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Penguins at Predators - 10-21-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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-Hey, guess where we are:

-No, not quite:

-EN readers Andrew Belsick and Joe Maskin are coming through big time tonight with photos.

-412 is well represented down South:

-Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey are getting some facetime in Nashville:

-The ice:

-It doesn't take Errey long to get going as he compares the Penguins' power play to vegetables.

-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis at forward, Paul Martin, Kris Letang on defense and  Marc-Andre Fleury in goal.

-Their scratches are Zbynek Michalek, Eric Godard and Brooks Orpik.

-The Predators' starters are Jordin Tootoo, Joel Ward, David Legwand at forward, Shea Weber, Francis Bouillon on defense and Pekke Rinne in net.

-Their lone scratch is Wade Belak.

-Quality note by Errey to mention Fleury was the first overall pick in the 2003 draft which was held in Bridgestone Arena.

FIRST PERIOD

19:07: The Penguins get a little loose behind their own net and the Predators make them pay. Joel Ward controls the puck behind the Penguins' net, draws in Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang and taps a pass to Jordin Tootoo along the goal line to the right of the net. Tootoo one-touches it to David Legwand who is all-alone in front of hte cage. Kunitz is late getting back to address Legwand who punches the puck by a helpless Fleury on the glove side. Fleury didn't have a prayer on that one. But it was totally his fault. Put in Charlie Batch. In all seriousness, the Penguins' defense completely broke down there. Tootoo and Ward get assists. Predators 1-0.

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18:02: It sounds like the Predators fans are doing a "FLERRR.....EEEEEE...." chant.

15:23: Alexander Sulzer backhands a shot on net. Fleury covers to freeze play.

15:00: Jerred Smithson knocks Matt Cooke to the ice in the neutral zone with a solid shoulder check.

13:04: Crosby steals a puck in the neutral zone, gains the offensive zone on the right wing, fends off a defender and leaves a drop pass at the right point. Kris Letang steps up and cranks a big one timer on net. Rinne kneels down, closes the gates and kicks out the puck.

12:54: Crosby chips a little backhander on net after a nice feed from Kunitz. Rinne eats it up.

12:17: Dupuis is called for tripping Tootoo in the left wing corner in the Penguins' zone. Letang, Maxime Talbot, Cooke and Martin take the ice.

10:35: The Penguins get a little loose around their net once again as Colin Wilson has a clean chance on the backhand from the slot. Before he can do anything with the puck, Fleury poke checks the puck away.

10:17: Dupuis' penalty is killed with very little threat from the Predators.

9:43: Evgeni Malkin is held up by Legwand behind the Nashville net. That's two minutes. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and Alex Goligoski take the ice.

9:34: Filling that "rover" positition in the slot, Goligoski tips a pass from Crosby off the right half wall on net. Rinne fights it off.

9:10: After a sloppy play with the puck by Fleury, Smithson attemps a slapper shorthanded but has it blocked by Letang. Letang pays a price and hobbles to the bench in distress.

8:40: Rinne fights off a one-timer by Crosby from the right half wall.

7:43: Legwand's penalty expires. The Penguins actually looked halfway decent during that two mintues, even without Letang.

6:08: Shea Weber attempts to destroy the world a one-timer from the right point but ends up breaking his stick on the wind up.

4:43: Kunitz steals a puck in the neutral zone, gains the blue line, cuts through a few defenders and whips a backhander wide on the near side.

3:34: Kennedy chips a puck on net from the right wing as Letestu drives to the net. Rinne is able to boot it out.

1:56: Letang returns to play and escapes a potential forechecker with some fancy question.

1:30: Errey mentions that Predators fans have these whistles they "toot-toot" for Tootoo.

1:01: Kunitz movs up the the right wing and sneaks a pass to Crosby int he left faceoff circle. Crosby has a clean look at the net but forces a pass to Malkin to the left of the cage. Weber is able to get his stick into the passing lane to break up the pass. Crosby needs to shoot that.

0:05: Cooke pushes a litte pass off the left wing to the slot for Kennedy. Kennedy moves in on net and snaps off a wrister to the far wide which totally misses the cage.

0:00: Smithson kicks the puck from the slot towards his net by accident. Rinne boots it out. Martin is in the slot and punches it behind Rinne as play expires. Martin and teammates celebrate but an official waves the goal off. The Penguins protest a bit before going to their locker room. A brief review confirms time had expired before the puck entered the net. End of period. Predators 1, Penguins 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-The Penguins started that period really poorly and alowed the Predators to control play in the offensive zone for the first five minutes or so. Eventually, play evened out and the Penguins created a few chances.

