-Hey guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-Former Flyers coach John Stevens is doing some studio work. That's apparently part of the severence package he got from Comcast:
-And look at that, Brian Englbom's mullet is making a comeback:
-Joe Beninati gets the play-by-play duties tonight. Expect at least two "buzzbombs."
-The Penguins' scratches are Bill Guerin, Alex Goligoski and Maxime Talbot.
-The Rangers' scratches are Ales Kotalik and Erik Christensen.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Henrik Lundqvist are your starting goaltenders.
-We're interested to see how Fleury will handle any rebounds with his damaged glove hand and the new glove.
-Jordan Staal starts on a line with Pascal Dupuis and SIdney Crosby
18:45: The Evgeni Malkin-Nick Johnson-Ruslan Fedotenko trio stays intact.
18:15: Christopher Higgins puts a wrister on net from the left point. Fleury eats it up.
17:42: Staal is reunited with Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke.
17:13: So there's that scoring winger we've alwasy wanted for Crosby. Crosby moves up the right wing and centers a pass to Chris Conner in the slot. Conner moves into the left circle and releases a wrister which burns Lundqvist on the near side under his blocker. What a shot. Cut Bill Guerin. Crosby and Fleury get assists. We believe that's Fleury's first assist of the season. Penguins 1-0.
15:05: Cooke puts a wrister on net from the left point. Lundqvist steers it to the corner.
14:11: And the injury situation just a got worse for the Penguins as Eric Godard leaves the bench with an apparent knee injury.
12:38: The great Martin Skoula chucks a wrister at the cage from the right point. It hits a body in front. Staal is there for the rebound and punches it on net. Lundqvist fights it off.
11:51: Marian Gaborik flicks a backhander from the right wing on net. Fleury fights it off with his blocker.
10:02: Mike Rupp, working with Adams on the third line, works a puck out of the corner and tries to jam it by Lundqvist on the glove side. The Rangers goaltender holds it out.
9:45: Michael Del Zotto lifts a wrister from the left point. Fleury gloves it with ease.
8:44: Ryan Callahan sneaks a wrister on net from the left wing. Fleury fights it off.
8:32: Callahan attempts to jam in a backhander. Fleury covers it up. Dupuis and Sean Avery exchange shoves.
7:50: Marian Gaborik backhands a centering pass to Prospal in the slot. Prospal is there but Kris Letang is able to motor back and pokes the puck wide.
7:43: Conner moves up the right wing and lifts a wrister right into the stomach of Lundqvist who eats it up.
7:29: Dan Girardi steps up and rips a wrister just wide of the cage.
7:21: Fleury gloves a wrister from the right point by Girardi.
3:06: After about four minutes of nothing, former Penguins defenseman Michal Rozsival blasts a slapper from the right point wide to the far side.
3:00: Brandon Dubinsky is called for slashing Conner. Letang, Sergei Gonchar, Malkin, Crosby and Cooke take the ice.
2:11: Malkin puts a puck on net from the corner on the right wing. Lundqvist covers to freeze play. Cooke is snooping around for a rebound but no dice.
1:38: Brian Boyle rips a wrister from the right wing that goes wide.
1:00: The Dubinsky penalty is killed. The Penguins generated very little there.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Rangers 0.
-We're not sure if the Penguins were that good on defense or if the Rangers are just that bad on offense, but we really liked what the Penguins did in preventing New York in allowing to generate much in terms of scoring chance. Fleury just wasn't challenged a great deal.
-Fleury looks okay so far. The Ranger really haven't generated too many quality chances but Fleury's been pretty composed.
-They might not have too much natural scoring ability, but we're willing to bet Crosby's never had two faster linemates than Chris Conner or Pascal Dupuis.
-Kris Letang was awarded the secondary assist on Conner's goal. Sorry for anyone who has Fleury on their fantasy team.
-There wasn't a lot in regards to the rough stuff. There wasn't even a great deal of checking.
-Surprisingly, there was no:
-That's even more suprising their dad's in the building.
-Shots are tied, 7-7.
-Conner, Artem Anisimov and Callahan each have two shots.
-Marc Staal leads the game 8:29 of ice time.
-Gonchar leads the Penguins with 8:24.
-The Rangers lead in faceoffs 10-7 (59 percent).
