Pens-Lightning In-Game Blog
Sunday, 02.12.2012 / 6:15 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
PENS 4, BOLTS 2
0:00: That'll do it! Pens take this one 4-2 and extend their home winning streak to six games!
2:37: The Pens' first line is just absolutely dominating in this game. Kunitz and Neal each have three points and Geno's got a pair of goals.
8:05: And the Pens successfully kill that off.
9:16: Now the Bolts will head to the power play for a grand total of one minute, seven seconds.
10:09: After a successful first minute of the man-advantage, Kunitz goes off for slashing. We'll go 4-on-4 for the next 53 seconds.
11:17: A Pens player headmans the puck to Geno and gets him behind the Pens D. It looks like Malkin's off to the races, but he gets hauled down by Gervais and the Pens are heading back to the PP!
12:19: The Bolts successfully kill that one off and go back to full strength.
14:23: Geno flits around the Bolts zone looking for a shot, and in the process the Lightning get caught with too many men on the ice. The penalty will be served by Steve Downie. Pens to the PP!
17:32: Pens have already barraged Garon with 33 shots and the third period has barely even started.
20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Game on!
|"#Malkamania is running wild. We are so #spoiled as #Pens fans. #Imlovingit!"
- Kunitz now has 7 points (2G-5A) over the last 2 games
- Letang has 6 points (3G-3A) over that same stretch
- Malkin leads the Pens with 5 shots on goal. He's really trying for the hat trick
0:00: First 40 minutes are in the books. Pens have built themselves a 4-2 lead thanks to goals from Malkin (2), Letang and Kunitz. Shots are 27-14 in favor of Pittsburgh.
0:55: Bylsma has to use his timeout when the guys ice the puck after a long shift.
|"Geno is not human."
5:55: Letang prevents Downie from getting his first NHL hat trick by getting behind Johnny and sweeping out what would have been a sure goal if not for his defensive awareness!
|"Warning: Hurricane Geno is has hit CEC!!"
7:02: Bolts kill that one off and go back to full strength.
9:02: And now the Pens will head to the man-advantage as Kubina gets two for tripping.
9:06: Kunitz threads a gorgeous pass through a sliding Eric Brewer to a crashing Geno, who stuffs it home for his second of the game!!! PENS 4, BOLTS 2
9:49: Park bumped into Garon in the crease. Letang got the puck in the net, but the goal was immediately waived off for incidential contact with the goaltender.
13:48: Garon just had to make a brilliant pad save on a Neal one-timer from close range. The Pens' top line is performing like their usual dominant selves so far tonight.
15:32: Letang gets a pass from Kunitz from above the far circle and makes no mistake by snapping it glove side. The puck actually went off of Garon's glove and fell to the ice, crossing the line. PENS 3, BOLTS 2
|"@pghpenguins Moses couldn't have parted the seas better"
19:04: What a phenomenal individual effort by Chris Kunitz. He carries down the middle of the ice and powers his way around Brett Clark before going backhand to forehand and tucking the puck past Garon! Tie game! PENS 2, BOLTS 2
20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!
- Malkin has scored at least once in eight straight home games
- He also has points in 13 of his last 14 home games dating back to Dec. 13, compiling 26 points (12G-14A)
- This is Johnson's first start against Tampa Bay since Jan. 1, 2009, when he was a member of the Washington Capitals
- Letang leads the Pens with 8:11 minutes of ice time
0:00: First period comes to an end with the Bolts holding a 2-1 lead. Shots are 8-5 in favor of Pittsburgh.
|"Another 66-style goal from Geno. Flip the sides of the ice and Letang to Geno looked an awful lot like 77 to 66."
|"That goal was a lay up. You could see that coming miles away, no one in Geno's shooting lane. Too easy for him"
3:45: Letang makes a pass over to Geno, who's stationed in the circle. It's right in his wheelhouse, so he winds up and tees off a scorcher past Garon to get the Pens right back in this one! It's Malkin's 31st of the season and he's now tallied in eight straight home games. BOLTS 2, PENS 1
4:35: The NHL's leading goal scorer (Stamkos) goes to the box for holding, giving the Pens a big power-play opportunity as the period winds down.
6:10: Pens get some life after a fantastic shift by the Jeffrey-O'Reilly-Sullivan line. They kept play hemmed in Tampa Bay's zone and got a few shots on net.
9:51: And Downie strikes just 11 seconds later when Teddy Purcell sweeps a pass across the crease that's on a silver platter for him to tap into the open net. BOLTS 2, PENS 0
10:02: Steve Downie takes a slapshot from just outside the circle that looks like it hits a Pens defender's stick before going past Johnny to get the Bolts on the board first. BOLTS 1, PENS 0
11:34: Good shift by the Kunitz-Malkin-Neal line just now. They swarmed the net hard and got a few cracks on Garon in close, but just couldn't get it to cross the goal line.
14:40: Kunitz artfully receives a pass from Malkin and gets behind the Bolts D for a breakaway, but his shot just misses the net!!!
17:32: Pens successfully kill that one off and go back to full strength.
19:32: Pens will be shorthanded early with one of their best killers in the box as Staal goes off for high sticking.
20:00: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Puck drops to start the first. Game on!
Pens scratch Kennedy and Lovejoy.
Here are the official line combos for tonight:
Brent Johnson gets the nod between the pipes. Mathieu Garon in goal for Tampa Bay.
Writing the "What to Watch For" and tracking the Trib Total Media Scouting Report is normally my job, and I absolutely love doing it. But my colleague Sam Kasan stepped in yesterday and did a fantastic job of researching the Bolts. You can read his preview here or watch a condensed version below.
Biggest takeaway from that is since the Pens extended Tampa Bay's losing streak to 7 games the last time the clubs met, the Bolts have since turned it around by going 7-1-2 in their last 9. Yowza.
Bylsma spoke a lot about the Bolts in his post-morning skate address. If you want to hear what coach has to say, press the play button below!
Good evening everyone! It's a rare Sunday night game for the Pens as they'll host the Tampa Bay Lightning here at CONSOL Energy Center for a 7 p.m. puck drop.
This is Tampa Bay’s first visit to Pittsburgh since defeating the Pens in Game 7 (1-0) of the teams’ opening-round playoff series on April 27 of last season, and regardless of what's transpired in the months since, seeing the Bolts back here in Pittsburgh brings back some not-so-fond memories for the players and coaches.
“Seeing them back in this building for our team, regardless of how many points they do have, this is the team that beat us in the playoffs,” head coach Dan Bylsma said earlier today. “That’s the reminder I was stricken with this morning when I saw the logo on their bags and seeing some of their players.”
The Pens held an optional skate this morning and Bylsma wouldn't divulge his lineup, so stay tuned to the blog for the scratches, combos and starting goalie. For the practice notebook, click here.
With the Lightning in town and their slogan this year being "Be the Thunder," I've got to start with an old classic: AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." Get pumped!