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Panthers at Penguins - 12-22-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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Greetings from a chilly December night in Pittsburgh. It's cold, in the high 20s and windy. Perfect weather for a game outdoors. Speaking of which, take a look at what we spotted outside our offices:

-The Civic Arena:

-The current barn:

-The ice:

-Also, Brent Johnson is starting tonight. We got it wrong in our game preview. Apologies.

-Some jersey sightings. Jaromir Jagr:

-Paul Martin:

-Fans walking in off Centre Avenue:

-Eveni M _ _ _ _ _ Team Russia:

-This is an all-timer. Mark Kachowski:

-Petr Nedved:

-Eric Tangradi:

-Tomas Vokoun:

-A Mario Lemieux Eastern Conference All-Star jersey from the 2003 game in Florida:

(Note: Lemieux was unable to play due to injury.)

-A Jonathan Stewart Panthers jersey:

-We'll let any jersey fouls here slide on account of the offending party being so young.

-Alex Kovalev:

-George Laraque 2008 Winter Classic:

-Shawn McEachern:

-Jiri Slegr would be mad with this foul:

-Ron Francis:

-Darius Kasparaitis:

-Gilles Meloche California Golden Seals:

-Zbynek Michalek:

-Marc-Andre Fleury Team Canada from the 2004 World Junior Championships:

-Rob Scuderi:

-Former Penguins and Panthers forward Gary Roberts:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Brent Johnson.

-Their scratches are Deryk Engelland and Eric Godard. No Engelland? Interesting.

-The Panthers scratches are Chris Higgins, Bill Thomas, Stephen Weiss, Bryan Allen, Dennis Wideman and Tomas Vokoun.

-Classy move by Panthers coach Peter DeBoer to start Thomas in his home town against his former team.

-Their lone scratch is Keaton Ellerby.

-No Jimerson. No photo.

FIRST PERIOD

19:00: After some serious cycling down low by Evgeni Malkin, He deals a backhanded pass to Goligoski at the top of the left circle. Goligoski drops the hammer and puts a one-timer on net. Vokoun eats it up.

18:30: That' didn't take long. Tyler Kennedy moves the puck up the left wing. He gains the blue line. pulls up and deals a pass to Letestu in the slot Letestu moves in, jams up Vokoun a bit and is able to tuck the puck behind Vokoun's blocker and stick and into the net. Jason Garrison was completely useless on that play. He just stood in the slot like a statue.The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Kennedy and Chris Conner get assists. Penguins 1-0.

17:17: And that didn't take long either. Weiss takes a  pass in the neutral zone, gains the blue line, faces a little bit of a challenge from Kris Letang and snaps off a wrister from the left circle which sneaks under Johnson's glove and into the cage. That's a tissue soft goal for Johnson to give up. Yeesh. Michael Frolik and Mike Weaver get assists. Weaver was cut from the Penguins' training camp a few years ago as a tryout... so.... Fire Ray Shero. Panthers 1, Penguins 1.

16:40:  Mike Santorelli is nabbed interference against Crosby. That's two minutes. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Paul Martin and Letang take the ice.

16:25: Crosby snaps off a wrister from the left circle. It hits a body or two before Vokoun covers to freeze play. Letang and Bryan Allen mix it up a bit. Nothing comes of it.

15:40: Crosby cracks a slapper from above the right circle. Vokoun is square to the shto and fights it off.

14:40: The Santorelli minor is killed. The Penguins had a few decent chances that two minutes.

13:20: Higgins gets loose a bit on the right wing and rockets a wrister over the cage on the near side.

12:16: And this game if off and running. Crosby picks up a puck in the neutral zone. He moves it into the offensive zone on the right wing. With Allen applying passive pressure, Crosby unleashes a hellacious slapper from the top of the left circle to the far side. The puck leaves a vapor trail as it sneaks under Vokoun's left arm pit on his blocker side. Wow! What a shot. That's 22 consecutive games with a point for Crosby now. Kunitz and Johnson get assists. Johnson makes up for his soft goal we guess. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 2-1.

9:41: Arron Asham works his way up the right wing and pumps a slapper on net. Vokoun makes the save. Craig Adams and Mike Rupp battle down low for the rebound but no dice.

9:03: Malkin hustles his way up the right wing and puts a slapper on net from circle. Vokoun makes the save but fumbles the rebound. Malkin jostles it loose, moves behind the net and tosses it at the slot from the left wing. It appears to hit Maxime Talbot and deflects between the hash mark. Cooke picks it up and rips a wrister by Vokoun. A nice dirty goal. The Panthers pull Vokoun in place of Scott Clemmensen. Talbot and Malkin get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 3-1.

