Greetings from a somewhat pleasant day in Pittsburgh. It was raining much of the morning. Now, the sun has come out and it has a comfortable feel to it.
Here are the Penguins' lines for tonight:
Chris Kunitz-Jordan Staal-Bill Guerin
Chris Conner-Tyler Kennedy-Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke-Craig Adams-Ryan Bayda
Paul Bissonnette-Mike Rupp-Eric Godard
Brooks Orpik-Sergei Gonchar
Alex Goligoski-Deryk Engelland
Jay McKee-Nate Guenin
Marc-Andre Fleury, Brent Johnson
NHL Network is sandwiching this game with Games 6 and 7 of last season's Stanley Cup final. Rob Scuderi just finished getting paid:
-Fleury and Jimmy Howard are your starters in goal this evening.
-That line of Bissonnette, Rupp and Godard could probably stage hostile coups in small countries.
-Right off the bat, we're reminded that the Penguins and Red Wings played in last season's Stanley Cup final from the FSN Detroit crew.
-How surreal is it to see these two teams in this same arena minus any sort of energy or hype? It's so foreign.
19:03: The play-by-play guy for Detroit isn't doing too well. It must be the preseason for him too. First he claims Evgeni Malkin is out due to a groin injury? Huh? And then he explains that Jordan Staal had the first goal of Game 7. Not quite:
18:18: The Penguins strike first. Conner plays a puck into the slot. Kennedy puts his stick on the puck and deflects it to left of the net. Dupuis collects and snaps off a quick wrister. Howard flops down to make the save. Dupuis gets the rebound and flicks a shot off the left skate of Derek Meech and into the cage. It's a garbage goal, but the Penguins worked hard for it. Conner and Kennedy get assists. Penguins 1-0.
17:47: Howard covers a puck that slides in on net. A scrum develops in front of ht enet. Cooke and Kris Draper appear to be in the center of it.
15:26: Engelland tosses a wrister at the net. Howard appears to make the save. Kennedy is there for the rebound but can't get it by Howard.
15:01: Fleury covers a puck that slides in on net. Draper sprays him with ice. Fleury, Goligoski give Draper the business. Adams ends up in the penaly box for roughing. Rupp, McKeep, Guenin and Staal are on for the penalty kill.
14:07: Andy Delmore tries to send a pass to Derek Meech at the left point. Staal picks it off and pushes it up ice on a breakaway. Staal moves in on net and with Delmore slightly hooking him, he moves ot his backhand and tries to lift a backhander. Howard just gets it with the cuff of his glove. Staal jabs at the rebound a few times but can't get it by Howard. Big save. Officials award Staal a penalty shot for the hook by Delmore. Staal takes the puck at center ice, weaves slightly to the right and shoots a wrister to the far side. Howard kicks out his right let and deflects the puck away. Two big saves by Howard. We wouldn't mind seeing the NHL give the team receiving the penalty shot the option of a penalty or a penalty shot there. We're sure Dan Bylsma wouldn't mind going four-on-four.
13:51: The Penguins' defense took a break there. Johan Franzen weaves through the Penguins' defenders like they were pylons and lifts a really sweet wrist shot over Fleury on the glove side from the slot. Fantastic shot. Horrible defense. Brian Rafalski and Pavel Datsyuk get assists. Penguins 1, Red WIngs 1.
12:40: Brooks Orpik is called for hooking Draper. Kennedy, Dupuis, Letang and McKee are on for the penalty kill.
11:41: Rupp zips a pass down ice to Adams who is sent off on a break away. Adams moves in, dekes to his backhand and lifts a shot well wide of the cage.
10:36: Meech tees up a slapper from the left wing and clangs a puck off the far post.
10:30: Jordan Staal's shorthanded goal from last seasons' Cup finals is replayed:
8:44: Fleury fights off a wrister by Evan McGrath from the slot.
8:17: Datsyuk uncorks a wrister from the left faceoff circle. Fleury punches it away with his blocker.
5:02: After a whole bunch of nothing, we get a stoppage and a television time out.
2:27: On a delayed penalty, Adams chips a puck in the slot wide of the cage
2:14: Draper is nabbed for slashing Adams. Staal, Guerin, Kunitz, Goligoski and Letang are on for the power play.
1:14: Staal takes a pass from Kunitz down low to the left of the net. Staal makes a nice move by using his backside to shield the puck from a defender and chips a shot on net. Howard is able to hold it out.
1:10: Staal makes another nice move as he bursts by Meech down the right wing, moves in and snaps off a wrister. Howard makes another save.
0:14: Draper's penalty is killed. The Penguins, particularly Jordan Staal, had a few chances.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Red Wings 1.
-Nothing really to get to excited about that twenty minutes. It was pretty boring actually.
-Jordan Staal must like playing against the Red Wings. He always seems to step up against them regardless if it's the preseason, regular season or postseason.
