:48- Awesome penalty kill by the Pens! Fleury was on point and makes a save at the end. Pens with another successful kill.

5:48- Crosby will now sit in the box for tripping on Toews. The Pens bring out their penalty kill unit.

7:13- Fleury losses his glove as he tries to cover the puck. The Pens were finally able to get his glove back to him with no harm done.

8:28- The Hawks pressure the Pens and Fleury comes up big. The Pens end up icing the puck.

10:32- The Pens better be thanking Fleury big time after this game.

12:41- The Pens power play comes to an end. Crosby's power play unit was flying.

14:41- Seabrook will take a seat for cross-checking and the Pens head onto the power play.

16:04- SPALING SCORES! Bennett makes his way through the Hawks zone and battles to get a shot off! His shot is saved by Crawford, but Spaling fires home the rebound! 1-1 tie game!

18:44- Some 4 on 4 hockey time as Bortuzzo and Kane receive matching slashing penalties.

20:00- Third period time! The Pens have to come at the Hawks and not let up! They have to get in on Crawford and shake things up! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and the Hawks lead by one after two. Fleury big reason for the Pens still being in this game.

2:00- An official calls Crosby for tripping and then the officials huddle up. Then the call is changed. Good call in the end. Oduya fell on his own and Crosby had nothing to do with that.

2:51- Malkin finds Comeau driving down the center and gets the puck to him. Comeau rifles one just wide.

4:36- Fleury makes a pad save on Hossa's shot/drive to the net. Hawks crash the net, but Fleury holds strong!

4:43- The Pens have a successful kill.

6:43- Sutter is now called for hooking and Hawks get their own power play chance.

7:28- The Pens power play ends. Malkin and Crosby were on two different units this time.

9:28- Kane goes for hooking and the Pens get the first power play of the game.

10:53- The first line of the Pens is absolutely flying on the ice.

12:40- Crawford has been huge for the Hawks and keeping the Pens at bay...for now. Fleury has also been solid in net.

15:11- Crosby is robbed once again by Crawford! Perron tires to jam in the second chance, but the pad of Crawford gets out.

16:38- Hjalmarsson Scores. The Hawks win an offensive zone faceoff and Saad goes back to Hjalmarsson. He fires from the point and it goes high past Fleury. 1-0 Hawks.

18:00- Scuderi tries for a center pass. It gets picked off by Shaw who fires a wrist shot. Fleury comes out to challenge and makes a beautiful glove save!

20:00- The second period is underway! The Pens have to keep up the hard work and get in the dirty areas to get one past Crawford! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and this game is scoreless!

0:10- The Hawks get a 2 on 1 chance. Letang has other thoughts and makes a sliding play to deny a shot or pass. 

1:13- Malkin comes flying down the right wing, but is dragged down by the goal. He is able to get a shot off and Crawford makes the save. 

2:55- Shots are 12-8 in favor of the Pens. 

4:01- Hornqvist rings one off the crossbar!

4:34- Toews tries for a redirect up front, but he directs the puck wide.

5:19- Crosby snipes, but Crawford robs him! The Pens had a set faceoff, which created the opportunity for Crosby. 

7:18- Hornqvist and Comeau get another 2 on 1 chance, Hornqvist passes, but Comeau fans on the shot. 

9:34- Smith backhands the puck towards the goal, but Fleury makes the save!

12:23- Comeau and Hornqvist get a 2 on 1 opportunity. Comeau holds the puck, but Keith slides to block his shot attempt.  

13:57- Hossa finds a shooting lane, but the shot goes wide of the net. 

17:24- Good start this game, but there is a lot of icing calls. It's hard to get a rhythm going. 

20:00- Puck drop and here we go! The Pens better be ready! Lets Go Pens!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Time to clip some Wings!

By: MF, 

Welcome back! It was a nice few days of relaxing and not stressing about the Pittsburgh Penguins bouncing back, especially after a horrible loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Not writing, talking, and arguing about their horrible game and effort. Now they have had a few days rest and time to gather their thoughts as they will face the Detroit Red Wings at Consol Energy Center!

