Pens-Senators In-Game Blog
Saturday, 03.24.2012 / 6:30 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
SENATORS 8, PENGUINS 4
0:00: Horn sounds. Sens take this one 8-4.
0:16: Jared Cowen to the box late. Pens on the PP to end the game.
1:52: Greening gets an open look in front of the net and quickly re-directs one past Thiessen for their second PP goal of the evening. SENS 8, PENS 4
2:27: Big scrum erupts behind the Sens net after Neil checks Malkin into the boards. Asham and Tangradi don't like it and get in his face. Tempers flare and Ash is going to get a pair.
2:55: The second Malkin's penalty expires, Alfredsson gets the puck at the backdoor and flicks it over the extended pad of Thiessen. Second goal of the night for Alfredsson. SENS 7, PENS 4
4:55: Malkin had been working the point on the power play and the Sens get another odd-man break with 71 as the lone man back. He goes for a sliding block and gets called for tripping. We'll go 4-on-4 for the next minute or so.
5:31: Pens getting a crucial power play here as Milan Michalek goes to the box for holding.
6:44: Pens allow Jason Spezza to get a breakaway, and he doesn't miss. SENS 6, PENS 4
8:14: My first-period prediction came true!!! Crosby scores his first goal since his return (6 games). From behind the net, Asham hits Crosby in the slot with a pass. Sid snaps a scorcher past Anderson for the score! SENS 5, PENS 4
8:36: Coach Bylsma just reunited the Cooke-Staal-Kennedy line on this last shift. Now Asham and Dupuis are out with Crosby.
10:51: Pens really pressing hard trying to cut Ottawa's lead to one. But the Sens are making it tough as they're sending just one forechecker into the zone and keeping the other four players back.
14:37: Good shift by the Sens just now. They created lots of looks and chances, but luckily for the Pens they missed a lot of nets.
15:57: Malkin rings a shot off the post!!!
18:25: Pens came out flying this period. They've been swarming all over the ice, but one misstep results in Zack Smith nearly getting a breakaway...but Thiessen produces a perfect pokecheck to sweep the puck out of danger.
20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Game on!
This period was one filled with quick responses. The Sens tied the score at 2-2 just 33 seconds into the period after the Pens had taken all the momentum with them into the period. Then after Ottawa got a PP tally and added a double re-direct score in a 36-second span to go up 4-2, the Pens answered 14 seconds later with a TK goal to cut the lead to 4-3. However, the Sens got a big shorthanded tally with under four minutes left to play to regain the two-goal lead.
0:00: Horn sounds and the second period comes to an end. Pens trailing in this one, 5-3.
1:41: Ottawa almost adds to their lead. A 2-on-1 rush leads to a slap shot from Alfredsson that hits the post. Neal and Foligno each sit for roughing. We'll skate 4-on-4.
3:10: The penalty expires, but it was the Sens that took advantage.
3:53: The Senators increase their lead despite being shorthanded. Alfredsson gets the puck at center ice and beats as rushing Crosby towards the net. He lifts a shot glove side for the score. SENS 5, PENS 3
5:10: Pens are going on the power play as Spezza takes a seat for tripping.
5:38: Thiessen makes a great save, sliding from his right to left to stop a point-blank shot. A Senator misses a wide-open net off the rebound.
6:54: Thiessen has some trouble controlling a bouncing puck, but does settle it for the whistle. On the previous shift Sullivan tried to reach a puck ahead of him for a breakaway, but couldn't quite get there.
8:59: The penalty expires and the Senators avoid disaster.
10:37: Bishop contorts his body awkwardly as he bends back to make a save and he's hurt. The trainer comes out to tend to the netminder and after a few minutes, he gingerly gets up and skates off the ice. Craig Anderson will replace him between the pipes.
11:00: Pens are getting their first PP of the evening when Klinkhammer goes off for hooking Tangradi.
12:05: Another quick response by the Pens! Sullivan and Kennedy wheel down the ice on a 2-on-1. Sullivan threads a pass to TK, who snipes one far corner over Bishop! SENS 4, PENS 3
12:19: There is nothing that Thiessen could have done on this goal. Gonchar's shot from the point banks off Foligno, hits Turris' body and deflects into the net. A double re-direct goal. SENS 4, PENS 2
12:55: With 49 seconds left on the power play, Phillips wires a perfectly-placed shot into the top corner of the net to give Ottawa the lead. SENS 3, PENS 2
14:06: Cooke catches Bishop with his skate as he heads for a puck and knocks the goalie's feet out from under him. He'll go off for goalie interference. Pens to the PK.
15:16: Lovejoy is looking sharp in his first game since March 11th. He's using his skating ability to join the rush and become a passing option for his forwards.