-The Penguins have an 11-5 lead in shots.
-Staal has four shots.
-No one for Detroit has more than one.
-Detroit has a 7-6 lead in faceoffs.
-Staal leads the game with 8:44 of ice time as well.
-Meech leads Detroit with 8:27.
-Draper and Kennedy are each 2 for 3 (67 percent).
-Guenin, Orpik and Ericsson each have one blocked shot.
-Someone asked in the last post about the font on Detroit's nameplates. The Red Wings use a more horizontal font with the names in the preseason:
(Jerry S. Mendoza/Associated Press)
-Once the regular season starts, the traditional "curved" font will return:
(Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(The selection of that picture was a pure coincidence. Really.)
-Santa Claus is a Detroit fan:
-Ben Roethlisberger just threw a pick-six:
-Fire Ray Shero.
-Limas Sweed dropped a sure touchdown:
-Fire Ray Shero.
19:17: Rafalski moves in deep and swats a backhander wide from the left wing.
18:03: Draper punches a quick shot on net from the right wing. Fleury kicks it out.
17:08: Jay McKee drives a slapper from the left point. It gets through traffic. Howard appears to fall on the puck. Bayda drives into the crease looking for a rebound but no dice.
16:44: Jakub Kindl loses control of a puck at the red line. Godard chases after it but gets held up along the boards by Kindl. That should've been interference. If anything, Kindl should've been penalizes for thinking Godard could've done something if he gained possesion of the puck.
15:55: Another sweet shot from the slot beats Fleury. Datsyuk takes a pass in the high slot, turns to his left and rips a nice wrister by Fleury on the blocker side. Orpik and Mattias Ritola were screening Fleury on that play. Rafalski gets the only assist. Red Wings 2-1.
15:07: Bill Guerin gets two minutes for slashing Ritola. We keep on thinking of those Ricola commercials anytime we see his name:
-Adams, Goligoski, Dupuis and Engelland are on the ice for the penalty kill.
13:28: Franzen dishes a pass to Rafalski at the left point. Rafalski blasts a one-timer. Fleury is able to hang on for the save.
13:27: Detroit color commentator Mickey Redmond describes the Versus-DirecTV dispute as an "awful mess." Frankly, the fact that the NHL's "exclusive" national cable presence in this country is Versus is a mess.
10:30: Redmond starts talking about former Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming, one of the first European stars in the NHL. A few years ago, Salming took part in an old-timers game, and the Associated Press moved some photos of Salming in the locker room with out a shirt. You would never guess he's in his late 50s:
9:52: Guerin is nabbed for interference against against Cough Drop Boy. Staal, Kunitz, Orpik and Letang are on for the penalty kill.
8:13: Cooke steals a pass, turns and whips the puck down ice to kill some time.
7:52: Guerin's penalty is killed.
5:04: Ritola cranks a slapper from the left wing. Fleury steers it away.
4:57: Cooke is sent off for slashing Datsyuk. That's two minutes. Adams, Dupuis, Orpik and Letang are on for the penalty kill.
4:15: The Penguins get a little disorganized in their own end and pay the price. Jason Williams moves into the offensive zone down the left wing. Guenin backs off. Williams loses the puck for a moment. It hits off McKee's left skate. Williams reclaims it and tosses a wrister by Fleury on the blocker side. McKee and Guenin just didn't look good there. Rafalski gets the only assist. Red Wings 3-1.
2:58: Conner hustles down the left wing and fires a rising wrister. Howard fights it off. Conner created that chance with his speed.
0:43: Francis Pare moves into the offensive zone and cranks a slapper. Fleury kneels down and makes the save. The rebound pops up. Fleury reaches back and grabs it like a pop fly to make the save.
0:00: End of period. Red Wings 3, Penguins 1.
-Again, not much to get to excited or upset about during that period.
-The Penguins have a 16-15 lead in shots.
-Staal leads the game with five shots.
-Williams leads Detroit with three.
-Staal leads the Penguins with 16:45 of ice time.
-Meech leads the Red Wings with 14:15.
-Detroit has a 17-13 lead in faceoffs (57 percent).
-Draper is 5 for 7 (71 percent).
-Staal is 6 for 11 (55 percent).
-Goligoski leads the game with three blocked shots.
-No one else has more than one.
-The Steelers just gave up a touchdown to Cedric Benson:
-Fire Ray Shero.
-Why is there a Colts fan in the stands?
-This Center Ice commercial is really getting on our nerves. Especially since it's misleading.
-Basically, the premise of the commercial is that you can watch your favorite team even if you don't live in that market. So if you're a Penguins fan in Los Angeles, you can watch the Penguins.
-See! They're holding up a sign that says "Los Angeles." And they're wearing Penguins jerseys! It must work!
-But when you go to the home page for Center Ice, you get this:
-It might be false advertising, but it's definitely misleading.
18:44: Kennedy chips a puck into the glove of Howard from the right wing.
