Thursday, October 29, 2015

Let's stick it to the Sabres!

By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming back to Consol Energy Center after back-to-back wins to host Dan Bylsma’s (head coach) Buffalo Sabres. This game is the second of a back-to-back series for the Penguins. They got a 3-1 win in Washington after a hard fought battle against the Capitals. They are going to be a tired and bruised team, but they are ready to get back on the ice.

A highlight of last night’s game was the impressive performance of netminder, Marc-Andre Fleury. He made save after save and kept the Penguins in the game for the full 60 minutes. He was named the first star of the match. The team leaned on him for the majority of the game, and he stayed active in the net. However, tonight they will not have that luxury of leaning on him as Jeff Zatkoff will be between the pipes. Fleury will finally get a much-needed break after playing every game for the Penguins, since the start of the season. Zatkoff will make his season debut tonight.

The Penguins will have to step up their defensive play all around to aid Zatkoff. The front of the net must be clear to give Zatkoff a better eye line and get to loose pucks. Also, the offense needs to get going earlier and often. It would be great to see the big guys get on the board and get their scoring going.

Furthermore, a major problem that has yet to be solved is the power play for the Penguins. It is the worst power play in the National Hockey League (NHL), just have a glance at the numbers, they are horrendous. Such a sad, horrible power play by a team that is offensively devastating, at least on paper. Teams and goalies should shake in fear at the prospect of the Penguins power play, but that is not the case. The power play is a sad excuse for offense and makes one not want to joke about it.

What is Mike Johnston doing? Staring blankly into space behind the bench wondering, “What am I going to do for Halloween? Should I get with three bags of candy or more?”

He is apparently not thinking about the hockey game taking place right before his eyes. I hope things chance tonight, but I am afraid to find out. Maybe tonight is the night the power play opens up.

Onto the real statistics, the Sabres only have one road win this season, which came Tuesday night in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers. Moreover, the Penguins have won six-straight games against the Sabres. In the past two games, Phil Kessel has scored the game-winning goal. It is nice to see him getting some pucks in the net. Time for the Penguins to battle!

Lets Go Pens! 

Dupuis, Crosby, Hornqvist
Perron, Malkin, Kessel
Kunitz, Bonino, Sprong
Porter, Cullen, Bennett

Cole, Letang
Cole, Letang
Mattaa, Scuderi

Zatkoff between the pipes!

Play By Play
PENS 4 Sabres 3

3rd Period

0:36 - Porter fires a shot, but it goes off the goal post.

1:33 - Empty net for the Sabres. 6 on 4.

1:51 - Sabres get a late power play chance as Letang is called for delay of game.

2:26 - O'Reilly Scores. The puck bounces around the front and O'Reilly whips the puck into the goal. 4-3 Pens.

2:33 - Sabres have an empty net.

4:40 - Hornqvist blocks a shot and it hurt him as he labors back to the bench right afterwards.

6:24 - Zatkoff and Johnson have both made some quality save. Both teams are skating well.

9:43 - Franzon lays out Dupuis in the neutral zone, but he bounces right back up.

11:55 - A stoppage finally occurs and the refs review the no goal. The puck is still barely touching the red line and the call was good. It was so close though, too close for comfort.

13:35 - Zatkoff makes a big save, but the puck is sitting on the goal line. Letang gets it out of danger. It looks like the Sabres scored, but the ref waved it off as no goal.

15:47 - Not many stoppages in this period.

18:58 - Good start for both teams.

20:00 - Now time for the third period! Keep it up Pens! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period ends and the Pens have retaken the lead 4-2 over the Sabres!

0:48 - The Pens with some fantastic plays against a physical Sabres team.

2:25 - Sabres crash the net and Zatkoff stands strong. The Pens clear the puck out of danger.

4:52 - MALKIN SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Kessel fires a shot that is saved! Hornqvist gets the puck loose, Malkin finds it and puts it past Johnson! 4-2 Pens!

5:52 - Weber knocks Hornqvist off balance, which sends him hard into the boards. Dangerous play by the Sabre defensemen. The Pens get a power play as a result.

7:42 - Zatkoff has made some good saves in the last few minutes.

11:42 - LOVEJOY SCORES! The Pens start up ice as Lovejoy is coming out of the box! Lovejoy's first shot is saved, but he follows it up to get the goal! 3-2 Pens!

11:54 - The Pens kill!