-Crosby is 6 for 7 (86 percent).
-Anisimov is 4 for 5 (80 percent).
-Matt Gilroy leads the game with three blocked shots.
-Gonchar leads the Penguins with two.
19:00ish: Beninati mentions that Godard has not returned to the bench.
18:53: Malkin gains the blue line with speed, cuts through a few defenders including Girardi and fires a wrister from in tight right into Lundqvist. Great effort by Malkin there.
17:55: Anisimov puts a wrister on net from the left wing. Fleury glove that without issue.
17:06: Kennedy chops a wrister from the right circle. Lundqvist makes the save. Jordan Staal follows up on the rebound and is also denied by Lundqvist.
16:27: Gaborik moves the puck up ice, gains the blue line and lifts a nice wrister on net. Fleury makes the save and gloves the potential rebound. That was probably the toughest test for Fleury so far tonight.
16:21: Off a faceoff win, Marc Staal puts a slapper on net. Fleury eats that up.
14:53: Del Zotto knocks Cooke off balance behind the Rangers' net with a shoulder check into the boards.
13:27: Dupuis emerges with the puck from behind the net to the right of the cage, turns a whips a wrister on net. Lundqvist fights that off.
13:17: Finally we get:
11:58: Malkin is nabbed for tirpping. Orpik, Jordan Staal, Cooke and Gonchar take the ice. Coming back from commercial, the flood gates open:
11:45ish: A slappery by Chris Drury is blocked by Orpik in the slot.
10:27: Anisimov attempts a nifty re-direction between his leg with his back to the goal. Fleury is able to hold is
10:02: What hand injury? Anisimov rockets a wrister net. Fleury gloves it with ease.
9:58: Malkin's penalty is killed. Solid effort by the Penguins.
9:50: Malkin comes out of the box and gets behind the defense and Crosby forces a pass up to him. Malkin moves in on net, dekes with a heavy shoulder juke and attempts to shoot forehand. Lundqvist sticks with it and makes a fairly easy right leg save on Malkin. That might've been the clunkiest attempt at a break away we've ever seen.
9:31: Drury decides to make an appearance and rips a wrister wide from the slot.
8:44: Jay McKee "one-times" a loose puck from the left point. Lundqvist punches it out. The McKee truck from the Turnpike yesterday remains unsatisfied:
7:37: Wade Redden decides to make an appearance and blasts a slapper from the left point. Fleury comes up with the save.
6:56: It seemed like only matter of time before Anisimov would get one. Eaton, under heavy pressure from Higgins, turns it over to Anisimov. Letang lays down for a potential block. Anisimov is able to rips a dazzling wrist shot by Fleury on the glove side. Fleury was leaning away from that shot a bit. Heck of an effort by Higgins to force Eaton into that turnover. That lame "Let's Go Rangers" song is played. The goal is unassisted we assume. The NHL's web site is having some serious malfunctions and we can't find the scoring. Penguins 1, Rangers 1.
4:58: Jordan Staal blasts a loose puck high of the cage from the left circle.
4:36: Crosby denied Gaborik in tight.
4:12: Malkin creates a two-on-one with Johnson and forces a pass. Girard breaks it up. Malkin gets the rebound and chips a backhander on net. Lundqvist makes the easy save. Wonderful play by Girard to break it up.
2:25: Letang cuts through the defense and snaps off a wrister. Lundqvist makes the save. Wonderful effort by Letang.
2:21: Letang rips a wrister from the wing. Lundqvist gloves it.
2:05: Kennedy snaps off a wrister fromt he right circle that goes wide on the near side.
1:34: Avery gains the blue line with speed and has a step on Orpik. instead of shooting he decides to leave a drop pass for Dubinsky. Dubinsky steps up and blasts a one-timer. Fleury makes a dazzling stretched-out glove save.
1:14: Avery crunches Letang along the boards on the righ wing. That was almost a hit from behind.
1:02: As play is halted near the Rangers' bench, Letang drops a Rangers player. A small scrum develops.
0:44: Fedotenko forces Girardi into a turnover along the right wing in the Rangers' zone. Fedotenko turns and distributes to Johnson joining the play. Johnson puts a wrister on net. Lundqvist makes the save but gives up a rebound. Malkin follows up on it but HIggins makes a nice backcheck and appears to poke the puck wide. Malkin crashes in and dislodges the net.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Rangers 1.
