-This is kind of a bare bones start to the blog on account of some computer problems. Sorry.
-Hey, guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-The Penguins' scratches are Ben Lovejoy, Arron Asham and Brent Johnson.
-The Senators' starters are Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher, Nick Foligno, Erik Karlsson, Chris Phillips and Brian Elliott.
-The Senators' scratches are Brian Lee and Pascal Leclaire.
-The Penguins are wearing their powder blue throwback jerseys.
-Lyndon Slewidge handles the national anthems:
-FSN Pittsburgh provides your lines and defensive pairings:
-Also, the Michaleks are brothers:
-By way of EN reader @crveza81 , the warm ups:
19:05: Chris Campoli blasts a slapper from the right circle. Fleury makes the save but the puck squeezes through his gear and into the crease. Before anyone in a white jersey can get to them, Brooks Orpik shuffles it away.
17:53: Off a faceoff in he right wing circle in the Penguins' zone, , Eric Gdoard and Matt Carkner drop the gloves. They sized each other up a bit then lock up, Carkner lands a quick right then one big one which appears to stagger Godard a bit. Godard recovers and manages to wrestle Carker to the ice. Give that one to Carkner.
17:48: Zbynek Michalek swats a quick half slapper from the top of the slot. Elliott eats it up.
15:23: Zbynek Michalek whips a wrister from the right point. Jarkko Ruutu flops down to block it.
14:57: Zbynek Michalek snaps off a wrister from the right point again. Elliott makes the save but allows a rebound. Tyler Kennedy and Karlsson battle for the rebound but Elliott is able to cover to freeze play.
14:30: With Godard in the penaly box, Crosby takes a shift with Craig Adams and Mike Rupp.
14:15: Mike Fisher puts a shot in tight off the cross bar.
11:47: Crosby is nabbed for hooking Jesse Winchester in the slot. Maxime Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Brooks Orpik and Zbynek Michalek take the ice.
11:41: A turning shot by Spezza is denied by Fleury.
11:00: Godard is questionable to return according to Bob Errey
10:46: And the Senators strike. Karlsson controls the puck deep on the right wing. He snaps off a wrister. It hits the stick of Paul Martin and takes a funny hop by Mike Fisher and by Fleury on teh glove side. What an odd bounce. Fisher gets credit for the goal. Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar get assists. Senators 1-0.
8:45: Evgeni Malkin use to live with Gonchar:
6:18: Wow. What a shot! On a delayed penalty, Karlsson controls the puck at the right point. He fends off a stick check from Chris Kunitz, winds up and cranks a slapper through traffic which clinks off the left post and goes into the net. What a display by Karlsson. Assists go to Chris Kelly and Spezza. Senators 2-0.
4:25: Alfredsson floats a wrister fromt he slot. Fleury punches it away with his blocker.
3:53: Spezza backhands a pass into the slot from the left of the net. Alfredsson is there and jabs it on net quickly. Fleury slides to his right and make a tough save. Another goal there and the Senators might have this game for good.
1:01: The Michaleks are brothers:
0:19: More discipline issues for the Penguins. Kunitz comes in on a forecheck and jumps up to hit Karlsson. Errey complains about the penalty and he probably has a case as Kunitz barely left the ice. But by the book, that's a penalty. Talbot, Matt Cooke, Zbynek Michalek and Orpik take the ice.
0:00: End of period. Senators 2, Penguins 0.
-During Thursday's game at Washington, the Penguins took a ton of penalties. Fortunately for them, the Capitals are struggling with the power play. The Senators don't seem to have those type of problems and have a lead as a result.
-We don't know if the holiday or the odd travel today has the Penguins' thrown off, but they don't all seem to be on the right page.
-Erik Karlsson is a pretty talented player. He's been strong in all three zones.
-The Senators have a 12-6 lead in shots.
-Fisher leads the game with three shots.
-Zbynek Michalek leads the Penguins with two.
-Karlsson leads the game with 9:25 of ice time.
-Alex Goligoski leads the Penguins with 7:06.
-The Penguins have an 11-9 edge in faceoffs (55 percent).