-Hard to really grade Fleury. He was left out to dry on one chance and was barely tested after that.

-Rinne has looked sharp so far.

-Jordin Tootoo has been all over the ice.

-Chris Kuntiz has created a few chances.

-We're digging the pink laces some of the Predators players are wearing for Hockey Fights Cancer.

-The Penguins have a 7-6 edge in shots.

-Crosby leads the game with three.

-Legwand leads the Predators with two.

-Weber leads the game with 7:59 of ice time.

-Goligoski leads the Penguins with 7:16.

-The Penguins lead in faceoffs, 11-5 (69 percent).

-Talbot is 3 for 5 (60 percent).

-Smithson is 3 for 4 (75 percent).

-Kevin Klein leads the game with two blocked shots and two Golden Globe nominations.

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(Underrated movie.)

-Errey must be hungry. By our unofficial count, he has mentioned food something like four times.  He's mentioned vegetables, cookies and mustard.

SECOND PERIOD

19:39: Fleury denies shots by Tootoo and Ward early on.

19:27: Fleury fights off a shot by Sullivan and steers it out of play.

19:06: The Penguins just put the puck on net and it pays off in the form of a second chance. Letang snaps off a wrister from the left point. It hits a body in front and deflects to Comrie in the left circle. Comrie chucks it on net. Rinne makes the initial save but allows a rebound to trickle out of his equipment. Malkin fights off Shane O'Brien and sweeps the puck into the empty cage. Comrie and Letang get assists. Penguins 1, Predators 1.

18:14: Talbot whips a puck on net from the left circle. Cooke is there and deflects it high over the cage.

16:18: Goligoski is a little slow in getting off the ice and the Penguins are called for too many men on the ice. Eric Tangradi will serve the minor. Goligoski, Cooke, Talbot and Deryk Engelland take the ice.

14:27: J.P. Dumont gets behind the defense on a breakaway. He moves in on net and attempts little backhander on Fleury's five hole. Fleury closes the gates and keeps the game tied.

14:18: The Penguins' bench minor is killed. Aside from the Dumont breakaway, they didn't allow the Predators to do much.

13:13: Crosby is sent off after cross checking Tootoo three times in the back near the benches. Talbot, Cooke, Martin and Letang take the ice.

11:57: Bouillon cranks a slapper from the left point. Craig kneels down and blocks it. The rebound hops to Cody Franson at the right point. Franson winds up and blasts a slapper which appears to hit a body or two and beats Fleury by the stick-side shoulder. Bouillon and Martin Erat get assists. Predators 2-1.

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11:32: Engelland gets into another fight as he drops the gloves with Klein. You don't see two defensemen going at it usually.Apparently Engelland told him "Wild, Wild West" was awful. Engellanand lands a few rights before offiicals step in. Klein also gets a roughing minor against Malkin. The Penguins end up with a power play. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and Goligoski take the ice.

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(What an awful movie.)

9:32: The Klein minor expires.

6:09: Crosby glides up the left wing, faces some passive pressure from Weber and snaps off a wrister which banks off the butt of Rinne and into the cage. Nice shot by Crosby, but the Predators needed to pressure him a bit more on that. No idea what Rinne was doing on that play. Kunitz and Ben Lovejoy get assists. Penguins 2, Predators 2.

5:38: Franson is nabbed for interference against Tangradi. Malkin, Kunitz, Crosby, Goligoski and Letang take the ice.

4:33: With Rinne terribly out of position, Malkin lifts a backhander from the left circle. It appears to hit Crosby and deflects away.

4:00: Letang strikes a one-timer from the left circle. Rinne boots it out with his left foot.

3:39: As the Franson minor is about to expire, Errey compares Crosby and Malkin to Brooks and Dunn.

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-You got us.

2:52: Comrie snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Rinne fights it off but gives up a bad rebound. It's swept away before any damage can be done.

1:17: Smithson has a chance in tight but can't beat Fleury. Rupp shoves Smithson into Fleury. Play is halted as Adams gives Smithson some grief. Rupp is called for cross checking. Talbot, Cooke, Martin and Letang take the ice.

