Pens-Rangers In-Game Blog
Tuesday, 11.29.2011 / 6:30 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
RANGERS 4, PENS 3
0:00: That'll do it. Pens fall to the Rangers 4-3.
0:54: Pens back to full strength.
2:54: Aaand they're going right back to work as Kunitz gets a pair for boarding.
3:06: Incredible effort by the Pens' PK unit during these last few minutes to stymie the Rangers' PP.
4:41: Engelland now out of the box and Pens have 1:30 left on Orpik's penalty. HUGE effort by Pens penalty killing extraordinaire Craig Adams out there.
5:11: After Geno is released, Orpik is called for interference when he gets Callahan in front of the Pens net. Pens to another 5-on-3 disadvantage, this one for 31 seconds.
6:41: With 1:22 left on a slashing penalty to Malkin, Engelland is called for slashing. NYR with a hefty 5-on-3 advantage here with the Pens down one...
7:21: Pens really turning it up these last few minutes as they're pressing hard for that tying goal...
12:26: Rangers back to full strength -- and don't allow the Pens a shot.
14:26: Kunitz draws a penalty when Ryan McDonagh holds his stick and snatches it right out of his hand! Pens to the PP! Crosby, Neal, Malkin up top; Sullivan and Martin on the points.
14:46: Rangers coach Tortorella just elected to use his timeout. Pens use the short break to return with a line of Kunitz, Crosby and Malkin #twoheadedmonster
16:21: Crosby is hooked as he drives to the net and during the delayed penalty call, Dupuis gobbles up the loose puck and beats Lundqvist with the backhand! Pens claw back to within one! Pens 4, Rangers 3
18:17: Anisimov with a huge point blank opportunity but Fleury is up to the task!
20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Hopefully Geno's goal built some momentum for his team!
- Rangers dominating in the faceoff dot, 73 percent to 28 percent (29-11)
- They're also outhitting the Pens 32-17
- With his goal, Malkin's point streak is now at 5 games (4G-5A)
0:00: Rangers battle back with four second-period goals to grab a 4-2 lead. Shots are even at 24.
0:06: Bortuzzo breaks out the puck to Sullivan, who carries in and drops to Neal. He one-times a blast toward the cage that pops off the pad of Lundqvist and straight to a crashing Geno, who slams it home (before his momentum carries him into the back boards)! Rangers 4, Pens 2
1:34: Flower makes an initial fantastic save on Gaborik on the back door, but the speedy winger makes sure his second attempt is punched through. Rangers 2-for-2 on the PP. Rangers 4, Pens 1
2:12: Neal is whistled for tripping former Pen Ruslan Fedotenko and Pittsburgh heads to their second PK of the evening.
2:25: Cooke hi-sticks a puck by New York's goal, but after he does that the rubber disc hits Lundqvist, bounces off a Rangers D-man Michael Sauer and into the back of the net!!! It's initially ruled no goal but the play is now under review...and the call stands. Apparently since the Rangers never had clear possession it's still no goal. Unlucky twist for Pitt.
4:21: And exactly one minute, 30 seconds later, Richards uses Orpik as a screen to thread a wrister past Fleury for the score. Rangers 3, Pens 1
5:51: Rangers' fourth line steps up like they did in NY's last game against the Flyers on Saturday. Rookie Carl Hagelin carries into the zone and makes a gorgeous drop pass to John Mitchell at the hash marks, who beats Fleury with a nice wrister. Rangers 2, Pens 1
6:59: Neal steals the puck from Del Zotto as he comes out from behind his own net and instantly whips it towards Lundqvist, who makes the save!
8:56: Fans rowdy at Maidson Squae Garden and always provide a raucous atmosphere, but the Pens have actually gone 5-1 in the arena the past 2 years. To top it off, they have a 4-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.
11:59: With 10 seconds left on the PP, Gaborik creates space for himself in the slot and carries straight to the net -- before dishing to Callahan, who just has to tap the puck into the open net. Pens 1, Rangers 1
12:39: Wow. Two huge pad saves by Fleury on this last sequence while on his knees.
13:50: Dupuis is getting penalized. Pens to their first 5-on-4 disadvantage of the night.
16:00: Pens definitely controlling the tempo this period. They're doing a great job of keeping the Blueshirts hemmed in their own end and have yet to concede a shot on goal to the Rangers.
