-Greetings from a cloudy, late October day in Pittsburgh. Just a bleh day. It was dry enough to park downtown and walk up to Mellon Arena however. This is left over from last night. A Quebec license plate in the garage at Chatham Center:
-PPG Place against a gray sky:
-Looking south on Stanwix Street:
-The construction at Market Square which is apparently fine to show off when every major world leader isn't in town:
-There's a "Matrix" joke in here some where:
-Unlicensed merchandise is awesome:
-The Warner Centre is one of our favorite buildings downtown:
-From Steel town to Sports town:
-A pretty cool advertisment at a bus stop for the Warhol Museum:
-Looking south on Ross Street:
-Consol Energy Center:
-The current facility:
-A Ron Francis jersey in the Igloo Club:
-This is from last night. FSN Pittsburgh caught this kid who apparently drank 42 Cokes during the game:
-Some sights around the arena. Here's an odd jersey foul. A Mattias Norstrom Kings jersey:
-We're all for reliable, steady shot-blocking Swedish defensemen, but that has no place here.
-This. Is. Obscure. A Joel Kwiatkowski practice jersey:
-Another obscure one. Vitaly Vishnevski:
-The Penguins' scratches are Sergei Gonchar and Chris Bourque.
-The Devils' scratches are Matt Halischuk (Thank goodness we don't have to spell that more than once), Andrew Peters and Mike Mottau.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Brodeur are your starting goaltenders.
-We're not sure if we've mentioned this or not, but Brooks Orpik is wearing an "A" in Sergei Gonchar's absence.
-The most flamboyant butt-cut in the national anthem business, Jeff Jimerson, does what he does best:
20:00: Dan Bylsma gives Mike Rupp a start against his former team. He's on a line with Evgeni Malkin, Ruslan Fedotenko. Kris Letang and Orpik man the points.
19:10: Martin Skoula takes a shift with Mark Eaton.
18:30: Jay McKee and Alex Goligoski are back together. We're going to assume Bylsma will treat his defensemen much like his forwards and mix and match them a bunch.
18:06: Tyler Kennedy tries to crank a one-timer from the slot but a Devils player kneels down and blocks it with the outside of his left leg.
17:40: It didn't take long for Matt Cooke and David Clarkson to find each other. They cause a small gathering near the Devils' bench. Officials quickly break it up. We have a feeling those two aren't done tonight.
17:17: Travis Zajac trips up Kris Letang along the boards. That's two minutes. Bill Guerin, Sidney Crosby, Malkin, Goligoski and Letang are on for the power play. Goligoski is kind of running the only point position on the power play at the top of the slot while Letang is on the half-wall.
17:06: Goligoski uncorks a slapper from the top of the slot. Brodeur gloves it despite a lot of traffic in front.
16:23: Malkin slides a pass to Letang at the right point. Letang smacks a one-timer. Brodeur kicks it out with his left leg.
15:17: The Devils calmly play the puck down ice and kill off the rest of Zajac's penalty. The Penguins generated a few decent chances from the point, but not a lot down low.
13:54: A little montage of Russell Crowe is played because the man himself is here watching the game. Clips from "Gladiator" and "Mystery, Alaska" are used. Crowe is in town filming a movie.
-John Biebe might be one of the best leader ever in a movie. Even better than George S. Patton.
13:18: The horse-feathers luck of Chris Kunitz continues. He emerges from a cluster of bodies on the left wing, grabs the puck and rips a wrister from the right faceoff circle five hole. It gets through Brodeur's gear and juuuuuust slides wide of the far post. Ugh.
11:05: Cooke absolutely smashes Bryce Salvador into the boards deep in New Jersey's end. The hit sticks both players on their wallets. The boards were really shaking a good bit after that hit.
10:10: New Jersey finally scores on its first shot of the game. Nicklas Bergfors plays a puck from behind the net to Mark Fraser in the right faceoff circle. Fraser gets a quick shot on net. Fleury makes the save. The rebound pops up in the air. Fleury tries to glove it but ends up deflecting it into his own net over his right shoulder. Ugh. Put that one on Fleury. Bergfors and Dainius Zubrus get assists. Devils 1-0.
8:24: Off a turnover in the neutral zone, Pascal Dupuis hustles up the ice. He enters the offensive zone and from the right faceoff circle (Imagine this) he cranks a slapper on net. Brodeur knocks it down and covers. A scrum develops behind the net but nothing comes of it.
8:12: Zajac comes up the right wing and puts a half slapper on net. Fleury gloves it.
7:44: Off a turnover in the Penguins' zone by Guerin, Brian Rolston swats a loose puck on net from the left point. Fleury kicks it away.
7:09: Zajac whips a quick wrister at the cage from the left wing. Fleury smacks it away with his glove.
