-Greetings from a warm, sunny Pittsburgh, Pa. It's in the high 60s, a bit humid and totally beautiful. It almost feels like a waste to spend this day staring at a sheet of ice. Almost.
-Consol Energy Center:
-There's at least one Andy Bathgate fan here:
-The current facility:
-Some folks bring pizza:
-Other can get burgers and hot dogs:
-The scene for the big screen:
-We'd call a jersey foul here with the Ryan Doumit jersey, but... we actually feel bad for this misguided kid:
-The towels and t-shirts being distributed:
-And the Maple Leafs-Senators rivalry is in play tonight:
-A Martin Straka fan:
-A Kevin Ste---- fan:
-This is just awesome:
-The Canadiens-Senators rivalry is in play. And Nordiques fans are always granted immunity from jersey foul rules:
-Check out this bottleneck near B-20:
-No wonder they need a new arena. Imagine if someone yelled "Fire!" or "Gun!" or "Melichar!"
-Evgeni Malkin being popular:
-Jordan Leopold, Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy, Eric Godard, Tyler Kennedy, Brad Thiessen are the Penguins' scratches.
-Milan Michalek, Filip Kuba, Ryan Shannon, Alex Kovalev, Josh Hennessy, Jonathan Cheechoo, Jared Cowen, Derek Smith, Brian Lee, Mike Brodeur.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Pascal Leclaire are your starting goaltenders.
-And Jimerson does what he does best:
19:29: Daniel Alfredsson controls a bouncing puck in the slot and puts a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off and poke the rebound to his right.
18:45: Eaton whips a wrister at the cage from the left point. It gets blocked into the corner.
18:36: Old friend Jarkko Ruutu drops Krisl letang at the right point in Ottawa's zone and kind of pins him to the ice. That's two minutes for roughing. Fans respond with the old familiar "RUUUUUUUU!!!!!" chant but it's not exactly as supportive as in years past. Letang, Sergei Gonchar, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Bill Guerin take the ice.
17:58: Gonchar leads a rusu out out of his zone and from his own blue line, he zips a cross ice pass to Malkin on the right wing near the opposite blue line. Malkin gains the zone and lifts a wrister from the right circle right into the chest of Leclaire. Leclaire eats it up.
17:33: Crosby drives the puck out of the right corner and drives to the net. He flicks a wrister which is wide on the far side.
17:22: Alexei Ponikarovsky takes a drop pass from Malkin and from the slot he lifts a wrister. Leclaire gloves it.
16:36: The Senators clear the puck and kill off the rest of Ruutu's penalty. That's a missed opportunity for the Penguins.
15:38: Matt Carkner blasts a slapper from therigh half wall wide on the near side.
14:54: Jesse Winchester tries to flick a wrister from a tough angle in the left circle on on net. Jay McKee slides down to his belly and appears to get a piece of it. Fleury covers the loose puck.
13:15: Off a brutal turnover by the Penguins at their own blue line, Matt Cullen picks up a loose puck in the neutral zone. He enters the zone on the left wing and whips a wrister wide on the far side.
12:53: Jay McKee chops a slapper from the left point. Leclaire boots it out with his right foot.
12:49: Ponikarovsky whips a loose puck on net from the slot. It gets blocked in front.
11:17: Mike Fisher rips a wrister from just inside the blue line. Brooks Orpik blocks it into the corner.
10:29: Andy Sutton rockets a slapper from teh top o fthe slot. It hits Zach Smith and drops him in the slot. Play moves up ice as Smith rolles around on the ice a bit. He gets to his feet and move back up ice. Ouch. Smith looked like he had the wind knocked out of him.
10:00: Goligoski droves a slapper on net from the right point. Leclaire gloves it despite traffic. A scrum ensues with MIke Rupp taking a tumble and Leclaire losing his lid. Rupp is sent off for roughing. Gonchar, Matt Cooke, Jordan Staal and Orpik take the ice.
9:35: Erik Karlsson controls the puck at the rigth point and rips a wrister which hits a skate or stick or two and beats Fleury by his right skate. Mike Fisher gets credit for the goal. It's a nice garbage goal. Karlsson and Jason Spezza get assists. The Penguins' struggles on the penalty kill continue. Senators 1, Penguins 0.
8:40: Crosby takes a pass on the right wing, gains the offensive zone and snaps off a wrister from the faceoff circle. Chris Phillips blocks it.
8:27: Nick Foligno controls the puck behind the Penguins' net, makes a nice fake to dodge a check by Chris Kunitz and flicks a feed into the slot. Fleury and Goligoski fail to control the puck. Ruutu just kind of barges in and forces the puck into the net. Another nice garbage goal. Foligno and Chris Kelly get assists. Dan Bylsma calls a timeout to organize his squad. Fans respond with a "LET'S GO PENS!" chant. Senators 2-0.
7:56: Letang lifts a kind of wild half slapper from the right point. It misses the mark.