-Crosby is 6 for 6 (100 percent).
-Winchester is 3 for 4 (75 percent).
-Letang leads the game with two blocked shots.
-And the Michaleks are brothers:
-Senators coach Cory Clouston cares not for pizza apparently:
20:00: The Senators will have 1:41 of power play time on fresh ice. Adams, Dupuis, Zbynek Michalek and Orpik take the ice.
19:43: Geez. Karlsson is now officially a Penguin killer. He simply controls a puck at the left point, moves off the boards, winds up and cranks a slapper to the far side by Fleury's glove. That looked effortless. xxx get assists. Senators 3-0.
18:56: Chris Conner has a chance down low but his backhander if turned away by Elliott.
18:32: Crosby springs Kunitz off on a breakaway. Kunitz attacks Elliott's five hole but is denied.
18:26: Crosby sets up Kunitz in the slot. Kunitz immediately releases a wrister. Elliott fends it off. A few tough save by Elliott. He's tuned in right now.
17:03: Kris Letang drops Spezza into the right wing boards in the Penguins' zone. Spezza falls into the boards awkwardly and lands while using his arm to brace himself. Play is halted as Spezza is slow to recover. A bunch of Senators jump Letang. Spezza slowly gets to this skates and retreats to his locker room hunched over. That didn't look good. Letang (boarding) and Ryan Shannon (roughing) get minors. Four on four.
16:40: Malkin snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Elliott fends it off.
14:30: Winchester snaps off a wrister from the slot. Fleury snags it as Adams and Chris Neil scrum a bit in front of the crease.
13:59: Things get really testy as Alfredsson is dumped into the left wing corner boards by Deryk Engelland. Foligno takes exception and jumps Engelland. As Engelland drops his gloves and appears ready to fight Foligno, Phillips and a whole slew of others jump in. Foligno and Engelland each get fighting majors while Phillips is nabbed for roughing. Coming back from commercial, Godard is shown on the bench. His left eye was pretty much swollen shut. Ouch. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Martin and Letang take the ice.
11:59: The Phillips minor expires without much of a threat from the Penguins.
11:50: Kennedy snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Elliott is square to the shot and fends it off.
10:42: Off a faceoff win, Michalek feeds a nifty backhanded pass to Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis immediately swats a one-timer on net. Elliott kicks it out.
10:37: Orpik whips a wrister from the right point. Elliott eats it up without issue. Another scrum breaks out with Rupp and
10:25: Godard is on the ice. He tries to fight Carkner. With a 3-0 lead, Carkner declines. That's the smart play for Carkner. Why is Godard even out there? He ends up getting a 10-minute misconduct. More undiscipline play by the Penguins.
9:18: Crosby flicks a backhander from the left circle off the outside of the near post.
8:09: Elliott is just dutne in. Goligoski whips a wrister from the right circle. Dupuis is in the slot and makes a really nice re-direct on the puck. Elliott hangs with it and eats up the shot. What a tough save. He's not going to lose this game.
7:04: Dupuis controls a puck at the right point, winds up and cranks a slapper. Mike Fisher flops down and sacrifices his body to block the shot.
6:55: As the Senators ice the puck, Clouston calls a time out with Crosby about to take the faceoff with Malkin and Kunitz.
4:50: Off a nice feed by Letang off the right wing, Adams gets denied in tight on his forehand by Elliott.
4:00: Milan Michalek is denied from the right circle by Fleury.
3:12: Off a rush into the offensive zone by Crosby, Martin grips and rips a wrister from the left point wide to the far side.
1:51: Orpik tees up a slapper from the right point. Elliott punches it away with his blocker.
1:36: As the Senators ice the puck, Ruutu and Letang get mixed up in front of the Ottawa bench. Ruutu actually drops the gloves and seems to want to extract revenge for the hit on Spezza. Letang doesn't bite. Ruutu is called for roughing.
1:29: Letang winds up and puts a slapper on net form above the right cirlc.e Elliot gloves it then jabs Kunitz in the backside with his blocker. Phillis and company take exception to Kunitz's presence and give him the business.