13:54 - Zatkoff makes a huge save, but the Sabres draw a penalty. Lovejoy off and Pens onto the penalty kill.

18:45 - Crosby's line is clicking tonight. Johnson has to make a scramble save to keep the puck out of his net.

20:00 - Second period time! The Pens have to come out with speed and take it to the laying back! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period ends and we are tied up at two a piece.

0:18 - Dupuis finds Crosby wide open in the slot area, but he fires a shot just wide of the net.

1:09 - Hornqvist makes a great move to get around a Sabre and goes to the backhand, but Johnson makes the save.

3:20 - Deslauriers Scores. The Pens turnover the puck once again and the Sabres take advantage. O'Reilly dishes the puck from behind the net to open Deslauriers. He directs one past Zatkoff. Things are tied at two.

5:35 - McGinn Scores. Ristolainen fires a shot from the point.. McGinn deflects it through the five-hole of Zatkoff. Sabres cut the Pens lead in half. 2-1 Pens.

6:41 - Zatkoff makes a nice glove save on Eichel

9:32 - The Penguins are moving the puck well, but the Sabres are still battling.

12:44 - HORNQVIST SCORES! Crosby makes a beautiful dish pass through traffic and being surrounded by Sabres to Hornqvist! It is right in his wheel house and Johnson has no chance! 2-0 Pens!

13:48 - A nice tribute is played on the jumbotron for Bylsma and the crowd gives him a lengthy standing ovation.

14:21 - Bennett gets laid out on the boards, but is no worse for wear.

16:20 - Zatkoff makes his first save of the game. The puck goes right off of his goalie mask.

19:04 - DUPUIS SCORES! Crosby comes flying down the wing and fires a hard shot! Johnson makes the first save, but Dupuis gets the loose puck to jam it home! 1-0 Pens!

20:00 - The puck has dropped at Consol! The Pens need to come out and get on the board earlier! No better way to welcome Bylsma back to Pittsburgh! Lets Go Pens! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Penguins have infiltrated the Capital

By: MF,

Tonight’s Pittsburgh Penguins at the Washington Capitals game is the Wednesday Night Rivalry Night matchup for NBC. The Penguins face off against a Capitals team that is on fire as they have won five straight. It will be a tough game for the struggling Pens, who are looking to gain more consistency and scoring, especially on the power play. This will be the first divisional game for the Pens and a critical one.

The Capitals return home tonight after a three-game road swing in which they outscored their opponents 16-3. They have the top-ranked offense in the National Hockey League that averages over four games per game.

The Penguins will have to come out with an entirely different approach than previous games. The defense will have to step up and keep the front of the net clear for Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has been a solid consistent for the team and now the rest of the team has to step it up. The forwards have to create more offense and keep the puck in the offensive zone to give Fleury a break during the game. Fleury expect for Vancouver Canucks’ Ryan Miller have played eight games in a row to start this season.

An enormous problem that has plagued the team is the power play, which has been MIA. The opponents do a better job on the penalty kill then our power play does with the advantage. It has become a joke and fans now groan when the Pens get a call.
Mike Johnston has to show some emotion on the bench and get the guys going. It is like seeing a mannequin standing there. I mean cardboard Brooks Orpik gives more feeling than him (I miss that guy…along with the other great defensemen Jim Rutherford let go).

It has been a rough start to the season, but it is not hopeless. They have plenty of depth in the offense and Fleury has been on point. However, the managing of the lines has left a lot too desire. Things need to turn around quickly or some changes behind the bench need to be made.

On a side note, tonight is Kris Letang's 500th career game! Congrats to the Tanger! Also, Beau Bennett will be back in the lineup tonight and his 100th NHL game! 

Lets Go Pens! 

Dupuis, Crosby, Hornqvist
Perron, Malkin, Kessel
Kunitz, Bonino, Sprong
Porter, Cullen, Bennett

Dumoulin, Lovejoy
Cole, Letang
Mattaa, Scuderi

Fleury between the pipes!

Play By Play
PENS 3 Capitals 1

3rd Period

1:43 - BONINO SCORES AN EMPTY NETTER! Just as Holtby gets to the bench, the Caps turn over the puck and Bonino sends it to the empty net! 3-1 Pens!

1:50 - Caps have an empty net!

4:58 - Ovechkin's slapshot is turned away by the blocker of Fleury!

6:00 - No shots for either team since Kessel's goal.

8:15 - The Pens kill the Caps power play and hold them to zero shots.