-That was almost like the second period of yesterday's game. Very boring. Both teams generated more than a few quality scoring chances, but very little of it was sustained.
-Unlike yesterday, there is a lack of power plays. Neither team has really given the officials much of a reason to blow the whistle.
-Fleury continues to look sharp. The one goal he was beaten on was off a turnover by Eaton and Anisimov ripped a beauty of a shot.
-The Penguins' third line continues to show the most chemistry on the team.
-Higgins and Enver Linsin got assists on Anisimov's goal.
-We're kind of limited with what stats we can offer you due to the problems with the NHL's web site.
-Shots are even, 17-17.
-Anisimov leads the game with five.
-Jordan Staal leads the Penguins with three.
-Marc Staal leads the game with 16:08 of ice time.
-Gonchar leads the Penguins with 15:30.
-Stats are back up. The Rangers control faceoffs, 25-15 (63 percent).
-Anisimov is 8 for 11 (73 percent).
-Crosby is 11 for 16 (69 percent).
-Gonchar and Gilroy lead the game with three blocked shots each.
-Versus announcer Darren Elliot decides to do an impromtu Elton John impression:
19:41: And the Penguins take a penalty early this period. Jordan Staal is nabbed for high sticking Propsal in the face and draws some blood. That's a "four-minuter" to borrow some Errey-ese. This is a tough assignment for the Penguins' penalty killers, expecially since Staal is one of their best penalty killers.
19:19: Gonchar backhand chips a puck down ice to kill time.
19:03: Callahan chops a slapper from the right circle. Fleury fights it off. Craig Adams whips it down ice.
18:44: Gaborik cranks a slapper form the left wing. Fleury gets a piece of it with his glove and it trickles juuuust wide fo the cage on the far side.
18:34: Adams leads a rush up the left wing and puts a backander on net. Lundqvist makes the save despite having a few teammates crash into him.
17:47: Somehow the Rangers ice the puck on a power play.
16:36: Gaborik works off the right half wall and fires a half-slapper from the top of the circle. Fleury hangs on despite traffic.
16:04: Crosby blocks a Drury shot and that creates a breakaway chance for Cooke. Cooke races in on net. As he's about to rip a wrister, Callahan motors back on a wonderful back check, lifts Cooke's stick and takes the puck right off him. What an effort by Callahan.
15:50: Callahan thumps Cooke to the ice with a nice check. Cooke tries to retaliate. Cooke is nabbed for rouhing. That's a stupid penalty by Cooke.
15:30: Staal's penalty is killed, as he leaves the box, the puck gets loose deep in the Rangers' zone on the left wing. Staal chases it down, moves in on net, gets challenged by a defender and rips a wrister right into Lundqvist.
15:21: Gaborik lifts a wrister to the far side from the left wing. Fleury is able to trap it against his chest.
14:29: Del Zotto cranks a slapper from the left point. It hits Fleury high and pops over the cage and into the corner.
13:50: Cooke's penalty is killed. What an effort by the Penguins' penaly kill
13:15: From the left wing, Avery lifts a wrister which Gonchar deflects out of play.
12:18: Gaborik gains the blue line with speed and rips a wrister wide to the far side.
12:11: Off a nice feed from behind the net by Gaborik, Rozsival puts a shot off the post from the right circle.
12:04: Rozsival chops a slappe from the right point that's off the mark.
10:45: You knew an ugly goal was going to break this stalemate. Anisimov just whips a puck on net form a tough angle on the right wing. It squeezed between Fleury's left skate and the near post. It initially sits halfway across the goal line. Fleury stands up and basically kicks it over the line and gives the Rangers goal. Tough break for Fleury but he needs to close that gap up. Girard gets the only assist. "LET'S GO RANGERS." Rangers 2-1.
10:30: Malkin challenges the Rangers defenders and draws a penatly. Gaborik hacks him. That's two minutes for slashing. Gonchar, Malkin, Letang, Crosby and Cooke take the ice
10:14: And the power play saves the Penguins' bacon once again. Gonchar controls the faceoff at the top of the slot and dishes to Malkin off the right half fall. Malkin cranks a one-timer over Callahan who lays down for a block and burns Lundqvist over the glove hand. What a shot.Gonchar and Letang get assists. Penguins 2, Rangers 2.