The Penguins come into this game having with only one loss against the Red Wings at Consol, which came on December 13, 2011. While Evgeni Malkin is currently riding a six game point streak against the Red Wings with four goals and five assists. In his career, Malkin has points in seven of eight games against the Red Wings. On top of this, the Penguins have only 15 losses in regulation, which is the fewest in the Metropolitan Division and puts them fourth in the National Hockey League (NHL).

The Penguins home point leaders include Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Kris Letang. Malkin is ranked fourth in the NHL with 30 points, Crosby 13th with 27 points, and Letang is second among defensemen in the NHL with 21 points. Crosby will also appear in his 600th career game tonight! Congrats to out Captain!

Another big guy for the Penguins is their netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. He has 10 wins against Atlantic Division teams, which ties him for the most in the NHL with Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltender Ben Bishop. Fleury is also riding a shutout sequence of 131:40. He goes into this game with a 10-1-2 record, 1.99 goals-against-average (GAA), .930 save percentage (SVP), and two shutouts against the Atlantic Division this season.

However, part of Fleury's success is the defenders supporting him like Simon Despres. Despres leads the team with 159 hits, which ranks him fourth in the NHL among defensemen. In addition, he tied a career high with two assists in the Penguins' only meeting with the Red Wings this season.

Onto the morning skate, Chirstian Ehrhoff (concussion symptoms) and Mark Acrobello (waivers) were the only ones absent. Blake Comeau was among the players and doing line rushes. He has been out with a upper body injury. Comeau says he is ready to go and hopes to play tonight. UPDATE: Looks like he is back in the lineup!

The Penguins have to come out with speed and shut down the Red Wings early! They can't allow them to breath! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Comeau, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Bennett
Adams, Lapierre, Downie

Martin, Letang
Scuderi, Despres
Pouliot, Bortuzzo

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 4 Red Wings 1

3rd Period

2:27- Time is whining down, but the Red Wings are deadly late in a game. They always seem to score late.

6:54- Crosby and Perron get a 2 on 1 chance! Crosby holds and fires a shot, which is stopped by the pad of Howard.

7:41- The Pens have started to come back on after weathering the Red Wings' storm.

9:27- The Pens defense has stepped up this period.

12:03- The Red Wings have come on more offensively this period, but Fleury is making the tough saves. The Pens have to weather this storm and push back!

14:42- Fleury is having to take tougher saves this period, but holding strong.

16:00- Kunitz and Abdelkader tussle and each team dumps in. No penalties.

19:31- Howard has replaced Mrazek.

20:00- 20 minutes of regulation left in this game! The Pens just need to keep up the pace and do what they been doing! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- The second period horn sounds and the Pens extend their lead to 4-1!

1:55- That power play is killed off by the Red Wings.

3:55- Ericsson will have a seat for hooking and the Pens get their second power play chance of the night.

6:30- Fleury's shutout streak comes to an end. He did achieve a new personal best shutout streak of 165:06 minutes!

6:34- Weiss Scores on the power play. The Red Wings pass it around and put the puck on net. It goes under Fleury's pad and Weiss jams the puck past the goal line. 4-1 Pens!

6:58- Now it's the Red Wings turn to have a power play chance as Downie will go for hooking.

8:08- Perron just fires a shot wide of the net!

12:05- SPALING SCORES! The Pens keep the puck in the Red Wings' zone! Scuderi fires from the point and Spaling redirects it past Mrazek! 4-0 Pens!

14:48- Fleury makes an amazing sliding pad save with someone right on the doorstep! ON POINT!

16:56- PERRON SCORES! Lapierre takes puck from Smith and his shot is saved by Mrazek! Perron skates by and puts in the rebound! 3-0 Pens!

17:14- Fleury making tough saves at the start of this period.

20:00- The second period is underway! The Pens need to keep up the pressure and continue where the left off in the first period! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and the Pens have the 2-0 lead!

1:37- The whole team is flying out there including the two-headed monster!

3:41- Fleury gets a piece of the puck with his pad to send it to the corner.

