Pens-Panthers In-Game Blog
Friday, 03.9.2012 / 6:30 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
PENS 2, PANTHERS 1 (SO)
Neal is up first. He rips a wrister high that beats Theodore! He SCORES..
Wolski's shot misses the net. He MISSES...
Malkin goes in ever so slow and produces some fancy stickhandling. He SCORES...
And Weiss MISSES!
0:00: An extra five minutes can't decide this one, either. We're going to the shootout.
1:51: A Malkin shot rings off the back boards right to Staal, who can't get it into the open net! Jason Garrison actually got the shaft of his stick flat on the ice and deflected Staal's shot up and over the cage!
5:00: The extra period has begun. Both teams will skate 4-on-4 per NHL rules.
0:00: This one isn't settled in regulation. We're going to overtime!
3:00: This back-and-forth action is insane. I honestly don't think play has stopped since that timeout by the Panthers.
6:58: Pens have been coming on hard ever since the disallowed goal trying to get it back.
10:33: Brian Strait is back on the ice for the Pens. And as play stops, Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen opts to use his timeout.
11:07: Dupuis produced an incredible individual effort on the post to knock home a rebound, but after further review it's determined that the puck did not completely cross the goal line. Therefore, it does not count. Score still tied at 1-1. Huge scrambling save by Theodore to reach back with his glove and grab it before it went totally over.
11:41: Huge kill for the Panthers, as they make it out of those four shorthanded minutes unscathed.
13:15: With the assist on Dupuis' goal, Staal now has helpers in seven straight games -- which marks a new career high for the 23-year-old!
15:45: Krys Barch catches Adams in the face with a high stick and draws blood, which means the Pens are going on a four-minute PP! Adams goes down the runway to get checked out after the play.
17:04: A beautiful play by the Staal line results in the tying goal! Dupuis made a sweeping backhand pass up to Staal, who dished it to Sullivan. He used his speed to gain a step on the defender and power to the net, where he backhanded a shot that just sneaked through Theodore's pads! PENS 1, PANTHERS 1
17:30: Kopecky takes a shot that flies up and catches Strait square in the face. Though the young defensemen is clearly in pain, he finishes the rest of his shift before going down the runway to the locker room to get taken care of. #Warrior
20:00: Puck drops. Third period starts. Pens need a goal to tie.
It would be natural to assume that the Panthers would be a tired squad after a tough 5-0 loss to Philly last night. But they've been playing with a whole horde of energy and jump, and it's proving tough for the Pens to handle. While the Pens are getting pucks to the net, they're not getting enough traffic in front of Theodore. He's seeing all of the shots and is making easy saves as a result.
- Pens are 2nd in the NHL (tied) with seven wins when trailing after two periods
- Jordan Staal continues to be in beast mode. He's helped create a lot on the ice and is 8-3 (73%) in faceoffs
- Kennedy leads the Pens with 5 shots
0:00: The buzzer sounds and the first 40 minutes are in the books. The Panthers have a 1-0 lead thanks to Tomas Fleischmann, as well as a 23-20 edge in shots.
1:50: Fleischmann gets in front of a Penguin's shot from the point and gets a breakaway as a result. But Fleury comes out and challenges and makes a gorgeous pad save.
3:01: Kunitz has had his fair share of point-blank shot opportunites that he's gotten some mustard on, but Theodore has squared up to each one and made the saves.
5:11: Pens have closed the gap shot-wise. They now have 18 to the Panthers' 19.
8:13: Both men are released from the box and we're back to 5-on-5 hockey. Neal had a great sliding chance on the backdoor about a minute in, but Theodore made it over in time to deny him.
10:13: Tempers are starting to flare in this contest. We just had our second post-whistle scrum, and after it's broken up Cooke and Samuelsson are in the box, meaning we'll skate 4-on-4.
