-Hey, guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-EN cohorts Ron Michalak and Pat Dougherty are coming through in a big way with photos. Consol Energy Center:
-The Student Rush Line:
-A Randy Cunneyworth fan:
-Mario Lemieux Wales Conference All-Star:
-This is obscure. Scott Daniels Whalers:
-Ron Francis Hurricanes:
-Bobby Orr Oshawa Generals:
-Ron Francis Whalers:
-A rare double Samuelsson sighting. Ulf and Kjell:
-The Penguins' starters are Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Ben Lovejoy, Mike Comrie and Eric Godard.
-The Hurricanes' starters are listed as Sergei Samsonov, Chad Larose, Eric Staal, Joni Pitkanen and Justin Peters.
-Their lone scratch is Jiri Tlusty.
19:20: So much for the Penguins carrying that commitment to defense they showed Wednesday against the Canucks Wednesday. Jussi Jokinen gains the offensive zone on the right wing with speed. He moves it to Joni Pitkanen. From the right circle, Pikanen dishes a backhanded pass to Ruutu flying down the slot. Ruutu rips a wrister over the left leg of a helpless Fleury. Letang was pretty much taking up space in the slot on that play. Another awful start for the Penguin. Pitkanen and Jokinen each get assists. Jarri Kurri is smiling somewhere as three Fins record points on that goal. Hurricanes 1, Penguins 0.
18:55: Peters denies Asham and Malkin twice in tight.
17:54: Jeff Skinner rips a wrister over from the left circle wide and high to the far side.
17:06: Play is halted as Adams is in a heap on the ice in the neutral zone. Replays shows Jon Matsumoto clipping him in the face with a stick. Adams is cut a bit. No penalty. Athletic trainer Chris Stewart
16:45: Pitkanen snaps off a wrister from deep on the left wing. Fleury covers to freeze play.
15:10: Tom Barrasso used to be a Penguin:
15:07: Off a faceoff wing, Jamie McBain drives a slapper on net from the right point. Fleury eats it up.
14:23: Mark Letestu chips a kind of clunky wrister on net from the right wing. Peters knocks it down and covers.
14:00: Fleury turns away a long distance shot by Corvo. The shot appears to splinter the shaft of Fleury's stick.
13:22: Crosby challenges White one-on-one, gains the offensive zone and is tripped up. White is sent off for tripping. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and Paul Martin take the ice.
12:49: Crosby snaps off a wrister from above the right circle wide to the far side.
12:25: After Chris Kunitz calls all Michael Jordan and leaps up to keep a clearing attempt in the offensvie zone, Letang rips a wrister from the left half wall. Peters fends it off.
11:50: The Sutters are brothers/fathers/cousins/etc.
11:36: Alex Goligoski snaps off a wrister from the right point. Peters eats it up.
11:20: Just as the White penalty expires, Ruutu steals a puck from Letang on the right wing wall in the Penguins' zone and puts a wrister on net. Fleury knocks it down.
11:05: Crosby leaves a drops pass in the neutral zone for Malkin. Malkin picks it up, gains the blue line and distributes to Kunitz in the right circle. Kunitz leans down and lifts a fluttering wrister to the far side over the blocker shoulder of Peters. What a shot! Malkin and Crosby get assists. The "Woo Hoo!" song is played Hurricanes 1, Penguins 1.
9:27: Kunitz controls the puck in the left wing corner and distributes a pass to Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis can't cleanly handle the pass and fails to get a shot off.
8:45: Crosby lugs the puck up ice on a three one won with Letang and Tyler Kennedy against Jay Harrison. Crosby deals to Letang who snaps off a wrister. Harrison blocks the initial shot. Crosby takes the rebound and moves it across the slot behind an out of place Peters to Kennedy on the back door. Kennedy scores the easiest goal of his life. The "Woo Hoo!" song and the WWE "Kennedy!" clip are played. Crosby and Letang get assists. Penguins 2, Hurricanes 1.
6:35: Crosby snaps off a wrister from the left wing wide on the near side.
6:14: Kunitz blocks a shot by Tim Gleason from the left point.
