Thursday, June 8, 2017

Back in the Burgh for Game Five

PPG Paints Arena
By: MF,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in the Burgh to face-off against the Nashville Predators in Game Five on the Stanley Cup Finals.

The series is currently tied 2-2 with each team winning all their home games. The Penguins have the chance to take a 3-2 lead going back to Nashville for Game Six.

Pittsburgh / MF
The Penguins need to come out tonight with speed, use the crowd's energy to their advantage, and make sure to handle the momentum swings better. Lets Go Pens

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Guentzel - Crosby - Sheary
Wilson - Malkin - Kessel
Kunitz - Cullen - Rust
Hagelin - Rowney - Hornqvist

Dumoulin - Hainsey
Maatta - Daley
Cole - Schultz

Murray in the net!

Play by Play
PENS 6 Predators 0

3rd Period

0:33 - Maatta takes a stick/hit up high from Scissons and is bleeding. Tempers flare and a scrum erupts again. Penalties are dished out. Pens will finish this one on the PP.

1:23 - The crowd is standing, waving their towels, and chanting "we want the cup!"

2:27 - The Pens have shortened up their bench. They don't need to risk the big guns getting hurt.

5:20 - Power play time comes to an end.

6:28 - Now a regular power play for a little over a minute.

7:03 - Also, Malkin earned himself a Gowdie Howe Hat Trick!

7:20 - Watson will take a seat for charging on Schultz. Five-on-three power play for the Pens for 52 seconds.

8:28 - A scrum erupts in the Predators' zone. Malkin, Hagelin, and Hornqvist in the mix. Gloves, sticks, and helmets littered the ice. Penalties are dished out and the Pens end up with a power play. Subban receives the extra minor.

10:29 - Power play expires for the Pens.

12:29 - Now Neal will take a seat in the box for cross-checking. Power play time for the Pens.

13:18 - Murray shows he is still awake and alert with a tremendous save.

14:15 - The penalty killing effort by the Pens is successful.

16:15 - The penalty killing unit for the Pens comes out to kill off Rust's tripping minor.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens need to keep up the pressure and continue to wear down the Predators! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - That will bring an end to the second period and the Pens have extended their lead to 6-0!

3:20 - HAINSEY SCORES! Malkin makes a perfect pass through the legs of Subban to Hainsey driving center! Hainsey directs the puck past Rinne! 6-0 Pens

4:58 - Power play time expires for the Pens.

6:58 - Forsberg is off to the sin bin for goalie interference, which sends the Pens onto the power play.

11:58 - KESSEL SCORES! Crosby finds Maatta up ice! He breaks into the zone and finds Kessel in the slot! Kessel fires a rocket shot past Saros! 5-0 Pens

12:50 - Kunitz is a one-man wrecking ball.

15:57 - Ellis collides with Hornqvist and goes down awkwardly. He slowly makes his way to the bench. He is in pain on the bench as he talks to the trainer.

18:41 - SHEARY SCORES! Crosby circles the offensive zone with possession and without! He gets the puck and backhands a feed to Sheary in front! Sheary roofs it blocker side! 4-0 Pens

19:32 - Subban and Crosby are out of their respective penalty boxes.

19:59 - Saros has replaced Rinne.

20:00 - Time for the second period! Still, a little to go on the four-on-four action! The Pens need to keep the pressure up and not let up! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - The first-period horn sounds and the Pens have the 3-0 lead!

0:10 - MALKIN SCORES! Kessel gains the zone and holds the puck as Malkin makes his way into the zone! Kessel finds Malkin and he beats Rinne high glove! 3-0 Pens

1:32 - Crosby and Subban wrestle behind the Pens' net for quite some time with the referee standing over them. He finally blows the whistle. Both get holding minors. Four-on-four hockey.

3:09 - Wilson fires a shot that goes off the side of the net! Spin around shot and he was so close.

5:53 - Rinne fights off a high shot from Hainsey.

7:54 - The Pens successfully kill off their bench minor. A great effort by all the penalty killers. Hainsey was on point.

