Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fired up and ready to get a win!

By: MF, 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back at Consol, to take on the Arizona Coyotes, after a short little road trip to Carolina. The Penguins are coming off some hard loses and look to be lost on the ice. Tonight they will get back the services of Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist. Hopefully, they can spark the Penguins into action. It has been missing in all their games. The Penguins are 8-3-3 on their first back-to-back games. Not to mention, they have four wins in their last six meetings against the Coyotes. During that time, the Penguins have killed off 26 of 27 Coyote power-plays.

Having both those guys back will help fire up the offense. It will also take some of the weight off of Sidney Crosby's shoulders. The Penguin Captain goes into this game with 75 league-leading points (24 goals and 51 assists). He even has a 1.90 points-per-game average, which is tops in the National Hockey League (NHL). Crosby is also one of just five Eastern Conference players to average at least a point-per-game against Western Conference teams. Crosby has had multi-point efforts in four of nine career games against the Coyotes. Now the top team lines of the Penguins are not the only ones putting up some big numbers. Guys like Brandon Sutter and Steve Downie are contributing every game. Sutter has tied his second-highest career total of 17 goals, for the second time in his career. His highest career total is 21 and he could very well tie or surpass that. Downie is a big guy on the scoreboard when it comes to home games. He has four goals in his last eight home games. That is good for a guy, who is seen as only an enforcer.

The offense can't do their job without a solid defense to back them up. Ian Cole was able to finally notch his first goal in a Penguin uniform, last Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes. He has proved to be a great addition to the defense and has five goals on the season, which only puts him behind Kris Letang (who has 11). In between the pipes will be Thomas Greiss, this will be his first start against his former team, since becoming a Penguin.

The Penguins be without the services for David Perron, who is out due to an illness. They will have to come out with speed and jump in their step. The Penguins have to get ahead first and stay in front of the Coyotes! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Winnik, Crosby, Hornqvist
Kunitz, Malkin, Comeau
Bennett, Sutter, Downie
Spaling, Lapierre, Adams

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Lovejoy
Scuderi, Cole

Greiss in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 3 Coyotes 2

3rd Period

0:40- Big save by Greiss!

1:51- Rieder Scores. The Pens miss coverage and Rieder who comes flying down the side. He puts one in an open net. 3-2 Pens!

2:10- Coyotes have an empty net.

4:27- Kunitz is flying on the forecheck. Looking much better in this game then the last few games.

6:36- The Coyotes are back to full strength.

8:35- Riot ensues in the blue paint and bodies are everywhere. The referees get it under control. The goal is review and ruled a good goal.

8:36- CROSBY SCORES ON THE POWER-PLAY! The Pens cycle the puck and Pouliot fires from the half boards! Crosby is deep in the blue paint! The puck goes off his stick and leg into the net! 3-1 Pens!

9:26- Sutter is high-sticked again and is bleeding. Stone with a four-minute power-play. Sutter to the locker room.

10:41- DOWNIE SCORES ON THE POWER-PLAY! Crosby comes flying into the zone and backs everyone up! Crosby makes a backwards pass to Downie, who rips one over the pad of Smith! 2-1 Pens!

11:42- Campbell is off for high sticking Sutter. The Pens get a power-play

12:44- WINNIK SCORES! HIS FIRST AS A PENGUIN! Smith makes a save on a shot from the point! Winnik finds the rebound and finds the back of the net! 1-1 tie game!

15:08- Dahlbeck Scores. Dahlbeck fires a hard shot from the point, through traffic and it blows past Greiss. 1-0 Coyotes.

17:07- Greiss has made some big saves for the Pens. Very solid between the pipes.

17:49- Malkin gets a piece of the puck in the slot to direct it towards the net. Smith makes the save. If Malkin had gotten all of the puck, it would be 1-0 Pens.

20:00- The third period is underway! The Pens need to keep up the hard work and get this win for Letang! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- Still scoreless after two.

0:05- Crosby sneaks onto the ice and fires a shot from the center slot! Smith just gets a pad on it.

2:39- The Pens power-play comes to an end.

3:29- Downie and Doan drop the gloves and it was a spirited fight! Downie sticking up for Letang!

4:03- Kunitz accidentally high sticks a referee in the face. The referee is bleeding badly and heads to the locker room.

4:39- McGinn is called for slashing and the Pens have a power-play chance.  

4:45- Letang is down on the ice after a hit from Doan. He was sent flying backwards into the boards and hits his head. The doctor and trainer come out to attend to him. He skates off the ice slowly with help from Scuderi an Downie. Letang heads to the locker room and Fleury follows.

5:10- 18 second power-play for the Coyotes.

6:51- Kunitz just misses a chance on the Coyotes' doorstep. The Coyotes get a chance on the rush, but the play is broken up. Kunitz gets a hooking penalty. 4 on 4 hockey for 1:39.

7:10- The Pens get an amazing amount of time in the offensive zone. Stone ends up with a delay of game penalty. Power-play time for the Pens!

10:18- Greiss gloves up Szwarz's shot. He has been solid in the net.

12:16- Malkin throws the puck in front, but Downie just can't get enough on it.

14:43- The Coyotes kill the Pens power-play. Only two scoring chances on the power-play, too much passing for the Pens.

16:43- Power-play opportunity for the Pens as Moore is called for tripping on Lapierre.

17:45- The Coyotes have become a little more physical. They are forechecking more to get turnovers, but the Pens are starting to counter.

20:00- Time for the second period! The Pens have to keep up the speed and not let Smith breath! Lets Go Pens!

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

1:47- The Pens come up with a huge kill. Greiss was solid, making huge saves. Winnik was a beast on the penalty kill. Great job all around.

6:15- Now the Coyotes will have a power-play for 4:24. They can score as many times as they want on this one, as it's a major penalty.

6:47- Comeau ends up with a major boarding penalty and is done for the game. 4 on 3 for 31 seconds.

7:03- The Pens are leading the Coyotes in shots 13-6.

8:15- Hornqvist will head to the box for hooking, but Doan gets an even up penalty. So 4 on 4 hockey time.

8:26- Nice move by Martin to break up the Coyotes play.

8:39- Crosby's backhander is denied by Smith.

8:54- Crosby finds Hornqvist, who has set up camp in the blue paint. Smith denies with the pad and then a scramble ensues for the loose puck.

9:19- The Pens are crashing the net at every chance. Way more engaged in this game and Smith is having to battle with the traffic in front!

13:53- Smith makes a big save on Malkin's shot! Good to see Malkin getting right into things. 

15:13- Both teams are made whole again! 

17:13- We will get some 4 on 4 hockey. Lapierre and Crombeen both sit for roughing. 

17:20- Lapierre makes a curling drag and Smith makes the first save. The ref ends up blowing the whistle and Lapierre can't get the rebound before then. 

18:50- Greiss with a good save to start this one. 

20:00- The puck has dropped to start this game! The Pens have to come out with a fire under them and get in front early! Lets Go Pens! 

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