12:43: After the Pens spend some quality time in the Panthers zone, the Cats roar right back when Tomas Fleischmann wanders to the backdoor and picks up a juicy rebound that he slams home top shelf for the score. PANTHERS 1, PENS 0
15:57: Both teams are skating well, but neither has generated any real quality scoring chances yet this period.
20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!
A pretty evenly-played period between the two clubs. The Pens, who had a day off Thursday, came out fresh and it resulted in a few extended shifts in the offensive zone. But once Florida (who played last night in Philly) got their legs underneath them, they began coming at the Pens hard. Each team created a few quality scoring chances, but neither could convert.
- Despres has played 4:13 minutes and generated a quality scoring chance
- Michalek leads the Pens with 9:49 minutes played
- Adams paces the club with three hits
Tonight was a specially-themed American Eagle Student Rush, as the students that came were asked to dress in their best SUPERFAN costumes in order to win lots of awesome prizes. The best fans in the world didn't disappoint...
0:00: First period comes to an end. We're scoreless through 20 minutes with the Panthers holding a 12-6 edge in shots.
1:48: Panthers create a lot of chances on that power play but can't convert as the Pens go back to full strength.
3:59: Dupuis gets called for tripping in the offensive zone. Pens to the PK.
4:47: From behind the net, Sullivan hits a dipping Michalek with a perfect pass. Michalek waits and picks a corner with Theodore scrambling to get back into position, but his shot rings off the inside of the crossbar and out of danger! Z must want to hear the Braveheart "Michalek" chant again.
9:44: Now TK finds himself with some space in the slot and the puck on his stick, but his shot goes just wide.
|"Kinda shocked how much Despres got on that backhand. Whoa #Pens"
|"Despres is going to be a star in a few seasons. #Pens"
11:08: Staal touches a quick breakout pass to Despres, who carries it all the way down and rips a backhander at Theodore that rings off the outside of the post! The pace has definitely quickened up in this one.
14:28: The Panthers get their legs under them and produce a good shift in the Pens zone, but Staal's line breaks it out as soon as they hit the ice for Malkin's line and get a few cracks at Theodore!
18:37: Fantastic first shift for the Pens by the Sullivan-Staal-Dupuis line. They gained the Panthers zone soon after the opening puck drop and controlled play for almost a minute and a half, generating a couple of quality scoring chances.
20:00: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Puck drops to start the first. Game on!
Before the game begins, here's a few things to keep in mind...
Evgeni Malkin is just one point shy of 500 entering tonight's game. If he hits it, he will be the 17th Russian-born player and fifth all-time to reach the mark. He will also move into a tie for eighth place on the team's all-time point list.
The Pens have been dominating Southeast Division teams at home.
They are 7-0-1 vs. the Southeast at CONSOL Energy Center this season
Since the beginning of last season, the Pens are 15-2-1 at home vs. the Southeast. If you subtract the Capitals from that number, the Pens are 14-0 against the other four teams in the division
Pens scratch Martin, Engelland, Letang, Jeffrey, Tangradi and Johnson. Despres is in.
Fleury between the pipes. Theodore in net for Florida.
Good evening everyone! Welcome from CONSOL Energy Center, where the Pens and the Panthers are in the midst of warmups before their 7 p.m. puck drop. Tonight Pittsburgh will be looking for its eighth straight victory, which would equal their longest winning streak of the season. And not only have the Pens been on a roll overall, but they're on an absolute tear in this beautiful building as they've won five straight here and are 11-1 in their last 12 in the arena.
Head coach Dan Bylsma said Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal. The rest of his lineup will be a gametime decision, including whether defenseman Simon Despres – who was called up this morning from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – will play for Paul Martin, who missed the a.m. skate due to illness and may be out tonight. For the rest of the game-day coverage (and there's plenty), visit today's Pens Report.
Stay tuned to the blog for the official scratches and line combinations. Until then, here's Steve Mears with all of today's news wrapped up into a nice little package otherwise known as the Game Day Report.