9:54 - The Predators are getting a power play chance as the Pens are caught with too many men on the ice. They need a solid penalty killing effort, so momentum stays in their favor.

11:52 - The Predators finally get a quality chance in front. Murray holds strong to deny their chances in front.

13:17 - RUST SCORES! Kunitz gains the zone and stops! He finds Rust driving center and puts a pass right on his stick! Rust turns the puck over to his backhand to lift the puck past the glove of Rinne! 2-0 Pens

14:22 - Rinne mishandles the puck behind the net. This sets them up for an extended shift in the offensive zone. The crowd erupts in cheers.

16:04 - Some great energy to the Pens gameplay.

18:29 - SCHULTZ SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Crosby puts the puck right in the wheelhouse of Schultz at the point! Schultz fires a rocket shot through the five-hole of Rinne! 1-0 Pens

19:10 - A great start for the Pens. Crosby fights his way between two defenders to get a shot off while falling. Amazing effort. Ellis ends up getting a holding penalty and the Pens are headed onto the power play.

20:00 -  It's a Playoff Hockey Night in Pittsburgh! Time for Game Five! The Pens need to come out with speed, pressure, and play a full 60-minute game! Lets Go Pens! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Penguins look to bounce back in Game Four - 2017 Stanley Cup Final

Sidney Crosby / MF
By: MF, 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in action tonight to battle the Nashville Predators in Game Four of the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Penguins are coming off a hard 4-1 loss in Game Three, which was the home opener for Nashville in these Stanley Cup Finals. The Penguins now have the chance to bounce back and take this series back to Pittsburgh to close it out. However, to accomplish that goal the Penguins will have to put on the pressure early and keep it up throughout the game. Momentum has proven to be a game-changer throughout the playoffs and that hasn't changed. The Predators took control of the momentum surge and ended up with the win in Game Three. The Penguins now must learn to combat that and capitalize on their own surges, including the power play where they have struggled. The lack of power play production by the Penguins in Game Three was a difference maker. They need to fix that tonight.

This is also a chance for Matt Murray to bounce back after a lackluster performance. This is a crucial game for the Penguins. They need to response with speed, resilience, and show the Predators that they are not easily put away. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Guentzel - Crosby - Rust
Hagelin - Malkin - Hornqvist
Kunitz - Cullen - Kessel
Sheary - Rowney - Archibald

Dumoulin - Hainsey
Maatta - Daley
Cole - Schultz

Murray in the net!

Play by Play
Pens 1 Predators 4

3rd Period
0:00 - That brings an end to this game as the Predators tie up the series 2-0 with a 4-1 win over the Pens. Back to the Burgh.

0:24 - Another Predator penalty. Five-on-four for the rest of this one.

1:39 - Pens with a power play chance.

3:09 - Faceoffs are critical and the Pens haven't been winning a bunch of them in this series. That last one was vital, but the Predators get the win, which resulted in the empty net goal.

3:23 - Forsberg scores an empty netter. 4-1 Predators 

3:31 - Empty net for the Pens.

6:26 - Subban is back on the bench for the Predators.

7:08 - Subban is down on the ice in pain. He hobbles to the bench and goes to the locker room. This occurred after blocking a shot.

8:12 - Sheary is robbed by Rinne.

10:05 - The Predators check the Pens changing and Fisher gets in all alone. Murray robs him!

11:22 - Murray with a huge save and he stretches out to deny the rebound chance. Remember that save, if the Pens are able to come back.

14:20 - Malkin with a wrap-around chance that ends up going across blue paint area.

16:25 - Would like to see some more from Malkin's line. They need to kick things into gear.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens have to put on the pressure and Murray must hold strong! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - That will do it for the second period and the Predators have the 3-1 lead.

0:30 - Predators with the momentum and pressure.

2:56 - Rinne fights off a shot from Archibald.

4:21 - Murray has to stop that breakaway there. He didn't and it hurt. Rinne has stepped up for the Predators. The Pens need the same from Murray.