10:15 - Cole is sent to the sin bin for interference and the Caps get a power play chance. Huge kill ahead for the Pens.

12:48 - What an unreal save by Fleury as the Caps crash the net!

16:07 - KESSEL SCORES! Malkin makes a beautiful pass through the legs of Perron and the blue paint to Kessel! Kessel finishes things off! 2-1 Pens!

18:04 - BEAU KNOWS HOW TO SCORE A GOAL! Bennett first shot is saved by Holtby, but Bennett nets the rebound chance! 1-1 tie game

18:32 - Kuzentsov scores. Kuzentsov fires a shot that is deflected twice and through the five-hole of Fleury. 1-0 Caps

20:00 - Third period time! 1:39 of 4 on 4 hockey to start this one! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period ends and things are still scoreless.

0:21 - Fleury makes a save and temper flare. A scrum ensues and Hornqvist is dragged around by Wilson like a rag doll. Wilson and Cole get matching minors for roughing. 4 on 4 hockey time.

1:42 - There is not enough time in the offensive zone for the Pens. They dump in the puck, but rarely get control of the puck to set up plays or get it on it.

3:14 - The Pens fourth line working hard down low to create some chances. Best looks on net for some time now.

7:07 - Huge kill by the Pens and Fleury was a major part in it.

9:07 - Caps are going back onto the power play as Perron is sent to the box for cross-checking.

11:39 - The penalty is killed off. Fleury held down the fort.

11:51 - Fleury makes a unreal save on Oshie, who is stationed at the top of the blue paint.

13:39 - Letang will head to the box for slashing and the Caps will get their first power play of the game.

12:52 - Cullen has a chance driving down the center to the net, but the pass goes off his skate to Holtby.

15:53 - The fourth line of the Pens comes out with some speed and passion in their play. Really solid looking line.

20:00 - The guys are back on the ice for the second period! Pens have to put more pucks on net and create some traffic in front! The need to grind it out! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period ends and things are scoreless.

2:38 - Fleury stands on his head to make a few great saves. He didn't give up on the play and keep things at zero.

5:13 - Malkin's shot once again goes wide of the net! It was a rocket of a least he is shooting the puck.

6:55 - Fleury stands tall in the net and keeps a flurry of pucks from going in the net. He is holding down the fort and keeping the Pens in this one (once again).

9:32 - The Pens power play comes to an end and things are still at zero.

11:32 - Another power play for the Pens as Alzner goes for high sticking.

11:36 - Caps kill it.

11:51 - Regular power play for the Pens for 18 seconds.

13:36 - 5 on 3 power play for 1:45 as Orpik is called for boarding Kessel. 

13:51 - Stephensen takes a seat in the sin bin for elbowing. Pens to the power play. 

15:21 - Ovechkin's line, which includes T.J. Oshie, gets two amazing chances on net. Oshie and Ovechkin are both denied by Fleury! 

16:28 - The Pens have done a good job of keeping the puck in the offensive zone, but they need to generate more traffic in front of Holtby. 

17:27 - The Caps have come out with some physical hits to start. The Pens need to match it. 

19:30 - Orpik sends a early message as he lays out Dupuis, not once, but twice. 

20:00 - The puck has dropped and this game is officially on! The Pens have to come out fast and pepper the net with shots! Lets Go Pens!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Penguins look to shut down Music City tonight!

By: MF, 

Sidney Crosby / MF
Tonight we are in Nashville, Tennessee to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins battle the Nashville Predators. The Penguins had a horrible loss against the Dallas Stars on Thursday, which snapped their three-game winning streak. The Predator have had a great start to the season with a 6-1 record and are riding a three-game winning streak. The Penguins are going to have to stay focused on this game and play a smart game. They need to pick up all around the board after their last game. There wasn’t anything good to take away from that match. The Penguins have to be better and different in this one.

The team is expected to debut new lines to help spark more offense. In the first seven games of the season, the Penguins only have 11 goals to start. Whereas the Predators have 22 goals (eighth in NHL), which is lead by James Neal (five goals and eight points). It will be tall order for them, as the Predators hold the league’s second-fewest goals against. The new lines were seen during the morning skate and Friday’s practice:

Pascal Dupuis, Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist
Sergei Plotnikov, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel
Chris Kunitz, Nick Bonino, Daniel Sprong
The fourth line had a few different looks.

