-Hey, guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-Don't forget, this is a re-match of the first two picks in the 2005 NHL draft. Sidney Crosby and Bobby Ryan:
-Are we the only ones who find it easy to forget that Jack Johnson was No. 3 overall and that he was drafted by Carolina?
-EN reader Eric Naughton is on hand and sends in this Suomi (i.e. Finland) fan:
(Jersey foul with the Bears hat.)
-Another reader sent in an Alex Goligoski fan:
-We're' setting an over/under of "Dan Bylsma used to be a Duck" at 12 1/2:
-"Chris Kunitz used to be a Duck" at 6 1/2:
-"Randy Carlyle used to be a Penguin" at 2 1/2:
-Teemu Selanne will be playing in his 1,200th career regular season game. Yeesh.
-Lola Dupuis makes her television debut:
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Ben Lovejoy and Eric Godard.
-The Ducks' starters are Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Toni Lydman, Lubomir Visnovsky and Jonas Hiller.
-Their scratches are Danny Syvret, Aaron Voros and Troy Bodie.
18:18: Deryk Engelland finally meets his match as he squares off with George Parros. They lock up and Parros lands an early right. Engelland appears to trip over Parro's feet a bit and takes a tumble. Give that one to Engelland. He didn't really get his clock cleaned, but Parros won that one.
16:14: Dupuis dumps Visnovsky behind the Ducks' net with a rough check.
16:01: Crosby and Getzlaf mix it up in front of the benches. The captains continue to jaw from the benches. Bob Errey sounds like a 12-year-old who just drank liter of Coke and ate two boxes of Bottlecaps.
15:37: Tyler Kennedy rattles Cam Fowler with a shoulder check behind the Ducks' net. The crowd is buzzing.
14:34: After a brutal turnover by Letang in his own zone, Bobby Ryan has a chance all alone in the slot. One of the best power forwards in the NHL grips his stick a little too tightly and snaps it wide. He has to get that on net.
13:09: Corey Perry attempts to corral a puck behind the Penguins' net. Zbynek Michalek leans into him from behind with a hip. Perry drops like a ton of bricks. We wouldn't put it past Perry to take a dive there. He's hardly an upstanding citizen. Getzlaf and Rupp exchange thoughts on the recent elections. We think. Michalek is nabbed for boarding. Maxime Talbot, Brooks Orpik Matt Cooke and Paul Martin take the ice.
12:35: After Hiller mis-handles a puck, Craig Adams barges in and chips a little backhander. Hiller makes the save.
12:03: Fowler rips a wrister from the right point. Despite traffic, Fleury challenges and gloves the puck.
11:30: Mara chops a slapper from teh top of the slot. Hiller steers it to the corner.
11:09: The Michalek penalty is killed. Each team had some pretty good offensive chances there.
10:38: The lines are blown up less than 10 minutes into the game as Evgeni Malkin skates with Crosby and Kunitz.
7:34: Kunitz rushes up the right wing on a two-on-one with Alex Goligoski against Visnovsky. Kunitz forces a pass to Goligoski. Visnovsky reads it perfectly and breaks up the pass.
6:34: Malkin glides up the left wing on another two-on-one with Kennedy against Fowler. Fowler sldies down to take away the pass. Malkin drags the puck to the slot, patiently waits for Fowler to slide by and chips a little wrister on net. Hiller fends it off.
5:41: Letang grips and rips a wrister from the slot. It rings off the left post.
4:55: Off a turnover by Visnovsky, Dupuis guns a slapper from the left circle. Despite a bit of a screen by Crosby, Hiller eats it up. Ryan runs over Dupuis after the shot. That's two minutes for roughing. Malkin, Letang, Crosby, Kunitz and Goligoski take the ice.
3:30: Koivu controls the puck behind the Penguins' net and eats up about 15 seconds of clock. Great play.
2:55: 0 for 28.
2:31: Orpik sails a wrister from the left point which clinks off the cross bar.
1:00: Malkin snaps off a wrister from the slot. Hiller knocks it down and covers.
0:11: Michalek is in deep on the left wing and centers a backhanded pass to the slot. Kunitz is there but can't quite get a stick on it.
0:00: End of period. Ducks 0, Penguins 0.