6:56: Kennedy snaps off a wrister from a tough angle on the left wing. Brodeur gloves it.
6:38: Kennedy hustles up the right wing and fires a laser of a wrister that goes just wide of the cage to the far side.
4:38: Zajac is having a nice period so far. He puts a sneaky wrister on net from the right faceoff circle. Fleury fights it off.
4:10: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
3:21: The Devils turn it over deep. Kunitz picks the puck up and immediately whips a wrister on net from the left of the cage. Brodeur is in perfect position and makes the easy save.
2:58: Kunitz pops Rolston with a stiff shoulder check in the neutral zone.
2:07: Orpik sneaks a wrister through from the right point. It appears to hit someone in front then Brodeur before it deflects to the right of the net.
0:36: Guerin hounds Andy Greene into a turnover deep. Crosby scoops up the puck and snaps off a low wrister. Brodeur makes the save. Just as he appears to have the rebound collected, Kunitz jumps in and bumps Brodeur and the puck into the cage. Johnny Oduya and Jay Pandolfo jump on Kunitz. Officials break that up fairly quickly. How was Kunitz not called for goaltenders' interference there? That's a bad non-call by the officials.
0:00: End of period. Devils 1, Penguins 0.
-That was a kind of up and down period. The Penguins had the momentum early. The Devils took it back. Then neither team really had much going late.
-There was a fair amount of chippiness and more than enough physical play.
-Brodeur's still Brodeur. He still makes everything thing seem easy.
-Kennedy keeps taking shots from just about anywhere.
-The Penguins have a 12-9 lead in shots.
-Kunitz and Jamie Langenbrunner each lead the game with three.
-Letang leads the game with 9:04 of ice time.
-Salvador leads New Jersey with 8:37.
-The Devils have an 11-10 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).
-Zajac is 6 for 8 (75 percent).
-Jordan Staal and Crosby are each 4 for 6 (67 percent).
-No one has more than one blocked shot.
19:33: Fedotenko gets stood up and dumped on his backside just outside the blue line by Salvador.
18:51: Guerin tosses a puck at the net from the right wing. Crosby is in front and re-directs it. Brodeur is in perfect position and makes the save.
17:28: Clarkson enters the offensive zone on the right wing, tees up and and fires a soft slapper right into the mid-section of Fleury. The Penguins' netminder eats it up.
14:51: McKee snaps off a pass to Crosby in the neutral zone. Crosby hustles up ice, enters the offensive zone, goes one-on-one against Oduya, goes to the outside and whips a backhander on net. Brodeur slides to his left and once again makes an easy save.
14:12: Kennedy hustles up the right wing and tries to sneak by Colin White. The rugged Devils defenseman makes a solid play and simply slams Kennedy against the boards separating him from the puck.
14:03: Kennedy smacks a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Brodeur kicks it out with his right leg.
13:19: Off a turnover by Letang in the neutral zone, Parise snaps off a wrister from the left wing.
13:10: Parise trips up Orpik behind the Penguins' net. That's two minutes. Letang, Goligoski, Guerin, Crosby and Malkin are on for the power play.
12:55: Goligoski moves from the right point to the top of the slot and cranks a slapper on net. Brodeur gloves it despite having Guerin and Oduya in front battling.
12:30: Fedotenko takes a shift on the point with the first power-play unit.
12:04: Zajac gets in deep against Fedotenko and pumps a shot on net from the right wing. Fleury fights it off
11:35: Letang is in deep and slides a pass into the slot. It hits off the leg of a defener and deflects juuuust wide.
11:23: Letang gets a pass on the left wing and one-times a big shot well over the cage.
11:10: Parise's penalty is killed without much of a threat from the Penguins.
11:03: Pandolfo hacks the stick out of Staal's hands. That's two minutes. Crosby, Malkin, Guerin, Goligoski and Letang take the ice.
10:00: The Penguins have an odd power play unit on the ice. Goligoski and Letang at the points with Crosby, Kennedy and Kunitz up front.
9:22: Goligoski whips a wrister at the cage from the top of the slot. Brodeur falls over and covers the puck. Kennedy and Kunitz are there but can't find a rebound. The Penguins employ a new power play unit of Malkin, Fedotenko and Crosby up front with Skoula and Eaton on the points.
9:03: Pandolfo's penalty is killed. The Penguins are getting a lot of shots on net from the point but nothing down low.
7:36: Rupp puts a quick wrister on net from the left wing. Brodeur fights it off.
7:09: Rupp takes a stupid penalty as he drives Pandolfo into the boards from behind. That's two minutes for boarding. Fans boo but it's the right call. Not smart. McKee, Cooke, Staal and Eaton are on for the kill.
6:30: McKee chips a loose puck up ice from the left faceoff circle to kill time.