4:25- Fast paced game to start. The Pens have come out with speed and fire. I hope they can keep this pace up!

7:45- COMEAU SCORES! WELCOME BACK! Hornqvist battles behind the net and outlets to Comeau in the slot! Comeau snipes one past the blocker of Mrazek! 2-0 Pens!

9:57- The Pens have held the Red Wings to one shot.

12:57- Letang backchecks and flings Tatar away from him! What a hit by Letang.

14:50- The Pens power play is killed off. They moved the puck well, but had trouble getting shots to the net.

16:50- Smith sits for holding and the Pens get the first power play of the game.

18:03- HORNQVIST SCORES! Letang fires a shot/pass off the backboards and Hornqvist takes the rebound to stuffs it home! 1-0 Pens!

20:00- The puck has dropped at Consol! The Pens have to come out with speed and take it to the Red Wings early! Lets Go Pens!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Penguins are ready to Shutout Western Canada!

By: MF,

Will the Pittsburgh Penguins' Western Canada trip end on a high note? Tonight we shall see as the Penguins take on the Vancouver Canucks. The Penguins are going into this game winning two games in a row and also shutting them out (Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames). Their record is now 11-3-1 against Western Conference teams this season. This ties them with the Detroit Red Wings for the most wins against the West among Eastern Conference teams.

Going into this game the Penguins are 10-0-1 when Brandon Sutter scores. It would be good to get the third line producing, like they did during the Calgary Flames game last night. In addition, the Penguins' first line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, and David Perron have been having success in Western Canada this road trip. In two games, the line has combined for a total of four goals, six assists, 10 points, and is a plus 12. They have accounted for four of the Penguins' six goals during this road trip. Not mention how well David Perron has been fitting into the top unit. He has seven goals in his last 11 games and he is third in the league among goal leaders since January 13. That puts him only three behind Alex Ovechkin with 10. Also Perron has amassed eight points (three goals and five assists) in his last six games versus the Canucks. His only career hat trick occurred on January 27, 2014 against the Canucks, when he was with the Edmonton Oilers. While Crosby notched his 14th multi-point games last night against the Flames, which ties him with Malkin for first among the team.

The Penguins' offense isn't the only ones on fire! Their defense is stepping up their game also. Kris Letang achieved his 11th multi-point game last night, which ties him with the Washington Capitals' Mike Green for the most among National Hockey League (NHL) defensemen. While in net Marc-Andre Fleury surpassed Tom Barrasso last night for the franchise record for the most single-season shutouts with eight. He also leads the NHL in that category. Fleury is in tied for third in the NHL for single-season shutout leaders since 2011-12, only Brain Elliott (nine) and Jonathan Quick (10) have more. However, tonight the Penguins will be starting Thomas Greiss in net. He has three starts against Western Conference teams this season. He has a .920 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average against the West.

The Penguins have finally been able to put together some wins getting them both on the road. They have played a full 60 minute game and playing a smart defensive game in both contests. They have been clicking on offense and working hard for their wins. They have been well deserved wins and the Penguins need to continue their hard work to end this trip on a high note! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Arcobello, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Downie
Sill, Lapierre, Adams

Martin, Letang
Scuderi, Despres
Pouliot, Bortuzzo

Greiss in the net!

Play By Play
Pens 0 Canucks 5

3rd Period
0:00- Canucks get 5-0 win over the Pens. The Pens get shutout for the sixth time this season. They will have to get back on track in Pittsburgh!

1:47- Adams gets a 10 minute misconduct penalty along with Sbisa.  

2:37- Some games you are not going to score and the goalie has no effect on it. Miller has been tested a little, but the Pens haven't look energized since taking all the penalties early on.

3:55- The Pens power play comes to an end.

5:51- Another power play chance for the Pens as Weber goes off for interference.

6:55- That is all she wrote for the Pens power play.

7:49- Pens power play for 51 seconds.

9:01- Sutter is robbed by the pad of Miller and tripped up on the play. 4 on 4 hockey for 1:10.