5:27: Ron Francis used to be a Penguin:
4:14: White pounds a slapper from the right point. It hits a body or two including Fleury. The rebound is hopping in the slot. Pat Dwyer tracks it down, beats the Penguins' defenders and chops it over the blocker side shoulder of Fleury. More spotty defense from the Penguins. Jokinen and Dywer get assist. Hurricanes 2, Penguins 2.
3:26: Engelland snaps off a wrister from the right point. Peters makes the save despite traffic. He boots the rebound out on the left wing. Kennedy jumps on it and pushes it wide on the near side.
2:46: Engelland is nabbed cross checking Ruutu in the crease.
0:42: As the Engelland penalty expires, LaRose rips a wrister from the left circle. Fleury fends it off.
0:25: As Adams plays without a stick, McBains pumps a shot on net from the right wing. Fleury denies it.
0:10: LaRose chops a fluttering wrister from the right circle. It hops over Fleury's blocker side shoulder and clunks off the crossbar.
0:01: Staal has a wrister from the left circle blocked by Zbynek Michalek.
0:00: End of period. Hurricanes 2, Penguins 2.
-Was that an up and down period. The Penguins were caught sleeping to begin. They woke up, took a lead and their play fell off as the period ended.
-The best thing we saw? The fact that the wings were pretty involved in the offense. Goals from Kennedy and Kunitz. Granted, Kennedy's goal was a "gimme" but he'll take it. Even beyond that, guys like Asham, Conner and other were attempting shots.
-The worst thing we saw? The defense being sloppy again. Wednesday, they gave a very complete effort and pretty much shut down one of the best offenses in the NHL with the Canucks.
-The Hurricanes lead the game with 12-10.
-Pitkanen and Dwyer each lead the game with two shots.
-Pitkanen leads the game with 9:16 of ice time.
-Michalek leads the game with 8:51 of ice time.
-The Penguins have a 15-9 lead in faceoffs (63 percent).
-Letestu is 3 for 4 (75 percent).
-Staal is 4 for 8 (50 percent).
-Gleason, Samsonov and Martin each lead the game with two blocks.
-After Dan Potash interviews Alyssa Milano who was in town to market a new clothing line, Bob Errey blurts out what we all were thinking. She used to date:
-We still don't understand that ourselves.
16:54: Pitkanen snaps off a wrister from the slot. Fleury is square to the shot and fends it off.
15:30ish: The Staals are brothers:
12:40: Maxime Talbot chases down a puck dumped into the offensive zone and whips it on net from deep on the left wing.
12:18: To avoide a too many men penalty, Letang jumps into the box between the benches with Errey. Errey is stunned and muffles something before his head set falls off. Ha!
11:45: Michalek's right-handed shot finally becomes an asset. Michalek whips a wrister on net from the right point. Peters makes the save but gives up a bad rebound into the slot. Crosby is there and whacks it into the open cage by the blocker side of a scrambling Peters. We have to wonder if a left handed shot would've gotten that puck on net initially. Michalek and Malkin get assists. Malkin record his 250th career assist and 400th career point. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 3-2.
11:15: LaRose is denied on a wraparound attempt by Fleury then gets run over by Orpik.
10:10: Ruutu rips a wrister from the right circle over the cage.
8:41: This game is wide open. McBain sneaks up the right wing and dishes a pinpoint pass through the legs of Engelland into the slot for Jokinen in the slot. Jokinen punches it into the cage by the right foot of a helpless Fleury. The Penguins had some tired bodies on the ice after an icing call there, but that's no excuse. McBaine and Dwyer get assists. Hurricanes 3, Penguins 3.
7:30ish: Attendance is announced as 18,264. It is the team's 177th consecutive sellout.
5:42: Talbot rips and grips a wrister from the right circle. Peters eats it up.
4:14: Dwyer tries to split the defense down the slot. He gets between Engelland and Goligoski. As Fleury pokes the puck away, Engelland knocks him down. That's two minutes for holding. Orpik, Michalek, Cooke and Adams take the ice.
3:55: Staal gains the offensive zone and guns a slapper wide to the far side from the left circle.
2:59: Corvo uncorks a big slapper from the left point. Fleury eats it up.
2:14: Martin taps the puck down ice on a clearing attempt and kills off the rest of the Engelland penalty. A wonderful effort by the Penguins.
2:02: Brandon Sutter guns a slapper from above the right circle. Fleury reaches up and gloves it with a fancy save.