5:45: Dupuis steals a puck in the defensive zone and distributes it to Adams. Adams races up the left wing and fires a shot to the far side. Brodeur is able to kick it out.
5:29: Bergfors hustles up the left wing and snaps off a wrister. Fleury makes the save. Rod Pelley is right there in the slot unaccounted for and puts the rebound back on net. The pucks squeezes through Fleury's gear. Bergfors skates behind the net and bangs int the loose puck as Fleury twists backwards trying to make a save. Not a good goal for the entire team to give up. Fleury needs to handle the rebound better and his teammates need to account for Pelley. Pelley gets the only assist. Devils 2-0.
2:29: After about three minutes of nothing, a scoring change was announced. Langenbrunner was awarded an assist on the Bergfors goal.
2:19: Staal moves in from the left wing and puts a shot on net. It appears to get deflected wide however.
1:50: Ilkka Pikkarainen (What a name) pumps a slapper from the left wing. Fleury fights it off.
0:45: Crosby takes a pass up the right wing just as White jumps on for a line change. He has a step on White and goes to the ouside. He has White beat but the big defenseman lunges and swats the puck away off Crosby's stick. Fantastic play by White.
0:00: End of period. Devils 2, Penguins 0.
-Well that was kind of depressing. The Penguins are getting their chances, they're putting pucks on net but they're just not generating much. This is a vintage performance by the Devils and Brodeur.
-We're 20 minutes from witnessing history. Brodeur is one shutout away from tying Terry Sawchuk's career record of 103.
-We know we totally jinxed him.
-The Penguins have a 23-21 edge in shots.
-Langenbrunner leads the game with five.
-Kennedy leads the Penguins with four.
-Former Canadian Prime MInister Paul Martin leads the game with 17:30 of ice time.
-Letang leads the Penguins with 16:31.
-The Penguins lead the game in faceoffs, 21-17 (55 percent).
-Crosby is 8 for 13 (62 percent).
-Zubrus is 3 for 6 (50 percent).
-Martin leads the game with two blocked shots.
-We're kind of embarrassed that we didn't see this earlier but this is a major, major jersey foul. This Pronovost jersey:
-That's not his number! He only ever wore 19 with the Penguins. Ugh.
-Kudos to EN reader JW for the big heads up.
-We'll have to continue the third period on this post. Community Server is acting up again.
19:34: Okay, that was brutal. Letang makes a bad turnover in his own zone. Parise picks up the puck in the left faceoff circle and throws it at the cage. Orpik and Clarkson fall into Fleury. The puck bounces to the left of the net. Zajac whips it into the open cage over a prone Fleury. Parise gets the only assist. Letang deserves one. Devils 3-0.
19:16: Attendance is announced as 17,132. It is the 124th consecutive sellout for the team.
17:54: Kennedy grabs the puck behind the net, coems to the left of the cage and puts a wrister off the inside post. Just some rotten luck tonight.
17:49: Staal rips a wrister from the right faceoff circle. Brodeur gloves it. Cooke tries to start something in front. He gets shoved around a bit but nothing really comes of it.
14:38: Pelley is called for high sticking. This is do or die for the Penguins. Crosby, GUerin, Malkin, Goligoski and Letang are on. A goal is a must here.
14:20: Crosby dishes a pass to Guerin in the slot. Guerin snaps of a quick shot. It hits Martin in the backside
13:05: Langenbrunner steals a pass in his zone, turns and flicks it down ice to kill time.
12:38: Pelley's penalty is killed. That sealed the win for New Jersey.
11:40: Pandolfo has not taken a shift since 7:09 of the second period. No word on his status.
10:24: Just as a colleague gets done wondering aloud what the Devils might do after the game if Brodeur ties Sawchuk's record, the Penguins strike. Pascal Dupuis just cranks a slapper from the left point on net. Brodeur makes the save and kicks a rebound to his left. Goligoski is down low and punches it in. He doesn't even really celebrate. It was kind of weird that Dupuis took the point shot and Goligoski was down low to clean it up. We're glad Brodeur didn't tie this record here. Dupuis gets the only assist. The "Hey Song" is played. Devils 3, Penguins 1.
8:30: Langenbrunner rushes up ice on a two-on-one against Skoula. Langenbrunner elects to shoot and clunks a puck off the far post.
8:14: From the slot, Fedotenko lifts a backhander on net. Brodeur eats it up.
6:59: Guerin tosses a puck in to the crease. Goligoski is in deep and has a chance at a shot, but he's a step slow and can't make contact with the puck.
6:18: "LET'S GO PENS!" LET'S GO PENS!"
6:05: Greene and Cooke go off for minors. Cooke for cross checking. Greene for slashing. Four-on-four. Martin and a team attendant leave the ice. Not sure if that was a trainer or an equipment manager.
