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Pens-Rangers In-Game Blog

Thursday, 04.05.2012 / 5:17 PM / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Pens-Rangers In-Game Blog

Pens' annual team awards were announced during the first period. Click on any of the links below to see the winners...

TEAM AWARDS, PART 1...
TEAM AWARDS, PART 2...
TEAM AWARDS, PART 3...






PENGUINS 5, RANGERS 2





0:00: Horn sounds. Pens clinch home-ice advantage in at least the first round of the 2012 playoffs with a 5-2 victory.

0:48: Letang executes a perfect Murphy dump off a defensive zone faceoff -- that lands perfectly in the back of the empty net (Biron had been pulled for the extra attacker). PENS 5, RANGERS 2

2:14: Boyle collects a tiny rebound off Fleury's pads and backhands it into the cage for his fifth goal in the last eight games. It does not cancel out the penalty. Pens remain on the PK. PENS 4, RANGERS 2

3:38: Letang is released. Pens now at a 5-on-4 disadvantage for the remainder of the game with Orpik's five-minute major.

4:39: There's a collision at the blue line and Stepan is in serious pain. Orpik goes to the locker room after getting a five-minute major for the knee-on-knee hit. Pens will be on a 5-on-3 disadvantage for the next 47 seconds.

5:52: Letang is in the box for cross checking. Pens to the PK again.

6:50: Not only is Malkin just one goal away from hitting 50 for the first time in his career, but Dupuis extended his NHL-season-high point streak to 16 games with the assist on Park's goal.

     "Just one more!!! #Geno #Pens"
                                                           @aamandacola

10:54: ONE MORE TO 50!!! Crosby sends a bank pass up the boards that Kunitz goes to retrieve. He goes around the net and whips a pass to Malkin, who slams it past Biron for the score! MVP chants ring out around CONSOL Energy Center, followed by cries of "GENO! GENO!" PENS 4, RANGERS 1

12:25: Pens kill it off and go back to full strength. Big effort by Staal on that kill. He's been outstanding tonight.

14:27: Kunitz heads back to the box, this time for holding. Pens to the PK.

15:15: Crosby and Kunitz head down the ice on a 2-on-1 rush, but Sid's a little too unselfish with it and sends a bouncing pass over to Kunitz that skips high.

17:17: Rangers get a few good chances around the blue paint, but Fleury and his D-men keep New York at bay.

19:17: Crosby and Malkin have been paired on a line with Kunitz for most of the game while Park has been skating with Tangradi and Dupuis. Geno is playing wing while Sid is playing center.

     "LETS GO GENO!!! 2 MORE BUDDY!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!"
                                                           @chuckthebuck46

20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Game on!





Tonight marks the franchise's 250th consecutive sellout (including postseason). The streak began on Feb. 14, 2007, against the Chicago Blackhawks. Since that night, the Penguins have sold out their entire regular season slate for five consecutive seasons (including this year). Prior to this current run of five consecutive sellouts, the Pens had never had more than 34 sellouts in a single season.

With the 18,585 fans in attendance tonight, the Pens have also now established a single-season attendance record -- breaking the mark originally set last season with 729,628 fans filled CONSOL Energy Center for Pittsburgh's 40 home games.

I think Chris Kunitz said it best…







0:00: That'll do it for the second. Pens have built up a 3-1 lead thanks to a second-period goal by Richard Park. Shots are 25-17 in favor of Pittsburgh.

2:28: Kunitz is released. Pens back to full strength. Crushing check by Orpik on Stepan during that shorthanded situation. Love those big hits.

4:50: Kunitz is called for interference. Pens to the PK.

6:41: Boyle appears hurt after he and Strait get tangled up going around the net and seems ready to go down the tunnel to the locker room, but stays on the bench.

7:05: Big sequence by the Pens just now. Strait sent a bomb to the net that Dupuis nearly tucked in around a scrambling Biron, but just misses the net!

11:55: Penalty expires. Rangers are back to full strength. At the very end, Staal kicks a pass to himself with his skate, dangles around a defender and backhands a shot to the cage that Biron barely handles!

13:58: Pens getting their first PP of the evening as Stepan goes to the box.

14:49: Dupuis tries to line up a shot in the circle, but can only get a piece of it. It's enough to get it to the net, where Park collects it at the side of the cage and banks the puck off Biron as he's laying on the ice and into the net! The play is under review to make sure it crossed the goal line...and it did! PENS 3, RANGERS 1

16:00: The coincidental minors expire and we're back to 5-on-5 hockey.

