Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Late night battle in Anaheim

By: MF,

Good evening everyone and what a late night game this one will be, at least for those on the East coast. The Pittsburgh Penguins are in California for a back-to-back game series and first up is the Anaheim Ducks.

This 10:30pm (eastern) will be the first start for Matt Murray between the pipes this season. He was previously sidelined due to a hand injury. It is the perfect time for Murray to start and give Marc-Andre Fleury a much-needed break after starting in the first eight games for the Penguins. Fleury has been a rock for the Penguins and now Murray will have to set into that role.

The Penguins will also get Kris Letang back into the lineup after missing five games due to an upper-body injury. He has been sorely missed on defense for the Penguins and it will be great to get him back into the lineup. Letang is a great two-way player and he will add more depth to the backend.

In addition, the Penguins are looking to celebrate this special day with a win for Matt Cullen who turns 40 today. The boys celebrated before the game at the morning skate with Cullen getting a towel full of shaving cream to the face by none other #29. Cullen made his NHL debut with the Ducks against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 28, 1997. He has 19 points and is a +6 in 24 games against the Ducks.

It has been a great start for the offense and many guys are red hot for the Penguins. Sidney Crosby, no surprise, has four goals and one assist in his three games back from a concussion. While, Phil Kessel is riding a three-game point streak with one goal and five assists. Evgeni Malkin has three goals and one assist in his past two games.

On special teams, the Penguins are 9 for 34 (26.5%) on the power play. Their penalty kill is 30 for 38 (78.9%). The power play has picked up since the return of Crosby and been clicking lately. Though the penalty kill is suffering due to the loss to Letang and the power play could also use his offensive skill at the blue line.

As for the Ducks, they are coming off a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings, last night. They will also be without the services of Ryan Getzlaf and Nick Ritchie who are both suffering from upper-body injuries. The Penguins will have to take advantage of the Ducks having played last night and them missing to key players. They will have to play smart, stay disciplined, and stick to their game. Lets Go Pens!

On a side note, the Penguins announced that they acquired a 2017 fifth-round draft pick from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Mike Condon.

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Wilson - Crosby - Hornqvist
Kunitz - Malkin - Kessel
Hagelin - Bonino - Rust
Sestito - Cullen - Fehr

Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Daley
Cole - Schultz

Murray in the net!

Play by Play
PENS 5 Ducks 1

3rd Period

3:23 - Murray shuts the down on Rakell in front.

3:57 - That will be the end of the power play for the Pens as Vatanen is set free.

5:57 - Vatanen heads over to the penalty box for hooking on Wilson. Another power play chance for the Pens.

7:04 - The Pens have looked great tonight. With Letang back, the defensive end of things are definitely improved, which has allowed the offense to focus on putting pucks behind Gibson.

12:40 - HORNQVIST SCORES! Crosby strips a Duck of the puck at the blue line to get a play going! Hagelin with a backward pass from behind the net to Crosby in front, Crosby puts a pass to the right wing! Hornqvist pops up to take the pass and direct it behind Gibson! 5-1 Pens

17:15 - Wilson is awarded a penalty shot. He tries to go blocker side, Gibson gets a piece, but the post saves the day.

17:16 - Wilson gets a breakaway chance, but he is hauled down on the play. He crashes into Gibson, who is in some pain after the play. He appears to be ok and stays in net.

18:33 - LETANG SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! WELCOME BACK TANGER! Schultz comes flying down the win with Letang driving down center! Schultz makes a perfect pass on net that Letang is able to direct past Gibson! 4-1 Pens

18:52 - The 4-on-4 comes to an end and the Pens have a 52 second power play opportunity.

20:00 - We are back for the third period with some 4-on-4 hockey for 1:06! The Pens need to stay focused and keep to their game! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - That will be the end of the second period, which was dominated by the Pens. They have the 3-1 lead over the Ducks.

0:02 - Kesler is called for tripping on Daley and we will have some 4-on-4 hockey for 1:08.

0:54 - A little misunderstanding takes place on the ice in front of the benches. Malkin will get two minutes for interference and another two for roughing, while Cogliano sits for embellishment. Ducks will get a late power play.

3:18 - RUST SCORES HIS FIRST OF THE SEASON! The Pens put the puck right on net and crash! The puck slides out from behind Gibson in the blue paint! Rust gets his stick on the puck first to put it over the red line! 3-1 Pens

5:57 - It's officially midnight here on the east coast. The Pens working hard and getting some good chances.

8:21 - Solid penalty kill for the Pens.

10:21 - Boll and Sestito drop the gloves. Sestito held his own during that little exchange. Sestito will get an extra 2 minute roughing penalty. Ducks go to work o the power play.

10:25 - Hagelin and Wilson have switched spots.

12:32 - Pens pressure Gibson right now. Ducks still in this because of him.

13:27 - Rust with a wrap around chance, but Gibson with the save.

15:10 - The Ducks crash the net and Murray ends up falling back to cover a loose puck that gets behind him. It pops out and Daley gets there first to clear it. That was way too close.

17:21 - Power play for the Pens comes to an end.

19:21 - Now the Pens will get a power play chance as Vermette heads to the sin bin for holding on Malkin.

19:34 - Crosby wrist one on net, but Gibson makes a diving same to keep the puck out of the net.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens need to stick to their game, stay out of the box, and limit chances for the Ducks! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period horn sounds and the Pens have the 2-1 lead over the Ducks.

0:23 - Late 2-on-1 chance for the Pens. Crosby holds and he fires a shot that just goes over the net. Very close.

3:04 - Ducks have more jump to their game after the power play goal. Kesler fires a shot that just goes wide.

4:11 - Fowler scores on the power play. Fowler lets go of a laser shot from the point that goes five-hole on Murray. It was a rocket shot. 2-1 Pens

5:12 - First power play of the game will go to the Ducks as Kunitz sits for slashing.

5:24 - Bieksa rings a shot off the goal post.

8:01 - Rakell with a quick shot in the slot area that goes under the pad of Murray and sits in the blue paint. Luckily Cole gets there first to clear the puck out of harms way.

9:35 - The Ducks challenge citing Sestito was offsides. The review is inconclusive and the goal remains.

9:36 - THE BIRTHDAY BOY SCORES, MATT CULLEN! Fehr with a high-chip pass up to Sestito who is entering the offensive zone! He makes a nifty spin-o-rama move and outlets to Cullen! Cullen fires a hard shot past Gibson! 2-0 Pens

12:19 - MALKIN SCORES! Kunitz makes a play at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone and finds Kessel coming into the zone! Kessel with a cross ice pass right into the wheelhouse of Malkin! Malkin puts the puck right under the pad of Gibson! 1-0 Pens

13:27 - Ducks with the control to start his one. The Pens just need something to jump start them.

14:42 - Shots are 5-1 in favor of the Ducks. Murray is showing no rust.

18:06 - the Ducks getting some quality scoring chances. Murray has been up to the challenge.

19:08 - Murray with a solid save to start this game as Manson jumped up on the play to get a shot off.

20:00 - The puck has finally dropped in Anaheim! The Pens need to come out with speed, stay disciplined, and stick to their game! Lets Go Pens!

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