Evgeni Malkin / MF
The offense of the Penguins has to get going, or this will be another horrible showing. Not only does the offense need to step up, so does the defense. They have not shown a consistent effort this season. I hope they prove me wrong tonight. Let’s look at how the numbers stack up.

Pittsburgh has won five of the last six against the Predators overall. Crosby has nine points in his last three games against them. The Penguins’ goals-against average of 2.14 is tied for fifth in the NHL. Also, Fleury is only one of four NHL goaltenders to play all games for his team this year.

Lets Go Pens! 

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Dupuis, Crosby, Hornqvist
Plotnikov, Malkin, Kessel
Kunitz, Bonino, Sprong
Perron, Cullen, Rust

Cole, Letang
Dumoulin, Lovejoy
Maatta, Scuderi

Fleury in the net! 

Play By Play
PENS 2 Predators 1

4:30 - KESSEL SCORES! Malkin steals and gives to Kessel! Kessel's first shot is saved, but he fires home his own rebound! 2-1 overtime win for the Pens! Huge thanks to Mr. Marc-Andre Fleury!

5:00 - Bonus three-on-three hockey time! Lets Go Pens!

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

1:05 - Fleury did a great job on the penalty kill. The Preds are passing around the puck quite a bit right now.

2:43 - Pens kill the Preds' power play.

4:43 - Hooking call on Cole and Preds get a power play. Dangerous power play.

5:11 - Fleury still keeping this game within one for the Pens.

8:33 - James Neal Scores. On a delayed penalty situation, the Preds have the extra attacker. Fleury is bumped and Neal is able to fire the loose puck past the netminder. This game is tied at one.

9:19 - Fleury is just a beast right now. The Preds are peppering him with an unreal amount of shots!

12:13 - Fleury makes another save with his mask, not that he much of a choice on the matter.

15:47 - Malkin with some great passing to get the puck over to Kessel for a quality shot chance.

18:43 - The Pens power play comes to an end.

20:00 - 60 minutes of regulation left to go in this one! The Pens have a power play for another 1:17 to start this one! They have to keep the puck up in the offensive zone and give Fleury a break!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period horn sounds and the Pens have the 1-0 lead!

0:43 - The Pens are getting a late power play as Weber is sent off for slashing.

1:25 - Fleury makes another great save. He is the reason the Pens were able to go up in this one. Holding down the fort.

4:56 - KUNITZ SCORES! Malkin gets the puck right in the neutral zone and has numbers! He drops a pass back to Kunitz, right in the middle of a wind up! Kunitz rips one past Rinne! 1-0 Pens!

5:06 - Malkin is set free!

7:06 - Time for a Preds power play as Malkin is headed to the penalty box for tripping.

7:14 - Both teams are just exchanging the puck and going up and down the ice.

9:42 - That is it for the power play. Nothing special, just the usual horrible power play.

11:42 - The Pens are going onto a power play. Ellis to the box for interference.

13:06 - Fleury is the one player keeping the Pens in this one. They need to thank him by taking some of the pressure off of him.

15:34 - Josi is denied by the glove of Fleury!

15:53 - Rust headed off to the locker room after blocking a shot with his right glove.

16:34 - Perron gets two good opportunities in front of Rinne, but can't get it behind the netminder.

17:17 - Smith gets two great chances on net, but Fleury shuts the door. One was a quick toe save on a slot shot from Smith!

20:00 - Time for the second period! I am hoping a more energetic and scoring hungry Pens come out of the locker room to start this one! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period ends and this game is scoreless. The Pens have to pick up their play in the next period.

2:10 - Rust comes flying down the wing and cuts to the net. He is fearless as the Preds have been laying hard checks on those who approach Rinne.

3:02 - A scrum erupts in front of Rinne. Malkin gets physical along with some other Pens.

3:29 - Dupuis tries to jam in a loose puck as Hornqvist is laid out fly in front. Rinne is able to make the save.

5:12 - Only seven total shots by both teams this period. Two belong to the Pens, which came on the power play

6:44 - Luckily the Pens are able to kill off the power play.

8:44 - Dumoulin is back on the bench. Dupuis is off to the sin bin for holding and the Preds get a power play chance of their own.

9:35 - The power play is over for the Pens, but it was for the beginning.

12:18 - The Preds look like they are the ones on the power play. Just a horrendous display by the Pens on the power play.