19:27: Foligno wraps around the net and dishes a pass to a pinching Sergei Gonchar, who punches it home for the score. That must have been quite an intermission talk from coach Paul MacLean. I will say that Staal stayed with Foligno the whole time, but lost his stick at the last minute and wasn't able to get into the passing lane because of that. PENS 2, SENS 2
20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!
The Senators came out strong, which was to be expected coming off a 5-1 loss to Montreal on Thursday. But after Milan Michalek got on the board at the 9:46 mark, the Penguins responded just 40 seconds later with a goal from Matt Cooke. And Cooke would give his team a 2-1 lead a few minutes later with a gorgeous assist from Sidney Crosby. Cooke has three two-goal outings in his last six games since being on Crosby's wing, and the two players - along with Tyler Kennedy - are putting up the points. They're proving to be a lot for opposing teams to handle.
- Cooke continues to extend his career-high goal total - he now has 19 on the season
- Crosby now has 10 assists in six games back
- The Sens outhit the Pens 8-3 in the period
0:00: That'll do it for the first. Pens have a 2-1 lead thanks to a pair of goals by Matt Cooke. Pittsburgh is outshooting Ottawa 13-9.
2:25: Pens kill it off and go back to full strength. One of the forwards out there for the Pens while shorthanded was Cooke. He's doing it all for his team lately.
4:25: Tangradi's stick comes up and clips Carkner in the face as they battle for a puck on the boards. Pens will head to the PK.
5:45: Cooke now three two-goal outings in his last six games.
|"That assist by Sidney Crosby just gave me goosebumps!!!
|"What a siiick pass by 87. Cooke is wondering why he never got to play with Crosby before. He'd be a 50-goal scorer. #Pens"
7:11: Martin sends a gorgeous stretch pass up the ice to Crosby. He barrels into the zone, stops and sends a beautiful spin-o-rama backhand pass to Cooke, who deflects it perfectly over the diving Bishop! Second goal of the night for Cookie! PENS 2, SENS 1
10:14: Engelland sauces a pass up the ice to Cooke, who knocks it out of the air perfectly and goes down the ice 2-on-1 with Crosby. Cooke looks to Crosby like he's going to pass, but instead slides a shot through Bishop's pads! Great response by Pittsburgh - 40 seconds after Michalek's goal. PENS 1, SENS 1
10:54: Ottawa's Milan Michalek collects a rebound at the backdoor and stuffs it into the open net. SENS 1, PENS 0
13:47: Crosby is absolutely flying out there tonight. He's got a lot of jump in his stride today and just got two good looks on his last shift. I'm feeling a goal for him tonight. What do you think?
15:22: Monstrous shift by Staal. He used that deceptive speed and obvious power to make plays happen all over the ice surface.
18:38: Thiessen gets tested early when Spezza gets a crack in the slot. Thiessen gobbles up the puck for a big first save.
|"Big game for the #pens! It's our time to scoot into 1st! Toronto and Montreal please win your games tonight, 'eh? #notaskingtoomuch #pens"
20:00: Puck drops to start the first. Crosby centering a line with Staal on his left and Dupuis on his right to begin. Game on!
Pens scratch Jeffrey, Park, Vitale, Niskanen and Johnson.
Thiessen between the pipes. Bishop gets the start for Ottawa.
Good evening everyone! The Pens are in our northern neighbor's capital (Ottawa) preparing to battle the Senators at Scotiabank Place. The Pens clinched a playoff spot Thursday with their win over Nashville. Pittsburgh has gone 14 games without a regulation loss (13-0-1) and is pursuing first place in the division and the conference, while the Senators are on the precipice of being on the outside of the playoff bubble, as No. 8 Washington and No. 9 Buffalo are just two points behind them.
Brad Thiessen and Ben Bishop will be going head-to-head between the pipes. This will mark Thiessen's first road start in the NHL, while Bishop (who stands a formidable 6-foot-7) is 3-2-2 in seven games with the Sens since being acquired from St. Louis on Feb. 26. Tonight will be his ninth straight appearance.
Also, defenseman Ben Lovejoy will be in for Matt Niskanen, who did not make the trip after sustaining an upper-body injury Thursday against the Preds. Forward Joe Vitale also did not make the trek to Ottawa. For the rest of the game day coverage from Ottawa, visit today's edition of the Pens Report.
I was in Ottawa for this year's All-Star Game and it was an absolute blast. The city was a great host and the game itself was quite entertaining.
Rap artist Drake performed during the second intermission and though I was traveling from the press box to the media room at that time, I heard it was great and the players loved it. Lots of them went back on the ice to take photos, and Drake later visited the locker rooms and met the guys. He sent this tweet after...
|"Thanks to everybody at NHL for an amazing night! All the players that showed love and all the fans! I got Gino's game stick!!!!!"
So for that, I'm going to start today's blog with a Drake song. Enjoy.