6:52 - Arvidsson scores. Arvidsson gets a breakaway and beats Murray glove side. 3-1 Predators

11:02 - Crosby gets a breakaway and both his attempts are stopped. The loose puck is found and directed to the open net. Rinne dives back to the goal to stop it. Crazy sequence.

11:45 - A successful penalty killing effort for the Pens.

13:45 - The Predators are getting a power play chance. Hainsey is guilty of a high stick.

16:15 - Gaudreau scores. Gaudreau wraps the puck around and Murray is unable to get there in time. 2-1 Predators.

16:31 - Kunitz gets a breakaway and goes five-hole, but Rinne closes the door.

17:27 - Crosby out works Josi to get the puck and feeds it to the front of the net for Guentzel. His one-timer is stopped by Rinne.

18:41 - That brings an end to the power play.

18:58 - Some quality chances on the power play. Much improved.

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens start with a 1:19 power play and they need to capitalize on it! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - The first period ends and this one is tied 1-1.

0:41 - A late power play for the Pens. Neal is off to the box for interference.

1:05 - Schultz with a strong stick to deny a cross pass in front. Murray follows it up with a save.

4:03 - CROSBY SCORES! Crosby gets behind the defense and is all alone when he receives a chip pass up to him! Crosby fakes the shot, holds the puck while stickhandling and puts the puck off the post then Rinne's skate into the net! 1-1 tie game

5:09 - Jarnkrok scores. The puck ends up loose in front after Murray makes a save. Jarnkrok puts the puck in the open net. 1-0 Predators

5:55 - Crosby sends the puck across the blue paint, but Guentzel is unable to get a stick on it.

6:38 - Neal had two quality chance in front at point blank range. Murray denies him both with the left pad.

10:45 - A solid and aggressive penalty kill by the Pens.

12:45 - Hornqvist will go to the box for tripping. The first power play of the game will go to the Predators.

13:04 - Huge save by Murray as Dumoulin turns over the puck in front.

14:55 - There have been a ton of faceoffs to start this game. No flow to the game. Cole finally gets the first shot of the game.

15:28 - A great defensive play by Kunitz who broke his stick on a previous Predators' shot. He was able to box out a Predator, which resulted in the puck going out of the zone.

17:41 - Archibald with some great fore-checking to get the Pens some time in the offensive zone. He has some jump in his play.

20:00 - Time for Game Four! The Pens need to come out with speed, fire, and bounce back after Game Three! Take 3-1 lead back to Pittsburgh! Lets Go Pens!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Pittsburgh Penguins look to silence the Music City

By: MF,
PPG Paint Arena / MF

The Pittsburgh Penguins are up 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final series against the Nashville Predators as the series shifts to the city of Nashville.

I could sit here and talk statistics with you and who has deserved to win games, but that hasn't seemed to sway these playoffs results. Throw the stats out the window. They won't help in predicting the winner, score, or what will happen. It has been an interesting series and Game Three will not be any different.

Game Three is a critical game for the Predators as a win will give him some life and a loss will back them into a corner. Everyone has talked about the 7th man for the Predators in reference to the home crowd and how loud they will be. This will feed the Predators, but it won't hinder the Penguins. They are used to coming into buildings and playing for keeps. Whether the 7th man will become a factor, well that is up for debate when the home team faces the Penguins.

As for injury updates, Nick Bonino was seen using crutches and had a boot on his foot. He will not be in the lineup tonight and Carl Hagelin will slot into the lineup.

Sidney Crosby / MF
The Penguins could put the Predators on the brink of losing and be one game closer to winning the Stanley Cup. They have to come out with speed, quiet the crowd early and put the pressure on Rinne from the start. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:

Guentzel - Crosby - Rust
Kunitz - Malkin - Kessel
Wilson - Rowney - Sheary
Hagelin - Cullen - Hornqvist

Dumoulin - Hainsey
Cole - Daley
Maatta - Schultz

Murray in the net!

Play by Play

3rd Period
0:00 - Game Three goes to the Predators with a 5-1 win over the Pens. The Pens need to move on and look forward to bouncing back in Game Four.