9:49- Canucks will get another power play.

13:20- Both teams are made whole again.

15:20- 4 on 4 hockey as Hornqvist and Dorsett sit for two minutes.

17:55- D. Sedin Scores on the power play. Burrows draws all the attention at the side of the net and ends up going across to D. Sedin. He puts it in a open net. 5-0 Canucks.  

18:33- Canucks power play for 1:45.

18:47- Letang is called for slashing. 4 on 4 for 14 seconds then Canucks power play.

19:24- Malkin turns over the puck right in front of the Penguins' net, but no harm is done. Not a great night for him.

20:00- One more period of regulation to go! The Pens have a power play for 1:27 to start this period! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and the Canucks extend their lead to 4-0 over the Pens.

0:33- Malkin draws a holding penalty on Dorset. The Pens get a late power play.

0:39- The Pens are able to kill it.

2:39- Letang ends up in the box and the Canucks get another power play opportunity.

2:39- Kassian Scores. Greiss goes to play the puck behind the net and fans on play. Vey goes to Kassian alone who puts it in the wide open net. 4-0 Canucks.

4:58- Matthias Scores. Malkin is tripped up in the offensive zone, which leads to the Canucks getting a chance the other way. Matthias snipes one past Greiss. 3-0 Canucks.

5:48- Perron tries to get the puck into position with one hand while being hounded, but it just wonders off his stick.

7:56- Greiss makes a tough save on a redirected shot up front.

10:47- The biggest struggle for the Pens has been getting through the neutral zone as the Canucks defense is standing up on them.

12:55- A successful kill for the Canucks.

14:55- The Pens get a much needed power play. Dorsett for handling the puck with his hand.

15:31- Pouliot fires a rocket shot that hits the post and goes off the back on Miller's leg. As the puck trickles over the goal line, a Canuck knocks the goal off. The refs review and say the play is inconclusive, so no goal.

16:14- Arcobello takes a fist to the face as Burrows was looking to punch the puck out of the air, but found a Penguin instead.

17:11- Miller comes out to make a save on Lapierre. He tries for a wrap around as Miller was flopping around. Weber denies his chance.

18:31- Greiss starts this period with two tough saves.

20:00- The second period is underway! The Pens need to come out with some jump, better puck control, and get ready to pepper the net! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- The first horn sounds with the Pens down by against the Canucks.

1:30- Hopefully the Pens come out with more jump to start the second period as the time is whining down in the first.

3:26- Not a great first period for the Pens.

5:58- DING! DING! Bortuzzo and Kassian drop the gloves. Bortuzzo ends up taking Kassian down.

8:11- The Pens have only registered three shots, so far. Not good and not the way you get back into a game when you are down by two.

9:14- Horvat Scores. Malkin coughs up the puck at the blue line. Dorsett and Horvat exchange the puck. Greiss makes the first save on Dorsett's shot, but Horvat bats in the rebound. 2-0 Canucks.

10:42- The Pens have yet to register a shot. They need to get some offensive zone time and shots on net. The penalties set them back and not it's to climb back up.

12:47- Burrows Scores on the power play. Vrbata fires from half boards and Burrows redirects the puck in front past Greiss. 1-0 Canucks.

13:31- The Canucks will head right back onto the power play as Crosby will sit in the sin bin for holding.

13:41- Huge penalty kill by the Pens, which is ranked third in the league on the road. Greiss was making some incredible saves at the end of the kill.

15:41- The Canucks will get the first power play of the game as Letang is called for holding.

18:28- Bortuzzo fires a shot in the slot, but bangs it wide.

20:00- Puck drop in Vancouver! Time for the Pens to finish this trip on a high note! Lets Go Pens!

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Penguins look to Extinguish the Flames!

By: MF, 

The Western Canada trip continues for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they take on the Calgary Flames tonight! The Penguins have started their trip off successfully, they achieved a win against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. The Penguins need to tie some wins together, so this game will be a major one for the team.