0:54: Phillips has a chance in deep on a feed to the slot. Crosby hooks him up a bit and Phillips sells the penalty by flopping to the ice. Crosby protests the call but is sent off for hooking. Four-on-four for 1:18.
0:11: Off a brutal turnover by Campopli, Elliott comes up with two huge saves in tight on Malkin then Kennedy. Campoli owes Elliott a beer for that. And Gonchar used to be Malkin's landlord:
0:00: End of period. Senators 3, Penguins 0.
-Can we start calling this team the Pittsburgh Flyers? Because the lack of discipline kind of came to a head that period. Godard trying to fight Carkner was the low point.
-With apologies to Karlsson, Elliott is pretty much the star of this game. He has been in position for seemingly every shot tonight and has barely given the Penguins a sniff of a rebound.
-The Penguins' power play continues to struggle.
-Zbynek Michalek has been pretty aggressive offensively.
-The Penguins actually have a 28-18 lead in shots.
-Zbynek Michalek, Conner, Kennedy, Letang, Malkin and Fisher each lead the game with three shots.
-Karlsson leads the game with 16:32 of ice time.
-Goligoski leads the Penguins with 15:32.
-The Senators have a 23-21 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).
-Winchester is 6 for 8 (75 percent).
-Crosby is 9 for 16 (56 percent).
-Letang leads the game with two blocked shots.
-According Paul Steigerwald, Spezza will not return due to an "upper-body" injury.
20:00: We'll have 24 seconds of four on four to start the period.
19:36: Ruutu's penalty expires. The Enators will have 34 second of power play time on fresh ice.
19:03: Karlsson attempts to strike a one-timer from the right circle but his stick breaks on him and he fans on the shot.
17:46: Letestu sneaks a quick wrister from the left circle. Elliot fights it off.
17:33: Letang controls the puck and is booed by the Senators' faithful.
17:07: Zbyenek Michalek booms a slapper from the right point. Elliott fights it off despite traffic.
16:10: Crosby dekes around Karlson and snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Elliott knocks it down. Crosby trips up and pushes the puck on net weakly. Elliott covers to freeze play.
14:03: Crosby appears to get clipped in the face in the Senators' zone. No call.
13:56: Zbyenek Michalek take another shot. His slapper from the right point is fought off by Elliott.
12:03: A slapper by Engelland from the right point is wide on the near side.
11:47: Winchester races up the left wing with speed and space. Goligoski chase after him and trips him up before he can get a shot off. Winchester crashes into Fleury and the net dislodging it. No call.
11:04: Dupuis whips a wrister on net from the slot. Elliott punches it away.
10:50: Elliott fights off a wrister by Letang from the right wing despite traffic in front by Cooke.
10:30: Foligno steals a puck off Orpik in the neutral zone is off on a pseudo breakaway. Orpik and Letang hook the daylights out of him as he pushes a backhander on net. It squeezes through Fleury's gear and slides towards the net. Just as it goes over the line, Orpik fishes it out and holds it out. As a penalty shot is called, officials review the shot by Foligno. Video prove inconclusive. Foligno still gets a penalty shot. He moves in, sells the forehand shot hard then moves to the backhand. Fleury hangs with the puck and robs Foligno with a big glove save. That keeps the Penguins alive.
9:53: More discipline issues. While battling for the puck, Kunitz hacks Fisher's stick out of his hands. That's two minutes. Dupuis, Adams,
9:22: Dupuis comes through with some hard work and draws ap enalty. He pushe a puck up ice and his held up by Alfredsson. Four on four for 1:29.
8:55: Kelly feed a puck from below the goal line to Milan Michalek in the slot. Michalek pushes it high and wide.
7:54: Kunitz' minor is killed. The Penguins have a power play for 31 seconds.
7:39: Michalek booms another slapper from the top of hte slot. It's deflected wide.
7:22: Alfredsson's minor is killed.
6:45: Letang moves in deep on the left wing, fends off a check from Karlsson and chips a backhander to the slot. Elliott gloves it. What an impressive play by Letang. he recovered a
6:25: More undisciplined play. Ruutu is called for roughing against his former teammate Talbot. Just when it seems like the Penguins will have a power play, Cooke and Neil then give mixed up along the boards in front of hte Senators' bench. Cooke gets a roughing minor as well. We don't dispute the call against Cooke, but how does Neil not get one either?