7:18: Off a really nice breakout out of their own zone, Matt Cullen controls the puck on the left wing, and flicks a backhandes pass to Carkern in the slot. Carkner puts a shot on net. Fleury boots it out. Alfredsson tries to crash in on the rebound but Fleury holds it out. Tough save for Fleury.
7:03: From the slot, Crosby distrubtes a pass to the left wing. Kunitz takes the pass and lifts a wrister. Leclaire eats it up as Phillips washes out Guerin behind him.
6:43: Fisher rockets a slapper off the right half wall. It gets deflected high and wid eon the far side.
5:55: Kunitz blasts a slapper from the right point. Leclaire makes the save. Crosby and Guerin battle fo rthe reboun.d Guerin is able to leave a nice drop pass in the slot. Kunitz is there andsnaps off a quick wrister from in tight. Leclaire makes a big save.
4:35: Gonchar steps just side his blue line and hits Wincester with a shoulder check. Winchester responds with a slash right in front of an official. No call.
4:22: Fedotenko has a chance from the slot blocked into the corner.
4:07: Play is halted as Winchester is struggling to stay on his fee inside his own blue lin along the right wing boards. A trainer runs out to attend to him and aids him in getting to the bench. Fans boo but we're not sure why. Not exactly the best moment for the fans here.
3:51: Spezza lifts a wrister from the left circle. Fleury eats it up.
3:32: Kunitz isn't hesitating to pull the trigger. He rips a wrister from the top of the slot. Leclaire eats it up.
2:22: Fedotneko tries to jame two shots in on from both sides of the net. Leclaire holds the both out. Staal collects a rebound and tosses it into a mass of humanity in the crease. It's blocked away.
2:09: During that scramble in crease, Phillips is called for crosschecking. Gonchar, Malkin, Crosby, Guerin and Letang take the ice.
1:53: Malkin controls the puck on the right half wall and distributes to Guerin in the slot. Guerin has his stick cocked and actually appears to whiff on the one-timer. The puck slides to Letang on the left half wall. Letang grips and rips a wrister by Leclaire. What a shot. Letang celebrates with a fist pump. This place goes nuts. Did Guerin intentionally whiff on that shot? Or are we giving him too much credit? Either way, he gets an assist along with Malkin. The "Hey Song" always deserves credit. Senators 2-1.
1:02: Goligoskii blasts a slapper form the right point. Ruutu slides down and blocks it with a "thud." Ooof! That had to hurt. What guts on Ruutu to block that.
0:39: With play halted, Malkin and Sutton exchange words in the corner. How do you say "expert" in Russian?
0:10: Stala takes a pass on the right wing, gains the offensive zone, and does the move he pulled on Brian Rafalski in last season's Stanley Cup final. Instead of just getting abused like Rafalski, Phillips just falls down and takes out Staal's legs. Staal still manages to get a shot on net. Leclaire holds it out. Phillips is called for tripping. Rought two minutes for Phillips. Crosby, Malkin, Guerin, Gonchar and Letang take the ice.
0:00: End of period. Senators 2, Penguins 1.
-The Penguins started that period horribly but finished it very well. Were there another minute or so in the period, they might have tied this.
-We're not sure what the problem was, but the Senators were much more awake to start the game. They're the ones on the brink of elimination so it's understandable, but they more purpose to their game than the Penguins.
-The penalty kill is all of a sudden an issue for the Penguins but the power play is all of a sudden an asset. Go figure.
-Pascal Leclaire was solid. He has offered them a better chance to win this game than Elliott.
-The Senators have a 10-9 lead in shots.
-Kunitz leads the game with three.
-Alfredsson leads the Senators with two.
-Gonchar leads the game with 8:35 of ice time.
-Phillips leads the Senators with 8:19.
-The Senators control faceoffs, 15-8 (65 percent).
-Spezza is 4 for 6 (67 percent).
-Staal is 2 for 4 (50 percent).
-Chris Campoli leads the game with two blocked shots.
20:00: The Penguins will 1:49 of power play time on fresh ice. Gonchar, Letang, Guerin, Crosby and Malkin take the ice.
19:17: Ruutu pushes the puck up the left wing and puts a wrister on net. Fleury steers it into the corner.
18:45: Guerin makes a poor play on the puck at the right point and allows it to exit the zone.
18:20: Staal whips a wrister into the crease from the right corner. Leclaire kicks across the ice.
17:59: Ponikarovsky whips a blind wrister on net from the slot. Leclair makes the inital save. Staal is there and puches the rebound on net. Leclaire makes another big save.
16:50: Pascal Dupuis makes a bad play in the corner and drops Foligno in the corner in the Penguins' zone from behind. That's two minutes for interference. Staal, Orpik Letang and Craig Adams takes the ice.
16:22: Cullen takes a pass and moves off the right half wall. He whips a nice wrister from teh slot. Fleury stretches out and makes a nice glove save.
15:08: Cooke chips the puck down ice from the slot in his own zone and kills some time.13:54: Guerin gains the offensive zone on the left wing, cut across the slot and rips a wrister from the right circle to the far side. Leclare is able to trap it against his body with his blocker arm.