The Penguins come into this game with an eight game winning streak against the Flames, which happens to be the longest active streak for the team. The team also has a record of 10-3-1, this season against Western Conference teams. This is the perfect time for the Penguins to start putting some wins together, since they have had some trouble with doing this lately.

In addition, Robert Bortuzzo has at least one point in every career game when he faces the Flames (three goals and four assists). Also, Simon Despres have recorded an assist in both career games against the Flames. Furtermore, Kris Letang has a league leading 15 points since January 10. While in net, Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his seventh shutout of the season against the Oilers. Fleury leads the National Hockey League (NHL) in that category and is now tied for the franchise record for single-season shutouts. He ties Tom Barrasso, who earned seven shutouts in 1997-98 in 63 games played, Fleury has seven with only 41 games played so far.

Onto the Penguins offensive power, which usually centers around the two-headed monster of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Crosby comes into this game having recorded six points (four goals and two assists) in his last three games against the Flames. Now Malkin scored the game winning goal against the Oilers, which was his 43rd of his career. Thus, he surpassed Jean Pronovost for third on the team's all-time game-winning-goal list! While he also tied Kevin Stevens for sixth place on the Penguin's all-time goal scoring list at 260! It was a big night for Malkin as he made is return after suffering a groin injury in January.

The Penguins held an optional skate today, which 14 players attended. Mike Johnston said that Fleury would start in net tonight and that Thomas Greiss will start tomorrow night against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Penguins will have to come out with speed and be ready to work for a full 60 minute game. It would be great for the team to get some wins together on this road trip. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Arcobello, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Downie
Sill, Lapierre, Adams

Martin, Letang
Scuderi, Despres
Pouliot, Bortuzzo

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 4 Flames 0

3rd Period

0:13- Penalty is over.

2:13- Perron is called for hooking and the Flames get a late power play chance.

2:40- Fleury comes up with an unreal save on a point blank shot.

5:25- Crosby dishes out the puck, from behind the net, to Perron in the slot. He slaps one, but Ramo flashes the glove to make the save.

7:25- The Pens are still pressuring the Flames in the offensive zone and not just focusing on defending their lead.

13:36- Hudler has a chance on a wide open net, but Fleury dives back to get his glove on the puck! Unreal save!

14:40- The Flames pull Hiller and replace him with Ramo.

14:41- CROSBY SCORES HIS SECOND OF THE NIGHT! Crosby finds a gap in the Flames defense and blows past them! Kunitz passes up to the flying Crosby! Crosby snips one stick side! 4-0 Pens!

17:05- The Pens power play comes to an end.

19:03- Perron pulls the trigger, but Hiller makes the save.

20:00- 20 minutes of regulation left to go! The Pens have a power play for another 2:55 to start this one! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and the Pens extend their lead to 3-0!

1:05- Jones catches Martin up high and will sit. The Pens head onto the power play! It's a double minor.

2:49- Make that another successful kill by the Pens. Fleury has had to make some tough saves during the penalty kill.

4:49- Another Pens penalty as Malkin sits for high sticking. The Flames get their third power play of the night.

6:10- Letang is back on the bench.

8:02- CROSBY SCORES! Kunitz feeds the puck to a flying Crosby! Crosby makes an amazing one-handed deflection past Hiller! 3-0 Pens!

8:36- The Pens kill it! Great job by Fleury who was working on his snow angles!

10:37- It't penalty kill time for Pens now as Bortuzzo is called for a delay of game.

11:36- The Flames are made whole again as they kill off the Pens power play.

13:36- Now it's the Pens turn on the power play as Diaz takes a seat for holding.

15:41- Crosby bats the puck out of the air, but it goes off the crossbar.

16:55- Martin tries to set Letang up for a scoring chance, but the puck is deflected right into the face of Letang. He was bleeding and went right to the locker room.

20:00- The second period is underway! The Pens need to keep up the hard work and not let up on the Flames! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period comes to an end with the Pens leading 2-0.

1:50- SUTTER SCORES! Sutter wins the faceoff back to Scuderi who passes over to Despres! Despres makes a slap past to Sutter. who directs it past Hiller! 2-0 Pens!

