-Hey, guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Arron Asham, Eric Godard and Ben Lovejoy.
-The Sabres' starters are Paul Gaustad, Nathan Gerbe, Mike Grier, Tyler Meyers, Andrej Sekera and Jhonas Enroth.
-Their scratches are Chris Butler, Tim Connolly, Ryan Miller and Craig Rivet.
-In light of the recent revelation that Chris Conner's dad's name is John, we're predicting Chris Conner gets a goal tonight. Why do you ask?
19:23: Letang snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Enroth boots it away to the opposite board.
18:58: Thomas Vanek chucks a wrister on net from the slot. Fleury makes the inital save. Colin Stuart is therefor the rebound but can't get a clean shot off. Fleury covers to freeze play.
18:04: Mike Weber is from Pittsburgh Cranberry:
17:30ish: FSN Pittsburgh goes dark:
-After about four minutes, FSN Pittsburgh sheepishly offers a repeat of Inside Penguins Hockey, with out sound:
??? - After about 10 minutes, FSN's feed from Buffalo returns without a clock or any graphics. According to Paul Steigerwald, there was a power outage on site:
??? - Weber is from Cranberry or Pittsburgh:
-And he dumps Tyler Kennedy at center ice with a solid check.
8:10ish: Coming back from commerical, Dan Potash confront's Brooks Orpik's dad, Rick, and accuses him of pulling the plug on their truck:
7:52: Play is halted as Derek Roy is struck up high on a dump in attempt by Myers. He's stunned a bit but appears fine for the most part. Also, Jordan Leopold is a former Penguin:
-And he headed towards the locker room.
6:08: Play is halted as Paul Gaustan and Evgeni Malkin get tangled up in front of the benches. Talbot jumps Gaustad. They kind of seperate from the scrum and seem like they're going to start a fight. Officials hold them off one another. As that goes on, Thomas Vanek doesn't even seem interested in being in the same zip code as that scrum and kind of sneaks off the ice and towards the bench. That tells you all you need to know about that guy. Talbot and Gaustad each get double roughing minors. It remains five on five.
4:56: Luke Adam makes a pretty weak turnover on the right wing board in his own zone. Sekera tries to recover it but Sidney Crosby jumps all over it. From the right wing corner, he snaps a backhanded pass into the slot. Pascal Dupuis is right there and buries it over the blocker-side shoulder of Enroth. What an effort by Crosby to make the Sabres pay for that mistake. Crosby gets the only assist. Adam could make a claim for one. Penguins 1-0.
4:08: From the left wing corner, Craig Adams distributes a pass to Mike Rupp above the left circle. Rupp pumps a one-timer on net. Enroth fights it off with his blocker.
2:43: Vanek is nabbed for hooking Malkin. Crosby, Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Paul Martin and Letang take the ice.
1:05: From the right half wall, Crosby fakes a slapper and dishes a feed to Malkin in the left circle. Malkin lifts a shot on net. Enroth fends it off with his blocker side shoulder.
0:43: The Vanek minor expires. The Penguins didn't do a lot with that opportunity.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Sabres 0.
-From what we could watch, the Penguins played their game. They got pucks in deep and put some pressure on Enroth.
-The Sabres looked less than impressive. They didn't pressure Fleury a great deal from what we could see.
-The Penguins have a 15-8 lead in shots.
-Dupuis, Malkin and Gerbe each lead the game with three shots.
-Letang leads the game with 8:28 of ice time.
-Shaone Morrisonn leads the Sabres with 8:07.
-The Sabres have a 10-9 edge in faceoffs (53 percent).
-Roy is 5 for 6 (83 percent).
-Crosby is 3 for 6 (50 percent).
-Martin leads the game with three blocked shots.
-Also, Brooks Oprik is from Buffalo. And even as a kid, he had those eyes:
18:52: - FSN Pittsburgh's clock is dead again. Malkin is nabbed for hooking Jochen Hecht. Talbot, Adams, Zbynek Michalek and Orpik take the ice.
16:52: The Malkin penalty is killed. Not much to bra about ther efor the Sabres.
??? - FSN Pittsburgh's clock is dead. Tyler Ennis snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Fleury denies it.
16:28: Patrick Kaleta guns a one-timer from the slot. Fleury makes the initial save. Tyler Ennis is there to clean up the rebound and Fleury eats it up.
15:33: Comrie coasts up the left wing and centers a pass. It get batted a round in the slot. Kunitz jumps in and swats it on net. Enroth eats it up.
14:29: Leopold is apparently fine as he guns a slapper from the left circle wide on the near side.