9:14: Who needs to trade for a scoring winger? Crosby gains the offensive zone with speed and lifts a wrister on Lundqvist. Lundqvist makes the save but gives up a tough rebound. Conner chases it down and rips a wrister from the left circle that once against beats Lundqvist ont he stick side. What a heady play by Conner to follow that puck. Crosby and Dupuis get assists. Penguins 3-2.
8:17: Lundqvist boots out a wrister by Letang.
7:09: Cooke gets away with some interference on Redden behind the Rangers' net.
5:20: Anisimov pokes a little wrister from in tight wide of the cage.
4:24: Malkin gets run over by Aaron Voros with a nice check in the Rangers' zone.
3:47: Lundqvist steers a wrister by Kennedy from the slot into the corner.
3:23: Off a faceoff win the Rangers' zone, Letang rips a wrister on net. Lundqvist fights it off.
2:14: Cooke chops a loose puck on net from the right wing. Lundqvist fights it off.
1:15: As Lundqvist is pulled for an extra attacker, Callahan cuts to the net from the left wing and flicks a tricky backhander which Fleury is forced to make a tough save on.
0:39: The Rangers turn over the puck at their own blue line. Dupuis knocks it out of mid air and chops it down ice into the cage for one of us:
Malkin and Gonchar somehow get assists. Penguins 4-2.
0:15: Lundqvist is pulled for an extra attacker once again.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 4, Rangers 2.
-What a response by the Penguins following the second Rangers goal. The way that game was going, it seemed like the next goal would win when it was 1-1. Up until that point, very little seemed to even challenge either goaltender. The Rangers got a lucky goal and had the lead with just over 10 minutes left. But Malkin draws a penalty and ties the game up almost immediatley. Then Crosby creates a scoring chance for Conner that eventually gives the Penguins the lead for good.
-We would like to ask Jani Rita, Colby Armstrong, Miroslav Satan, Andy Hilbert, Nils Eckman, Tyler Kennedy and just about every other player who has failed as Sidney Crosby's winger if Chris Conner can do it, what's your excuse? The guy gets off the bus from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and pots two goals riding shotgun with the former scoring champion. He seemed very comfortable with the pace Crosby plays will and wasn't overwhelmed by it. And he showed some scoring touch.
-Nice rebound game by Fleury. Outside of the second Rangers goal, he didn't let in any softies and was very composed for the most part.
-How huge were the Penguins' special teams? For the second consecutive game, they basically were reason for a Penguins' win. The power play cashed in when it pretty much had two and the Penguins turned away all four Rangers power play chances, including a stretch of roughly six minutes at the start of the third period.
-We thought Letang stepped up in a slightly elevated role tonight with Goligoski out. He was physcial in his own end and contributed some on offense. He had a pretty solid all-around game.
-The Penguins' third line continues to dominate the world.
-We didn't notice the great Martin Skoula and that's probably a good thing.
-Did anyone notice Sean Avery outside of a few decent checks?
-All due respect to Artem Anisimov, but he can't be the Rangers' best player if they hope to win.
-The Rangers ended up with a 30-28 lead in shots.
-Anisimov led the game with six shots.
-Jordan Staal led the Penguins with four.
-Gonchar led the game with 24:04 of ice time.
-Marc Staal and Vaclav Prospal each led the Rangers with 23:12.
-The Rangers controlled faceoffs, 32-26 (55 percent).
-Anisimov was 11 for 15 (73 percent).
-Crosby was 18 for 27 (67 percent).
-Who needs Rob Scuderi? Sergei Gonchar led the game with seven shots. Yeesh.
-Gilroy had an impressive five blocked shots as well.
-Sidney Crosby now has 299 career assists.
-Conner's career high for goals in a season is three. Suffice it to say, he set a career high for goals in a game tonight.
-Letang recorded his 50th career assist.
-Letang broke into the team's top 100 career scorers. He passed up Brooks Orpik for 99th place. Both players have 71 points but Letang (21) has more goals than Orpik (6).
-Dupuis passed up Ian Moran for 113th place. Both players have 63 points, but Dupuis (26) has more goals than Moran (19).