20:00: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
19:40: Sidney Crosby rushes up the ice and challenges Brent Burns one-on-one from the right wing. Burns hacks the puck off Crosby's stick.
19:10: Chris Bourque, Ruslan Fedotenko and Jordan Staal are on a line once again. Bourque snaps off a wrister from the top of hte slot. Backstrom knocks it away.
17:53: Matt Cooke, Craig Adams and Pascal Dupuis man the third line. Adams whips a wrister on net from the right wing. Backstrom fights it off.
17:30: Chris Conner (5-foot-8, 180 pounds), Mike Rupp (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) and Eric Godard (6-foot-4, 214 pounds) compose the fourth line. That could be a game of "Which of these don't belong?"
16:32: Mikko Koivu, who is probably Minnesota's best player, snaps off a wrister from the right faceoff circle on a nice feed by Andrew Brunette from behidn the net. Fleury is able to steer it away.
15:38: Fedotenko comes from around the corner, turns and whips a wrister at the net. Backstrom knocks it down and covers.
14:10: Solid sign hanging from the north F balcony: "IT'S HALLOWEEN, TIME TO DISH OUT SOME FREE CANDY!"
13:29: Backstrom kicks out a quick wrister by Crosby on the left wing.
15:54: Eric Belanger comes up the right wing and lifts a wrister high of the cage.
12:15: Staal emerges out of the corner in Minnesota's zone with the puck, moves towards the net an instead of trying to jam on by Backstrom, he attemps a pass to Bourque coming in from the right wing. The pass gets broken up and slides towards the crease where Backstrom covers. Someone got a shot of Steigerwald's Dracula get up:
11:51: Staal dishes a backhanded pass into the slot for Bourque. Bourque takes a tumble after getting hooked by Belanger. Belanger holds his hand up as if to complain Bourque took a dive. Officials send Beltange to the box. Crosby, BIll Guerin, Chris Kunitz, Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang are on for the power play.
11:15: Letang skates towards the slot off the left wing and chucks a wrister on net. Backstrom knocks it away with his glove.
9:55: Sykora banks a puck off the boards and gets it up ice, essentially killing the rest of Belanger's penalty. The Penguins actually looked a little better that power play than they did with any of their man-advantage chances last night.
9:37: Adams snaps off a wrister from the right point. Backstrom gloves it.
9:15: Dupuis drives in from the left wing and tries to jam in a backhander. Backstrom keeps it out.
8:13: Bourque comes in from the left wing and puts a wrister on net. Crosby takes a spill into the crease and takes Bourque's shot right in the kisser. Crosby's a little dazed and appears to accuse someone of shoving him into the crease.
7:49: The Wild strike first. Burns snaps off a wrister from the right poing. It hits about 23 people before it hits Fleury. The rebound kicks to his right where Kyle Brodziak is right there and gets the Michel Ouellet garbage special. Chuck Kobasew apparently tipped that shot by Burns as he gets an assist along with Burns. Wild 1-0.
5:15: Kunitz pumps a slapper on net from the left wing. Backstrom gloves it.
5:12: Off a faceoff, Dupuis gets on the board. Adams wins a faceoff and gets it back to Skoula at the left point. Skoula then dishes to to Dupuis who immediately one-times the puck from tthe slot. It beats Backstrom low on the glove side. Backstrom appears to bark at a teammate. Not sure about what. He wasnt' really screened on that. It's Dupuis' second goal of the season. Skoula get his second assist in as many nights. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1, Wild 1.
4:39: Adams gets another shot on net. Backstrom kicks out his low wrister from the right wing. That's three for Adams by our count.
2:37: Guerin fights off a check and whips a wrister to the far side wide.
2:29: Bourque emerges from behind the cage and tries a spinning wrister. Backstrom fights it off.
1:58: Bourque is operating behind the cage once again. This time he just puts into the crease. Letang crashes in and kind of "knees" it on net. Backstrom fights it off.
1:43: Owen Nolan rips a wrister from the top of the slot. Conner lays down and blocks it.
0:55: Cooke and Cal Clutterbuck, two players with similar attributes, mix it up in front of the Wild bench. Clutterbuck invites Cooke to a fight. An official immediately separates them. Watch for those two later in this game.
0:49: Staal throws a wrister on net from the left wing. Bakstrom gloves it.
0:15: Letang makes a nice play on a back check and breaks up a centering pass to Nolan in the slot. Nolan had a clean look at the net there too.
0:00.6: Oh geez. Minnesota scored with very little time left. Owen Nolan fights Brooks Oprik off the puck behind the cage. That allows Havlat to skate in and distribute a pass immediately to Belanger in the left faceoff circle. Belange immediatley rips a wrister that beats Fleury over the blocker side. Heck of a play by Nolan to get that puck to Havlat and fantastic shot by Belanger. The Penguins got a little lazy there at the end though. Havlat and Nolan get assists. Wild 2-1.
0:00: End of period. Wild 2, Penguins 1.
-Well, that was actually a pretty good period of hockey for the Penguins for the first 19:59.4. They were much more aggresive than the Wild. They generate more chances and attacked the net a lot more. But they got a little lazy late and are down by a goal as a result.
-Backstrom's the reason his team is in the lead. He's been very good so far. The Dupuis goal wasn't a great one to give up, but he's been very composed so far.
-Bourque's playing really well. He's generated a few chances offensively.
-Adams is playing his best game of the season so far.
-The Penguins are dominating shots, 16-4.
-Two goals on four shots? It doesn't look good for Fleury, but the first goal wasn't really his fault. He couldn't really see the initial shot from the point and he was lucky to even make that save. The rebound was just unfortunate. The second goal, his defense let him down. Belanger ripped a fantastic shot.
-Adams leads the game with three shots.
-No one for the Wild has more than one.
-Greg Zanon leads the game with 8:21 of ice time.
-Staal leads the Penguins with 7:56.
-Faceoffs are even, 9-9 (50 percent).
-Adams is 3 for 4 (75 percent).
-Koivu is 2 for 2 (100 percent).
-No one has more than one blocked shot.
-We forgot to post this in the pregame post. A "Youngblood" jersey:
-And EN reader Kelli Zappas sends us in this jersey foul:
-Frankly, we're not even sure how to classify this jersey foul.