Apologies for the delays folks. We had (imagine this) computer problems.
We made that walk up to the arena from the Steel Plaza station. It was kind of weird considering we haven't done it for four months.
That walk isn't going to seem so nice come December.
It's also kind of weird not seeing the big television set up out in front of the arena:
We spotted a few Tampa Bay fans hanging out in front of arena:
The rink always looks weird without advertisements on the boards. It's almost like an Olympic rink
A few jerseys we spotted before the game:
Sidney Crosby Team Canada
Sidney Crosby Rimouski
Stephen Dixon Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. That's hardcore.
Marian Hossa. Someone's in denial.
Miroslav Satan Islanders.
Someone already has a Ryan Malone Lightning jersey.
Fox Chapel native Bill Thomas took to the ice in warmup wearing No. 37. That's odd to see on someone other than Jarkko Ruutu.
Karri Ramo will start in net for Tampa Bay tonight. Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod for the Penguins.
Michel Ouellet's name is announced as a starter and gets booed.
Ironically enough, a lightning bolt is flashed across the Jumbotron behind the Penguins logo.
A "LET'S GO PENS!" chant begins.
No Jeff Jimerson tonight. Sarah Marince gets the call.
19:59: Steven Stamkos wins the opening faceoff against Sidney Crosby. We clearly know who was the better first overall pick.
19:09: That idea about turning Jordan Staal into a winger is looking OK. He takes a pass along the blueline moves into the offensive zone and rips a wrister by Ramo from the right faceoff circle. Nice shot. Evgeni Malkin and Ben Lovejoy gets assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
18:06: From the left faceoff circle, Janne Pesonen throws a wrister on net. It sails through the crease.
17:05: A line of Eric Godard, Ryan Stone and Jeff Taffe is on the ice.
16:26: Crosby comes darting down the left side and dishes a pass to Miroslav Satan on the other side of the net. Satan has a little trouble taking the pass which was into his skates and fails to get a clean shot on net. Ryan Craig is sent off for hooking. A power play unite of Sergei Gonchar, Malkin, Crosby, Satan and Staal is put on the ice.
15:10: Satan fakes a one timer from the right boards and shuffles it to Crosby near the net. Crosby tries to direct it on net, but fails to get a clean touch on the puck.
14:26: The power play expires with the Penguins getting only a slightly threatening attack on net.
12:31: Crosby tries to charge the net, falls and dishes a pass from his belly to a trailing Pascal Dupuis. Dupuis winds up and blasts a one-timer that Ramo kicks out. Nice jobby Crosby keep the play alive.
10:58: Vladimir Mihalik throws Bill Thomas to the ice in the neutral zone. Thomas gets away with a trip on Mihalik. We hope we have to never spell that name again.
10:23: Malkin backhands a loose puck in the crease on net. Ramo keeps it out.
8:06: We get our first fight of the night. Godard and former Penguins prospect David Koci drop the gloves. Lots of wild punches thrown. Quite a few connecting. They eventually tire out and pin each other against the boards. The officials step in and break them up. Godard might not be as dominant as Georges Laraque, but we have a feeling his fights will be a lot more entertaining.
7:03: Darryl Sydor blasts a slapper from the left point and misses the net.
3:29: Malkin, Petr Sykora and Jordan Staal almost connect on a slick play in traffic. Staal's shot sails wide.
2:58: Stamkos fires a quick shot from the right side. Fleury kicks it out.
1:43: Kris Beech is nailed for hooking. We'd say it's a bad time to take a penalty late in a period, but it's the preseason.
0:59: From the right side, Radek Smolenak tries to jam a puck in. Fleury is up to the task and keeps it out. Some of these names on the Lightning's roster tonight don't exactly roll off the tounge.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Lightning 0.
-The Lightning has 10 shots while the Penguins have 9.
-Tampa Bay will get 16 seconds of power play time to begin the second period.
-The Malkin-Staal-Sykora line was easily the best looking line for the Penguins that period. Crosby-Dupuis-Satan had something going, but they still looked a little off.
-Better than Ezra's "Good" is playing as text messages are shown on the Jumbotron.
Best message sent to the Jumbotron:
"Pesonen to win the Calder"
-More than a few of you have commented in this forum and e-mailed us that a radio broadcast isn't available through the team's Web site. We'll try to get a definitive answer on this. We apologize for incorrectly stating there would be a broadcast available in this morning's post.
-Tampa Bay has a 10-8 advantage in faceoffs.
-Bill Thomas leads all skaters with three shots on net.
-Stamkos looks like he belongs in the NHL. He doesn't seem to be out of place going against NHL talent.
-Ben Lovejoy leads the Penguins in ice time with 7:38.
19:43: Beech's penalty expires.
18:22: Ahh. Good old Michel Ouellet. The Penguins misplay a puck near their net. Stamkos jumps on it and dishes it into the slot. Ouellet had a wide open shot on net and guess what? He totally misses the net. It seems just like the 2006-07 season.