4:57: Crosby moves into the offensive zone from the righ wing. He cuts to the slot and dishes a pass to Kunitz down low. Kunitz spins and doesn't really get a clean shot off as Brodeur holds the puck off.
4:05: Greene's and Cooke's penalties are killed.
3:28: And that pretty much just caps off an ugly night. Zajac dishes a pass to Parise down low along the goal line. Parise cuts across the crease, hangs on to the puck waiting for Fleury to give him and opening and lifts a backhander over Fleury's glove hand. That. Was. Brutal. Zajac gets the assist. Devils 4-1.
2:22: Orpik throws a puck at the slot. It hits off a body in front and deflects on net. Brodeur gloves it.
2:03: Langenbrunner cranks a slapper. Fleury kicks it out with a "thud."
0:16: Guerin snaps off a wrister from a tough angle. Brodeur fights it off.
0:00: End of game. Devils 4, Penguins 1.
-Well, they weren't going to go 81-1-0. They ran into a team that simply played a much better game. It'll happen. New Jersey's playing really hot right now. They've won 6 of their last eight. The Penguins came off a hard-fought win Friday and had to turn around to face a really good team 24 hours later.
-The power play was an issue tonight. It just stunk. They got a lot of perimeter shots on net but couldn't seem to generate much on second chances in tight.
-The natural urge might be to just complain about New Jersey playing a trap and allowing Brodeur an easy night. That really wasn't the case. They put 33 shots on net. That's quite a bit. That said, we wouldn't call a large amount of them quality shots. Lots and lots of pucks from the perimeter.
-News flash. Brodeur is still good. He managed to find just about everything.
-This was clearly Fleury's weakest game of the season. It resulted in his first loss of the season.
- Bylsma speaks. On the power play:
"We lost the special teams battle again tonight. Tonight was a situation where we got a lot of shots to the net. We had some good looks but we didn't get any second-chance opportunities and those are things you need to have along with zone time to have success on the power play and we can get better in that area."
-On Chris Kunitz's scoring slump:
"The situation for him the last four games is his game has a little bit of an edge to it and a little bit better around the net. His skate and cutting and going to cage net has been really good. He's been a factor in the game and that's what you need to see from him. If he plays that way, the chances will go in the back of the net."
-On playing two games in back-to-back nights:
"I don't think that was really the issue. Power play and the special teams is going to be especially important. You need to be on the positive side of that and tonight we didn't. They play a really defensively frustrating game and it's tough to overcome when you lost the special teams game."
-Bill Guerin speaks. On playing from behind:
"The Devils are notorious for holding leads. It's very tough to play from behind on any New Jersey team and these guys seem to be doing real well. If you get behind on them, it's only going to make things tougher."
-On the return of Jacques Lemaire to New Jersey:
"I think they're happy to have Jacques (Lemaire) there. Talking to some of the guys, they're happy to have him back and they're happy to have that structure back. They're happy to have the guy back who brought it all there and helped them become what they are."
-Jacques Lemaire speaks. On the win:
"I think that we played a really good, tight game. We didn’t give them much. The result of their power play not scoring was huge for us. When you look at the ingredients that they have on the power play, and for us to be able to shut them down, it was a big task. Everyone played really well. I really enjoyed the game because we had no passengers; everyone did their job and was good with the puck. (The Penguins) were waiting for a little life, which we never gave them.
-On his team's game:
"I think we played really well in all three zones. They had some
chances, but rebounds were ours. We dropped it in front of the net and
were fortunate enough to get pretty much all of them, and that is big.
The goalie made the first save and then we were there to get the
rebounds. In the neutral zone, everyone was active on the puck and
forechecking, they have pretty good defense that moves the puck well,
and sometimes it is hard to forecheck them, but we did a decent job. "
-The Devils did not escape this game unscathed. Jay Pandolfo suffered a dislocated right shoulder and Paul Martin suffered a suspected broken forearm. Pandolfo was injured on a hit by Mike Rupp while Martin hurt his left arm on a blocked shot.
-It was a really weird scene in the Penguins' locker room after the game as Sidney Crosby had a pretty long chat with Russell Crowe. Crosby was standing there barefoot in sweaty undergarments just chatting it up with one of the most famous actors in the world.
-The Penguins ended up with a 33-26 lead in shots.
-Kennedy and Langenbrunner led the game with six shots each.
-Salvador led the game with 25:52 of ice time.
-Letang led the Penguins with 25:16.
-Faceoffs were even 26-26.
-Crosby was 11 for 18 (61 percent).
-Zajac was 13 for 23 (57 percent).
-Martin led the game with four blocked shots.
-No one on the Penguins had more than one.
-Fleury's struggles against New Jersey continue. He's now 8-11-4 all time against the Devils. It's the only Atlantic Division team he has a losing record again.