Greetings. You are reading live from Mellon Arena in an overcast Pittsburgh:
A few sight from outside the Arena:
-The fan festival along Mario Lemieux Place:
-Mario Lemieux is in the tallest shape of his life:
-A Rick Nash Blue Jackets jersey. No idea what that's doing here:
-A brave Alex Ovechkin fan:
-Lemieux Wilkes-Barre/Scranton jersey:
(He actually played for the AHL Penguins in an exhibition preseason game against the NHL Penguins a few seasons ago.)
-We'll be denied the "skills" of Washington goon Donald Brashear tonight. He is dealing with a finger injury. He is dealing with a finger injury.
-No Matt Cooke for the Penguins tonight. He is dealing with an unspecified ailment.
-It's been reported more on a few occasions as of late that Cooke is the only player to have suited up with Ovechkin and Crosby in their careers. As Japer's Rink pointed out receduring the summer, Rico Fata spent time with each player as well.
-A Darius Kasparaitis jersey:
-We missed this earlier and we hate to give out free advertising, but there is now a Dunkin Donuts stand in the arena:
-Jose Theodore will start in net for the Capitals.
-Marc-Andre Fleury goes for the Penguins.
-Brashear and VIktor Kozlov are Washington's scratches.
-Darryl Sydor, Bill Thomas and Cooke and the Penguins' scratches.
-A "LET'S GO PENS!" chant starts prior to the players taking the ice.
-The Capitals come out to boos.
-Jeff Jimerson dominates like no other.
19:24: Sidney Crosby is on tonight. He chrages up ice with the puck, threw the neutral zone, through defenders and tosses a backhander on net. Theodore knocks it down and covers up.
19:14: Ovechkin gets booed as he touches the puck.
19:03: The Penguins charge up ice again. Miroslav Satan gets the puck in the slot. He gets hooked by Shaone Morrisonn. Satan loses the puck. Pascal Dupuis grabs is and centers it to Crosby who fires a shot. The Capitals touch the puck Morrisonn gets two minutes. Evgeni Malkin, Alex Goligoski are on the points for the power play. They're joined by Crosby Jordan Staal and Petr Sykora.
17:32: Malkin is called for hooking. Four-on-four for 28 seconds.
17:05: Jeff Schultz fires a wrister. Kris Letang kicks it out.
16:51: Staal knocks a Capitals player to the ice in the neutral zone.
16:10: Sergei Fedorov blasts a one-timer from the point. Fleury makes the save.
15:30: Ovechkin tries to throw a cross-ice pass through the crease. Hal Gill leans down and knocks it away with his pool skimmer of a stick.
12:42: With play having slown down a bit, another "LET'S GO PENS!" chant starts.
11:43: The Penguins ice the puck. Attendants come out to clean the ice thinking it's a commercial break. Officials toot their whistles and tell them to get off the ice. There's a new rule with icing. You can't have a commercial break off an icing because the powers that be at the NHL felt that gave the offending team a break by resting its tired players. Someone needs to get NHL official overlord Stephen Walkom in touch with the Mellon Arena ice guys.
11:04: With a stoppage, Eric Godard and Brooks Laich exchange their thoughts on the Link River Dam. We think.
9:53: Malkin shuffles a backhander on net from the side of the net. Theodore makes the save.
9:31: Malkin and Ovechkin collide near the boards. Malkin ends up on his butt.
7:49: Alexander Semin brings the puck up ice on the right wing, pulls it into the slot and uses a Penguin as a screen. His shot goes wide.
7:23: Tyler Kennedy comes up ice on a delayed penalty. He fires a wrister that Milan Jurcina deflects out of play. Semin is sent off for slashing. During a commercial time out, an interview of Paul Bissonnette is played on the video boards. He professes a fondness for "Halo" but professes his love for "Blades of Steel."
Malkin, Goligoski, Crosby, Stan and Staal take the ice.
7:02: The power play is awesome now. Malkin blasts a slapper from the point that goes just wide. Goligoski sneaks in from the point, collects the rebound, settles it with his hand and throws a weak wrister on net from a bad angle. It somehow sneaks through Theodore's equipment and into the cage. Weak goal to give up. Public address announcer John Barbero announces the goal scorer as "Alex GOAL-IGOSKI!" The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
6:03: Staal pounds a slapper from the left wing. Theodore makes the save.