8:38: With Engelland out of the line, Ben Lovejoy takes on the seemingly obligatory duty of a sixth defenseman fighting. He drops the gloves with Shawn Matthias in the neutral zone. They mostly just chuck and duck a bunch. As the fight moves towards the penalty boxes, Matthias slips and falls with Lovejoy on top of him. Give that one to Lovejoy. And since Lovejoy told us yesterday he has read EN... IT WAS THE GREATEST FIGHT EVER BY A DARTMOUTH ALUM!!!!

8:27: David Booth snaps off a wrister from the top of the right circle. Johnson eats it up.

6:04: Booth rips a wrister from above the left circle. Michalek leans down and blocks it. He's smarting a bit after that.

5:55: Weiss cranks a loose puck on net from the right point with a slapper. Johnson boots it out.

4:11: Crosby and Pascal Dupuis each get denied down low by Clemmensen.

3:07: Letestu snaps off a wrister from the right wing. Clemmensen snags it as Martin crashes into the net and dislodges it.

1:53: Higgins jabs a wrister from above the left circle. Johnson boots it out with his left leg.

1:03: Tough time to take a penalty. Orpik is sent off for interference against Booth. Adams, Martin, Cooke and Michalek take the ice.

0:30: Wideman unloads a big slapper from tthe top of the slot. Adams squares up and blocks it.

0:16: Wideman fire another slapper which Cooke blocks in the slot.

0:03: Bryan McCabe sneaks a slapper on net from the left point. Johnson gets a piece of it with his left leg.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Panthers 1.

FIRST INTERMISSION


-Well that was probably a prototypical period of Dan Bylsma hockey. The Penguins controlled play in the Panthers' zone for most part and they grinded those... uh... female canines - to paraphrase Bylsma in 24/7 - down.

-Vokoun just wasn't ready for this game. Normally, he's very strong against the Penguins. But tonight, he was out of it from the start.

-Cooke and Talbot are making their cases to be Malkin's regular linemates. They have kept up with him tonight.

-The Penguins control shots, 17-8.

-Crosby leads the game with four.

-Wideman and Higgins each lead the Panthers with two.

-Martin leads the game with 8:49 of ice time.

-Wideman leads the Panthers with 7:49.

-Faceoffs are even, 10-10.

-Crosby is 7 for 8 (88 percent).

-Reinprecht is 3 for 4 (75 percent).

-Michalek leads the game with two blocked shots.

SECOND PERIOD

20:00: The Panthers will have 57 seconds of power play time to work with on fresh ice. Talbot, Cooke, Michalek and Martin take the ice.

19:10: Santorelli snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Johnson makes the tough save.

19:03: The Orpik penalty is killed

17:50: Matthias cracks a slapper from the right circle. Johnson hold it out with a skate.

17:32: Adams tosses a wrister on net from the right half wall. Clemmensen sticks it away.

15:11: Kennedy challenges Garrison one-on-one off the left wing. Garrison takes the puck right off him.

14:28: Matthias zips around the back of the Penguins net, emerges on the right side, turns and whips a blind wrister on net. Johnson holds it out.

13:41: Crosby snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Clemmensen makes the save but gives up a reound. Wideman turns it over on the right wing boards. Lojveoy must ups on it and swats it on net from just outside the right circle. It appears to hit off a defender and beats Clemmenseon on the near side by his glove hand. GREATEST GOAL EVER BY A DARTMOUTH DEFENSEMAN. It's the first goal of his career. The goal is unassisted. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 4, Panthers 1.

10:27: Off a turnover in the neutral zone, Evgeny Dadonov challenges Orpik one-on-one on the right wing. He releases a wrister from the circle. Johnson knocks it dead and covers.

7:56: Another fight breaks out in the left faceoff circle in the Penguins' zone between Darcy Hordichuk and Miek Rupp. Hordichuk lands a right immediately and Rupp pretty much just hangs on for dear life until he slips and falls. Hordichuk with a decided win in that.

7:08: Martin jabs a half slapper from the right point. Clemmensen kicks it out.

6:51: Higgins re-directs a pass on net. Johnson boots it out.