0:38: Erat has a nice chance in tight as he spins and fires a wrister. Martin kneels down and blocks the shot.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Predators 2.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-That was a pretty up and down but even period. Each team has their moments but no one really controlled play for too long of a stretch.

-So far so good for Fleury. Could he have made that save on the Franson goal? Probably, but that was a tough goal for any goaltender to stop.

-Rinne has looked a little shaky as the game has worn on.

-Martin Erat now has eight points in eight games against the Penguins. Nice.

-The Penguins have an 18-16 edge in shots.

-Crosby and Dumont each lead the game with four shots.

-Goligoski leads the game with 17:41 of ice time.

-Bouillon leads the Predators with 16:51 of ice time.

-The Penguins have an 18-17 lead in faceoffs (51 percent).

-Spaling is 3 for 4 (75 percent).

-Letestu is 5 for 8 (63 percent).

-Klein leads the game with four blocked shots.

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(Never saw it.)

-Andrew Hutchinson leads the Penguins with two.

-As resquested down in the comments, Barry Trotz and Rip Torn:

-We're not buying that one.

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: The Predators will start the period with 43 seconds of power play time on fresh ice.

19:20: Weber blasts a one-timer from the left half wall  which misses on the near side.

19:17: The Penguins fend off the Nashville power play.

17:47: Letestu cranks a slapper from the slot. As Rinne fights it off, Letesut moves in looking for a rebound. He's hooked to the ice by Nick Spaling. That's two minutes. Crosby, Malkin, Goliogski, Kunitz and Letang take the ice.

17:20: Ward has a chance in tight on Fleury but Goligoski breaks it up. Goligoski may have gotten away with a hook on that play.

15:47: The Spaling minor is killed without much of a threat from the Penguins. The power play appears to have returned to earth.

14:52: Wow was that wicked. Colin Wilson sneaks up the right wing against Engelland. He leaves a drop pass for Patric Hornqvist who immediately cranks a ridiculous one-timer which deflects off the near post, into the cage and out quickly. Lovejoy attempts to play the puck as if itdidn't go in but officials immediately signal a goal. What a shot. Fleury was helpless on that. Wilson and Erat get assists. Erat now has nine points in eight games against the Penguins. Predators 3-2.

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12:57: Malkin re-directs a shot by Hutchinson on net. Rinne knocks it down and covers.

12:30: A Jean Pronovost jersey is spotted in Nashville:

11:27: Malkin moves in off the right wing. With Letestu driving towards the net, Malkin spins and whips backahnder which misses the cage.

10:22: Off a feed by Kunitz from the left wing, Malkin guns a one-timer on net from the right circle. Rinne is able to slide to his left and covers the puck. Malkin, Crosby and Kunitz are getting a ton of ice time together right now.

9:36: Lovejoy cranks two one-timers which get deflected wide.

9:11: O'Brien cranks a one-timer from the left point.  Hutchinson rushes out to block it. He does and is hobbled.

9:06: On a delayed penalty, Erat is called for interference against Goligoski. Goligoski is called for hooking Erat. Erat wasted a potential power play for Nashville there. Four-on-four.

8:10: Joel Ward guns a slapper from the left half wall. Fleury stretches out and gloves it with a nice save.

7:25: Franson jabs a rising one-timer on net from the top of the slot. Fleury traps it against his chest.

7:04: What a display. Wow. The two-headed monster strikes. Malkin fends off Bouillon with a few nice moves with a bouncing puck in the right circle and whips a quick backhander on net. Rinne makes the save but kicks out a big rebound with his right foot to the left circle. Crosby is there, winds up and cranks a huge one-timer behind Rinne and into the empty cage. What an amazing individual effort by Malkin to create that opportunity. Malkin and Letang get assists. Penguins 3, Predators 3.

6:23: Maxime Talbot, who has been quiet so far, blast slapper from the slot. Rinne fights it off.

4:42: Off a nifty give and go between Kunitz and Dupuis on the left wing, Crosby kneels down and blasts a one-timer from the right circle. Rinne is able to scramble to his left and deflects the puck out of play.

4:26: Tootoo and Lovejoy collide and each in the left wing corner in the Penguins' zone.

4:17: Weber and Kunitz race for a loose puck behind the Predators' cage. Kunitz shoves Weber into the Predators' net and dislodges. Weber takes a spill. Kunitz ends up nearly kicking him in the face. Weber jumps to his feet and a scrum ensues. Nothing ensues. Some pretty fierce action taking place.