0:59 - The penalty kill for the Pens is successful.

2:59 - Kessel goes after Irwin who took a run at Cullen from behind. Kessel goes to the box to join Daley and Cole. More players hit the showers early. Kunitz and Cullen among them. Predators will get a power play.

4:22 - Ekholm and Hornqvist are kicked by the referees and he is off to the locker room early. Both get 10-minute misconduct penalties.

4:44 - Murray has not lost back-to-back playoff games. We will see how he bounces back.

6:50 - Ekholm scores on the power play. Ekholm uses Dumoulin as a screen and beats Murray blocker side. 5-1 Predators

7:17 - Hagelin and Ekholm are released. They will be replaced. Malkin and Crosby take a seat for the Pens and Forsberg for the Predators. The Predators end up with a power play.

9:17 - Hagelin and Ekholm each get roughing minors. Four-on-four hockey time.

9:54 - Rinne has improved from Games One and Two. Murray is the struggling goalie right now.

15:06 - Smith scores. Kunitz turns over the puck in the neutral zone, which sends Smith on a breakaway. Smith beats Murray glove side. 4-1 Predators

17:29 - Gaudreau gets a breakaway chance and ends up missing the net.

18:00 - Rinne denies Sheary. The Pens need to pressure.

20:00 - We are back for the third period! The Pens are no stranger to being down, but they are not out! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - The second-period horn sounds and the Preds hold the 3-1 lead.

0:22 - Neal scores. The puck takes a weird bounce and is at the side of the net. Neal gets to it first to bank it off Murray's back into the net. 3-1 Predators

1:23 - That will bring an end to that power play chance for the Pens. If the Pens can get their power play together and clicking, this series would be over.

3:23 - A huge chance for the Pens to turn things around on this power play chance. Ellis will take a seat for boarding.

3:34 - The Pens need to apply more pressure and put some shots on Rinne.

5:50 - Some good up and down, fast hockey being played. Few whistles.

7:47 - The Predators get a three-on-one rush. Neal gets a shot off in front, but Murray robs him!

The television is back up! 

Gaudreau scores. 2-1 Predators

Josi scores on the power play. Josi slaps one that changes direction and fouls Murray. 1-1 tie game.

Dealing with some severe weather and it has knocked my television out. Follow the action on Twitter @PensHockeyShow. 

18:35 - Murray active to start this period.

20:00 - It's time for the second period! The Pens need to come out like period one and get another on the board early! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - The first period comes to an end and the Pens hold the 1-0 lead!

3:07 - The Predators have the momentum right now. They are doing a good job of pressuring the Pens. The Pens have to adjust and get the puck down to Rinne.

5:16 - That will be the end of that power play effort. Murray with the best play as he denies a two-on-one shorthanded chance for the Predators. That particular power play was a mess.

7:16 - The Pens are getting another power play chance as the Predators are guilty of having too many men on the ice.

8:33 - Some solid chances for the Predators in the last few shifts. The crowd is loud once again.

10:04 - Neal charges in and the loose puck is up for grabs in the blue paint with an open net. Plenty of Pens around and they clear the puck.

10:20 - Murray dives out to cover up the puck. He is bumped into a bit but is good to go.

11:58 - Composed play by the Pens to start this game. One can tell that they have done this before.

13:10 - Time on the power play expires. Some good movement by the Pens, but they need to get more shots through.

14:29 - Kessel throws the puck in front of the net, but Rinne makes the stop. He finds the loose puck and covers for a whistle.

15:10 - The first power play of the game will go to the Pens. Subban heads to the box for holding on Hagelin.

17:14 - GUENTZEL SCORES! Cole fires from the blue line through traffic and his shot is stopped by Rinne! Guentzel finds the rebound in front and slides it five-hole on Rinne! 1-0 Pens

19:40 - Dumoulin receives a hard hit from behind courtesy of Neal. He is slow to get up but remains on the bench.

20:00 - Game Three is underway in Nashville! The Pens need to come out with speed, take control, and pressure Rinne early on! Lets Go Pens!