-Where was this Wednesday in Dallas? The Penguins playing like it's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. They're taking the attack to the Ducks. They're almost playing desperate hockey. It's refreshing to see.
-It would be a stretch to say he was tested a great deal, but Fleury was solid. Hopefully for his sake, he can build off that.
-Unfortunately, hustle and aggressiveness didn't really appear to help matters on the power play.
-The Ducks almost seemed surprised at how the Penguins' attacked.
-Anaheim has a 7-5 lead in shots.
-Ryan leads the game with three shots.
-Malkin leads the Penguins with two.
-Michalek leads the game with 7:59 of ice time.
-Ryan leads the Ducks with 7:26.
-The Penguins have a 7-6 edge in faceoffs (54 percent).
-Crosby was 4 for 5 (80 percent).
-Koivu is 3 for 3.
-Goligoski leads the game with two blocked shots.
-A few more photos from readers James Santelli:
-As always, 412 is well represented:
-And @pensoutsider. A major jersey foul felony here:
-Jordan Staal has at least one fan on hand:
19:35: Lydman cranks a slapper from the right point. Fleury steers it behind the net.
19:05: The Ducks are nabbed for too many men on the ice. Nick Bonino take the ice. Malkin, Crosby, Kunitz, Letang and Goligoski take the ice.
18:03: Letang has a wrister from the slot blocked.
17:18: Dear lord how did they not score that? Letestu chases down a loose puck up the right wing. He puts a slapper on net from a bad angle. Hiller kind of "over" challenges the shot. He makes the save but gives up a fat, juicy rebound in the slot. Comrie jumps on it. With the net wide open, he puts it right into Hiller's right leg with some help of the stick of Sheldon Brookbank. Argh. If he's not going to score there, he'll never score.
17:05: 0 for 29.
16:11: Selanne glides in off the right wing and puts a backhander on net. Fleury makes the save. Josh Green jumps on the rebound but can't beat Fleury.
15:51: Action is up and down the ice. Asham lifts a wrister from the right circle. Hiller fends it off.
14:47: Cooke grips and rips a wrister from the right wing which is off the mark.
14:10: Kennedy puts a really soft slapper on net from the left circle. Hiller makes the save and gloves the rebound.
13:38: Selanne gains the offensive zone on the left wing and leaves a drop pass for Jason Blake. Blake circle around the net. Fleury slides to his left following Blake who deals it to Selanne kind of floating alone in the slot. Selanne has a wide open net but biffs on the shot. The rebound rattles around. Fleury scrambles and covers.
13:14: Blake snaps off a wrister from the right wing. Michalek gets juuuust a piece of it and deflects it wide on the far side.
12:25: That was only a matter of time. The Ducks were controlling play. Visnovsky chops a slapper on net from the right point. Dupuis blocks it with his stick but ends up pretty much passing it right back to Visnovsky. Visnovsky deals it to Ryan who rips a wrister from above the right circle to the far side over Fleury's stick-side shoulder. A really nice shot. Visnovsky and Ryan Carter get assists. Ducks 1-0.
11:19: Ryan Carter has a chance on a mini-breakway. He goes to his forehand. Fleury challenges with a poke check. Carter loses his footing and loses the puck.
9:24: Adams puts a heavy shot low on Hiller from the right wing. Hiller stops it with a "thud."
8:51: From the right wing, Crosby deals to Dupuis approaching on the left wing. Dupuis chops a slapper on net. Hiller fights it off.
8:17: Getzlaf backhands a show from the left circle wide on the far side.
7:38: That was just brutal. Perry wraparound the net on the forehand and distributes to Getzlaf in the slot. Getzlaf lifts a forehand shot by Fleury on the glove hand. Too much space and time for that line to work with. Perry and Ryan get assists. Ducks 2-0.
7:14: Letestu rips a wrister from the right circle. Hiller fights it off with his glove hand.
5:34: Ouch. Koivu guns a slapper from the right wing. Goligoski dives to block it. He does but the rebound ckicks back to Visnovsky on the left point. Visnovksy puts a wrister on net. Fleury is waaaay out of position but makes the save. He gives up a pretty bad rebound. Koivu beats Goligoski to the puck and punches it into the empty cage. Visnovsky and Selanne get assists. Ducks 3-0.