18:14: Lovejoy is sent off for dumping a Tampa Bay player near the boards. Two minutes for interference.
18:02: Right off a faceoff, Crosby dumps a Tampa Bay player with a nice check.
17:15: Brooks Oprik whips a puck down ice from the corner to kill some time.
16:51: We're getting word that Sergei Gonchar won't be back in the lineup tonight. The reason isn't clear yet.
16:10: Just as the power play expires, Janne Niskala scoops a pass from the corner. Sneaks in on net and rips a nice wrister that burns Fleury. Heck of a shot. Lightning 1, Penguins 1.
15:55: Ryan Stone and Zenon Konopka drop the gloves. It's another spirited bout. Lots of punches thrown. More than a few connecting. Each of these guys are trying to earn a roster spot. We'd call this one a draw.
15:20: Orpik is sent off for interference.
14:55: Andrew Hutchinson is sent off for holding. We'll have four-on-four hockey for 1:36.
14:37: A feed to the Tampa Bay radio broadcasters can be found at WDAE-AM's Web Site.
13:50: The attendance is officially 16,287. Not bad for a preaseaon game against a roster composed of mostly AHL talent for Tampa Bay.
12:54: Wyatt Smith collects a loose puck in the crease, gets behind the defense and sneaks it in by Fleury's right leg. Sloppy goal for the Penguins to give up on defense. Lightning 2-1.
11:20: Pick up Wyatt Smith in your fantasy league. He is the league leader in preseason goal. Radek Smolenak dishes a puck from behind the net. Smith does a baseball slide into the net and drives it by Fleury somehow. Lightning 3-1.
10:55: Pesonen moves down the right side and directs a shot on net. Ramo makes the save despite traffic. A body collides with Ramo who falls and loses some of his equipment. The play continues. Ramo gets back up minus his blocker. Play is stopped. Godard is called for cross checking.
10:14: The Penguins have a penalty killing unit Crosby, Satan, Eaton and Goligoski on the ice.
8:58: Malkin tries to go one-on-one with Matt Smaby but Smaby calmly pokes the puck away.
7:11: A Lightning player rips a shot on net. Fleury pulls it in with the cuff his his left elbow.
6:27: Ward is sent off for roughing.
5:42: With Gonchar absent, Alex Goligoski is on the power play with Crosby, Malkin, Satan and Staal.
5:15: Pesonen appears to score off a rebound and during a delayed penalty. but the goal is waved off. A brief review is held. The reason the goal was waved was because play was blown dead. Mihalik is sent off for two minutes. The Penguins need to score here. Five on three.
4:55: Ramo covers a loose puck in the crease.
4:42: Crosby fires a slapper from the point. Ramo stops it. Satan scoops up the rebound, goes behind the net and dishes a pass to Sykora on the right side. Sykora zips a wrister by a prone Ramo. The Hey Song is played. Lightning 3-2.
2:37: Jeff Taffe makes a nice steal. He dishes the pass to Pesonen in the slot. Pesonen fires a shot while pressured. The shot miss, hits the backboard. Ramo covers the rebound. It's weird seeing Taffe in No. 22. We still see Paul Stanton or Rick Tocchet in that jersey.
1:55: Mihalik is determined to get his name on the score sheet as much as possible. He's sent off for holding. It would be nice fo rthe Penguins to get a goal here, even it is the preaseason.
0:44: Goligoski tees up a slapper from the point. Konopka and Ryan Craig each seem to get a piece of it. Konopka has a bit of a limp afterwards.
0:00: End of period. Lightning 3, Penguins 2.
-The Penguins have a 21-19 lead in shots.
-We feel kind of silly saying this since it's a preseason game, but the Lightning certainly seemed like a more aggresive team. But Tampa Bay's roster is full of guys trying to earn NHL roster spots.
-The Penguins have a 26-21 advantage in faceoffs.
-Malkin leads the team in ice time with 17:43.
-It was explained to us none of the preseason games are televised due to a lack of advertising revenue basically.
-No official reason was really given to us as to a lack of a live radio presence for the game. But podcast of the games are available on the team's Web site.
-The Penguins will have a two second power play to start the period.
19:17: Evgeny Artyukhin (6-foot-5, 254 pounds) crunches Alex Goligoski (6-foot-0, 187 pounds) in the corner.
17:14: Stamkos dishes a very nice backhanded pass from behind the net into the slot. Craig tries to punch it in but Fleury denies him.
15:02: Smolenak is sent off for holding.
14:24: Crosby is sent off for slashing. We'll have 1:23 of four-on-four.
13:18: There's still nothing official on Gonchar, but the phrase "MRI" has been tossed around here in the press box.
13:08: Artyukhin is sent off for roughing. We'll have seven seconds of four-on-three.
12:58: Goligoski fires a slapper. Craig slides out to block it.