6:31: Weiss steals the puck off Martin at the Penguins' blue line and creates a two-on-one with Matthias against Michalek. Weiss deals to Matthias in the right circle. Matthias lifts a wrister which Johnson is able to rob with a glove save. BIIIIG save.

6:23: The Panthers are really turning on the pressure. Kulikov rips a big wrister from the slot. Johnson steaks it with another glove save.

6:10: Kulikov is nabbed for hooking Cooke behind the Florida net. You don't see Cooke drawing too many penalties. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and Martin take the ice.

4:10: The Kulikov minor is killed. Nothing going on there for the Penguins.

3:41: Kennedy gets tied up with Thomas behind the Penguins' net. Kennedy is called for interference. Dupuis, Adams, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

3:05: McCabe tosses a wrister on net from the left circle. Johnson boots it away. Dupuis backhands it down ice to clear.

1:54: McCabe snaps off a wrister from the right half wall. Letang and Dadonov battle for the rebound. That's two minutes for interference. We'll have four on four for 12 seconds.

1:41: The Kennedy minor expires. The Penguins will have 1:48 of power play.

0:12: From the right point, Letang whacks a one-timer towards the net. It hits a body in front and deflects wide ont he far side.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Panthers 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION


-Things kind of slowed down there a bit that period. In fact, the Panthers were probably the more aggressive team offensively. They put quite a few quality chances on net. They just couldn't figure out Johnson.

-The Penguins' penalty kill was strong that period.

-In honor of Ben Lovejoy:

 

-Lovejoy needs an assist for the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

-The Penguins have a 22-21 edge in shots.

-The Panthers actually outshot the Penguins, 13-5, in the second.

-Crosby leads the game with five shots.

-Higgins and Reasoner each lead the Panthers with three.

-Wideman leads the game with 16:19 of ice time.

-Martin leads the Penguins with 16:16.

-Faceoffs are still even, 16-16 (50 percent).

-Crosby is 8 for 12 (67 percent).

-Reinprecht is 4 for 6 (67 percent).

-Michalek leads the game with two blocked shots.

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: Marc-Andre Fleury replaces Johnson in net. No official word yet on Johnson's status, but he appeared to be a little slow to recover to his feet following a scramble down low off a shot by Higgins with roughly seven minutes left in the second period.

18:55: Fleury is tested early as Frolik circles the net, emerges to the right of it, spins and whips a wrister. Fleury fights it off.

18:37: Malkin flies into the offensive zone, cuts across the slot and flicks a backhander on net from the right circle. He crashes feet first into the boards and is a little slow to recover to his feet. He appears fine.

17:32: Hordichuk moves a puck up ice and chips it up at his blue line. Just as that happens, Letang dumps him with a solid hip check. Hordichuk is slow to recover to his feet. Officials immediately direct Letang to the bench for tripping. Hordichuk and Letang exchange words. That seemed like a clean hit to us. Cooke, Talbot, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

16:57: Fleury holds out a shot by xx from the right circle. As he covers a rebound, Steve Bernier is thrown over the top of Fleury on a hit by Orpik.

16:28: Off a sloppy turnover by Michalek behind the Penguins' net, Weiss rips a wrister from point blank range in the slot.

15:54: Santorelli grips and rips a wrister from the left circle. Fleury knocks it down with his blocker and covers to freeze play.

15:32: The Letang minor expires. The Panthers put some solid offensive pressure on Fleury.

14:34: Attendance is announced as 18, 238. It is the team's 185th consecutive sell-out.

12:55: Martin chops a slapper from the right point. His former Devils teammate Clemmensen makes the easy save.

12:00: A heads-up reader informs us Asham hasn't played since the second period. No official word on his status either.

11:37: Higgins tosses a wrister on net from the left wing. Fleury boots it out of play.

9:50: Bernier spins and whips a wrister on net from the slot. It hits a body in front.

9:12: Talbot and Wideman chase after a puck on the right wing in Florida's zone. Talbot taps it by Wideman, hops around him and pushes a low wrister on net. Clemmensen makes the save. A nice, nifty move by Talbot.

8:31: Officially, Johnson has a "lower-body" injury and will not return tonight.

8:19: HUUUUGE save. Orpik fumbles the puck at the red line. Higgins steaks it off him and is off on a breakaway. He moves in, goes to the backhand and attacks Fleury's five hole. Fleury closes the gates and holds it out. Wow. Orpik owes Fleury a beer.

7:43: Florid keeps attack.ing Frolik rips a wrister from the right circle. Fleury eats it up.