13:49: Jason Pominville has a chance in the right circle but before he can pull the trigger, Mike Rupp makes a nice play on a back check and knocks him off the puck.
13:27: Brent Johnson's dad, Bob, used to palay for the Penguins:
13:12: Colin Stuart snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Fleury fights it off and covers the rebound.
13:05: The Sabres are really pressing the attack this period. Fleury denied Roy on a chance in tight.
12:44: Malkin has a chance in the left circle but he puts a big wrister off the side of the cage.
10:30: Steve Montador pumps a slapper on net from the right point. Fleury boots it out with his right foot.
9:45: Michalek kneels down and blocks a shot by Sekera from the left point.
9:36: After an icing call, Dan Bylsma calls a time out to rest his team.9:02: Leopold is nabbed for tripping Crosby. Malkin, Crosby, Kunitz, Martin and Letang take the ice.
8:04: Malkin guns a one-timer from the right half wall. Enroth holds it out with his left leg.
7:34: Tyler Myers blasts a slapper from outside the Penguins' blue line on net. Fleury makes the save and distributes to a teammate.
7:02: The Leopold minor is killed. Nothing to brag about there for the Penguins.
5:41: Gaustad snaps off a wrister from the slot. It's wide to the left of the net. The puck riccochets to the crease. Fleury scrambles to cover it. Patrick Kaleta comes skating in. He's dumped by Matt Cooke. Gaustad and Deryk Engelland scrum a bit. Nothing comes of it.
4:52: Letang is deep on the right wing and guns a slapper to the far side from the circle. Enroth punches it away with his blocker.
4:34: Crosby strikes a slapper from the left half wall. Despite a screen by Dupuis, Enroth eats it up.
4:20: This fan really knows how to pick a winner:
2:59: Stuart fends off a check from Engelland in the left circle and whips a wrister on net. Fleury fends it off. Stuart makes a little contact with Fleury. Officials calls Stuart for goaltenders interference. Lindy Ruff is screaming something about cow manure on the bench. He's right. Even Bob Errey calls the penalty ticky tack. Crosby, Malkin, Martin, Kunitz and Letang take the ice.
0:59: The Stuart minor expires without a threat from the Penguins. that might've been their weakest effort of the night.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Sabres 0.
-Even if you discount FSN Pittsburgh's issues, this has been a weird game to get a read on. There's plenty of skill on both teams, but it's been a defensive struggle so far.
-The Sabres were by far the more aggressive team that period. Fleury and his defense did a pretty good job in limiting the quality of their scoring chances and cleaning up rebounds.
-We guess what ever success the power play enjoyed Monday in Florida was a fluke. It looks brutal tonight.
-We'll find out this period if the Penguins' defensive effort on Monday was fluke. The Sabres are really going to press the attack here.
-Michalek looks like he's still playing with something to prove.
-Enroth has been solid. As Steigerwald has pointed out, he has taken away the angles away from the Penguins' shooters. If not for a turnover by his own teammates in their own zone, this is probably still a 0-0 game.
-Comrie has been okay in his return to the lineup. He has created a few scoring chances but has hardly done anything outstanding which would merit a regular return.
-The Penguins have a 22-19 lead in shots.
-Malkin leads the game with five shots.
-Gerbe leads the Sabres with four.
-Letang leads the game with 16:37 of ice time.
-Sekera leads the Sabres with 16:16.
-The Sabres have a 22-19 lead in faceoffs (54 percent).
-Roy is 8 for 12 (67 percent).
-Talbot is 4 for 6 (67 percent).
-Martin leads the game with four blocked shots.
-No one for the Sabres has more than one.
19:44: Off a feed by Crosby, Dupuis blasts a one-timer from the right circle. Enroth boots it out.
18:46: Malkin leads a three-on-three rush up the right wing. He feeds a pass to Cooke in hte right circle. Cooke circls
18:40: Talbot impedes Leopold in the Sabres' zone. That's two minutes for interference. With Talbot off, Crosby takes the ice with Dupuis, Orpik and Michalek.
18:32: Gerbe has a chance in the slot but snaps off a shot waaaaay high of the cage.
18:02: Vanek has a chacne in the crease off a feed by Pominville. Fleury holds it ground. There's a scrum for possession for the puck as Michalek flops down and covers it up with his body. A few battles ensue but no penalties.
16:41: Ennis creates a nice chance by cuttin in front of Martin in the right circle and moving towards the slot. He rips it wide on the far side.
