-Greetings on a less than spectacular day in Pittsburgh. Very overcast. Very humid. Very G-20ish.
-This is our attempt at a live blog for tonight's game. We're stuck in the office and are watching it on a less than reliable broadcast feed.
-We like how Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren't dressing tonight, but immediately, TSN shows each player in the pregame montage.
-Pierre McGuire just compared Maple Leafs defensemen Mike Komisarek, Francoise Beauchemin and Luke Schenn to legendary Canadiens defensemen Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe. Hmmm... not quite. Maybe if the Maple Leafs won one Stanley Cup title.... or say... six... they could be in the company of the Habs.
-Brent Johnson and Vesa Toskala are your starting goaltenders.
19:36: Tyler Kennedy dishes a pass to Matt Cooke moving into the slot. Cooke attempts a one-time but fans on it a bit and totally misses the net.
18:51: Alex Goligoski sneaks a wrister on net through traffic from the right point. Toskala is able to kick it out. Mike Rupp is there to collect the rebound and backhands it off the side of the cage.
18:15: Ryan Bayda makes a case to stick with the Penguins as he scores. Goligoski controls the puck at the right point and instead of taking a shot, he sneaks it down to Nick Johnson behind the net. Johnson controls the puck then dishes it to Bayda in the crease. With Rupp in front of Toskala drawing a crowd, Bayda is able to lift a backhander into the net over a sprawling Toskala. A brief scrum develops before officials break it up. That was a fantastic all-around team effort on that goal. Nick Johnson and Goligoski get assists. Penguins 1-0.
16:22: Nate Guenin tosses a wrister on net from the right point. Toskala punches it away with his blocker. Komisarek is sent off for punching Tim Wallace in the back of the head. That's two minutes. Staal, Kennedy, Goligoski, Ruslan Fedotenko and Matt Cooke are on for the power play.
15:30: McGuire reveals Penguins executive Tom Fitzgerald almost had to have his foot amputated after an offseason accident. Yeesh.
14:20: Komisarek's penalty is killed. Not a lot going on there for the Penguins, but this is hardly their "A" lineup tonight, especially on the power play.
12:05: Jay Rosehill tags Ruslan Fedotenko behind the Penguins' net with a solid check.
11:58: Rosehill doing what he can to make the Maple Leafs' roster as he knocks over Jordan Staal in the Penguins' zone.
11:50: Cooke mashes Nazem Kadri in to the boards.
11:30: Goligoski chips a puck into the crease. Staal is there and fights off his checker and swats a shot wide.
11:01: Wallace runs over Viktor Stahlberg in the corner. This game has taken on a much more physical tone.
9:47: Bayda is sent off for tripping Lee Stempniak. Fedotenko, Staal, Goligoski and Jay McKee are on for the kill.
9:01: McKee swats a deflected puck down ice to kill time and get a change.
8:17: Goligoski collects a puck near his net, turns and whips it down ice.
7:50: The Penguins somehow create a three-on-two shorthanded. Unfortunately it involves Rupp who basically falls over when he attempts a one-timer from the right wing.
7:13: Chris Conner continues his case to make the roster. Rupp makes a nice play to poke the puck up ice out of his zone. Conner grabs it, gets behind the defense and is off to the races. He moves in on net and pushes a backhander through Toskala's five hole. Conner showed a ton of speed there. Rupp and Goligoski each get assists. Goligoski now has two points. Penguins 2-0.
6:45: Paul Bissonnette decides to challege Rosehill after his hits on some of the Penguins' skill players. They drop the gloves in the corner down in Toronto's zone. Each player holds one another off with their left arms Bissonnette (Or as TSN's Gord Miller keeps pronoucing it, "BEESS-o-net") lands a few rights to the side of Rosehill's head. The fight ends with Bissonette to his butt with Rosehill "hugging" him from behind. Coming back from commercial, Toronto coach Ron Wilson calls out his team saying they aren't ready to play.
5:22: Guenin flops to the ice and blocks a pass attempt by Jiri Tlusty. Nate Guenin has made the best case to be the No. 7 defenseman in camp if you ask us.
3:26: We're really getting sick of McGuire tonight. He keeps on referencing himself being between the benches for the game. We get it. You're on the bench. Good for you. You don't have to keep talking about yourself. If you want to tell us Viktor Stahlberg is mad himself, we'll believe you without you bringing up the fact that he's sitting next to you, you bald twit.
2:26: Goligoski and Guenin just hooked up on a really nice subtle play. The puck is put deep into the Penguins' zone on a bad pass by Rupp. Goligoski retrieves it with a Maple Leafs player pressing him hard on the forecheck. Instead of just forcing it up the boards and creating a potential turnover, he just leaves a real light subtle drop pass for Guenin who takes the puck and and moves it up ice and out of danger.
