Friday, March 6, 2015

The Penguins look to fight off the Ducks!

By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are enjoying 85 degree weather and sandy beaches, this weekend as they are in California. They will be making a swing through the state to take on both the Anaheim Ducks and LA Kings. Tonight the Penguins will be facing off against the Ducks at the Honda Center. Some career milestones will be achieved tonight. Chris Kunitz will appear in his 400th game with the Penguins tonight! He has amassed 317 points (142 goals and 175 assists) of his 509 career points (233 goals and 286 assists) in 399 games with the Penguins. Amazing achievement for a hard working guy...Congrats Kuni! Ben Lovejoy will also play in his 100th game with the team tonight! That is a way to welcome back Lovejoy (his second game since being traded back).

Onto tonight's game, Pittsburgh has won seven of their last nine games against the Ducks going back to October 6, 2007. Not to mention, the Penguins lead the National Hockey League (NHL) in team goals-per-game average (since February 21st). With five games played they have 3.80 goals-per-game average, while the Tampa Bay Lightning have a 3.60. Third place goes to the Boston Bruins with a 3.50 goals-per-game advantage only playing four games.

The Penguins suffered a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Wednesday night, snapping a four game winning streak. They had a hard time getting on the scoreboard and looked to be lacking any fire. It was a lackluster performance after having a great four game winning streak. The key to getting back on track is getting the offense on the board. During Wednesday night's game, the only guy to get on the board was Evgeni Malkin. He came into the third period with a fire under his butt and was a beast on the ice. He leads the NHL with the highest percentage of games with at least one point at 72.4%. Malkin is also riding a six game point streak, which is his fourth point streak of six or more games this season. Not to mention, no other player has had more than a two, six-game point streak this season. He is truly on a whole other level. One can bet that Malkin will come out with speed and a lot of energy. Another key to getting the offense going is Sidney Crosby. Crosby has eight points (five goals and three assists) during his active five-game point streak versus the Ducks. In eight career games against the Ducks, he has points in seven.

A team can't win games with offense alone, they have to have a strong defensive core. Leading the Penguins' defensive core is Kris Letang. Letang is having a phenomenal season and doesn't look to be stopping anytime soon. Not only is he strong defensively, he has a great offensive presence. This has to do with his talent to stickhandle in a phone booth and his graceful skating ability. He is approaching career highs in goals, assists, points, plus/minus, power play percentage, and time-on-ice per game. This is truly a Norris Trophy season and he deserves it.

In addition, everyone was present and accounted for at the morning skate today. Mike Johnston stated that Thomas Greiss would start in net tonight. This means that Marc-Andre Fleury will start tomorrow night versus the LA Kings.

Another late one for Pittsburgh Nation! We will all become part of the Night Owl Club! Hopefully, the Penguins award us with a big win! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

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

Martin, Letang
Pouliot, Lovejoy
Scuderi, Cole

Greiss in the net!

Play By Play
PENS 5 Ducks 2

3rd Period

0:10- CROSBY SCORES AN EMPTY NETTER! Crosby knocks the puck out of thin air and spins around a Duck! He is hooked/interfered with, but still manages to put the puck in! 5-2 Pens!

0:13- The Pens power-play ends.

1:11- Ducks get an offensive zone face-off and pull their goalie.

2:13- Fowler sits for hooking. Crosby had a chance at the empty net, but was hooked up.

2:32- The Ducks now have an empty net!

3:07- Greiss has bounced back a bit as he has made some nice saves as the period whines down.

4:19- The Ducks are not going down without a fight! Third period numbers aren't good for Greiss, but hopefully the Pens can help me overcome them.

6:52- Perry Scores. Perry goes down to one-knee and puts one in the open net. 4-2 Pens

7:56- That is all she wrote for the Pens power-play.

9:56- Power-play chance for the Pens!

10:56- Fleischmann Scores. Fleischmann comes flying into the offensive zone and fires a wrist shot. Greiss gets a piece of it, but it pops up and over him into the net. 4-1 Pens.

13:27- Malkin now has a seven game point streak and is tied with Ovechkin for the most points in the NHL!

16:31- The Ducks pin the Pens in their own zone for well over a minute. Greiss comes up big and Pens ice the puck. They call a timeout.

17:34- Amazing right elbow save by Greiss!

17:57- MALKIN SCORES! Kunitz in on the fore-check to get the puck. Kunitz and Comeau exchange passes! Kunitz goes to Malkin who rifles one! It trickles over the goal line! 4-0 Pens!

20:00- One more period of regulation hockey left to go! The Pens need to keep up the good work and not let up! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00- The second period comes to a close and what a great period by the Pens! They take the 3-0 lead over the Ducks!

1:03- HORNQVIST SCORES! As the Pens cycle the puck, Cole fires a shot from the point! Hornqvist gets a piece of it up front! 3-0 Pens!

1:07- The Pens power-play has been killed off.

3:07- Despres will now head to the box for a two-handed slash on Malkin. Power play opportunity for the Pens.

4:32- The Pens penalty kill is engaged into beast mode.

6:32- Hornqvist will now go to the box for slashing. Ducks to the power-play.

8:07- HORNQVIST SCORES! Crosby wins the face-off and gets the puck deep! Perron outlets to to Hornqvist at the side of the net! He sneaks in a bad-angle shot! 2-0 Pens!

10:09- COMEAU SCORES! Pouliot stick handles through the neutral zone and enters the offensive zone! He drops the puck off for Comeau, who blasts a rocket shot past the glove of Andersen! 1-0 Pens

11:29- Lapierre and Adams go to the front as Spaling comes down the wing. Spaling fires a shot off the crossbar!

13:52- 3 on 1 chance for the Pens with Malkin driving down the center. He goes to one-knee for a shot that goes wide!

15:06- Another successful kill for the Pens. Greiss with a few good saves and Sutter had a shorthanded chance. The penalty kill was doing work.

17:06- The Pens with too many men on the ice. Ducks to the power-play.

20:00- We are back for the second period! The Pens need to pepper the net with shots and look for rebounds! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00- The horn sounds on the first period and this game is scoreless.

0:49- First Pens power-play is killed off by the Ducks.

2:49- Now a power-play chance for the Pens as Perry is called for tripping.

4:01- Comeau sends a rocket shot just wide of the net!

5:47- The Ducks get a 3 on 1 chance led by Getzlaf, but Letang speeds back to confront Getzlaf and take away their chance.

7:13- Greiss comes up with a big save on a shot by Getzlaf.

9:35- It has been a nice start for the Pens and they have been getting to the front of the net.

12:00- Mark that down as a successful penalty kill for the Pens. Very aggressive and Winnik made some really good plays.

14:00- A power-play for the Ducks as Scuderi is called for tripping.

16:14- Both teams are back to full strength.

17:22- The Pens crash the net. Sutter, Spaling and Pouliot battle for the loose puck.

18:14- Some 4 on 4 hockey early in this game.

19:28- Good opening shift by the Crosby line.

20:00- The puck has dropped at Honda Center! The Pens battle against the Anaheim Ducks tonight! Welcome to the Night Owl Club! Lets Go Pens!

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