Hey, guess where we are:
No, not quite:
-Tough Eric Godard is in the lineup for the Penguins. He has missed 17 games due to a groin injury.
-Godard is no stranger to the rough stuff with the Bruins. He squared off with Boston tough guy Shawn Thornton in October of 2008:
-Back in March of 2006, Godard, then a member of the Islanders, fought former Penguins defenseman Hal Gill, then of the Bruins:
-The Penguins' scratches are Maxime Talbot, Evgeni Malkin and Jay McKee.
-The Bruins' scratches are Trent Whitfield, Johnny Boychuk, Jeff Penner and Brad Marchand.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Tuukka Rask are your starters in net.
-For the record, we're calling Mark Stuart as the person who tries to settle things with Matt Cooke.
-The 1970 Stanley Cup champion Bruins are honored on the ice. Former Bruins goaltender and Penguins executive/coach Eddie Johnston is among those in attendance.
-Nice to see the Bruins aren't even wearing a jersey with a spoked "B" for the occasion. Instead, they're wearing those stupid black, death ninja attack squad jerseys with the bear on the front:
-FSN Pittsburgh provides the lines and defensive pairings:
-As Bob Errey points out, Cooke has a little help in terms of the rough stuff in the form of Craig Adams and Mike Rupp.
-Rene Rancourt does the national anthem. He's a fine singer, but he's no Jimerson.
-There is a ceremonial faceoff before the game between Zdeno Chara and Sidney Crosby with Bruins greats Bobby Orr and "The Chief" Johnny Bucyk. We're sure Bruins broadcaster Jack Edwards is disappointed Bucyk is didn't punch Crosby.
18:10: Boos greet Cooke as the takes the ice for the first itme..
18:02: And we don't waste any time here. Cooke skates into the right faceoff circle in the Penguins' zone. He makes contact with Thornton and they square up. They drop the gloves, circle one another and lock up. They each stay in tight with one another landing a few hits. Thornton ends up getting the advantage as he falls over onto Cooke. As officials try to step in, Thornton keeps punching Cooke. Both players continue to mouth off to one another as officials pull them apart. Fans roar for Thornton. Both players get fighting majors. Thornton also gets a 10-minute misconduct. We're assuming Thornton got it for carrying on after officials stepped in. Good. Hopefully that ends everything and all parties can move on. It's settled per the code of the sport. Or it should be.
15:36: Ruslan Fedotenko takes a tumble in front of the Bruins' bench.
15:12: Dupuis snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Rask fights it off into the corner.
14:37: Daniel Paille appers to beat Fleury five-hole with a little move in tight but Fleury gets enough of the puck and kicks it out to the corner.
14:24: The Penguins are nabbed for too many men on the ice. Tyler Kennedy will serve the penalty. Crosby, Brooks Orpik, Dupuis and Jordan Leopold take the ice.
13:49: Patrice Bergeron snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Fleury fights it off.
13:23: Dennis Seidenberg cranks a slapper from right point which gets by Fleury on the stick side and clinks off the far post.
13:12: Orpik had a bit of a collision in the corner with Blake Wheeler and David Krejci.
13:08: Another post! Chara blasts a slapper from the left point. It clunks off the right post. According to Errey, Fleury rubbed the post afterwards out of gratitude.
12:24: The Penguins' penalty is killed. They got a little luck there.
11:45: Fleury has some trouble with a puck behind his own net and loses the puck to Krejci. Argh.
11:26: Welcome back Tyler Kennedy. The Penguins get the puck out of their own zone following the Fleury turnover. Ruslan Fedotenko picks it up just inside his own blue line, turns and flicks it up to Kennedy on the right wing. That creates a two-one-one against Andrew Ference. Kennedy coasts towarsd the net and snaps off a wrister which burns Rask by his glove hand. That looked like the October version of Kennedy. Fedotenko and Orpik get assists. Penguins 1-0.
-We know it's a road game. We just haven't heard it in forever.
10:26: Ryder has a bit of a two-on-one with Krejci. He forces a pass to Krejci to the right of the cage. Goligoski flops down to the ice and makes a wonderful block on the pass.
9:08: Rask fights off a slappery by Kennedy.
