Pens-Hawks In-Game Blog
Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 7:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
PENGUINS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2
0:00: Pens survive a nailbiting last minute-and-a-half to defeat the NHL's top team 3-2!!!
1:29: Neal trips up Kane on the backcheck and the Hawks are going to finish the game on the PP...they've pulled their goalie for the extra attacker.
2:41: Montador streaks down the wall and Fleury stops both his first shot and the rebound (with a little help from the red painted metal). This one is going down to the wire...
5:15: Now Geno gets a legit breakaway but can't convert!!!
6:05: Asham nearly gets a breakaway, but Scott uses his long reach to sweep the puck off his stick.
9:47: Hawks are pushing right now. They definitely have the Pens back on their heels a little bit right now. Hopefully Pittsburgh can respond with a push of their own.
10:24: The Kunitz-Malkin-Neal line with a big chance right now but Emery is able to get a pad on the puck and deflect it into the corner!
12:02: Malkin is just a monster right now. He's got 16 faceoff wins on the night, which is a new career high for the Penguins center. It tops his former personal best of 15, set on Nov. 25, 2006 against NY Rangers at Mellon Arena. Thank you to the amazing Bob Grove for that information!
13:48: Patrick Kane meanders just outside the blue paint and threads a pass to Stalberg, who punches it home for the score. Pens 3, Hawks 2
14:52: Neal and Toews now both have 19 goals on the season, which puts them in a tie for second in the NHL -- one behind league leader Steven Stamkos (20).
18:11: We've just been informed that Marcus Kruger will not return to the game with an undisclosed injury.
18:36: Correction: the goal was actually Toews', as Niskanen accidentally re-directed it into the net before Stalberg touched it.
19:11: Toews carries down the side of the ice and dishes a cross-ice feed to Stalberg, who taps it into the net before Fleury can slide over in time. Pens 3, Hawks 1
20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Game on!
A big congratulations to Chartiers Valley’s Justin Sabilla, Penn-Trafford’s Conlan Sodrosky, North Hills’ Brett Berner and Butler’s Tanner Gilland for being honored by the Pittsburgh Penguins as Highmark High School Hockey Players of the Month for November!
- Malkin has assisted on all three Pens goals to give him 39 points (15G-24A) through 27 games
- That moves him into a four-way tie for the NHL scoring lead
- The three players he is tied with (Toronto's Kessel, Philly's Giroux and Vancouver's H. Sedin) are NOT playing tonight
0:00: First 40 minutes are in the books. Pens lead 3-0 and have a 24-19 advantage in shots.
0:35: Bickell finally released from the box. Hawks back to full strength.
1:21: Pens back to the PP as Neal is released!
3:26: With 1:41 left on the 4-on-4, Lovejoy carries down into the zone...around the net...and sweeps a pass over to a wide-open TK, who stuffs it into the open cage!!! Pens 3, Hawks 0
3:45: Neal just got called for cross-checking with 3:07 left on the double minor. We're going 4-on-4 for the next 2 minutes.
4:38: Bryan Bickell catches Geno in the face with a hi-stick as Malkin is trying to skate up the ice and he goes down instantly. Geno got a bloody lip on the play, which means Bickell is going to get a double minor. Pens get a 4-minute PP here.
5:23: Orpik's had four hits tonight and at least two of them have been worthy of the highlight reel. He just leveled Jonathan Toews in the faceoff circle.
6:15: Hawks now have a power play for 1:08...
7:06: With 51 seconds left on Bolland's penalty, Neal gets a pair for roughing. We're 4-on-4 for the next little bit here.
8:15: Malkin draws yet another penalty, this time on Dave Bolland, and the Pens are back to the PP!
9:09: Fleury with a big save through traffic on a Seabrook blast after a good shift by the Hawks. Pens still controlling most of the momentum, though.
13:19: Niskanen earned an assist on Neal's goal, which was his 100th career point. Congrats to Niskanen!!!
13:29: Hawks are back to full strength. Emery had to come up with a few solid saves on that kill.
15:29: Malkin draws a penalty on Kane with some impressive hustle in the O zone. Geno is in a whole other world right now...the Hawks just can't handle him.
17:15: Neal forces a turnover in the Pens' zone, which Geno scoops up and pushes right back up to his linemate -- who's off to the races on a 2-on-1 with Kunitz. Neal opts to shoot and snipes the puck far side past Emery! That extends the winger's point streak to six games...he's got 5 goals and 3 assists over that stretch. Pens 2, Hawks 0
18:00: Hawks with a solid shift just now where they controlled play in the Pens' D zone and made them chase, but Engelland is finally able to clear.