14:35 - Watson comes flying behind the Pens' net and catches Dumoulin on the shoulder. Dumoulin's head whips around and slams into the boards. He goes down and stays down for a bit then heads to the locker room. Watson is giving a five-minute major for boarding. Pens to the power play.

15:15 - The Pens are skating well and cycling the puck well. Not a bad start, but they need to get more shots on Pekka Rinne.

18:25 - The Preds have come out playing physical to start this one. They know that this is a big game for the Pens, who are looking to get back on track.

20:00 - The puck has dropped in Nashville! I hope the Pens learned for Thursday's game! Lets Go Pens! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Stars won't be shining in Pittsburgh tonight!

By: MF,

Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins will finish up their extended home game stretch against the Dallas Stars before heading to Nashville. The Penguins have won three straight during this five-game home streak, only allowed six goals, have scored nine goals, and their penalty kill percentage was 90.9% during the stretch.

The Stars are a team with great speed and scoring ability. The Stars have the reigning National Hockey League scoring Champion, Jamie Benn on the team, along with Tyler Seguin. They currently rank number two and three in the league with 10 points each.

The Penguins defense will have to keep a sharp eye out for these two guys speeding into the zone and getting the puck. They seem to sneak behind guards and by the time they notice, it is too late to do anything about it. One of the guys on defense that will make sure to keep the net area clear is Olli Maatta, who has been a plus player in each of the last four games. Also, the shutdown pair of Kris Letang and Ian Cole will have to be on point. Marc-Andre Fleury will have to hold down the fort, and he has been up to the task before. Fleury has 51 wins in the month of October, which ranks first among all goalies since 2003-04. He will make his seventh consecutive start.

The team will also have some additions to the lineup, as Pascal Dupuis will return to the lineup tonight. He missed the first six games with a lower-body injury. It will be interesting to see where Johnston sticks Dupuis into the lineup. It will be a nice, refreshing addition. Whenever, Dupuis is on the ice, he seems to bring a new energy and excitement. I hope he can spark the Penguins into action.
Now the Penguins have to keep to their game, dump pucks, battle for pucks, and get shots on net tonight. They opened up the scoring in their last game against the Florida Panthers, so I hope they keep that up. Sidney Crosby put everyone’s minds at ease, but who was worried to begin with? 

During the Panthers game, Crosby had one goal, two assists, nine shots (tied a career high), and three points. They just have to stay focused for the full 60 minutes, not let things fall by the wayside.

In addition, tonight is Hockey Fights Cancer night! Time to get a win at Consol and raise some awareness and money for this great cause! Lets Go Pens! 

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Chirs Kunitz, Sideny Crosby, Phil Kessel
David Perron, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist
Sergei Plotnikov, Nick Bonino, Bryan Rust
Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cullen, Kevin Porter

Ian Cole, Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin, Ben Lovejoy
Olli Maatta, Rob Scuderi

Fleury between the pipes! 

Play By Play
STARS 4 Pens 1

3rd Period
0:00 - That is all for this horrible game as the Pens fall 4-1 to the Stars. Here is to hoping that a different team shows up in Nashville on Saturday.

1:33 - Fiddler is released from the sin bin. 6 on 4 power play for the rest of the game for the Pens.

3:12 - Bonino is elbowed right in the face and that one hurt. Demers goes off. 5 on 3 power play for Pens and Fleury was pulled again.

3:33 - The Pens short power play ends, but Vernon Fiddler goes off. Power play for the Pens and they pull Fleury.

3:46 - Pens power play for nine seconds.

5:46 - 4 on 4 hockey time as Sharp goes off for boarding. 1:51 of 4 on 4 hockey.

5:55 - Lovejoy sits for roughing after punching Tyler Seguin in the face. Stars power play.

8:55 - The Pens just can't seem to get time in the offensive zone.

11:41 - Letang fires a wrister that just goes over the net.

13:48 - A lot of whistles for this period. Not much offensive being generated for the Pens as the Stars are staying back and jamming up the zone entry.

17:11 - Niemi sprawling on the ice to deny Crosby!

20:00 - One more period of regulation left! The Pens have to wake up and get something going! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period ends and the Stars still hold the lead 4-1 over the Pens.

1:17 - Dupuis jumps up onto the Malkin line and almost gets a goal in tight. He is trying to stir things up and get things going.

4:08 - That brings an end to the power play. Nothing special.

6:08 - Power play chance for the Pens, they need to do something on this power play that is beneficial.