18:30: Letang and Callahan are both going to the box. They get coincidentals: Letang for cross-checking, Callahan for roughing. We'll skate 4-on-4.

     "That save is no big deal to the flower! #pens"

                                                           @StephGT87

     "Ammazing save on gabby by fluery wooww #Pens"

                                                           @snakeboyicon

19:00: Fleury does the splits to make a ridiculous pad save on Gaborik after some tic-tac-toe passing by the Rangers. What a stop by Flower.

20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!

How epic is this goal celebration pic...


(Getty Images)





A sharp, well-played period by the Pens. They came out strong from the drop of the puck, creating a number of odd-man rushes and limiting their turnovers. The players keep saying they want to work on the details of their game in these last two games of the regular season, and they're doing a good job of that so far.





0:00: That'll do it for the first. Pens have a 2-1 lead on goals from Kunitz (25) and Kennedy (11). Not too many shots fired this period: Rangers have 9, Pens 8.

0:45: Malkin just went into beast mode in the corner of his own zone, battling with two Blueshirts (I guess I'll still call them that, even though they're wearing white jerseys) and knocking each player to the ground.





Defensive Player of the Year – Brooks Orpik & Marc-Andre Fleury
This award honors the defensive skills of an individual player on the team.  Sponsored by PNC Wealth Management. Presented by David Klasnick, Executive Vice President.

And the one we've all been waiting for...

Most Valuable Player Award – Evgeni Malkin
Based on the overall contribution the player makes to the team.  Sponsored by CONSOL Energy, Inc. Presented by Steve Johnson, Senior Vice President & General Counsel.





5:12: Pens kill it off with a number of emphatic clears. Solid job by Pittsburgh.

7:24: Rangers head to the PP after Cooke is whistled for hooking.

8:53: Crosby and Malkin on the ice together for a shift along with Matt Cooke. Crosby slides a pass across the crease to Malkin, who can't get a handle on it for what surely would have been goal No. 49.





A.T. Caggiano Memorial Booster Club Cup – Evgeni Malkin
Presented in memory of A.T. Caggiano, long-time Penguins’ locker room attendant & Booster Club supporter, the award is presented by Penguins Booster Club members, who vote for the three stars after every home game and tally votes at the end of the regular season. Presented by Melinda Harty & Maureen Martin, Penguins Booster Club Members.

Player’s Player Award – Brooks Orpik
The players hold a vote at the end of the season for the player they feel exemplifies leadership for the team, both on and off the ice, a player dedicated to teamwork.  Sponsored by Highmark. Presented by John Frissora, Senior Vice President, Pennsylvania Market, Highmark.

Edward J. DeBartolo “Community Service” Award – Evgeni Malkin
The award recognizes the player who has donated a tremendous amount of time and effort during the season working on community and charity projects.  Sponsored by Verizon. Presented by Donna Latsko, Associate Director, Marketing, and Mark Frazier, Regional President PA/WV & OH.





     "AND THAT'S A GOAL FROM TYYYYYYYYYYYYLERRRRRRRR KENNEDY! #Pens"

                                                           @PowerMove6687

     "TK didn't just hit the net; he exploded the water bottle. #Pens"
                                                           @mattkoz81

11:44:
Pens have produced a few strong shifts in the offensive zone these last few minutes, and it just paid off with a goal. Staal's shot from the circle banks off Biron's pads right to Kennedy at the side of the cage. He tees it off with a lightning-fast release and his shot sneaks into the top corner of the net. Beautiful. PENS 2, RANGERS 1





Baz Bastien Memorial “Good Guy” Award – Marc-Andre Fleury & Pascal Dupuis
Presented by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the player who the local media of the PHWA want to acknowledge for his cooperation throughout the year. The award is presented in memory of the late Aldege “Baz” Bastien, Penguins general manager from 1976-83.  Sponsored by UPMC. Presented by Rob DeMichiei, Chief Financial Officer.

NHL Masterton Nominee – Matt Cooke
The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association votes for the Penguins’ Masterton nominee.  Each NHL team selects a Masterton candidate from which the overall winner is chosen. The Masterton candidate is nominated as the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Sponsored by Trib Total Media. Presented by Jennifer Bertetto, Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer, and Lindsay Berdell, Director of Promotions & Marketing.