-Dan Bylsma takes a time out. He pretty much rips his team as animatedly as we can ever remember. It's difficult to remember Bylsma ever being that vocal with his team in a pubic fashion. Oh and:
3:55: Malkin steals the puck off Selanne at the Ducks' blue line. Selanne kind of takels him as Malkin taps the puck up ice. Rupp tries to chase it down but Hiller poke checks it away as play is halted. Selanne is sent off for holding. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Goligoski and Letang take the ice.
3:35: Crosby snaps off a wrister from the right wing wide on the far side.
3:15: Good stat from FSN Pittsburgh:
2:34: FINALLY! From the top of the slot, Goligoski slides a pass to Letang on the left half wall. Letang guns a one-timer to the far side. Crosby is in the slot and re-directs the puck off his backhand over the left left leg of Hiller. The Penguins' 0 for 29 slump is broken. This is the greatest power play ever. Letang and Goligoski get assists. Ducks 3-1.
0:32: Goligoski gains the offensive zone on the left wing with speed. He puts a wrister on net. Hiller denies it.
0:29: Off a faceoff, Crosby kind of chips it forward to the slot. Malkin is there and sweeps it on net with a backhand. Hiller is able to boot it out with his left leg. Yeesh. Tough save.
0:00: End of period. Ducks 3, Penguins 1.
-Even with the power play finally breaking through, that period was a train wreck for the Penguins.
-The defens has fallen apart over the past two games. They've given opposing forward WAAAAAY too much space and time to operate with. The Ducks' don't have that great of a record, but they have a ton of skill up front with Ryan, Perry, Selanne and Getzlaf. You can't give players like that freedome in your defensive zone.
-Fleury needs to be better, but it doesn't matter who your goaltender is when the defense is playing this poorly.
-The funny thing about this game is that the Ducks have given the Penguins a ton of freedom in their own zone as well but the Penguins just haven't cashed in nearly enough.
-The Penguins actually have a 20-15 lead in shots.
-Ryan leads the game with five.
-Dupuis and Malkin each have three.
-Letang leads the game with 17:49 of ice time.
-Ryan leads the Ducks with 15:09.
-The Penguins ahve a 15-14 lead in faceoffs (52 percent).
-Crosby is 10 for 15 (67 percent).
-Koivu is 7 for 10 (70 percent).
-Goligoski leads the game with four blocked shots.
-Andreas Lilja, Todd Marchant, Lydman and Blake each lead the Ducks with two.
-EN reader Marla Schwarts checks in with this shot before the start of the second:
19:04: A slapper by Blake from the left wing is knocked down in front.
18:35: Rupp whips a wrister from the right circle wide on the near side.
16:12: A second-chance rebound. Letang gavines the offensive zone and leave a drop on the right wing for Dupuis. Dupuis grips a wrister. It hits Hiller right in the chest. His defensemen fumble the rebound. Crosby jumps on it and swats it with a backhander. It squirts through HIller's gear and into the net. Not a good goal to give up but the Penguins will take it. As always, a huge contingent of Penguins are vocal in their support. Dupuis and Letang get assits. Ducks 3-2.
15:46: Hiller steers a long-distance shot by Kennedy from left wing into the corner.
15:36: Kennedy guns a wrister from the left circle. HIller is there.
15:30: Hiller turns away a wild wrister by Malkin from the left point despite traffic.
13:23: Letang rips a wrister from the slot. Hiller boots out the rebound. Cooke chops it back on net. Hiller knocks it down and covers. He's looking shaky with his rebound control.
13:10: Crosby has a chance on the right wing from a tough angle but launches his shot into orbit.
12:51: Kennedy is absolutely blasted into the boards by Ryan in front of the Penguins' bench. Yeesh.
10:55: A big chance here for the Penguins as Goligoski is hooked up a bit by Selanne. Selanne protest the call heavily. Goligoski seemed like he pulled the stuck into his stomach to be honest there. Either way, Selanne is called for hooking. Letang, Crosby , Kunitz, Goligoski and Malkin take the ice.
10:36: A one-timer by Goligoski from the left point is blocked in front.
10:14: Letang chops a one-timer from the left half wall.
10:09: Kunitz knocks Koivu into the left corner boards in the Ducks' zone. A scrum develops. Perry pretty much just goes into the corner and punches anyone in a white jersey who tries to join in. Kunitz is the only player who gets a penalty. Two minutes for cross checking. Four on four for 1:16.
9:41: Visnovsky snaps off a sneaky wrister from the slot. Fleury knocks it down and swats away the rebound ala Johnny Bower.
8:55: The Selanne minor expires. The Ducks will have 43 seconds of power play time.
8:09: Kunitz's minor is killed.
7:15: A wrister by Kennedy from the right circle is blocked. Some pretty furious action for a regular season non-conference game in November.
6:44: The Ducks are pretty much collapsing around their own net and blocking any puck that comes near the net.
6:25: After a turnover by Carter, Dupuis whips a wrister on net from the left circle. Hiller is on the ball and steers it to the opposite corner.
5:46: Paul Steigerwald pulls out a good stat. Malkin has not scored a third-period goal in 16 regular season gmaes.
5:15: A one-timer by Perry from the right circle is blocked by Letang.
4:53: Huge save. Koivu comes sneaking in off the left wing. He moves ot the backhand. Fleury scrambles and knocks the puck away with his left leg.
3:28: After the Ducks control the puck in the Penguins' zone for over half a minute, Visnovsky blasts a one-timer wide on the near side. Fleury gloves it and settles things down.
2:42: Off some solid cycling in the left wing corner by Malkin and Crosby, Comrie chips a little wrister on net from the slot. Hiller fights it off.
1:08: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:59: Rupp moves the puck from bheind thene to Malin to the right of hte cage. Malkin snaps off a quick wrister. Hiller makes a tough save.
0:15: Malkin slams Perry behind the Anaheim net and drops him.
0:08: Letang fumbles the puck at the blue line and allows Perry to backhand it down ice.
0:04: Ryan has a chance at an open net off the left wing but Letang hacks the daylights out of him preventing the shot.
0:00: End of period. Ducks 3, Penguins 2.
-Is there a silver lining to this? Can anyone take comfort to this that the Penguins fought back? They didn't lay down like they did - outside of a five minute spurt of fighting - in Dallas. The Ducks jumped out to a big lead and the Penguins fought back.
-That said, this was a loss to a struggling team. Yes, the Ducks have an impressive array of talent up front and when he's tuned in, Jonas Hiller is darn near unbeatable, but their blue line is ver lean. The Penguins should've taken advantage of their weaknesses on defense.
-They obviously made strides on the power play picking up the one goal. But work still needs to be done.
-Fleury allowed one bad goal and it turned out to be the game winner. He played well, but could be better.
-At the same time, the Penguins defense, in the second period at least, was chasing the Ducks quite a bit.
-Malkin has not scored in four out of his last five games. He needs to produce. Period.
-The shame of this is that the Penguins played a pretty good game outside of a 10-minute spell in the second period. That little breakdown killed them.
-Tyler Kennedy once again played like his house was on the line. He might be a little short on skill, but he brings it every shift.
-Dupuis made a difference offensively we thought. He created some second-chance rebound with his shots.
-If the Penguins don't hit two posts in the first period and if Comrie doesn't totally biff a clean open net in the second period, this is a different game.
-Bobby Ryan looked like those comparisons to Crosby kind of bother him. Because he played like it was Game 7 of a playoff series.
-Hiller was shaky at times, but outstanding for the most part.
-The Penguins have a 32-19 lead in shots.
-Ryan led the game with six shots.
-Dupuis and Malkin each led the game with five shots.
-Letang led the game with 26:20 of ice time.
-Visnovsky led the Ducks with 24:26 of ice time.
-The Penguins controlled faceoffs, 22-18 (55 percent).
-Crosby was 14 for 22 (64 percent).
-Koivu was 9 for 15 (60 percent).
-Goligoski and Lydman each led the game with four blocked shots.
-Letang moved past Russ Anderson and Randy Hillier for 85th place on the team's all-time scoring list. All three have 92 points, but Letang (24) has more goals than Anderson (15) and Hillier (13).