19:22: Pens back to full strength!
20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Pens will be shorthanded for the first 38 seconds. Game on!
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
- With his assist on Kunitz's goal, Niskanen now has 8 points in his last 8 games
- Malkin extended his point streak to 6 games with his helper on the tally
- Pens are dominating in the faceoff circle
- They're led by Malkin (8-2) and Staal (6-3)
0:00: That'll do it for the first. Pens lead 1-0, have a 13-10 advantage in shots and will start the second period with 38 seconds left on Williams' penalty.
0:59: A short while ago, Staal skated gingerly to the bench after falling awkwardly in the corner. He does not go down the runway to the locker room.
1:24: Williams trips up Jamal Mayers and is going to the box for it. Pens to the PK.
2:59: Vitale speeds down the ice and his first shot is turned aside, but he whacks the rebound at Emery from behind the net and nearly gets it behind him!
4:44: I know the Pens have had 3 PPs this period, but even when it's full strength they're still controlling the play of this game. Hawks have not had much offensive-zone time at all.
7:06: Hawks back to full strength.
9:15: Kane hooks TK so hard he yanks him to the ice, and that's going to send him to the sin bin. Pens to their third PP of the night!
9:58: While Kunitz is curling from the far blue line, Malkin hits him with a perfect stretch pass that gets him behind the Hawks defense. He goes backhand to forehand and snaps it past Emery! Pens 1, Hawks 0
11:05: Engelland stands up Marcus Kruger on the half wall and is immediately challenged by the John Scott. The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Engelland holds his own with the 6-foot-8, 270-pound Scott but ends up with a bloody gash above his eye. Scott is going to get a two-minute instigating penalty on the play and the Pens are back to the PP!
11:46: Hawks back to full strength.
13:08: Hawk get a 3-on-2 rush with Brent Seabrook bringing up the middle and firing a shot at Fleury that the Pens goalie has to stretch out to save. Nice stop by the Flower.
13:49: Nick Leddy interferes with Cooke as they race for a puck, and the Hawks D-man is going to the box! Pens to the PP! To top it off, it's time for the Big Mac Attack! A little early tonight, but we'll take it after scoring on it Saturday!
15:50: Viktor Stalberg gets two cracks right on the doorstep, but Fleury's able to kick the puck away with some pretty pad saves each time. Michael Frolik then swoops in and sends a backhand at the net with 'Flower' down, but he misses the cage.
16:59: Marian Hossa is getting booed every time he touches the puck...
18:08: Bylsma has matched up Cooke, Staal and Kennedy against the Morin, Toews and Kane line. The Hawks just got a strong scoring chance coming out from behind the net, but the Pens are able to clear the rebound with Fleury down.
20:00: It's a great holiday for hockey! Puck drops. Game on!!!
Martin, Tangradi and MacIntyre are scratched. Here are the official Pens' lines:
Fleury between the pipes.
IT'S OFFICIAL...STAAL AND ADAMS WILL BOTH PLAY TONIGHT, WHILE BEN LOVEJOY MAKES HIS RETURN TO THE LINEUP AFTER MISSING THE LAST 18 GAMES WITH A BROKEN HAND!!!
(Sorry for writing in all caps. I'm just pretty excited, as you should be too!)
The Chicago Blackhawks are in town and they're going to be a tough test for the Penguins tonight, as they currently rank first in the NHL with 46 points and are on a 7-0-1 in the month of December (winning their last five in a row).
The Blackhawks come to Pittsburgh fully loaded save for Dan Carcillo, who did not make the trip with the team. The rest of their star-studded lineup, however, is healthy and the red-hot Ray Emery will start between the pipes for Chicago.
The Penguins, meanwhile, are a totally different story. But the good news is that Jordan Staal, who's missed three of the last four games, and Craig Adams, who left in the second period of Saturday's tilt and did not return, both said this morning they feel good and are ready to play but that it's up to head coach Dan Bylsma. Apart from Marc-Andre Fleury starting in goal, however, Bylsma wouldn't tip his hand as to the rest of his lineup...so stay tuned to the blog to find out!!!
Continuing on with the Christmas music theme I started on Monday that Sam did not continue today as I predicted, here's Trans Siberian Orchestra's "A Mad Russian's Christmas." I know I played TSO on Monday as well, but this is the song featured in our holiday open here at CONSOL Energy Center...so hopefully if you play it, you'll feel like you're right here with us.