5:57: Crosby has his best chance to extend his scoring streak. He moves in off the left wing and cracks a slapper. It sneaks by the glove hand of Elliott and smacks off the far post. Nothing is going right for the Penguins tonight.
5:03: Goligoski booms a big one-timer from the left point. Elliott gloves it.
3:22: It's alive! Crosby's streak juuuuust barely stays alive. Cooke forces Kelly into a turnover in the right wing corner in the Penguins zone. It comes to Crosby in the slot. He flicks a backhander on net. Elliott fights it off with his glove hand but the rebound hits Phillips' let and hops into the cage juuuust as Elliot reaches back with his stick. The puck trickles in. Crosby has points in 24 consecutive games. Cooke and Kunitz get assists. Senators 3, Penguins 1.
3:15: On a delayed penalty, Kunitz snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Elliott fends it off with his glove. Fisher is sent off for tripping Letang. Do or die here for the Penguins. Kunitz, Crosby, Malkin, Letang and Martin take the ice.
2:08: Letang booms a slapper form the top of hte slot. Elliott snags it with a glove hand. Dan Bylsma calls a time out to get his first power play unit organized.
2:00: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.
1:25: Letang has a chacne at the top of the left circle. Alfredsson gets the blade of his stick on it.
1:17: Kunitz has a slapper from the top of the slot blocked by Alfredsson who flops down and sacrifices his body.
1:15: Fisher's penalty is killed.
0:32: Crosby turns and chips a puck on net from the slot. It hops up. Elliott knocks it down and covers to freeze play.
0:20: Letang has a shance in the slot but he hesitates to release the shot. That allows Fisher to slide down and block it.
0:06: Karlsson has a shot at the hat trick. in the Penguins' zone but Goligoski flops down and blocks his shot on the empty cage.
0:00: End of game. Senators 3, Penguins 1.
-Three things conspired against the Penguins tonight:
1.) Brian Elliott. He was just tune in. Sometime, it doesn't matter how you play. If a goaltender is hot, he'll beat anyone. That was the case with Elliott.
2.) Erik Karlsson. He may have played the game of his life. He was strong in all three zones. And he couldn't miss the net. Early one, he just found shooting lanes and put the puck on net with some zip. His shots tonight were very Goncharian.
3.) The Penguins. Right from the get-go, the Penguins looked off. Then when you throw in their lack of discipline, it just was a lethal mix.
-Again, we don't know if the odd travel day (the Penguins flew to Ottawa in the morning) threw the Penguins off, but they were just all out of sorts to start the game. Their puck possession game was non-existent.
-The third line was pretty ineffective from what we could see. They rarely got a chance to do their thing down low on the cycle. If they can't do that, they're almost useless.
-The power play hurt the Penguins for the second consecutive game. They had plenty of opportunities, especially late, but failed to cash in.
-Zbynek Michalek had an impressive game offensively. He was very aggressive with his shot. He just happened to catch Elliott on a night when he wasn't giving up too many rebounds.
-Fleury was fine. No one can objectively complain about his game. The first goal took a goofy hop and he was screened on the other two. And while he may have gotten lucky on the reviewed non-goal by Foligno, he put his team in a position to attempt a come back. He played well enough to win.
-The Penguins dominated shots, 45-24.
-Letang led the game with seven.
-The only Penguins skaters who failed to record a shot on net were Engelland, Talbot and Godard.
-Foligno led the Senators with four.
-Karlsson led the game with 26:16.
-Crosby led the Penguins with 24:46.
-The Penguins had a 34-32 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).
-Letestu was 7 for 10 (70 percent).
-Winchester was 8 for 13 (62 percent).
-Fisher led the game with three blocked shots.
-Goligoski and Letang each led the Penguins with two.
-Kunitz's moved ahead of Greg Hotham for 100th place on the team's career scoring list. Both players have 74 points, but Kunitz (29) has more goals than Hotham (11).