1:54- The first period is coming to a close and it has been pretty much a Pens controlled period.

2:38- Pouliot does a great job of carrying the puck to the neutral zone. He was being absolutely hounded, but kept his cool and got the puck out.

5:06- Little whistles in this game and the Pens are doing a good job of rotating all four lines.

7:26- The Flames have had some chances on net, but Fleury has been the difference there. Hiller looks solid in net as the Pens hassle the Flames defense.

8:51- Crosby is putting on a show. He is just everywhere on the ice and stepping up great chances. Amazing to see.

10:34- The Pens are successful with the kill and Downie is set free. Great job by the team on that kill.

12:34- The Flames will get the first power play of the game as Downie is called for tripping. The Pens bring out their penalty killers.

13:21- Fleury and Bortuzzo combine efforts to keep the puck out of the Pens' net.

13:47- PERRON SCORES! Crosby hounds Giordano and he ends up turning over the puck! Kunitz goes to Crosby who dishes it Perron! Perron snips one past Hiller! 1-0 Pens!

15:21- The Pens have come out strong to start this one. Malkin and Crosby are flying.

18:54- Two early quality saves by Fleury to start this game.

20:00- Puck drop in Calgary! Time for the Pens to extinguish the Flames! Lets Go Pens!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Western Canada welcomes the Pittsburgh Penguins

By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are on their Western Canada trip and it starts tonight in Edmonton as the Penguins take on the Edmonton Oilers. The Penguins have had success this season North of the United States border and they need a big win tonight. They have had some trouble lately putting multiple wins in a row and this trip could be the key to getting some wins on the board. Their last two Western Canada trips have been a success. In 2011-12 and 2013-14 season, they have gone 2-0-1.

While the each team (Penguins and Oilers) have enjoyed a win against one another, this season. Though the Penguins have won nine of their last 13 games when they face the Oilers. During that stretch, the Penguins only have lost twice in regulation to the Oilers, which most recently was January 6, 2006.

As for the Western Conference, the Penguins are 9-3-1. Their power play against Canadian teams is 24.3%, but their penalty kill is firing on all cylinders at 92.7%. Special teams will be key and the Penguins have to take advantage when they can. Also, the Penguins have three skaters averaging a point-per-game against all Canadian based teams. Those skaters are Kris Letang with a 1.33 points-per-game, Sidney Crosby with a 1.30, and Evgeni Malkin with a 1.11.

In addition, the Penguins offense has been putting up good numbers. The face-off circle is a big deal and could mean a goal or not in some situations. Maxim Lapierre has a 54.8% face-off percentage and is the best on the team. Also, Crosby has one goal, four assist, and five points in his two games against the Oilers this season. David Perron will be facing his old team tonight. Perron has been putting up unreal numbers and already surpasses his Oiler numbers. He has only played 12 games for the Penguins and is on track to blow his 38 Oiler game numbers away in no time. Perron and Crosby have been clicking and only getting better. Offense even comes from the defense, like Letang. He has assisted on the Penguins' last seven goals, so look for him to impact the game tonight.

Huge news for the Penguins, who have been looking for some offense! Malkin will return tonight after suffering a groin injury last month. Malkin is the team's leading scorer and he is a huge asset for the team. It will be great to have him back and he will bring up the power play, which has been struggling as of late.

This is the turning point for the Penguins tonight. They can get some wins together on this trip and having the services of Malkin back will come into play. Time to get things going! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Arcobello, Geno, Hornqvist
Spaling, Sutter, Downie
Sill, Lapierre, Adams

Martin, Letang
Scuderi, Despres
Pouliot, Bortuzzo

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 2 Oilers 0

3rd Period

1:23- 6 on 5 now as the two guys are released!

2:47- Oilers have an empty net. 5 on 4 now.

3:23- Bortuzzo and Hendricks get into at the front of the Oilers bench. Scrum ensues between the two teams. Bortuzzo and Hendricks sit in the box and some 4 on 4 hockey.

5:24- Hornqvist was on every Oiler looking to create a turnover during his shift. Unreal.