18:17: Maltby smacks a slapper from the left wing. Fleury gloves it. Guenin cross checks Draper for interfereing with Fleury. Williams and Cooke mix it up away from the net. Guenin ends up in the penalty box for two minutes. Adams, Bayda, Cooke and McKee are on for the penalty kill.
16:17: Guenin's penalty is killed.
15:12: Williams busts out a nice little inside-out move and totally undresses Goligoski. Williams gets behind Goligoski, moves in on net and pushes a soft shot on Fleury's five hole. Fleury closes the gate. Draper moves in for a potential rebound. Godard skates up to Draper and shakes hands with him. Except he tried to use the back of Draper's neck.
14:37: The Penguins' march to the penalty box continues. Dupuis is sent off for interference. Cooke, Orpik, Engelland and Staal are on.
13:35: Adams grabs a loose puck in the neutral zone, crosses the Detroit blue line and zips a wrister on net. Howard punches it away with his blocker.
12:37: Dupuis' penalty is killed.
12:27: Kennedy snaps off a wrister from a tough angle on the left wing. Howard eats it up.
12:09: Fleury gloves a shot by Draper. Tomas Holmstrom jabs away at a rebound. Brooks Orpik gives the crazy eyes to Jonathan Ericsson:
10:03: Franzen and Letang mix it up in the neutral zone. Franzen cross checks Letang in the face. That results on Guerin dropping the gloves with Franzen. Then Kunitz jumps in with a clotheline. That drops Franzen. Rafalski jumps on Guerin. Guerin can be seen throwing a punch on Franzen who is in a vulnerable position.That's not exactly something you would expect from a veteran like Guerin. Officials take a few minutes to seperate everyone. Guerin leaves the ice while barking at the Red Wings bench. Guerin gets a 10-minute misconduct. Kunitz and Franzen each get two minutes for roughing. Franzen also gets a cross checking minor. Holmstrom will serve one of Franzen's penalties Somehow the Penguins end up with a power play. Staal, Kennedy, Cooke, Letang and Goligoski are on the ice for the man advantage.
8:01: Patrick Eaves swats the puck down ice and kills off the rest of the Red Wings' power play.
7:18: Pare races down the left wing and snaps off a low wrister. Fleury fights it off.
6:17: More conflict. Meech kind of took a pot shot at Bissonnette. Godard goes after the entire Red Wings bench. Ritola (6-foot-0, 192 pounds) goes after Godard (6-foot-4, 214 pounds). Thankfully for his sake, an official holds Godard at bay for the most part. Godard gets a 10-minute misconduct. Orpik gets two minute for roughing. Draper gets a slashing minor. The Red Wings end up with a power play.
5:14: Detroit cashes in on the power play with a fantastic re-direction from the slot. Rafalski controls the puck at the left point. He tosses it into the slot where Ville Leino re-directs it by Fleury on the glove side with the shaft of his stick. Really, really sharp play. Williams and Rafalski get assists. Rafalski has assists on all four Detroit goals. Red Wings 4-1.
4:52: All 13 of Detroit's fans start "Flerrrrr..... Eeeeeee.... Flerrrrr...... Eeeeeee....." chant. Seriously? In the preseason? And after he won the Cup on your ice?
3:15: Bissonnette runs over Eaves just inside the Penguins' blue line.
2:42: Kindl strikes a one-timer from the left point. Fleury hangs on for the save.
2:38: Meech tees up a one-timer from the top of the slot. It gets through traffic and juuuust gets the butt-end of Fleury's stick. Yeesh.
1:29: Kennedy backhands a shot on net from the left wing. Howards gloves it.
0:21: Bissonnette makes a nice steal behind the Detroit net. He feeds the puck to Bayda in the slot. Bayda grips and rips a wrister that Howard gets a piece of.
0:00: End of period. Red Wings 4, Penguins 1.
-"The Hockey Song" by Stompin' Tom Connors is played after the game:
-Well that mercifully brings the Penguins' dreadful preseason to an end. We don't ever put too much into preseason games - good or bad- but it would be an exaggeration to say the Penguins looked all that sharp in the games we've seen.
-No one really had a strong complete game tonight for the Penguins. Staal looked awesome in the first period, but didn't do much after that.
-At least they didn't lose to the Bengals.
-The Penguins finish the preseason 1-4-1. For what it's worth, they went 1-3-2 in the 2007 preseason and ended up in the Stanley Cup final.
-The Penguins ended up with a 26-24 lead in shots.
-Kennedy led the game with six shots.
-Williams led the Red Wings with four.
-Staal led the game with 24:31 of ice time.
-Kindl led the Red Wings with 21:14.
-Faceoffs were even 26-26.
-Williams was 3 for 4 (75 percent).
-Staal was 14 for 23 (61 percent).
-Goligoski led the game with three blocked shots.
-Ericsson led Detroit with two.