Pens-'Canes In-Game Blog
Saturday, 11.12.2011 / 5:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
HURRICANES 5, PENGUINS 3
0:00: Despite a valiant comeback effort from the Pens, they fall to Carolina 5-3 on the road. J. Staal with a huge game, scoring twice in the loss.
1:05: Pens deem to use their timeout to draw up a quick play with another offensive zone faceoff.
1:29: Pens pull Johnny as they're gifted with a faceoff in the offensive zone.
2:30: Uh oh. Chad LaRose breaks behind the Pens D and gets a breakaway, which he delivers on. 'Canes 5, Pens 3
4:34: This time Eric Staal's goal will not be disallowed. Johnny seemingly had it covered with his glove but Staal snuck his stick underneath before he could fully freeze the puck, and pushed the rubber disc over the goal line. 'Canes 4, Pens 3
7:42: As the Pens enter the O-zone Dupuis gives Kunitz a pass right in his wheelhouse. He goes down on one knee to ring the puck far side (and stick side) past Ward! 'Canes 3, Pens 3
7:56: Pens back to full strength.
9:56: Orpik to the box for tripping Skinner. Pens to the PK.
11:25: Great backcheck by Kunitz as the Pens D-men had pinched in to help storm the 'Canes net. He hustled back and lifted the stick of a Hurricanes player that would have been off to the races if not for his efforts.
13:29: Pens back to full strength.
15:17: Orpik rings the puck around the board to Cooke, who sends a perfect home-run pass to Staal and sends him on a shorthanded breakaway! And Staal does not disappoint, solving Ward for the second time tonight!!! 'Canes 3, Pens 2
15:29: Skinner draws a penalty on Asham for slashing. 'Canes get their third PP of the night.
18:23: With his back to the boards, Geno feeds Jordan Staal at the tip of the slot -- and No. 11 sends a heavy one-timer past Ward, finally solving the 'Canes goalie!!! 'Canes 3, Pens 1
19:40: Pens catch a break when Eric Staal gets a mini breakaway and appears to score, but the refs rule it goalie interference as he pushes Johnny's pad on the play.
20:00: It's rally time. Let's do this!!! Pens starting the period with Neal, Staal and Malkin up top. Sullivan is not on the bench.
- The 19-year-old Skinner has a goal, two assists and a plus-3 rating
- Both of those helpers came on his linemate Tuomo Ruutu's tallies
- Apparently the line of Jussi Jokinen, Skinner and Ruutu is called "Skins and Finns" because of Jokinen and Ruutu's Finnish heritage
- Malkin and Letang have five shots apiece
0:00: 'Canes now hold a 3-0 lead thanks to two second-period goals by Ruutu. Pens are outshooting them by a hefty margin, though -- 23-13.
0:56: Skinner powers his way to the slot from the corner and gets hit by Niskanen -- but that leaves the puck up for grabs in front of the Pens net. Ruutu grabs it and slides it under Johnny for his second of the night. 'Canes 3, Pens 0
4:09: Carolina was not deterred by Orpik's great play as they convert just seconds later. Skinner powers down the side of the ice and tucks a perfect backhand pass around Orpik and to the stick of a crashing Tuomo Ruutu, who sends it home for the score. 'Canes 2, Pens 0
4:30: Huge defensive play by Orpik!!! The 'Canes had a 2-on-1 chance and a big juicy rebound jumped out to Skinner, who had a wide-open net -- but Orpik tied him up and averted the goal!
5:00: Geno just manhandled his way through a sea of red jerseys and threw a puck to the cage that Ward turned aside. He's getting chances, that's for sure.
7:05: If you were just watching Jeff Skinner on the ice and didn't know anything about him, would you guess he's only 19? I sure wouldn't. Very skilled and dynamic player.
10:30: Pens currently outshooting 'Canes 15-8 in what's been a lively last few minutes. Lots of back-and-forth action. As Enrique Iglesias would say, "I like it."
13:30: 'Canes back to full strength in what's shaped up to be a penalty-filled period.
14:15: Now the Pens will have 33 seconds left with the one-man advantage.
15:43: Pittsburgh is going to have a 5-on-3 for 1:28 as Malkin is tripped!!!
16:16: Now the Pens will have the advantage as Harrison goes off for interfering with Malkin.
16:32: Staal scoops the puck behind the net and dishes to a crashing Dupuis, who gets a shot off! Nice shorthanded chance for Pitt a second before they get back to full strength!
18:31: Niskanen is in the sin bin for hi-sticking Skinner. Pens PK goes to work.
18:54: Another big stop by Ward! Letang, Sully and Neal are off to the races on a 3-on-1 rush -- Tanger backhands a pass to Sully, who does the same to Neal on the right. He winds up and blasts a one-timer that Ward comes up with a huge save on!
20:00: Middle frame has commenced!
FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- If it weren't for Cam Ward, the Pens would probably be leading by a lot
Letang leads with 8:50 of ice time
- 'Canes are dominating the faceoff circle, winning 62 percent of the draws
- Pens have gone 13-3-4 in their last 20 road games dating back to Feb. 26 of last season
0:00: Horn sounds. First period ends with Carolina leading 1-0 and the Pens holding a 10-5 shots advantage.
1:00: Everyone is back to full strength.
1:34: Malkin has gotten a handful of fantastic scoring opportunities so far this period. He's gonna solve Ward at some point tonight. After all, he does have 12 goals and 27 points in 20 career games against the Hurricanes.
2:43: Spoke too soon. Nine seconds after Carolina's PP begins Jamie McBain goes off for tripping. We're going to 4-on-4 hockey, which means lots of open space!
2:52: Staal's heading to the box for tripping and the NHL's top-ranked PK will go to work
6:27: 'Canes win an O-zone faceoff and get a shot through a ton of traffic, but Johnny comes up with a big save even though I'm not sure if he saw that one or not.
8:28: The 'Canes have returned to full strength.
9:03: Tempers just flared on the ice as virtually every guy on the ice just got tangled up with each other. When everyone's separated, Neal, Malkin, Jay Harrison and Patrick Dwyer are all in the box for roughing so their penalties are coincidentals. That means 35 seconds left on the Pens' PP.
9:59: Ward has to be sharp early on his team's disadvantage as the Pens are coming hard!
10:28: Zac Dalpe heads to the box after boarding Paulie Martin. Pens' PP (ranked seventh in the league) goes to work!
11:45: Neal whips a shot to the net and the rebound jumps out to Sullivan, who's all alone in front of the net. But somehow, Ward gets his left pad on the puck and barely makes the save!
13:34: Pens having some trouble establishing offensive zone time duirng these first few minutes.
15:55: We've got a fight going as Asham and Bryan Allen are engaging in a pretty spirited bout by the boards in the Pens zone. Pretty evenly matched I'd say.
18:38: 'Cane are first to strike when
20:00: Puck drops. Game on!
Pens' lines are the same as Friday, with the exception of Johnny going in goal. Cam Ward is between the pipes for the 'Canes and Anthony Stewart and Joni Pitkanen are their scratches.
Bylsma said Brent Johnson will get the nod between the pipes tonight. There will be no other lineup changes.
Coach also touched on a couple of other topics...
On Carolina being hungry after the way they lost on Friday:
I thought in the third period, where they were 1-1 and playing a pretty good game – at the end of the game you look at the scoreboard and see something totally different. They have some dangerous parts. They have some speed. They play a speed game. Especially in this building, we know they will come at you hard on the forecheck and create havoc that way. They have it with some skill, but they also have it with some grit. They play a quick transition game that can hurt you if you’re not aware and take care of the puck. Those are things we have to be aware of. Much like our game last night – where our focus was trying to grind a team down, trying to put pucks behind their defense and force them into those areas of the ice – that’s got to be a part of our game plan tonight.
On Eric Tangradi:
Eric is working on his power forward game, being a physical presence. A lot of that is puck management for him. I thought he did a good job of that, putting pucks in areas where he could go to work. His line was effective in the offensive zone. When he took the shot to the head, he was in and around the cage taking it to the cage and did a great job in that regard from behind the net. That started with a good offensive zone forecheck and then offensive zone time. That’s something he’s worked on and gotten better at, that puck protection and bringing it to the net and being a factor. In about 10 minutes of hockey, he was effective there.
Greetings, all! The Pens are currently in Carolina preparing to take on the Hurricanes at the RBC Center. It's the second game in as many days for both teams, and one is riding high while the other is struggling.
Pittsburgh is fresh off a fantastic 3-1 victory over Dallas on Friday, where James Neal scored twice and Matt Cooke converted his first-ever penalty shot to lead the Pens to victory. The win means that Pittsburgh enters tonight's game with a league-leading 23 points.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the slumping Hurricanes have stumbled out of the gate this season. In their game last night against NY Rangers, the two clubs were deadlocked at 1-1 midway through the third period when Dan Girardi and Brandon Dubinsky scored nine seconds apart to make it 3-1 before the Rangers added two more to turn what had been a tight game into a blowout. The 'Canes have now lost four straight and are tied for 13th in the East.
Since both teams played last night, neither held a morning skate -- but Pens head coach Dan Bylsma is addressing the media as we speak. Stay tuned for the video.