15:37: Fedotenko powers to the net, protecting the puck well, and fires a backhand off Fleury's pads. The rebound jumps right to Dubinsky, who puts it home to even the score. PENS 1, RANGERS 1

16:33: Malkin orchestrates a sick move, pulling the puck through Girardi's skates and getting around the Rangers D-man, but his momentum carries him into a sharp angle and he can't get a good shot off.

18:49: Malkin enters the Rangers zone and drops a pass back to Letang at the point. He winds up, fires and his shot deflects off Kunitz' skate to beat Biron! PENS 1, RANGERS 0

20:00: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Puck drops to start the first. Game on!




6:53 PM:
Pens' lines...

Kunitz-Malkin-Park
Tangradi-Crosby-Dupuis
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Asham-Vitale-Adams

Orpik-Michalek
Martin-Letang
Strait-Engelland

Fleury in goal.



6:00 PM:
As mentioned in the previous entry, the Pittsburgh Penguins team awards will be announced during the three TV timeouts of the first period of tonight's game. We'll blog the winners and the accompanying videos as the awards are presented, but while we wait, why don't you give us your own personal nominees for each award? The descriptions are as follows...

Baz Bastien Memorial “Good Guy” Award
Presented by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the player who the local media of the PHWA want to acknowledge for his cooperation throughout the year. The award is presented in memory of the late Aldege “Baz” Bastien, Penguins general manager from 1976-83.  Sponsored by UPMC. 

NHL Masterton Nominee
The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association votes for the Penguins’ Masterton nominee.  Each NHL team selects a Masterton candidate from which the overall winner is chosen. The Masterton candidate is nominated as the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Sponsored by Trib Total Media.

A.T. Caggiano Memorial Booster Club Cup
Presented in memory of A.T. Caggiano, long-time Penguins’ locker room attendant & Booster Club supporter, the award is presented by Penguins Booster Club members, who vote for the three stars after every home game and tally votes at the end of the regular season.

Player’s Player Award
The players hold a vote at the end of the season for the player they feel exemplifies leadership for the team, both on and off the ice, a player dedicated to teamwork. Sponsored by Highmark.

Edward J. DeBartolo “Community Service” Award
The award recognizes the player who has donated a tremendous amount of time and effort during the season working on community and charity projects. Sponsored by Verizon.

Defensive Player of the Year
This award honors the defensive skills of an individual player on the team. Sponsored by PNC Wealth Management.

Most Valuable Player Award
Based on the overall contribution the player makes to the team. Sponsored by CONSOL Energy, Inc.

And in case you were wondering who won the awards last season...here are the 2010-11 winners...

Baz Bastien Memorial “Good Guy” Award – Mike Rupp
NHL Masterton Nominee - Deryk Engelland
A.T. Caggiano Memorial Booster Club Cup – Marc-Andre Fleury
Rookie of the Year Award – Mark Letestu
Players’ Player Award – Brooks Orpik
Edward J. DeBartolo “Community Service” Award – Max Talbot & Mike Rupp
Defensive Player of the Year – Brooks Orpik
Most Valuable Player Award – Marc-Andre Fleury




5:00 PM:
Good evening from CONSOL Energy Center where the Pens are preparing to battle the New York Rangers – the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference regular-season champs – in their second-to-last game of the regular season. Pittsburgh can clinch home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs with a win

Head coach Dan Bylsma had a few injury updates on the team after this morning's skate. Defenseman Matt Niskanen (upper-body) and forwards James Neal (lower-body) and Steve Sullivan (lower-body) are all out of the lineup tonight. While they won't dress for this evening's game and may sit out the regular season finale Saturday as well, Bylsma expects all three to be ready for the start of playoffs.

"All the players at this point in time are expected to be ready to start the playoffs," Bylsma said. "They certainly won't be playing tonight and are uncertain for the weekend. But they're expected to be returning for the playoffs when they start."

Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal for Pittsburgh while Martin Biron will start for New York. For the rest of the game day coverage, visit today's Penguins Report.

--

We've got a special announcement to make. The winners of the Pittsburgh Penguins annual team awards will be announced during the three TV timeouts of the first period of tonight's game. We will be blogging each winner as they are announced, giving a description of the award along with an accompanying video, so stay tuned to the blog to see who the recipients are!

Last year's team MVP was Marc-Andre Fleury...who will it be this year? Stay tuned to find out!




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