6:58 - Mattias Janmark scores. Just an outright shooting on Fleury as the defense has been lack luster. I feel bad for any goaltender having to play with that kind of defense. Janmark was left wide open in the slot. 4-1 Stars

8:40 - BONINO SCORES! HIS FIRST AS A PENGUIN! Bonino gets the puck and works his way out from behind the net to the side! He goes around a defender and makes a no look shot! He elevates it right over the glove of Niemi! 3-1 Stars.

10:47 - No shots in the first nine minutes of the period for the Pens. They have to find their spark in this game to get things going. They look flat.

14:53 - Jason Spezza scores. Perron passes the puck directly to Spezza in the high slot and he rips a fast shot past the glove of Fleury. Another horrible turnover and this one came back to bite them. 3-0 Stars

16:06 - The Pens once again turnover the puck in the neutral zone. They need to clean things up or the Stars will be winning this one.

18:53 - That is it for the Pens power play. Stars still have the 2-0 lead.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens have a power play to start for another 1:07! They have to capitalize on it! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period ends and the Stars have the 2-0 lead.

0:53 - Radek Faksa trips up Letang and heads to the sin bin. The Pens get a late power play.

1:47 - Perron gets a chance down the wing, but his shot goes wide.

4:55 - John Klingberg scores on the power play. Fleury is completely screened as a Star player is camped right in front of him. Klingberg fires just as Fleury is looking around the other side, the puck goes glove side and into the net. 2-0 Stars.

5:39 - Hornqvist flips the puck over the glass in the Pens' zone, so he takes a seat for delay of game. Stars get another power play opportunity.

7:23 - Kessel slides the puck from behind the net to Kunitz in the slot, but Kunitz can't get a good shot off. Good idea.

9:05 - Johnny Oduya scores. Oduya fires from the point and Fleury seems to loss sight of it. It goes over his right shoulder. 1-0 Stars

11:01 - The Stars are called off-sides once again, they are having trouble staying on-sides.

11:38 - Cole blocks a shot and gets the puck going the other way. He heads to the locker room, but comes back looking ok.

16:48 - The Pens kill off the Stars power play.

17:30 - Malkin gets behind the defense, but Niemi makes the save!  

18:48 - Perron is going to the box for boarding and the Pens get a power play chance.

20:00 - The puck has dropped on Hockey Fights Cancer night at Consol! Time for the Pens to wrap up this five-game home stretch with a win! Lets Go Pens! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

There is no place like home

The city of  Pittsburgh / MF
By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are ready to get the first win of the 2015-16 season during their home opener against the Montreal Canadiens (Habs). It will not be an easy task for the 0-2 Penguins.

The Habs are one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) and have a tremendous start to the new season. The Habs are playing their fourth game of the season tonight and it's their final of a season-opening road series. The Habs have a strong defensive team and play a disciplined style of hockey. Not to mention, the team has the reigning NHL MVP and Vezina Trophy winner, Carey Price in their net. The Habs have also been blessed with some unreal speed and scoring to start off the new season. They have a total of 10 goals in their opening three games, which has been led by Tomas Plekanec (three goals) and Habs' Captain, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban (four assist each).

The Penguins will have to focus on generating more offensive chances and then making sure to capitalize on those chances. They must also put shots on net and pepper Price with pucks, while also getting bodies in front of the net to disrupt Price. In addition, Sidney Crosby has to put shots on net and get out of this shooting funk he seems to be in. I also think Mike Johnston should give more ice time to the other lines, who generate some good chances. They come out with fire and get things going, but then are sat on the bench for the rest of the period. One guy that stood out last time was Daniel Sprong, who looked like he was flying on the ice, when he got a chance to get on it. Better management of the lines seem to be in order.

Another spot that needs improvement in this game has to be the power-play. Seems like the same old story, but they do way to much passing on the power-play. Also, no one seems to be quarterbacking during the power-play. Some chances need to be made, but they don't lack fire power, just needs some fine tuning.

As for the defense of the Pens, Marc-Andre Fleury has been solid. He has made some unreal saves during games and kept the Pens in the games. However, the goalie can't do it alone. The Pens defense has been inconsistent to say the least. They need to keep guys out of Fleury's way and do a better job of clearing the puck out. Then at time the defense looks very good, but by the next play it all falls apart. Hopefully, they just need time to get the pairings on the same page.

