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Maple Leafs at Penguins - First Period - 12-27-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

20:00: Sidney Crosby starts on a line with Pascal Dupuis and Ruslan Fedotenko. Martin Skoula and Kris Letang man the points.

19:27: With Kennedy benched, Mike Rupp moves to the third line with Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke.

18:03: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

17:54: Evgeni Malkin, on with Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz, rips a wrister from the slot.It appears to get deflected and is fought off by Toskala.

17:35: Niklas Hagman tosses a wrister on net from the right wing. Fleury fights that off.

17:32: Alexei Ponikarovsky collects the rebound and distributes to Luke Schenn at the right point. Schenn chucks a wrister on net that beats Fleury. Fleury appeared to be screened by Jay McKee, Bill Guerin and Nikolai Kulemin. Either way, the Penguins were simply out-worked for that goal. Ponikarovsky and Gabovski each get assists. Maple Leafs 1-0.

16:35: After a brutal turnover in his own zone, Lee Stempniak takes the puck, moves in on the right wing and puts a wrister on net. Fleury makes the save. It wasn't a difficult shot to stop, but Crosby owes Fleury a beer.

14:59: And the Penguins get ir right back. Cooke blocks a wrister by Garnet Exelby at the left point in the Penguins' zone. Cooke then is off to the races as he hustles up the right wingcreating a two-on-one with Rupp against Schenn. Schenn takes away the pass. Cooke elects to shoot and lifts a beautiful wrister to the far side over Toskala's blocker side. What an effort by Cooke to even create that chance and what a finish. The goal is unassisted. The "Hey Song" is played. Maple Leafs1, Penguins 1.

13:18: Jason Blake flies up the right wing, cuts across the slot and throws a wrister low on net from the left faceoff circle. Fleury makes the save. Former Penguin Wayne Primeau stabs at the rebound. Play is halted as the officials appear to lose sight of the puck.

12:30: Maxime Talbot is on the fourth line with Craig Adams and Eric Godard.

12:10: Brooks Orpik tosses Jason Blake from the side into the boards face first. Blake is shaken up and is slow to recover. Orpik is called for cross checking. If Blake doesn't go down, that's not a call. Sergei Gonchar, Matt Cooke, Jordan Staal and Alex Goligoski take the ice.

11:46: Off a steal by Staal in the neutral zone, Cooke chips the puck up off the boards to kill time.

11:07: Dupuis intercepts a pass in the Penguins' zone. Staal backhand swats it out of the zone to kill some time.

10:41: Grabovski tries to wheel and deal out of the corner on the right wing in the Penguins' zone. He escapes a few checks but loses the puck. Kris Letang jumps in and backhands it down the ice.

10:13: Grabovski spins and slides a pass into the crease for Ponikarovsky hos is a step slow and the puck slides just beyond his stick. He had a goal there.

10:10: Orpik's penalty is killed. The Maple Leafs failed to generate anything notable that two minutes.

9:37: Ian White is nabbed for delay of game as he tossed the puck out of play. Kunitz, Crosby, Guerin, Gonchar and Malkin take the ice. During the commercial stoppage, the ninth anniversary of a significant even against these same Maple Leafs in this same building is noted:

9:23: Crosby controls the puck on the right half wall and zips a pass to Guerin in the slot. Guerin uncorks a one-timer that rings off the post.

8:36: Guerin caries the puck up the ice and hits Kunitz with a pass right at the Toronto blue line. Kunitz motors in and releases a wrister from the left faceoff cricle. Toskala fights it off.

7:37: White's penalty is killed. The Penguins had two really nice chances but little else.

6:27: Talbot chops a slapper from the left wing. Toskala boots that to the corner.

5:50ish: Jamal Mayers drops Jay McKee against the boards with a hip check. To label that a hip check is a bit inaccurate. McKee basically just kind of dodged the hit and fell over.

4:25: Malkin is back on the penalty wagon. He's nabbed for hooking Hagman.  Cooke, Gonchar, Staal and Orpik take the ice.

3:41: Francois Beauchemin chucks a wrister from the left point at the net. Fleury hangs on to freeze play.

3:28: The Maple Leafs go to the net and get a dirty goal. Kaberle gets a pass at the left point. He smacks a one-timer into a cluster of bodies in the slot. It hits off Ponikarovsky and deflects Stempniak to the right of the cage. Stempniak gets a blade on the puck and actually whiffs a bit on the shot but still puts into the cage. That's an ugly, dirty goal the Penguins don't get nearly enough of on their power play. Ponikarovsky and Kaberle get assists. Maple Leafs, 2-1.

2:19: Kessel moves up the left wing, crosses into the slot challenging Orpik one-on-one and rips a heavy wrister which Fleury boots away.

1:35: Guerin takes a pass from Malkin on the right wing and tosses a wrister at the cage. Toskala gloves it.

0:21: Dupuis steals a puck in the defensive zone and tries to push it up ice. Schenn makes a nice poke check and knocks Dupuis to the ice with a nice shoulder check. Just an all-around great play by Schenn.

0:18: Stempknai enters the offensive zone on the left wing and lifts a wrister to the far side. Fleury eats it up.

0:00: End of period. Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 1.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-It's pretty easy to figure what happened that period. The Maple Leafs just outworked the Penguins. They hustled more, attacked the zone more and were just more aggressive around the net.

-We're not sure if was a three-day layoff or if the Penguins just aren't up to play a bad Toronto team, but they need to wake up a bit.

-Considering the Maple Leafs are playing their second game in as many nights and they're playing theyr backup goaltender, who has been awful this season, the Penguins should not be losing to this team.

-We've liked Dupuis' defensive play.

-The Maple Leafs have a 9-4 lead in shots.

-Stempniak leads the game with three shots.

-No one else has more than one.

-Beauchemin leads the game with 8:54 of ice time.

-Gonchar leads the Penguins with 8:39.

-The Penguins have a 9-8 edge in faceoffs (53 percent).

-Staal is 5 for 6 (83 percent).

-Grabovski is 3 for 4 (75 percent).

-No one has more than one blocked shot.

-They'll sell beer here to anyone:

-Cotton candy heeeee!!!! Cotton candy heeee!!!

-Click here for the second period.

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