5:31: Some "Blitzkreig Bop" plays us in from the television time out:
4:08: Mike Green throws a wrister on net. Fleury finds it through traffic and knocks it away.
2:13: After some mucking for the puck in the corner, Ruslan Fedotenko takes it, spins and whips a high wrister on net. Theodore traps it against his chest and freezes play.
1:43: Morrisonn is having a rough games so far. He's sent off for hooking. Malkin, Crosby, Goligoski,Satan and Staal on for the power play.
1:24: Crosby fires a one-timer from the right point. Theodore eats it up.
0:52: Malkin winds up and blasts a one tmer from the point. Semin blocks it with his stick.
0:42: This might be the greatest power play ever. After teh Penguins dig it out of the corner, Crosby controls the puck and spots Malkin sneaking in from the point. Crosby dishes a pass to Malkin in the slot and rips a wrister by Theodore. "Hey Song." Penguins 2-0.
0:03: The Capitals get caught for too many men on the ice. Bad time to take that penalty. Chris Clark will serve the two minutess.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Capitals 0.
-The Penguins have a 9-4 lead in shots. Malkin and Crosby lead the game with three each.
-Washington is controlling faceoffs 13-5. Nicklas Backstrom leads the game going 4-for-5.
-The great Mike Zigomanis is 2-for-4.
-Green leads the game with 9:02 of ice time.
-Staal leads the Penguins with 8:47.
-Ovechkin has played a quiet 8:16 with no shots.
-Rob Scuderi, Gill and Letang lead the game with two blocked shots each.
-All kidding aside, the power play looks a lot more aggresive tonight for the Penguins.
-Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" accompanies the Zambonis during the intermission. Nice.
-Wang Chung's "Dance Hall Days" follows up Petty. Ehhh...
-The music rebounds with some "Snow" from the Red Hot Chili Peppers:
-The Penguins will get 1:56 of power-play time on clean ice.
19:36: The Capitals keep digging their hole deeper. John Erskine throws the puck out of play. Two minutes for deplay of game. Crosby, Satan, Sykora, Goligosk and Malkin on for the five-on-three. The Penguins will get 1:32 with a two-man advantage.
19:03: Malkin tries to punch in a lose puck in the crfease. Theodore keeps it out.
18:09: Someone call Elias Sports Bureau. The Penguins might set a record tonight for power play goals tonight. Crosby slides a pass to Malkin at the right point. Malkin blasts a one-timer. Theodore makes the initial save. Sykora chops at the rebound. Theodore makes another save. The rebound slides through the crease where Satan goes all Michel Ouellet on it and cleans up the garbage. "Hey Song." Penguins 3-0.
17:20: Godard is sent off for slashing. Staal, ZIgomanis, Gill and Scuderi are on for the penalty kill.
16:12: After a clear, Mark Eaton, Brooks Orpik, Talbot and Dupuis take the ice.
15:20: Godard's penalty expires.
14:54: Crosby rips a wrister from the left wing that goes wide.
14:31: Satan fires a one-timer from the right faceoff circle. Schultz blocks it.
14:15: The Capitals stop the bleeding a bit. Satan makes a poor turnover in his own end. Eric Fehr steals it and fires it towards the net. It rattles around in the crease where Tomas Fleischmann is Johnny-on-the-spot and cleans up the garbage. Penguins 3-1.
14:14: Right off the faceoff, Paul Bissonnette and former Penguins forward Matt Bradley decide to drop the gloves. Matt Bradley perhaps wishes he didn't make that choice. They engage. Bissonnette lands a quick shot but slips. He gets up, lands another shot that drops Bradly to his butt. Bradley is stunned. Bissonnette sees Bradley is dazed and let's him go. Blood can be seen on Bradley. That was pretty one-sided and ugly.Bissonnette can be seen in the penalty box watching the replay. Bradley is helped off the ice. We'd be shocked if he comes back tonight.
13:50: Ovechkin tries to tee up Malkin the corner. Malkin steps out at the last second.
13:17: The ever dangerous Rob Scuderi fires a shot from the point. Theodore shuffles it away.