7:01- Oilers had some momentum as the Pens turned over the puck three times and had a hard time exiting their own zone.

7:57- Fleury is still awake as he come out to cut down an angle and make a pad save.

9:42- This is a very calm game and not physical. Not much to update on.

12:25- Crosby gets the first shot for the Pens in this period.

12:47- Eberle takes a puck right in the face and skates to the locker room.

16:21- The Pens are rotating through their four lines. With this two goal lead, they can use all the lines and keep from playing certain guys too much.

20:00- 60 more minutes left of regulation! The Pens just need to keep up the hard work and keep the momentum in their favor! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Second period ends and the #Pens are able to break the scoreless barrier! They lead 2-0 over the Oilers!

0:01-PERRON SCORES!! Letang fires from the blue line and Perron drives to the net! It goes off Perron into the net with .4 left in the second period! 2-0 Pens!

2:29- There was a invisible wall in front of the Oilers net! The Pens were crashing and whacking the puck to the net every chance they could!

3:51- The Pens successfully kill it! Fleury was excellent and the goal post also saved the Pens.

4:46- Fleury has to come up with some solid saves on the penalty kill.

5:51- Perron hooks up Klinkhammer and the Oilers get the first power play of the game. Pens bring out their penalty kill unit!

7:45- There was a scoring chance as Hornqvist gets the assist instead of Letang. So his streak ends at seven.

11:28- Not the most interesting game, but the Pens are dominating the puck control and winning battles.

14:17- Letang has assisted on eight consecutive Penguin goals, so far. He is tied second with a few players (all-time) and the only one ahead of him is Wayne Gretzy with 10 in 1986.

19:03- Perron collides with Fasth. Fasth gets the worse of it, but looks to be ok.

19:36- MALKIN SCORES! Letang dumps in the puck and Acrobello battles behind the net! The puck pops out in front and Fasth is unable to cover it! Malkin finds the loose puck and bangs it home! 1-0 Pens!

20:00- Time for the second period and some Pens goals! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period ends and this game is scoreless. Not much going on in that period as the Pens just needed a finishing touch.

2:22- With the way the Pens have been playing this period, they could easily been up a few goals.

4:01- The Pens are getting great chances on net. It's only a matter of time for them, but they need to make sure they stay focused defensively.

5:10- Malkin's line starts crashing the net. Fasth has to make some quality saves. Just need that finishing touch.

8:52- Lapierre with a great chance, but the glove of Fasth stops him.

12:17- Crosby whips a shot from center, but Fasth makes a pad save!

13:38- Spaling slaps a shot through the goal mouth and wide!

14:04- Crosby and Malkin are flying on the ice. Only a matter of time for those guys to get on the scoreboard tonight!

20:00- Puck drop in Edmonton! Time for the Pens to take it to the Oilers! Lets Go Pens!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Super Sunday Game!

By: MF,
Bortuzzo absorbs a hit / Pittsburgh Penguins

It's Super Sunday today! The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Nashville Predators in a rare afternoon game. This game comes before the Penguins take a four game road trip to the Western Canada.

The Penguins practiced yesterday afternoon and were joined by Evgeni Malkin. Malkin has been placed on the injured reserve and has missed four games with a lower-body injury. Yesterday, was his first practice back since the injury. Malkin joined some of the drills and centered a line. He won't return today, but may return doing the Western Canada road trip.

More injury updates, Ehrhoff was the only missing player during yesterday's practice. He still has more test ahead to determine if he has a concussion, he has been experiencing concussion-like symptoms.
Sill backchecks on Jagr / Pittsburgh Penguins
Mike Johnston commented, “He still has some symptoms...With these things, whether it’s a concussion or it’s symptoms, they’re trying to determine sort of where he’s at and it takes a few days. It doesn't just happen in 24 hours.”

Now the Pens need a good win before heading onto the road. Time to start Super Sunday off right! Lets Go Pens!