3:56: Rinne misplays a puck behidn his net and sends it out play. That's delay of game. Dummont will serve the minor. Big chance here for the Penguins as Malkin, Crosby, Letang and Kunitz take the ice.

3:03: Malkin cranks a slapper from the right point. Rinne eats it up despite a bit of a screen by Kennedy. Kenendy on the first power play? Interesting. Dan Bylsma calls a timeout to organize a night everyone can come over to watch "Life as a House:"

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-We think.

2:21: Smithson golfs the puck down ice for a big clear.

1:58: As the Rinne minor is killed, Malkin snaps off a wrister from the slot. Rinne fends it off.

1:29: As Dupuis crashes in, Rinne reaches out and covers a loose puck. O'Brien give Dupuis the business for being in the crease. Nothing comes of the scrum.

0:17: Malkin snaps off a wrister from a tough angle on the right wing. Rinnes fends it off.

0:00: As the horn sounds, Malkin airmails a wrister from the neutral zone. Rinne knocks it down and covers. End of period. Penguins 3, Predators 3.

THIRD INTERMISSION

-The Penguins have a 35-21 lead in shots.

OVERTIME

4:44: Letestu steals a puck off Steve Sullivan inside the Nashville, c hallenges two defenders and whips a wrister on net from the right wing. Rinne fights it off.

4:23: Malkin has a chance in tight and lifts a backhander from the slot wide to the left of the cage. 

3:13: Crosby whips a quick wrister on net from the right circle. Rinne fights it off.

2:47: Fleury fights off a wrister by Franson from the right point. Dumont has a chance on a rebound but can't get a stick on it.

2:22: Dumont snaps off a wrister from the right wing. Fleury makes the save with his left arm but loses track of the rebound. it hops over his head and lands in front of the goal line. Dupuis dives and snaps it down ice out of danger. Wow! What a play!

1:11: And the defense comes through once again. Kennedy gains the offensive zone on the right wing and leaves a drop pass for Crosby. Cosby surveys the ice and dishes a pass to Letang on the left wing. With martin moving in on a screen, Letang blasts a slapper which blows by Rinne's glove hand on the far side. What a shot. What a game. Crosby and Kennedy get assists. End of game. Penguins 4, Predators 3.

POSTGAME


-We remember looking at the schedule when it was released in the summer and wondering if this could be a decent game. Boy were we wrong. This was an awesome game. Lots of skating. Lots of offense. Lots of hitting. Lots of big plays. And lots of entertainment. Too bad these two teams ony play once a season.

-For the first time all season, the Penguins' two big stars won a game for them. That's not to say they haven't contibuted at all until this point, but Crosby and Malkin didn't make a game, their game. They did that tonight and drug the Penguins to a win.

-Kris Letang came through with another big effort. Even if you forget his overtime goal, Letang contributed in all three zone. He was good at moving the puck, getting it on net and playing defense in his own zone. And oh yeah, his goal won the game.

-This was a game which could've gone either way for Fleury. He could've been the goat and allowed the bad goal late which hopped over his head. But he got help from Pascal Dupuis and put his team in a position to win. This is a positive first step from Fleury's "banishment" to the bench.

-Mark Letestu continues to prove he belongs at this level. He won the faceoff which led to Malkin's goal. He put pucks on net and he just was a strong overall presence.

-He might've been shaky in stretches, but Rinne was the reason this game went to overtime. He withstood pretty heavy barrage of shots.

-It would be a stretch to say the Predators' best players stood out. Steve Sullivan and Shea Weber didn't exactly set the world on fire.

-Let's just enjoy the win and let the Penguins' power play go. For one night at least.

-The Penguins led in shots, 38-24.

-Crosby led the game with nine shots.

-Malkin was right behind him with eight.

-Dumont led the Predators with five.

-Goligoski led the game with 26:47 of ice time.

-Bouillon led the Predators with 24:35.

-The Penguins had a 30-28 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).

-Letestu was 8 for 12 (67 percent).

-Smithson was 7 for 11 (64 percent).

-Andrew Hutchinson, who played his best game at the NHL level this season, led the game with four blocked shots. Klein also had four blocked shots.

-Letang moved past Chuck Arnason and Jiri Slegr for 89th place on the team's all-time scoring list. Letang has 87 points while Arnason and Slegr each have 86.

-Finally tonight, a perplexing jersey foul:

-And Rick Tocchet:

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

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