7:20: Steven Reinprecht recovers the rebound off a blocked shot and pumps a slapper on net from the left circle. Fleury eats it up.

7:01: This is the last thing the Panthers' needed. Weaver is sent off for high sticking Rupp. That's quite an accomplishment as Weaver is 5-foot-9 while Rupp is 6-foot-5. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Martin and Letang take the ice.

6:42: Letang rips a wrister from the right circle to the far side. Clemmensen gloves it.

5:01: Weaver's minor is killed. The Penguins didn't really blow anyone away that period.

4:49: Kennedy snaps off a little wrister from the right circle. Clemmensen boots it out.

3:58: Thomas backhand chips a shot from the right circle. Fleury gloves it. During a television time out, "Cotton Eye Joe" is busted out:

3:46: McCabe cranks a slapper from the right point. It kidn of takes off on him and hits Lovejoy right in the side of hte face. Ouch. Lovjeoy goes down like a ton of bricks holding his face. Athletic trainer Chris Stewart rushes out. He preses a towel to Lovejoy's right cheek. Lovejoy eventually skates off under his own power to the locker room with the towel on his face. That could've been a lot worse. McCabe has a real cannon.

3:36: And the Panthers aren't going away. Thomas deals a pass to McCabe on the right point. McCabe chops a one-timer which beasts Fleury on the far side by his glove hand. Hordichuk had a nice screen on the play. This got a tad more interesting. Thomas and Hordichuk get assists. Fire Ray Shero. Penguins 4-2.

2:09: Matthias rips a wrister from the left circle. Fleury fights it off. Orpik clears the rebound.

1:58: Clemmensen is pulled for an extra attacker.

1:32: Kennedy air mails a shot from his own zone towards the empty net. He misses. The Panthers touch up for icing.

0:59: Fleury is still trying to get that goal. He control a dump in behind his net, turns and lifts it with a ... well... we guess you could call it a shot attempt. It trickles down ice wide of the cage. Florida touches up for another icing call. Fleury kind of slams his stick in frustration. Bylsma calls a time out to rest his team.

0:27: Dupuis chips a puck over Mccabe in the Penguins zone, chases it down in the neutral zone and air mails it on net from outside the Panthers' blue line for one of us:

Letang and Kunitz get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 5-2.

0:00: End of game. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Mike Lange tells us about Elvis' whereabouts. Penguins 5, Panthers 2.

POSTGAME


-First things first, the Penguins didn't escape this game unscathed.

-Brent Johnson is doubtful for tomorrow's game in Washington due to a "lower-body" injury. Dan Bylsma said the team would likely recall either John Curry or Brad Thiessen from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. We assume Thiessen would get the nod.

-Arron Asham is questionable for tomorrow's game with a "lower-body" injury as well.

-Aside from some cosmetic damage, Ben Lovejoy is fine.

-Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said this game was "over in the first 10 minutes." The Penguins seemed to think that as well. The Panthers had the better of the play from roughly the second half on. The constantly pressured the Penguins offensively. They controlled the play in the Penguins' zone. The Penguins had this game in control early, but didn't look too hot, especially late.

-Perhaps they were looking forward to tomorrow's game in Washington, but regardless, they can't repeat this effort inside the Beltway. They need to play a complete game tomorrow.

-Fleury was strong coming in off the bench. He had to be. He made 15 saves in only one period. Yeesh.

-The Panthers got strong efforts, late at least, from Higgins, Matthias and McCabe. Those three appeared to spearhead the Panthers late push.

-The Panthers ended up with a 37-34 lead in shots.

-In the final two period, the outshot the Penguins, 29-17.

-Crosby led the game with eight shots.

-Higgins led the Panthers with five.

-Letang led the game with 24:35 of ice time.

-Wideman led the Panthers with 22:31.

-The Penguins led in faceoffs, 32-27.

-Letestu was 8 for 11 (73 percent).

-Reinprecht was 6 for 10 (60 percent).

-Orpik led the game with three blocked shots.

-Weaver led the Panthers with two.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Letang moved ahead of Jim Johnson for 70th place on the team's all-time scoring list. Both players have 109 points, but Letang (27) has more goals than Johnson (14).

-Talbot moved ahead of Colby Armstrong and German Titov for 80th place. All three have 98 points, but Talbot (49) has more goals than Armstrong (37) and Titov (28).

-Cooke moved ahead of Goligoski for 98th place. Both players have 76 points, but Cooke (35) has more goals than Goligoski (20).

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

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