11:03: FSN Pittsburgh just showed a good statistic noting three of the past six Hart Tophy winners are present tonight. Crosby (2007), Ovechkin (2008) and Theodore (2002).
10:26: Ovechkin tries to go one-on-one with Gill. No dice.
10:05: Malkin pounds Semin into the boards from behind. Dangerous play. Several Capitals, including Ovechkin jump Malkin. Malkin is sent off for boarding. Semin put himself into a dangerous situation, but Malkin needs to ease up there. Staal, Zigomanis, Gill, Scuderi on for the penalty kills.
9:26: Green fires a slapper from the point. Fleury eats it up. It's announced that Satan's assist on the Penguins' second goal was his 350th career assist.
6:50: Attendance is 17,030. Partial standing room only sellout. It's the 70th consecutive sellout for the Penguins.
5:46: Ovechkin comes flying up the left wing. Sykora and Kennedy do a nice job double-teaming him and steal the puck.
5:29: Malkin gets a nice feed in the slot. Theodore stands his ground.
4:56: During a stoppage, Crosby and Semin get tangled up at the Penguins' blue line. Gill comes over to let his opinion be known on the benefits of the Gregorian calendar. The officials are apparently fans of the Julian calendar and send Gill to the box for roughing.
4:38: Green fires a wrister that clinks off the post.
4:03: Ovechkin loses the puck inside the blueline. Dupuis clears it.
3:18: On a delayed penalty, Backstrom crunches Orpik in the corner. Officials halt play. Orpik gives Backstrom a shove. Green is called for hooking. Four-on-four for 22 seconds.
2:55: Gill's penalty expires. The Penguins will have a power play for 1:38.
1:48: Ovechkin is hellbent on teeing up Malkin. As Malkin tries to collects a loose puck near the Penguins' bench, Ovechkin takes a run at him. Malkin ducks out of the way at the last second.
1:09: The power play expires without much of an attack. Fire Mike Yeo.
1:04: FSN Pittsburgh shows a graphic noting Fedorov is one goal away from tying Alexander Mogilny for most goals by a Russian-born player.
0:45: Ovechkin fiers a quick wrister off in traffic that Fleury stops with a thud. Ovechkin is seemingly the only player in the league who can gets a shot off with such velocity despite being in traffic.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Capitals 1.
-The Penguins are dominating in shots, 20-9.
-Malkin leads the game with nine.
-Ovechkin has only one shot.
-Fedorov and Green lead the Capitals with two.
-The Penguins have an 18-17 edge in faceoffs.
-The legendary Mike Zigomanis is 5-for-7.
-Scuderi leads the game with four blocked shots.
-Ovechkin leads the game with 17:15 of ice time.
-Staal still leads the Penguins with 16:24.
-No word yet on Bradley's status, but with our extensive neurology background, we can safely say he's done for the night.
-We can not confirm a Cotton Candy Guy sighting tonight.
-Best sign sent to the video board:
(If you're not familiar with Pittsburghese, "worsh" is the mangled way yinzers pronounce "wash." 'N at.)
19:20: Fleury covers a loose puck that bounces into his crease.
19:02: Dupuis sets up Satan with a nice chance in tight but Satan fails to get his stick on the puck.
18:25: Fleury eats up a shot from in tight.
17:16: Morrisonn fires a wrister from in close. Fleury makes the save with his right leg despite traffic.
16:24: Fedorov cracks a slapper from the left point. Fleury stops it with his chest and snags the rebound out of midair.
16:22: Right off the faceoff Washington strikes. Nylander wins a faceoff with Nylander cleanly. Semin then rockets a sick wrister by Fleury. Heck of a shot. A Penguins player slams his stick on the ice in frustration. Penguins 3-2.
15:20: Crosby works his way through traffic and throws a wrister on net. Theodore easily gloves it.
14:32: Green tees up a loose puck at the point. Fleury kicks it out despite traffic.
14:03: David Steckel throws a weak backhander on net. Fleury absorbs it.
12:49: Off a rush up ice, Godard throws a wrister on net from the right wing. Theodore eats it up.
11:03: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
10:22: While fighting for the puck, Letang absolutely updends Fleischmann.