11:43: Crosby controls teh puck in the corner, spins away from Andy Rogers and charges the net with the puck. Ramo denies him and cleans up the chance on the rebound.
11:18: Wyatt Smith is going to be all over the score sheet tomorrow. He's sent off for hooking. The Penguins will have a five-on-three advantage for 10 seconds. Michel Therrien calls time out to organize his team.
11:08: Artyukhin's penalty expires.
10:58: Mihalik blocks a shot from the point.
10:09: Shorthanded, Craig comes down the right side and throws a shot on net. Fleury makes the save.
9:49: Goligoski throws a shot towards the net from the right point. It hits a few bodies, gets batted around. Sykora is in the right place, collects the puck and rips it into the net by an out of place Ramo. Pesonen and Goligoski are credited with assists. The "Hey Song" is played. The dream is alive. A perfect preseason record is still within reach! Lightning 3, Penguins 3.
9:00: Stone drives to the net dragging a few bodies. He tries to get a shot on net but sends it wide.
7:09: It figures the one time Kris Beech decides to look physical, it leads to him getting penalized. He runs a Lightning player behind the Tampa Bay net from behind and sends him into the boards face first. Beech gets five minutes for boarding and a game misconduct. Taffe will serve the penalty. What a stupid play.
6:12: Crosby comes up ice with the puck, spins and rips a backhander on net. Ramo fights it off for a save.
2:53: Crosby and Bill Thomas come up ice on a two-on-one. Crosby hangs on to it, and roofs a shorthanded goal over Ramo's shoulder on the stickside. There was no way Thomas was getting that puck. The goal was unassisted. Crosby now leads the league in shorthanded preseason goal. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 4-3.
1:19: So much for wrapping this game up quickly. Bochenski collects a loose puck in the offensive zone, glides in on net and fires a nice wrister by Fleury on the near side. Really nice goal. Sloppy defense. Lightning 4, Penguins 4.
0:00: End of period. Lightning 4, Penguins 4.
-The Penguins have a 29-28 lead in shots.
-There's really not a lot you can take away from this game. The Penguins appear sloppy because it's a preseason game. The Lightning appear sloppy because its roster is stocked with AHL-caliber talent.
4:45: Bochenski gets a pass in the crease and gets a shot on net. Fleury makes a solid save.
3:16: Sykora pounds a slapper on net from the left side. Ramo says no.
2:05: Staal weaves through the defense, goes through the neutral zone, into the offensive zone, behind the net and dishes a pass to Dupuis. Dupuis tries to fires a quick one-timer but a Tampa Bay player appears to get a piece of the shot and deflects it.
0:30: Craig throws a lazy wrister on net from the right side. Fleury shuffles it away.
0:03: Malkin tries to go through the defense with the puck. Rogers dumps him in the slot.
0:00: End of period. Lightning 4, Penguins 4.
Before the shootout, "Right Now" by Van Halen is played.
Crystal Pepsi = Underrated.
The Penguins take the first shot. Miroslav Satan goes first. He comes in fast on net, dekes to the backhander. Ramo sticks with the puck and makes the save.
Jussi Jokinen, one of the best, is next. he comes in wide, slows down in the crease and beats Fleury on the forehand.
Malkin approaches the net. Fakes a slapper, and fires a wrister that clinks off the post.
Stamkos gets to show his abilities. He zips in on net, and slides a puck underneath Fleury. Game over. Bring back Ruutu! Lightning 5, Penguins 4.
-There wasn't a great deal you could take from that game. The Penguins looked almost disinterested in playing an AHL team. The Lightning had only a few players on it's roster who will be in the lineup opening night.
-Still no word officially on Gonchar.
-Granted with Gonchar's absence, it's not fair to judge the power play, but it appeared to be a work in progress.
-Goligoski looked like he was more than capable of manning the point in Gonchar's absence.
-Fleury certainly didn't look sharp. Bring back Conklin!
-The Penguins used quite a few people to kill penalties tonight.
-Stamkos looks like the real deal. Assuming he's teamed with some better linemates than Michel Ouellet and Ryan Craig, he'll rack up some solid offensive numbers this season.
-It's been suggested Gonchar could've been injured on a check by David Koci. Again, nothing is official.
-Gonchar and Sydor served as alternate captains tonight.
-Bochenski was officially credited with the second goal by Smith. Bochenski had two goals and an assist tonight.
-Sykora had two goals while Staal had a goal and one assist.
-Malkin led the Penguins in ice time with 26:50.
-Crosby led the team in shots with seven. Sykora and Satan each had five.
-Crosby had 4:29 of shorthanded time on ice. Only Goligoski (5:55) and Orpik (5:18) had more for the Penguins. It's probably not fair to put too much into that however. Guys like Maxime Talbot and Matt Cooke, who you would expect to be regular penalty killers didn't dress, and that five minute major by Beech certainly forced Therrien to expand his bench with penalty killers as well.
-Orpik led the Penguins in blocked shots with four.
-Faceoffs were even, 37-37.