1:14: After Malkin passes up a shot on the left wing and forces pass. Crosby keeps it alive with a diving poke check. Kunitz settles it down and cracks a big slapper on net from the slot. Peters knocks it down with a blocker. The rebound bounces out to Crosby on the right wing. He punches a shot off the side of the cage.
0:00: End of period. Hurricanes 3, Penguins 3.
-Overall, this has been a pretty entertaining game. Plenty of action. Each team's offense is capitalizing after the other's defensive mistakes.
-The Penguins' defense improved a little that period. The only goal they allowed came with tired players on the ice after an icing call.
-Crosby's hot streak is continuing.
-It's kind of funny how with a game with tons of offense, Eric Staal is being shutout. He's a minus-1.
-The Penguins have a 22-18 lead in shots.
-Pitkanen leads the game with four blocked shots.
-Crosby and Letestu each lead the Penguins with three.
-Michalek leads the game with 15:34 of ice time.
-White leads the Hurricanes with 15:23.
-The Penguins control faceoffs, 29-17 (63 percent).
-Talbot is 5 for 6 (83 percent).
-Staal is 8 for 17 (47 percent).
-Michalek and Corvo each lead the game with three blocked shots.
18:52: Larose has a step on Letang off the left wing. Before he can get a shot off, Letang poke checks it away.
18:39: Crosby lifts a wrister from the right circle to the far side. Peters juuust gets a glove on it.
16:04: Following another icing call, Bylsma calls a timeout to give his players a rest.
15:18: After a poor turnover by Malkin in his own slot, Fleury denies Samsonov on a point-blank opportunity. Malkin owes Fleury a vodka after that.
12:41: Peters fights off rising wrister by Malkin from the right circle.
12:28: Peters knocks down a deflected slapper by Malkin from the right point. It trickles behind him. Jokinen, Cooke and Talbot all crash in. Cooke kind of shoves Jokinen into the cage which becomes dislodge. The Penguins get a break and end up with a power play as Jokinen is called for delay of game. Crosby, Markin, Letang, Malkin and Kunitz take the ice.
11:56: Shorthanded, Sutter rushes up ice and challenges Sutter one-on-one. Martin stays with him and pokes the puck away.
11:03: Malkin windes up and cranks a slapper from the right circle. It rings off the near post.
10:41: From the right wing, Crosby centers a pass to Kunitz right in front of the crease. Kunitz sweeps it on net. Peters appear to keep it out until Harrison kind of kicks him and the puck into the cage. The officials immediately say no call. The Penguins protest. Replays show the officials blowing their whistle before the puck going in. After a lengthy video review, officials rule a goal?!? Wow! Really? The video clearly shows the puck going in after the whistle. The Hurricanes bench is stunned. Francis, normally a very composed individual, utters something regarding bull manure. Crosby and Malkin get assists. The power play cashes in The "Woo Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 4-3.
9:42: After some solid cycling down low, Letestu is denied in tight on a backhander in tight by Peters.
8:42: Pitkanen lifts a slapper from the top of the slot. Fleury absorbs it.
6:45ish: The third line burns about 30 seconds of time off some more solid cycling down low. Kennedy, Chris Conner and Letesut cycle better than Floyd Landis. (Ba-ching!)
4:11: Cooke dumps Pitkanen just inside the Carolina blue line with a rough check.
3:48: LaRose is denied on a forehand wraparound attempt by Fleury.
1:41: Kunitz picks up a loose puck on the left wing board and strikes a slapper on net. Peters eats it up. Errey jinxes Kunitz by talking about a hat trick.
1:22: Gleason lifts a wrister from the right wing. Fleury eats it up. With the stoppage, the Hurricanes pull Peters.
0:51: And the Penguins' defense collapses late once again. Orpik fails to get the puck out of the conw on a weaks backhanded clearing attempt. The puck rattles around. Orpik is dropped with a shoulder check by Staal in the right circle. Staal moves it to Jokinen deep on the right wing. Jokinen immediately rips a one-timer over the glove hand of Fleury. Tie game. Brutal defense. Staal and Ruutu get assist. Hurricanes 4, Penguins 4.
0:37: The Hurricanes take a time out. Paul Stegierwald mentions that the Hurricanes have won 16 faceoffs this period. Yeesh.
0:00: End of period. Hurricanes 4, Penguins 4.
-The Penguins have a 33-29 lead in shots.
4:50: Martin taps a puck from the slot to the left wing. Kunitz jabs it wide to the far side of the cage.
3:32: Talk about deja vu. Letestu turns the puck over in the neutral zon off a bad pass. That creates a three-on-one with Skinner leading a rush against Letang. Letang flops down like Martin did Monday against the Rangers on the winning goal in that game. Skinner keeps the puck and rips a wrister right into Fleury who hangs on for a save after attempting a pass. Yeesh.
3:23: Fleury eats up a re-direction attempt in tight by Staal. Tough save.
2:22: Letang rushes up the right wing
2:11: Malkin picks up a puck off a turnover in the neutral zone and challeges Corvo one-on-one. He pushes a backhander on net which Peters denies.
1:43: After a pretty big collision in front of the penalty boxes between Ruutu and Conner, Ruutu limps off the ice. He appears to have caught one of Conner's skates on his leg. Not good.
1:36: Skinner is denied on a forehand wraparound attempt by Fleury.
0:54: White has a point shot deflected on net by Skinner. Fleury fights that off. Another tough save.
0:33: Letang chops a half slapper on net from the left point. Peters boots it away.
0:29: Off a turnover by Corvo, Crosby whips backhander on net. Peters gloves it.
0:00: End of period. Hurricanes 4, Penguins 4.
-Fun period of hockey. Lots of up and down play.
-Officials make the ice crew clean the ice twice.
-Letang is up first. He moves in tenatively, jams up Peters a bit and lifts a backhander voer his left leg and into the cage. Penguins 1-0.
-Skinner gets the call for the Hurricanes. He winds his way on net, loses it for a moment, recovers it and whips a wrister way high of the cage. Fleury seemed to kind of rattle him with a poke check attempt.
-Crosby moves in on net, approaches Peters and snaps a low wrister through the five hole. Penguins 2-0.
-Jokinen, one of the best in shootouts, must score here to keep it going. He goes wide to the right, cuts to the slot and tries to tuck a backhander by Fleury's left foot. Fleury holds his ground and keep out the puck with his foot. Huge save on a big-time shootout specialist. End of shootout. Penguins 2, Hurricanes 0. End of game. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 5, Hurricanes 4.
-What a game. Forget about any of the problems the team might have for a moment. If you watched this game, you were entertained. This was a fun 65-plus minutes of hockey.
-That said, what in the name of Dan Focht is going on with the Penguins' defense? One night, they look like the 1995 Devils in shutting down the Sedins and the high-flying Canucks. Tonight, they get lit up by... Pat Dwyer.
-Chris Kunitz was everywhere tonight. We can't recall the last time he had a game this dominant. He was a presence int the offensive zone, particularly in front of the cage. And he was strong along the boards with physical play.
-Crosby? He's kind of good. He's on a pretty serious hot streak right now.
-We're in love with this new third line. They have speed and even though none of them are overly physical, but they'll stick their nose into any battle. And they keep opposing defenders on their toes with their speed. Kennedy, Conner and Letestu might not have a ton of natural scoring ability, but they create scoring chances just through their skating.
-Malkin and Letang were pretty frustrating tonight. One moment they can create a dazzling scoring chance. The next minute, they're creating another dazzling scoring chance for the opposing team with some sloppy play.
-The power play was 1 for 2. 'Nuff said.
-Jussi Jokinen was playing out of his mind tonight. It's kind of ironic that after such a strong game in regulation and overtime, his failed shooutout attempt sealed the win for the Penguins.
-Did anyone see Erik Cole?
-The Penguins led the game in shots, 36-34.
-Pikanen led the game with six.
-Crosby led the game with five.
-Craig Adams was the only Penguins skater who failed to record a shot on net.
-Pitkanen led the game with 28:39 of ice time.
-Letang led the Penguins with 26:39 of ice time.
-The Hurricanes led in faceoffs, 38-34 (53 percent).
-Staal was 19 for 32 (59 percent).
-Talbot was 5 for 9 (56 percent).
-Michalek and Gleaason led the game with four blocked shots each.
-Malkin now has 251 career assists and 401 career points.