10:00: The Capitals have fought their way back in this game. Semin enters the offensive zone with the puck and dishes a cross ice puck to Semin. Semin then directs a pass to Nylander on the other side of the crease and he punches it in past a prone Fleury. Nice play. Poor defense. Capitals 3, Penguins 3.
8:53: Backstrom fakes a big slapper and cooly slides a pass to Ovechkin in the right faceoff circle. Ovechkin blasts a slapper and loses his footing. His shot hits the side of the cage.
7:25: From the left wing, Erskine throws a quick shot on net. Fleury deflects it away.
6:51: Fleischmann takes a pass in the slot, spins and throws a shot on net. Fleury directs it away.
6:23: Semin throws a puck into the slot. Fleischmann dives and gets his stick on the puck which goes just wide. This Nylander, Semin, Fleischmann line is killing the Penguins.
5:45: Talbot tosses a puck into the crease. Fedotenko can't get his stick on it but forces it on net with his body. Theodore makes the save.
4:26: Shots are now 27-24 in favor of the Capitals. The Penguins have been outshot 18-4 in this period. Cotton-Eyed Joe is busted out.
4:21: Right off the faceoff, Gill tries to shoot the puck, loses it and gets away with a bit of interference on a Capitals player trying to push play up ice.
2:54: During a stoppage, a shot by Boyd Gordon is reviewed. Replays show him approching the net with a prone Scuderi laying in front of him. Gordon shot the puck and it beats Fleury. But it bounces out immediately off. Nice shot. A goal is called.The clock will be pushed back to 4:17. This game has been a collapse for the Penguins. Capitals 4-3.
3:09: Semin steals a puck at the Penguins' blue line and whips a quick wrister on net. Fleury with the save.
2:33: From the corner, Ovechkin throws a puck into the crease. Fleury kicks it out.
2:14: Talbot throws a quicks one timer on net from the top of the slot. Theodore kicks it out.
1:09: Malkin charges up ice with the puck. Green takes him out with a tremendous hip check.
1:05: Fleury is pulled ofr an extra attacker.
0:47: Ovechkin throws the puck towards the open net but misses. The Penguins touch up for icing. The Capitals call time out to rest their players.
0:33: Letang pushes a one-timer from the right point just wide.
0:11: Michel Therrien calls a time out.
0:00: End of game. Ovechkin scoops up a loose puck at the Penguins blue line and tries to shoot it into an empty cage. Crosby backchecks and pokes it away from him. The final horn sounds. Ovechkin says something to Crosby about the works of C.S. Lewis. We think. Officials have to hold them away from each other. Capitals 4, Penguins 3.
-Well that was ugly. The Penguins were a complete and abject failure tonight. At least in the third period. The Capitals completely dominated that period. It was almost as if the Penguins played it safe and laid back that period and the Capitals ran them over. Give credit to the Capitals for fighting back.
-It's tough to play "prevent" defense against the Capitals. (Pardon the football vernacular). If you sit back and let them attack, they will. They have the players to do that and that's how they approach the game.
-Washington outshot the Penguins 30-26 overall. The Capitals had an insane 21-6 lead in shots in the third.
-Malkin led the game with nine shots. Ovechkin and Green led the Capitals with five.
-Faceoffs were even, 26-26. Zigomanis led the game going 5-for-8 (63 percent).
-Rob Scuderi might be trying to replace Dany Sabourin as the backup. He had eight blocked shots to lead the game.
-The statistics say Jordan Staal led the Penguins with 22:45 of ice time, but we hardly noticed him.
-Green led the game with 25:32.
-Fleischmann, Nylander and Semin each had a goal and an assist.
-Tom Poti suffered a groin injury in the second period and did not return.
-The three stars were 1.) Semin, 2.) Malkin and 3.) Nylander.
-This is only the Penguins' second outright loss to the Capitals in the Crosby-Ovechkin era. The Penguins are now 10-2-1 all-time against Washington since the start of the 2005-06 season.
-The last time the Penguins fell to Washington regulation was a 6-3 loss in Washington, March 8.
-Here's an idea of how long ago that game was; Sebastien Caron made 36 saves in the loss for the Penguins. And only four players suited up for the Penguins in that game and are still on the roster; Crosby, Scuderi, Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney.
-EN commenter gobstoppa confirms a Cotton Candy Guy sighting: