Pens-Kings In-Game Blog
Saturday, 11.5.2011 / 10:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
PENGUINS 3, KINGS 2 (SO)
PIT - CHRIS KUNITZ WINS IT FOR THE PENGUINS!!!
LAK - Gagne comes in slow but Flower gets a piece of his snap shot with the toe of his right pad.
PIT - Quick says no to Neal and the shootout will continue on.
LAK - Flower makes some crazy kung-fu kick save on Brown!!!
PIT - Letang with some serious stickhandling to get the puck past Quick!
LAK - Pretty, pretty goal by Kopitar. Nimbly slides it through the five-hole.
PIT - Geno tries some nifty fakes but Quick isn't fooled.
LAK - Stoll goes first. He's 13 for 23 in his career in shootouts...but wait! Make that 13 for 24 as he's stopped by Flower!
0:00: That'll do it for OT. We're going to the shootout.
0:45: Sullivan takes a hard hit from Stoll in the neutral zone and skates gingerly to the bench...
1:22: Kings have me on the edge of my seat right now. They just got waaay too many quality chances. Fleury came up absolutely huge!!!
3:19: Staal with some good stick on puck on the boards by the Pens' own blue line. But they can't quite clear.
5:00: The extra period has begun!
0:00: And we're going to need at least an extra period to decide this one. Sixth OT game for the Pens through their first 15 contests, tied for most in the NHL.
0:53: Some of the Pens' best defenders out in the final minute - Cooke, Adams and Vitale.
2:57: Kunitz has been in and around the net all night and his work finally pays off!!! Staal, right at the post, pokes a short pass over to his linemate. He quickly emerges to the front of the net and roofs a backhander before Quick has time to slide over!!! Pens 2, Kings 2
3:20: Kings think they take a 3-1 lead but the goal is waved off when it's determined there was a hi-stick on the re-direct. Big break for the Pens!
5:50: Ouch - Neal winds up and sends a heavy blast toward the net that deflects off Drew Doughty's helmet. He's got a bleeding gash on his face from the impact and heads to the locker room to get looked at.
6:11: Kopitar sends a perfect back door pass to Gagne. All the former Flyer has to do is tap the puck into a wide-open net, and he doesn't miss. Kings 2, Pens 1
7:30: Kings back to full strength. Pens got a lot of pucks to the paint on that man-advantage, but a lot of the rebounds were hard to handle.
9:30: Richards forces a turnover on the blue line and embarks on a breakaway, forcing Letang to trip him to prevent a goal. And now Richards will get a penalty shot on the play...but he fires it wide!!! No cheese!
9:54: LA's Jarret Stoll is in the sin bin for slashing. Pens back on the PP!
11:46: Barely any stoppages in play these last few minutes. Both teams obviously pressing real hard to get that go-ahead goal...
15:30: Staal feeds linemate Kuny with a beauty pass, which No. 14 one-times and just misses the net with!
17:18: Pens getting some offensive zone time in the early stages of this period. Good sign.
20:00: Final frame has begun...let's do this!!!
SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Letang has played over half the game, logging 20:19 minutes
- He also paces the Pens wth 5 hits
- Bortuzzo has skated 5:35 minutes and has one penalty in his NHL debut
0:00: First 40 minutes in the books. Pens and Kings now tied 1-1, with Pitt holding a 24-21 advantage in shots.
3:32: Both teams playing some excellent, fast-paced, physical hockey right now. Great flow to this game. Crowd really getting into it.
6:26: Kings pick up a neutral zone turnover and it results in a 2-on-1 break for Williams and Kopitar. Williams dishes to Kopitar, who cuts across the front of the net and lifts a backhand over Flower. Pens 1, Kings 1
7:43: Every time I hear Kings D-man Jack Johnson's name mentioned I think of the laid-back singer. Favorite song? "Do You Remember."
10:06: Pens escape that one unscathed. Continued outstanding work from Pitt's PK!
12:06: Bortuzzo gets his first NHL penalty when he roughs - speak of the devil - Richards. Pens back to the PK. Lots of penalties being called this game, especially compared to Pitt's game against the Sharks where a grand total of one minor was called.
12:38: So weird to see former Flyers captain Mike Richards on the ice in a Kings uniform. Still associate him in my head with the orange and black.
16:00: Pens successfully thwart that Kings 5-on-3 advantage!!! Huge kill for Pitt!
18:07: Just 42 seconds into Letang's penalty, the Pens are caught with too many men on the ice - Kings will have a two-man advantage for the next 1:18. Cooke, Adams and Orpik out to kill for the Pens. What a seriously formidable trio.
18:49: Now it's the Kings who'll start a period off with an early PP opportunity when Tanger goes off for roughing LA captain Dustin Brown.
20:00: Puck drops. Game on!
FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- Sullivan now has 35 points (12G-23A) in 40 career games vs. LAK
- Letang (5A) and Neal (1G-4A) now have twin four-game point streaks with assists on Sully's goal
- Letang logged the most ice time that period, skating 10:46 minutes
- Neal attempted to get six pucks to the net, three being successful
- I'm thoroughly impressed by Neal's fumanchu
0:00: Buzzer sounds to end the first. Sullivan's first of the season gives the Pens a 1-0 lead. Pitt outshooting LA 14-7.
1:15: After the Pens go to a 5-on-4 opportunity, Tanger makes a sick shot fake that sends Kopitar sprawling way out of position. He then feeds Sully, who scores from behind the goal line!!! Time to say sayonara to that monkey on Sullivan's back! Pens 1, Kings 0
2:55: Malkin whips a shot to the cage that has a big juicy rebound. Sully corrals it and pops it out to the front of the cage with Quick out of position, giving Kunitz a wide-open net! But he can't knock down the puck out of mid-air! So close!
3:22: And now former Pen Rob Scuderi is in the sin bin for delay of game!!! Pens going to have a much longer 5-on-3 opportunity now!!!
3:26: With 30 seconds left on that PP, Moreau heads back to the box for LA's fourth PK of the night. Wow. Bylsma decides use his timeout so asst. coach Todd Reirden can draw up a play for his guys...let's do this!!!
4:56: Seconds after they get back to full strength, Malkin gets violated on a breakaway attempt. Pens are going to get their third PP opportunity of the period.
5:10: Big kill for the Pens as they stymie the league's fifth-ranked PP! As Sam just tweeted on our @PensInsideScoop handle, "Great to see Staal's big stick and long reach back on the PK."
7:10: Now it's the Pens who'll head to the PK as Neal gets a pair for tripping...
9:33: Kings successfully kill their second penalty of the night.
11:33: Oh wow. Kunitz tries to corral a loose puck on the wall and Ethan Moreau blasts him from behind into the boards, slamming his head off the glass hard. Kuni is a little shaken, but ends up being OK and stays on the ice. Pens to the PP.
14:07: After a solid first few minutes by the Pens, Kings respond with a big shift by their first line of Gagne, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. Luckily Fleury comes up with the saves when needed.
15:28: Neal goes down on one knee to get a solid crack at the doorstep, but Quick turns him aside! The Pens forward has been getting pucks to the net early. Always a good sign.
17:23: Kings back to full strength.
17:58: Picard's first shift for the Pens is on the PP. Bylsma mentioned that the D-man would be seeing time on the man-advantage.
19:23: Pens head to the man-advantage early as Simon Gagne hi-sticks Martin. First PP unit for Pens: Kunitz, Neal, Malkin, Letang and Sullivan.
20:00: It's a hockey night in Cali! Puck drops. Game on!
Niskanen, Jeffrey and MacIntyre are the Pens' scratches. Picard will make his Pens debut and Bortuzzo (who has an absolutely epic mustache for Movember) will make his NHL debut. Here's the lineup for tonight:
Fleury in goal. Jonathan Quick in net for LA.
BREAKING: It's official - both Staal and Martin will be in the lineup tonight for the Pens!
One player who will be in the lineup tonight in place of Lovejoy is defenseman Alexandre Picard, who was recalled by the team on Thursday morning. Tonight will be his debut in a Penguins sweater.
Another defenseman, Robert Bortuzzo, was recalled by the team the next day. He may or may not be in the lineup tonight depending on the health of the other Pens blueliners, and if he is it will be his NHL debut. We will keep you posted!
Good evening everybody! Thanks to those of you tuning into the second late-night blog in a three-day span. The Pens will conclude their two-game trip out West to California by taking on the Los Angeles Kings at 10:30 p.m. EST at the Staples Center. Pittsburgh has won four of the previous five meetings with the Kings, outscoring them 14-7 in the four victories, and will look to make it five of six tonight.
Unfortunately, the injury troubles just keep coming for the Pens. Not only will they be without Sidney Crosby (concussion), Tyler Kennedy (concussion), Zbynek Michalek (broken finger), Ben Lovejoy (broken wrist) and Brian Strait (elbow) for tonight's match, but head coach Dan Bylsma announced earlier this afternoon that both Paul Martin and Jordan Staal will be game-time decisions. Staal has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury while Martin has played in all 13 games thus far. Stay tuned to the blog for updates as to who will be in the line-up.
For a video version of Sam Kasan's Pens Report, see the Verizon Game Day Report below to be in the know. He wraps all of the day's news up for you in one nice little package:
In honor of the missing Pens (and to wake those of you up who are feeling sleepy), I'm going to play David Guetta and Usher's "Without You" for tonight's blog ... quite a catchy tune. Hope you like it.