Pens-Bolts Game 6: In-Game Blog
Monday, 04.25.2011 / 6:30 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs Coverage
By Michelle Crechiolo
FINAL SCORE: LIGHTNING 4, PENGUINS 2
0:00: That'll do it. The Lightning force a Game 7 with their 4-2 win.
1:00: Pens pull Fleury for the extra attacker.
4:54: Letang winds up, fires -- and rings a shot off the red painted metal! So close!
5:34: The Pens are leaving everything they've got on the ice right now. They're keeping play flowing and are somehow keeping the puck in the offensive zone. They're rewarded for their efforts with a faceoff.
7:56: Bolts continuing to pressure hard, forcing Fleury to come up with a pair of saves.
10:26: The puck takes a crazy bounce off the glass in the Bolts D zone, which opens the door for Ryan Malone to get behind the defense and take a feed from Ohlund. Malone decides to take a hard slapshot on the breakaway and beats Fleury. Lightning 4, Penguins 2
12:34: Bolts back to full strength.
14:34: Malone shoves Letestu into Fleury after the play is dead, and tempers flare after that goes down. Orpik and Stamkos get into each other's faces and Hedman and Kunitz are engaging to name a few. Hedman and Kunitz are getting coincidentals, while Malone is also heading to the box for goaltender interference. That means Pens are on the PP.
15:05: The Lightning respond when Downie somehow slips a rebound under Fleury. Lightning 3, Penguins 2
15:35: Huge pair of scoring chances just now and a resulting pair of amazing saves by Roloson! Talbot finds space behind the Bolts D and gets a shot! Then Duper swoops in and gets the rebound opportunity, but Roloson somehow makes the save!
16:12: JORDAN STAAL!!! Staal battles on the boards to keep the puck in the zone and gives it to Niskanen on the point, who hands it right back to Staalsy in the slot! Staal wrists a shot past Roloson, who has Neal standing right in front of him! Penguins 2, Lightning 2
16:43: No stoppages of play so far this period. Both sides are playing a hard, fast-flowing game.
18:31: So much heart and character from the Dupuis-Talbot-Conner line. They're having a fantastic game.
20:00: The final frame has commenced!
SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Adams has four blocked shots while Dupuis has two
- TK leads with five shots
- Letang leads with 18:41 of ice time
- Staal paces the Pens with four hits
0:00: The first 40 minutes are in the books. The Bolts hold a 2-1 lead and shots are even at 16-16.
0:35: Bolts back to full strength.
2:20: Pens now on the PP for 1:39!
2:41: As Duper wheels down the ice and attempts to enter the zone, Malone comes and takes down Duper with an elbow and is going to the box!
3:32: Yet another huge block by Addsy on Stamkos!!! He just threw his body in front of a player who's known for his blistering shots!
4:21: Now it's Tampa Bay who's headed to the PP, as Kunitz gets two for tripping.
6:34: Big couple of saves by Fleury as the Lightning attack hard, and Asham comes up with the clear.
8:21: Bolts back to full strength.
8:46: Kovy drops a pass right in Staal's wheelhouse, who one-times it from close range but Roloson makes the save.
10:21: Pens are heading to their third PP as Neal draws his second penalty of the night!
10:50: Conner uses his speed to break behind the Bolts defense and get a breakaway!!! Kubina trips Conner in a last-ditch attempt to stop the Pens forward and he's getting a penalty shot! But the puck rolls off his stick on his way to the net.
11:16: Boucher decides to use his timeout after his players ice the puck after a long shift.
11:28: Bolts back to full strength.
13:28: Bergenheim hi-sticks Conner on the faceoff, and now the most recent goal scorer is going to the box. Pens on the PP!
14:16: Moore gets the puck behind the net and looks like he's going for a wraparound, but instead makes a no-look behind-the-back pass to Bergenheim on the back door, who stuffs it home. Fleury was following Moore on the play. Lightning 2, Penguins 1
14:52: Kunitz crashes the net and gets a chance in the slot, but can't quite handle the puck! Pens are getting some chances here!
17:10: The Dupuis-Talbot-Conner line just had a 3-on-1 opportunity! Conner had a wide-open net but Hedman somehow got his stick in the lane to get a piece of it and deflect it into the corner!!!
17:28: Bolts back to full strength.
18:34: After some battling on the boards, the Bolts clear.
19:28: Pens getting their first PP of the game! Ohlund's in the box for roughing Neal.
19:54: Staal with another faceoff win against Stamkos to start the period. Staal's been a beast off the draw so far tonight.
20:00: Puck drops. Here we go ... game on!
FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- Staalsy is 7-of-10 on faceoffs for a 70-percent success rate
- Duper's tally was his first point of the playoffs
- With his assist on Duper's goal, Talbot has three helpers in the last two games
- Orpik leads with 10:01 of ice time
- Adams has three blocked shots -- all of them crucial ones
0:00: The horn sounds and that'll do it for the first. The teams are tied 1-1 and the Bolts have a 9-7 advantage in shots.
0:24: Talbot comes out to take the faceoff between Neal and TK, and the three generate another shot on goal.
1:04: The Neal-Staal-Kennedy line gets a shot on goal and dig away for the rebound, which gets tempers flaring.
1:32: The Lightning have the Pens back on their heels a bit right now.
3:24: Malone's initial shot is stopped by Flower, but the Pens goalie had to stretch on his stomach to stop it. While he's prone on the ice, Purcell finds the rebound and lifts it into the net. Penguins 1, Lightning 1
3:32: Pens back to full strength.
4:10: Max Talbot's battle level is absolutely through the roof right now. He just beat Stamkos to the halfwall and cleared a puck out of the zone after a couple of quality scoring chances by the Bolts.
5:17: Fleury sees a Stamkos scorcher at the last second and gets a blocker on it, deflecting it out of play!
5:32: St. Louis receives another heads-up pass by the Pens' blue line and goes in one-on-one on Brooks Orpik. Orpik averts the danger by poking the puck off St. Louis' stick, but Letang – hustling back into position – is whistled for interference as he gets tangled with Ryan Malone in the process. Pens back to the PK.
6:26: Michalek pinches in to try and keep play hemmed in the Bolts D zone, but the Lightning manage to break it out. Chris Conner, however, has his head on a swivel and busts back to cover for Z.
7:36: St. Louis gets behind the Pens D thanks to a heads-up pass from Nate Thompson and a burst of speed. He tries to go backhand on Fleury, but "Flower" denies him!
8:30: Pens back to full strength!!!
8:46: The Bolts just recorded their first shot of the game a few seconds ago.
9:24: Two HUGE blocks by Adams just now. It never ceases to amaze me how Adams never flinches at laying his body on the line.
10:04: Adams swoops in and saves the day by clearing a rebound from the slot.
10:30: The Bolts just managed to control play for almost a full minute on a delayed penalty call to Kovy, getting an extra attacker on the ice for that length of time. Pens on the PK, as Kovy gets two for hooking.
11:37: Roloson bobbles the puck behind the net while trying to play it, and a hustling Talbot grabs it! He shovels it to Dupuis in the crease, who smacks it home amidst a sea of black jerseys!!! Penguins 1, Lightning 0
13:00: Pens also making the simple, easy passes to get the puck out of their zone. They're also doing a good job of dumping the puck in to gain the zone and not trying to make pretty plays on the far blue line. Lots of smart plays by the Pens.
14:33: Pittsburgh's defensemen are maintaining good gaps and stepping up at the blue line, with the Pens' forwards scooping up the resulting turnovers.
15:51: Conner nearly pokes the puck off a Lightning defender's stick into the slot, where there were no Bolts in sight -- just Duper and Max waiting to pounce! But he can't quite get a handle on it!
16:38: After Staal picks a Bolt's pocket in the neutral zone to gain the zone, he barrels in and crushes another Bolt behind the net!
18:03: Looks like Bylsma is mixing up his lines a bit. Neal started the game with Staal and Kennedy, while Kunitz is out with Letestu and Kovalev right now.
18:36: Letang stands up Bergenheim as he tries to gain the zone. While Bergenheim is stopped in his tracks, his teammates are able to keep play corraled in the Pens zone and eventually force Pittsburgh to ice the puck.
19:32: Neal starts by laying a big hit on a Lightning D man on the forecheck, sending him flying to the ground!
20:00: This is it ... it's time! Puck drops. Game on!
7:00 PM: Pens scratch Deryk Engelland, Eric Tangradi, Eric Godard and Mike Comrie for tonight's Game 6.
Pittsburgh is starting James Neal, Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy up top, Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek on the blue line and Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes.
Tampa Bay is loading up their starting lineup. They're going with Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier up top, Eric Brewer and Mattias Ohlund on the blue line and Dwayne Roloson between the pipes.
6:44 PM: PittsburghPenguins.com compiled some of the interesting stats entering tonight's Game 6. Click here to see some of the eye-popping numbers!
6:30 PM: Today’s quote of the day is brought to you by alternate captain Jordan Staal. Staalsy has a penchant of coming up big in the postseason when his team needs him the most, with Games 4 and 6 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final immediately coming to mind.
The 22-year-old center has put Game 5 of this first-round series in his rearview mirror and is ready to come up with a colossal effort tonight in Game 6 against the Lightning.
6:15 PM: Hello and welcome everybody! We’re nearing puck drop for Game 6 of the opening-round series between the Penguins and the Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum. The Pens have an opportunity to clinch the series and move on to the next round with a win tonight, as they currently hold a 3-2 series lead.
Despite a tough 8-2 loss in Game 5, the Pens are not panicking. They have a history of bouncing back from tough playoff losses – as they discussed Sunday following practice. The Pens still have a chance to be the first team to four wins in this series, and they’ve put their Game 5 setback behind them and are ready to rebound tonight on the road – a building they've had success in so far this series.
Steve Mears succintly wrapped up the talk coming out of both locker rooms in today's edition of Penguins Insider. Always good stuff from Mearsy, so click the play button if you want to get versed before the opening faceoff:
Also, if you missed any of the coverage coming out of St. Pete Times Forum today, click here to get caught up on the game-day edition of the Penguins Report.