19:13: Martin looking very strong thus far tonight. Is confident jumping up in the play and leading the charge from the back end. We're back to full strength on both sides, by the way.
20:00: Puck drops. Game on! Period starts with 34 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey as Orpik and Richards are still in the box.
- Pens are 9-1-3 when scoring first and 8-0-3 when leading after one period
- Dupuis has four of the Pens' 14 shots
- Niskanen leads with 9:05 of ice time
0:00: That'll do it for an action-packed first. Pens lead 1-0 thanks to Neal's PP tally and are outshooting Rangers 14-9.
1:22: Orpik and Richards get coincidentals. We're going to 4-on-4 hockey for the second time this period!
2:04: Sid with a perfect backhand feed to Neal, who's smack dab in the middle of the slot going to the cage. His quick release beats Lundqvist for the score! Pens 1, Rangers 0
3:28: Impressive mettle by Vitale on this last shift. Getting his helmet knocked off doesn't stop the Pens center from wreaking havoc in front of the Rangers goal and frustrating Lundqvist. Finally D-man Eminger tussles with Vitale after play is whistled dead and the two are going to get coincidentals -- with Lundqvist also getting called for roughing! Pens back to the PP!!!
5:01: Rangers successfully thwart that power play.
7:01: Pens get their second PP when Prust hooks Adams. Note: Martin is manning the point in place of Letang. Kunitz out with the first unit as Sid just had a long shift.
7:14: Fleury continues to look sharp as he manages to turn aside a Dan Giradi blast through traffic! Great awareness by Niskanen to clear the puck out of danger after the save.
9:19: While the Rangers did a nice job killing off that penalty, the Pens were a little too unselfish in passing up quality shooting opportunities.
11:19: Gaborik interferes with Picard near the blue line, nearly knocking him to his feet as the Rangers enter the zone and he's going to get called for it. Pens to the PP!
13:04: Strong starts by both goaltenders to begin this tilt. Both teams trying to drive to the net hard and having success in those endeavors.
17:39: TK and Avery are going at it again at center ice the second they're released from their respective penalty boxes for a quick rematch! This time, they're both awarded five-minute majors.
18:21: The two teams haven't disappointed out of the gates in terms of excitement. After Fleury has to come up with two big saves on a pair of quality Rangers chances, the Pens counter with Deryk Engelland hitting the post!
19:44: Aaand we've already got a bout here at Madison Square Garden! Kennedy and Avery just going at it at center ice! I absolutely love when the Pens play the Rangers. They both get two-minute roughing calls and we're going to 4-on-4 hockey.
20:00: Puck drops for what should be a spirited, exciting contest. Game on!
Although Letang and Michalek will be missed tonight, the good news is that the Pens have a healthy forward corps save for Steve MacIntyre, who was placed on IR this afternoon amongst all the craziness that occurred.
Here are the officlal lines (Park is the other scratch):
Fleury in goal. Lundqvist in net for NYR.
I went ahead and thoroughly researched tonight's opponent in my Rangers scouting report...or you can watch the abbreviated version here:
The Penguins' four-game road stretch continues tonight when they face the New York Rangers at the newly-renovated Madison Square Garden (pics to follow). The tough, in-your-face Blueshirts have been rolling, winning six straight games at home (their best start in the arena in nearly 20 years) and nine of their last 11.
They're certainly going to be a tough challenge for Pittsburgh tonight, especially since the Pens will be without two of their top four defenseman in Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek as both players have returned to Pittsburgh for further evaluation.
Letang suffered a broken nose on Saturday vs. Montreal when he absorbed a high hit from Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty (who received a three-game suspension for the incident). Letang hit the ice Monday after seeing doctors for his facial injuries to get some work in and see how he reacted. He then partook in the entire game-day skate this morning, but said afterward he is still having some trouble breathing and met with doctors again to determine the best course of action.
Michalek, meanwhile, left during the Montreal game during the third period but has participated in the last two days of practice. There is no word yet on the nature of his injury. Prior to tonight, he had played in the Pens' last 4 games after missing 10 straight with a broken finger.
Taking their places in the lineup will be defensemen Alexandre Picard and Robert Bortuzzo, recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton just a few hours ago.
With these latest developments, the Pens had a virtually fully healthy lineup for all of four games. But it's in no way going to deter them. I can guarantee you that. With that being said, let's start off the blog with a little Matthew Wilder. Don't ask me how I know this song...I just do.