1:24: Nikolai Kulemin drives to the net and gets denied in tight by Brent Johnson.
1:05: McGuire mentions that Cooke is in some discomfort on the bench due to a blocked shot.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 0.
-Nice period for the Penguins but there are a lot of AHL players on the ice for each team. If nothing else, this period proves that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will probably be better than the Toronto Marlies.
-Individually there was a lot to like. Nate Guenin continues to pull ahead of Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland for the No. 7 defenseman spot.
-Chris Conner has some serious wheels and he showed a little bit of scoring ability there. That's a fairly competent goaltender he scored on with his breakaway.
-Goligoski really had a nice period. He continues to show a lot more composure, especially in the defensive end.
-McKee was a lot better that 20 minute than he ever was in last week's game against Columbus.
-Hard to tell really tell anything about Brent Johnson. He was hardly tested.
-The Penguins have a 9-5 lead in shots.
-Staal, Bayda and Pittsburgh native Christian Hanson each have two shots.
-Mark Eaton leads the game with 8:48 of ice time.
-Goligoski is right behind him with 8:42.
-Beauchemin leads Toronto with 8:36.
-The Penguins have a 7-6 lead in faceoffs 54 (percent).
-Wyatt Smith is 3 for 3.
-Grabovski is 2 for 2.
-McKee and Gunnarsson each have two blocked shots.
-Random Photo Needlessly Placed in a Bland Blog Post to Liven It Up: The Penguins seemingly have logos on everything in in their locker room. Like the thermostat:
19:34: Luke Schenn snaps off a wrister from the right point. It gets deflected just wide.
17:44: McKee is sent off for interference. Guenin, Rupp, Dustin Jeffrey and Robert Bortuzzo are on for the penalty kill.
15:44: McKee's penalty is killed. Very little going on for Toronto.
15:26: Tim Wallace pops Jamal Mayers along the boards. Mayers, a very tough player, is laying on the ice in a lot of discomfort and he's not in good shape. Play is stopped. A few Toronto players give Wallace some grief for the hit. Nothing really develops. A trainer attends to Mayers. He eventually recovers to his skates and returns to the bench. That was a clean hit by Wallace.
14:26: Brent Johnson gets tested for the first time tonight as former Penguins forward Wayne Primeau dishes a pass from behind the net to Beauchemin sneaking in from the left point. Beauchemin rips a wrister. Brent Johnson knocks it down and covers for the save.
12:27: The Penguins get sloppy with the puck in their own zone and get burnt. Cooke can't get the puck by Komisarek who is pinching in. The puck comes to Hanson who centers it to Tyler Bozak. Bozak is able to get it by a sprawling Bortuzzo who is laid out to block the puck. Stahlberg gets the puck alone at the side of the cage and bangs it by Johnson on the glove side. Bozak seemed to interfere a bit with Johnson as he ran him over just as Stahlberg scored. Johnson's a little shaken up and a trainer attends to him. He stays in net after a few moments of rest. Bozak and Hanson get assists. Penguins 2-1.
10:18: Goligoski whips a puck on net from the right point. It rattles around a few bodies. Johnson collects the rebound to the right of the net but can't get it by Toskala.
9:54: Kadri backhands a shot on net from the right wing. Johnson knocks it down and covers to freeze play.
9:16: Johnson kicks out a low shot from the right wing.
8:59: Fedotenko appears to get away with a trip on Grabovski in the slot.
7:14: Bissonnette gets popped a bit by Komisarek in the neutral zone along the boards. Bissonnette's a little shaken up by the hit.
6:10: Rupp picks up a loose puck in the slot and fires a wrister wide.
5:51: Komisarek dumps Cooke behind the Toronto net with a hit.
5:24: Kennedy chips a puck just wide of the cage on a three-on-two.
5:08: McGuire talks up Komisarek as if he were the toughest defenseman in the history of hockey. We'll see how tough he is whenever Boston's Milan Lucic steps on the same rink as him.
4:46: Conner continues his strong play has he draws a holding penalty from Ian White. Goligoski, Staal, Kennedy, Fedotenko and Cooke are on for the power play.
3:51: Staal and Komisarek drop the gloves after Komisarek tags Cooke from behind in the corner. Staal skates over and gives Komisarek a thump with his elbow. Komisarek then shoves Staal on top of Cooke. Cooke skate away from the scrum. Komisarek basically picks up Staal by his jersey. Not a lot of punches get thrown as Staal kind of falls on Komisarek. Give Komisarek the advantage in that fight. Somehow Cooke gets a charging penalty out of that. We guess if you get hit from behind that's charging now. Four-on-four for 1:05.
2:46: White's penalty is killed. The Mpale Leafs will have a power play for 55 seconds.
1:51: Cooke's penalty is killed.
1:42: Back to the box. Eaton trips up Grabovski in the corner. Two minutes. Jeffrey, Rupp, Bortuzzo and McKee are on for the penalty kill.
1:15: Jeffrey pushes a puck up ice on the left wing. He grips and rips a wrister which Gunnarsson deflects out of play.
1:08: Wyatt Smith gets a puck on net off the faceoff. He digs like a miner to get it by Toskala but no dice.
0:06: Beauchemin cranks a one-timer from the left point. Johnson makes the stop and appears staggered by the save.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 1.
-The Penguins kind of regressed a bit that period. But as we've said countless times this preseason, you can't really draw too many conclusions from a team perspective in exhition games.
-Ben Lovejoy must've suffered an injury or something. He has only appeared for one shift and 31 seconds of ice time.
-Rupp played well that period. He used his body effectively and just showed a lot of good touch with the puck.
-Wallace is making sure he's not forgotten in the debate for one of the extra forward spots.
-No one else really stood out that period.
-The Penguins have a 17-15 edge in shots.
-Three defensemen, Guenin, Goligoski and Beauchemin, each lead the game with three shots.
-Goligoski leads the game with 18:43 of ice time.
-Tomas Kaberle leads the Maple Leafs with 15:10.
-Toronto has a 17-13 lead in faceoffs (57 percent).
-Grabovski is 6 for 7 (86 percent).
-Staal is 6 for 8 (75 percent).
-Bortuzzo, McKee and Gunnarsson each lead the game with three blocked shots.
-Toronto will have 18 seconds of power play time on clean ice.
-Second Random Photo Needlessly Placed in a Bland Blog Post to Liven It Up: The Penguins have this dated, but awesome coffee table in the lounge of their locker room:
-John Curry is in to replace Brent Johnson. Johnson was a lot better tonight than he was Friday against the Maple Leafs.
18:40: Conner flies into the corner after loose puck and works it along the boards only to get slammed into the glass by Schenn.
17:19: Beauchemin tags Wallace with a huge hit along the boards at the Penguins' blue line. Bissonnette challenges Beauchemin to a fight. They drop the gloves and mostly wrestle around before they fall to the ice. Bissonnette is such an easy guy root for. We'll take Bissonnette for Beauchemin in a tradeoff that takes each player off the ice any day. Jay McKee owes Wallace a beer after setting him up for that hit with a careless pass out of their own zone.
15:28: Robert Bortuzzo steps up and blasts a loose puck with a slapper from the right point. Toskala hangs for the save to freeze play.
15:04: Curry fights off a shot by Lee Stempniak from the right wing.
14:46: Nick Johnson punches a quick shot on net from in tight. Toskala fights it off.
13:19: Kadri gets jabbed behind the Penguins' net with a solid check by Cooke.
12:28: Kaberle hammers a slapper from the left point. Curry knocks it down despite a cluster of bodies in front. Tlusty is right there for the rebound but can't collect it.
11:35: Stahlberg fights his way into the offensive zone and snaps off a wrister juuuuust wide.
11:13: Rupp and Bayda challenge a pair of Maple Leafs in front of the Toronto bench. An officials breaks up the skirmish.
11:06: Curry eats up a wrister by Kaberle from the right point.
10:51: Off a faceoff, Kaberle flings a wrister on net from the left point. Curry absorbs it and freezes play.
9:49: Grabovski makes a nifty steal off Kennedy in the neutral zone. Kennedy tries to recover the puck but ends up hooking Grabovski. Two minutes. Heck of a play by Grabovski. Smith, Guenin, Bortuzzo and Bissonnette are on for the kill. Coming back from commercial, the greatest defenseman in Penguins history is shown in the stands:
8:12: Cooke is held up by Gunnarsson in front of the benches. Htat's two minutes. Four-on-four for 24 seconds.
7:49: Kennedy's penalty is killed. The Penguins will have a power play for 1:36.
7:05: Schenn tees up a slapper and uncorks a blast from the right point. Fedotenko appears to block it out of play.
6:14: Kennedy and Eaton each gets chances in tight. Kennedy gets stoned by Toskala. Eaton sneaks in for the rebound and puts it over the net. Someone needs to bury that.
6:12: Gunnarsson's penalty is killed.
4:51: Kaberle loses control of the puck at the left point and allows it leave the offensive zone. The Penguins caught a break there as they were tired and chasing the Maple Leafs around in their own zone. That allowed them to make a change.
4:07: Eaton is called for hooking. Guenin, Goligoski, Staal and Cooke are on for the penalty kill. Toronto is 0 for 5 on the power play.
4:04: Kaberle blasts a slapper off the faceoff from the slot. Curry fights it off. Bozak gets the rebound and whips it on net. Curry is able to slide to his left and glove the shot with a fine save.
2:39: Kaberle fans on a wrister from the left point. Staal picks up the puck and chips it down ice to kill time and get a change.
2:07: Eaton's penalty is killed. Solid effort by the Penguins.
1:45: Hanson works his way down the right wing and whips a rising wrister on net. Curry fights it off.
1:32: Kadri rips a one-timer from the left faceoff circle and clinks it off the post. Curry covers the rebound. Wilson calls a time out to organize a night everyone can come over to watch "Fletch Lives." We think:
-Toskala is pulled for an extra attacker.
1:08: You had a feeling this was coming. The Maple Leafs kept pushing and pushing and pushing and they've finally cashed in. Off a faceoff win, Beauchemin gets a shot off from the top of the slot. It hits McKee in front and takes a fortunate bounce to Kadri, the Maple Leafs' first-round pick this summer. He then pucches it high over a laid out Curry on the glove side for they tying goal. Toronto really worked hard for that goal. Beauchemin and Stahlberg get assists. Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 2.
0:00: End of period. The period ends with just about every Penguin on the ice taking a few pot shots at Komisarek. Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 2.
-Toronto has a 31-26 lead in shots.
3:53: Stahlberg goes wide to the right wing and pushes a low wrister. Curry fights it off.
3:44: Staal pushes the puck up the right wing, pull up, uses a Toronto defender as a screen and snaps off a wrister to the far side. Toskala kicks it out.
2:42: Guenin blocks a shot by Stempniak wide of the cage.
2:20: White hammers a one-timer from the right point that conks off the post with a lot of velocity.
1:53: The Maple Leafs are snake bit. Hanson winds up and fires a slapper from the left wing that gets deflected and pings off the crossbar.
1:14: Kennedy swats a loose puck in the slot wide.
0:26: Grabovski goes behind the net. Bortuzzo makes a nice, calm play to steal the puck and get it out of danger.
0:18: Staal tries to duplicate his undressing of Detroit's Brian Rafalski in last season's Cup final. This time he does it on Beauchemin. Before he can get a clean shot off, Toskala poke checks it out of play. What a move by Staal. He made Beauchemin, a very good defender, look like a pylon.
0:06: Dan Bylsma calls time out to organize a night everyone can come over to watch "Space Cowboys." We think:
0:02: Staal wins the faceoff cleanly and sets up a chances for Nick Johnson, Johnson has a clear shot but his stick breaks and his shot misses the mark.
0:00: End of period. Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 2.
-The Penguins better buy the posts on that net some beers. If something like that is legal in Canada that is.
-Kadri is first. He dekes to his backhand, gets Curry to slide down, then pulls back on his forehand and pushes it in by Curry. He really mixed up Curry. Maple Leafs 1-0.
-Staal goes for the Penguin. He jukes his shoulder a few times, then goes to the backhand and can't bet it by Toskala. Kudos to Toskala for not committing to early to Staal's moves.
-Bozak glides in, goes to the forehand and appears to lose control of the puck.
-Conner gets the call, moves in and firs a wrister. Toskala gets it with his blocker and denies the shot.
-Stempniak moves in, shoots five hole and gets the puck through Curry's five hole. End of shootout. Maple Leafs 2-0. End of game. Maple Leafs 3, Penguins 2.
-That kind of stunk, but it is a preseason game. Don't get too upset.
-That said, it is a bit concerning that the Penguins have yet to put together a complete 60-minute effort this preseason.
-According to Shelly Anderson, Johnson is belived to have left at the start of the third period due to a leg injury suffered on Stahlberg's goal when Bozak collided with him.
-Additionally, Lovejoy left the game due to a shoulder injury.
-We liked what Rupp brought. He was physical, worked well along the boards and showed some good puck control.
-Remember how Georges Laraque would control the puck along the boards deep in the opponent's end while holding off a smaller defenseman with his big body. Fans would applaud Laraque after he did that for about 30 seconds even though it didn't accomplish anything. Well Rupp can do that and actually has the potential to create a few offensive chances due to the fact that unlike Laraque, he actually has a little bit of skill.
-Conner has speed to burn.
-Guenin was strong early and kind of evened out.
-Curry was basically used as target practice for the second consecutive night.
-Johnson showed some solid puck control at moments.
-Guenin is the clear-cut No. 7 defenseman for the team if you ask us.
-How deep is Toronto's blue line?
-Toronto ended up with a 33-28 lead in shots.
-The Maple Leafs had a 17-11 advantage shots in the third and overtime periods.
-Beauchemin led the game with six.
-Staal led the Penguins with five.
-Goligoski led the game with 30:15 of ice time.
-Kaberle paced Toronto with 26:17.
-The Maple Leafs had a 31-22 lead in faceoffs (58 percent).
-Grabovski was 12 for 16 (75 percent).
-Staal was 9 for 17 (53 percent).
-McKee led the game with five blocked shots. Ironically enough, his last one led to the game-tying goal.
-Guenin had four.
-Gunnarsson led Toronto with four.