Pens-Bruins In-Game Blog
Monday, 12.5.2011 / 6:30 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
BRUINS 3, PENGUINS 1
0:00: Horn sounds. That'll do it. Pens fall to the defending Stanley Cup champs by a score of 3-1.
0:55: Pens pull Flower for the extra attacker.
1:49: Pens really are getting some good chances and sieging Thomas hard but they just can't solve him tonight.
5:29: Lots of back-and-forth action right now. Pens getting a couple looks at Thomas but he's up to the task on each one.
8:52: Wow, what an incredible fight from Vitale! He and Greg Campbell traded punch after punch after Vitale crashed the net hard, but Vitale picked up steam as the fight progressed -- ending with Joey V. throwing Campbell to the ground! The crowd is going absolutely nuts!
9:06: Joe Vitale with a huge individual effort to get the puck into the B's zone and set up Cookie with a pass, who one-touches it home for the score! Also, Geno is back on the ice! Bruins 3, Pens 1
10:56: Sid is back on the ice!!!
11:18: Paille comes across the ice and gets Geno with a head-to-head hit. Geno instantly drops to the ice and is tended to by trainers. He's bleeding above the lip and heads down the runway to the locker room.
13:15: As Kunitz exits the box, he collides with Sid near center ice and the Pens captain skates slowly hunched over to the bench. As of now he's still on the bench and has not gone to the locker room. Kunitz definitely tried to avoid the collision but just couldn't.
13:20: Pens back to full strength.
14:30: Jordan Staal is an absolute beast when it comes to penalty killing. He just asserts his dominance out there.
15:21: Pens heading back to the PK after Kunitz is whistled for tripping. Great shift by his line just before that, too.
18:53: Bergeron powers his way past the Pens' D and sends a perfect feed to Seguin, who gets down on one knee to blast the puck home. PP goal for Boston. Bruins 3, Pens 0
20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Pens are shorthanded for the next two minutes as Staalsy is in the box. Put your rally caps on! Let's go Pens!
- Martin now has 21:43 of ice time. Yowza.
- Pens now hold a slight edge in faceoffs: 25-24.
- Dupuis leads Pittsburgh with five shots, while Crosby has four
0:00: Period ends with Staal getting an interference call. Pens will start the third shorthanded. They're down 2-0 to Boston, with the Pens holding a 23-19 advantage in shots.
1:42: And Boston emphatically kills off that penalty. This could be the turning point of the game.
2:56: Bruins' PKers (and Thomas) are coming up with a fantastic effort right now.
3:54: This is awesome...Pens are getting a two-minute 5-on-3!!! Pouliot gets called for goalie interference, and on the delayed penalty call, Peverley hooks Neal!
5:42: It's that time...BIG MAC ATTACK TIME!!! Pens have yet to score on one this year...let's hope the streak ends tonight!
5:51: Good news: Cooke is back on the ice for the Pens.
8:38: Paul Martin logging some heavy minutes right now. He's already skated for 16:53 minutes, with the next-highest total being Orpik (11:50).
9:35: Pens back to full strength!
11:35: Cooke heads down the runway to the locker room after blocking a shot.
11:56: Despres to the box as he trips up a Bruin. Pens back to the PK.
12:42: Peverly with a perfect feed to a streaking Benoit Pouliot in the slot, who roofs it over Fleury's shoulder for the goal. Bruins 2, Pens 0
13:51: Huge kill for the Bruins there as Chara is released.
14:41: Marchand is out. 50 seconds left on Chara's penalty.
15:51: With 1:10 left on Marchand's penalty, B's captain Chara gets called for cross-checking! Pens to the 5-on-3 advantage! The crowd is getting back into this one!! Pens using 5 forwards (Kunitz in place of Martin).
16:41: Brad Marchand slewfoots Matt Niskanen and the Pens D-man stands up for himself by fighting Marchand. Both players get five-minute majors and Pens will go on the PP as Marchand was called for the tripping penalty.