16:36: Officials blow play dead as Leopold attempts a shot. They rule the puck was over the blue line and the Sabres were offsides. Replays show the puck not going over line. They have not been kind to the Sabres tonight.
16:25: Off a faceoff, Kunitz lumberjacks Pominville's stick in half. That's two minutes for slashing. Talbot, Dupuis, Orpik and Michalek take the ice.
16:18: Myers blasts a slapper from the right point. Michalek blocks it.
15:38: Myers takes a pass in the right circle and rips a wrister to the far side. Fleury challenges him and boots out the shot with his right foot. Adams clears the rebound. Big save.
14:39: Adam guns a one-timer from above the right circle. Fleury boots it out despite a screen.
14:25: The Kunitz penalty expires. The Sabres really pressed things during that two minutes.
14:23: The Sabres got the box as Ennis is careless with his stick and jabs Orpik in in the chin with it. Not a good penalty. Goligoski, Letang, Crosby, Malkin and Kunitz take the ice.
13:20: Malkin pumps aone-time ron net fro mabove the right circle. Enroth makes the save.
12:23: The Ennis penalty expires. That was probably the Penguins' best effort of the night with the man advantage. Regardless, they missed a chance to essentially end this game.
12:08: Weber has a chance in the slot and chops a half slapper. It appears to hit a stick and hops wide.
11:25: Kaleta slams Michalek into the boards on the right wing in the Penguins zone. That's a good test for Michalek's shoulder which was injured last month.
11:20: Dupuis blasts a slapper from the right point. Enroth hops up and fights it off.
10:58: Gaustad flips Orpik with an awkward looking check in the left wing corner in the Penguins' zone. Orpik appears fine. That could've been a tripping penalty.
9:39: HUUUUGE defensive play by Engelland. Hecht gains the offensive zone with speed on the left wing. He fends off Goligoski and from the left circle, he feeds a cross ice pass to Pominville moving towards the crease from the right wing. Pominville has a sure goal on a re-direction attempt but before he can't reach the puck, Engelland reaches back and pokes it away. HUGE.
6:35: Hecht sails a wrister on net. Fleury gloves it with ease.
6:18: Letang chops a quick slapper from the right point. Enroth makes the inital save. Comrie and Adams each have a chance on the rebound but no dice.
5:43: The Orpik stare is apparently a family trait:
3:28: Vanek moves behind the net with the puck and quickly distributes a puck to Ennis just in front of the slot. Crosby makes a nice back check and interferes with Ennis just enough to prevent him from getting a clean shot off. Another big defensive play.
1:02: From behind his own net, Orpik clears a dump in attempt around the boards. It ends up being iced. The Sabres touch up and call time out. Enroth is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:16: Pominville guns a slapper from the right point. It's no where near the net.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 1, Sabres 0.
-Is this really the same team we have seen blow leads late in games with defensive breakdowns? Is this the same team which allowed five goals in the third period to a beat-up Bruins team a few weeks ago? The past two games, the have sealed wins with fantastic defense.
-The thing that stood out to us was the team effort defensively. It wasn't just guys like Orpik and Michalek battling and blocking shots in front of the net. There were contributions on the back check by guys like Crosby and Rupp on the back check. Everyone on this teams has bought in the past two games.
-Killjoy Alert: The Panthers and Sabres are each beat up. The Penguins haven't faced the two best offensive units the last two games.
-Not that he has given his critics much ammo to work with the past week or so, but can we keep quiet about Fleury's faults for one night. The guy just registered a shutout.
-Amazing how the difference in this game was one mistake by Luke Adam. Both teams made mistakes, but the Penguins were the only ones who could cash one in.
-The power play? No comment.
-We don't know if it was just injuries, but the Sabres looked pretty bad tonight. If not for Enroth, this could have been a lot worse.
-Another solid effort by Michalek. He's finally looking looking like a difference on defense.
-The Sabres led in shots, 30-29.
-Dupuis, Letang and Malkin each led the game with six shots.
-Gerbe led the Sabres with five.
-Sekera led the game with 26:07.
-Letang was right behind him with 26:04.
-The Penguins led in faceoffs, 35-30 (54 percent).
-Adams was 10 for 13 (77 percent).
-Roy was 9 for 15 (60 percent).
-Martin led the game with six blocked shots.
-Stuart led the Sabres with two.
-Crosby extended his scoring streak to 10 games.
-Dupuis' goal was his 250th career point.
-Fleury's last shutout was a 2-0 win at Montreal in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal round, May 4. He made 18 saves.
-His last regular season shutout was a 3-0 win at Boston, March 18. He made 17 saves in that effort.