The Pens will have to put a full 60 minute effort into the game and Fleury has to be a wall. They need to get ahead first and keep it, but even if the Habs score first, the Pens have to keep working at it. It's time to get the first win and the home opener is the prefect time and place to do so! Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Consol Energy Center / MF

Kunitz, Crosby, Kessel
Perron, Malkin, Hornqvist
Plotnikov, Bonino, Bennett
Porter, Cullen, Sprong


Cole, Letang
Maatta, Lovejoy
Scuderi, Dumoulin

Fleury in the net!

Play by Play
Pens 2 Habs 3

Third Period

0:00 - The Pens fall to the Habs 3-2, which puts the Pens at 0-3 to start the season. Not the way to get things start, but maybe they are getting the losses out now instead of later. Optimistic thinking.

0:38 - Empty net for the Pens.

1:11 - Pens call a timeout.

1:58 - Crosby goes down to one knee on a shot, but Price comes up big!

5:03 - Some chances for the Pens, but nothing to take a second look at. Johnston tries to get things going by putting Malkin, Crosby, and Kessel on one line.

8:54 - The defense is lacking for the Pens. Paul Martin's presence is noticeable, knew it was a bad decision to let him go. A team can't put all its money into offense alone.

10:16 - The Pens power-play comes to an end after the Habs get a 3 on 1 chance. Fleury with a great save. Horrible power-play for the Pens, none of their passes were connecting.

12:19 - Smith-Pelly takes a tripping penalty and the Pens get a power-play chance.

12:39 - The Pens aren't playing like they did during the second period. They need to get back to work!

14:40 - Fleischmann scores. Plotnikov is hooked up on the play, which results in a turnover and the Habs get possession. The Pens have no defense back as everyone was looking for a call that never came. Fleischmann is wide open and puts it past the blocker of Fleury. 3-2 Habs

14:57 - The Habs have got some good early chances and Fleury has been

20:00 - Only 20 minutes of regulation left in this one! Things are tied up at two! The Pens have to continue to build off the second period and keep working hard! Lets Go Pens!

Second Period

0:00 - The horn sounds on the second period with things tied up at 2. Much better period for the Pens.

2:31 - Bonin gets a great second chance opportunity in front, but Price is able to keep the puck out. The fourth line is a hungry line.

6:38 - The Pens have come out to play this period. They are playing with a purpose and definitely took note from the first period.

9:51 - LETANG SCORES! Kessel tries to make a pass from behind the cage to Kunitz, but it goes off a Hab player! Letang gets the loose puck at the point and fires a wrist shot and it beats Price! 2-2 tie game!

11:15 - Pacioretty scores on the power-play. Pacioretty fires another hard shot and it goes past Fleury's glove. 2-1 Habs.

12:10 - The Pens are caught with too many men on the ice and Habs will get a power-play. Horrible timing as the Pens were getting some great chances.

13:12 - Kessel finds the puck in the slot area, but Price gets a pad on it!

14:28 - BENNETT SCORES! Lovejoy and Weise go down and end up blocking a shot! Bennett gets the loose puck and carries it all the way into the Habs' zone! Coming down the right side and blows one past the blocker of Price! 1-1 tie game!

16:02 - The Pens fourth line has been doing some hard work to get things going. Things are picking up for the Pens.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens have to get pucks on net and pester Price! Lets Go Pens!

First Period

0:00 - First period ends with the Habs leading the Pens 1-0.

1:37 - Sprong and Cullen work the puck into the Habs zone. Good hard working effort by the fourth line.

2:30 - The Habs are still spending way too much time in the Pens zone. The Pens are just having trouble getting the puck out cleanly and up the ice. When they finally do, the get chances and miss the net.

4:14 - Crosby comes flying down the wing, but Price denies him!

4:58 - The Habs are pinning the Pens in their own zone. The defense is having trouble getting control of the puck.

7:16 - The Pens are unable to capitalize on the power-play.

8:01 - Now it's time for a Pens power-play for 45 seconds.

9:16 - Time for some 4 on 4 hockey for 1:15 as Desharnais heads to the box for tripping.

10:01 - The Habs get the first power-play of the game. Plotnikov sits for interference.

13:42 - Pacioretty scores! Gallagher rushes into the Pens' zone and gains control of the puck. He finds Pacioretty open in the high slot. Pacioretty puts it five-hole. 1-0 Habs

15:02 - The Pens have had some good rushes, but haven't challenged Price in the net.

20:00 - The puck has dropped and this game is on! Lets Go Pens!