17:03: Daniel Paille wins a puck battle in the corner and dishes to Gregory Campbell in front, who's able to knock it past Fleury despite being surrounded by a few white jerseys. Bruins 1, Pens 0
17:09: Pens being very unselfish with the puck tonight. Trying to get that perfect shot when they should probably just keep shooitng.
19:46: B's come out roaring from the opening faceoff as they get two quality scoring chances on Fleury right off the bat. Luckily Flower is up to the task.
20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!
- Martin leads the Pens with 10:33 of ice time
- The B's have registered 11 shots and have 10 missed attempts
- B's have an 11-9 edge in faceoffs
0:00: That'll do it for the first. We're scoreless here in Pitt with the B's outshooting the Pens 11-6.
1:43: Not much to report these last few minutes. There haven't been many whistles but both teams are having trouble establishing offensive zone time.
5:41: Pens' power play ends without much happening. B's back to full strength.
7:41: Now it's the Pens' turn to have the man-advantage as Campbell is whistled for interference. First unit: Neal, Crosby, Malkin up top, Sullivan and Martin on the points.
9:14: Pens back to full strength. Great opportunity there for Dupuis as he crashes the net and receives a pass from Geno, but No. 9 can't corral the bouncing puck.
9:53: Coach Bylsma jumps up and catches a Bruins dump-in attempt that goes flying into the Pens bench. He then tosses the puck over the glass to a lucky young fan. #Ourcoachisthebest
11:35: Aaand Pens head right back to work on the PK as Despres is called for slashing.
12:29: Pens successfully kill off the penalty, cumulating with Cooke making a pretty stretch pass to a fresh-out-of-the-box Duper! However, Thomas is able to get his right pad on the shot.
14:33: Dupuis gets called for holding as he tries to hustle around hulking D-man Zdeno Chara. Pens to the PK. Pittsburgh has gone nine straight games without allowing a PP goal at home and have killed 27 straight penalties at CONSOL Energy Center.
16:07: Pens get their first shot of the contest on a determined effort from the Cooke, Staal, Kennedy line. This Bruins D is tough.
17:47: McQuaid unleashes an absolute blast from the point that finds its way into the back of the net, but it's ruled no goal as Chris Kelly made incidental contact with Fleury. Finally a call goes the Pens' way!
20:00: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Puck drops. Game on!
Park, Michalek and Engelland scratched. Pens' official lines for tonight:
Fleury between the pipes. Tim Thomas in net for Boston.
Tonight the Pens have a tall task in front of them: be the first team since Oct. 29 to hand the red-hot Boston Bruins a regulation loss. The defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins have been unstoppable for quite some time, going 13-0-1 in their last 14 games.
They’ve outscored their opponents by a 63-26 margin during that time and have won their last five road games – three of those coming by shutout. Boston is the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference with 33 points.
Meanwhile, the Pens are the top team in the Eastern Conference with 36 points, have superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin back in the lineup and are unbeaten in their last eight home game (7-0-1). Simply put, matchups like these are the reason we love sports.
Crosby put it best...
One obstacle the Pens will have to overcome against this tough B’s squad is their depleted defensive lineup. Head coach Dan Bylsma announced this morning that Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek, who have missed the last three games, both have concussions (with Letang being placed on IR). Those are two of Pittsburgh’s top four defensemen, so Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen and three recent call-ups – rookies Simon Despres and Robert Bortuzzo, along with Alex Picard – will need to continue the admirable job they’ve been doing the past few games.
FOR THE REST OF THE GAME DAY COVERAGE, CLICK HERE.
The Pens and the Bruins actually play a very similar style of hockey. Both clubs play a very sound structural game, with the emphasis being on grinding teams down in the offensive zone. They also both play very sound defensively and encourage their blueliners to get involved in the attack.
It’s going to be a question of who executes better. For tonight’s blog, I’d like to start with one of my favorite pump-up songs: Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” Get your blood flowing. It’s almost game time!