Fleury gloves a shot / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pens lineup is as follows:

Kunitz, Crosby, Perron
Spaling, Sutter, Hornqvist
Bennett, Arcobello, Downie
Lapierre, Sill, Adams

Despres, Letang
Martin, Scuderi
Bortuzzo, Pouliot

Fleury in the net!

Play By Play
Pens 0 Predators 4

3rd Period
0:00- The Pens continue to statistically suck in afternoon games with a 4-0 loss to the Preds. They have a four game road trip to get things squared away and get back to winning games. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday...if you can after this horrible loss.

2:00- Hutton is close to getting his 2nd career shutout.

4:27- Despres rings one off the goal post. Yet another goal post.

8:40- Pens look disjointed and don't look synced. Passes are not as crisp and they are turning over the puck at horrible times/places. Different team then New Jersey game.

11:40- Fisher Scores on the power play. Fleury is double screened by Neal and Bortuzzo. Fisher snipes one at center. 4-0 Preds.

12:38- Crosby takes a slashing penalty and Preds get a power play.

15:43- A successful Pens penalty kill.

17:53- Sutter to the box for goalie interference even though he was pushed into Hutton. Preds power play.

18:10- Despres is back on the ice with Letang.

20:00- Third period time! The Pens have to get in sync with one another and stop turning over the puck! Time for some Pens goals! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Preds take a 3-0 lead as the second period horn sounds.

0:40- Nystrom Scores. The Pens try a center play, but turn over the puck. Nystrom gets the puck and is behind the Pens defense. He stick handles around Fleury's poke check. 3-0 Preds.

3:33- Despres hasn't been on the ice and isn't on the bench. I am not sure what happened to him, but will find out.

6:17- Perron and Jarnkrok are released. Balance is restored to both teams.

8:04- Spaling gets a breakaway and rips a shot off the goal post!

8:17- 4 on 4 hockey time. Matching penalties. Perron for hooking and Jarnkrok for embellishment.

8:26- The Pens had a couple of chances, but couldn't bury the puck home. Preds with a successful kill.

10:26- Jarnkrok skates to the box for holding. Third power play for the Pens.

12:13- Mark that as another successful kill for the Pens.

13:11- 58 second power play for the Preds.

14:13- Perron now to the box for hooking. Horrible call after a bad turn over. 4 on 4 for 1:02.

15:11- Another Pens power play as Volchenkov takes a seat for interference.

15:13- Smith gets a breakaway, but Fleury with the pad save!

18:09- Now it's time for a Pens power play as Beck sits for hooking.

19:04- Perron puts on some fancy stick moves to get the puck on net. Hutton with the save and Perron gets hit hard once he releases the puck.

20:00- Second period time! The Pens have to get in Hutton's face and get shots through! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- First period comes to an end and the Preds lead 2-0.

0:26- Bennett is back on the bench. 

1:31- The Pens kill off the Preds power play.

2:36- Weber snipes one from the point, but Fleury makes the pad save. 

3:31- The Pens are called for too-many-men on the ice and the Preds get the first power play of the game. 

3:36- Bennett collides with Lapierre into the boards. Bennett goes down and slowly makes his way to the bench. He goes to the locker room bent over. 

4:04- No whistles in the last few minutes. Line changes on time are key.

6:23- Lapierre comes flying down the wing and fires one off the goal post!

8:12- The Preds are defending well in their own zone, making it hard on the Pens to get shots through to Hutton. 

10:01- Crosby's line has been working hard to create opportunities in the offensive zone. 

13:22- Bourque Scores. Despres tries for Spaling with a center pass, but it goes off a Preds skate. The puck finds Bourque all alone in the slot and he doesn't miss. 2-0 Preds.

15:55- Josi Scores. Josi slaps one from the point and the shots is redirect right in front of Fleury. Looks like it went off Despres stick, possbile. 1-0 Preds.

17:21- Smith is denied by Fleury right on the doorstep!

18:30-Hornqvist is playing in his 400th game!

19:50- Good start for the Pens as Spaling gets an early chance, but Weber blocks it! 

20:00- The puck has dropped at Consol! Pens host the Preds! Lets Go Pens!