7:32: Krejci picks up a loose puck in the neutral zone, gains the blue line with speed and from the slot, he rips a wrister to the far side wide.
7:16: Cooke controls the puck behind the Bruins net to boos.
7:08: Cooke kicks out the right foot of Seidenberg behind the Bruins' net. Officials send him to the box immediately. Orpik, Staal, Leopold and Dupuis take the ice. The Penguins have had to kill their first two shorthanded situations without one of their best penalty killers in Cooke.
5:49: Ryder re-directs a shot/pass by Wideman from the slot on net. Fleury hangs on and kicks it out. Tough save.
5:20: Marco Sturm deals a puck to Chara at the right point. Chara blasts a one-timer which is well wide to the far side.
5:08: Cooke's penalty is killed. The Penguins looked a lot better on that penalty kil than teh first.
4:33: As Milan Lucic rattles Bill Guerin into the boards in the neutral zone, Rupp lifts a wrister from the left circle. Rask gloves it.
4:03: Paul Steigerwald refers to Cam Neely as a gorilla.
3:42: Off a turnover by the Penguins in their own zone, Miroslav Satan snaps off wrister from the right circle. Fleury's handcuffed a bit by the shot but is able to shrug his left shoulder up and get a enough of it. The puck pops straight up into the air and lands on the top of the net. Officials halt play.
2:39: Staal blocks a slapper by Chara. Staal picks up the rebound, pushes it out of the defensive zone and limps slightly to the bench. Ouch.
1:39: Wideman chops a shot from the right point which is wide on the far side. The Bruins keep going for the stick side on Fleury.
1:03: Off a turnover in his own zone by Gonchar, Recchi steals the puck and snaps off a wrister from the left circle which appears to get blocked partially and goes wide.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Bruins 0.
-Well so much for this being some great, epic slobberknocker of a show down. That first period was very tame.
-And weren' not just saying it was tame from a physical standpoint, neither team really attacked the offensvie zone with any regularity.
-Fleury looks a little skittish. Hopefully for the Penguins, he can settle down a bit.
-Shots are even, 5-5.
-Kennedy leads the game with two.
-Seidenberg leads the game with 8:14 of ice time.
-Brooks Oprik leads the Penguins with 8:04.
-The Penguins have an 8-5 lead in faceoffs (62 percent).
-Steve Begin is 3 for 3 (100 percent).
-Staal is 4 for 5 (80 percent).
-No one has more than one blocked shot.
19:20: Cooke controls the puck twice and is booed twice.
18:59: Kris Letang snaps off a wrister from the right wing. Rask gets a piece of it with his blocker.
18:49: Guerin takes a pass, moves into the right circle, winds up and pumps a slapper on net. Rask gets a piece of it with his right foot.
17:38: Vladimir Sobotka is nabbed for hooking Fedotenko. Crosby, Gonchar, Guerin, Goligoski and Alexei Ponikarovsky take the ice.
17:23: Gonchar chucks a shot on net from the top of the slot. It hits a body in front. Ponikarovsky is down low for the rebound but can't quite do anything with it.
17:08: Goligoski sneaks in from the left point, picks up a loose puck and lifts a wrister
16:43: Ponikarovsky drops Chara in the corner. No small feat.
16:18: Gonchar cranks a slapper which Paille blocks.
16:07: Crosby deals a puck to Guerin the left circle. Guerin snaps off a wrister which Rask gets with his chest.
15:56: From the right circle, Crosby backhands a puck off the side of the net.
15:44: Gonchar cranks a slapper from the right point. It hits a body in front. Crosby moves in and flicks a wrister. Chara blocks that and chucks it down ice to kill off the rest of Sobotka's penalty. The Penguins dominated puck possession that two minutes.
14:34: Kunitz fires a slapper from the right circle. Rask boots it out.
14:06: The Bruinf finally get the puck into the Penguins' zone for a moment. That's greeted with a Bronx cheer.
13:51: Kennedy sneaks a pass from the right wing into the slot. Dupuis is there all alone with a chance on Rask but whiffs as he tries to jab the puck on net.
13:38: Sturm works the puck up the left wing and deals a pass to Bergeron on the right wing. Bergeron lifts a wrister. Fleury challenges and fights off the puck.
13:32: Play is halted when Dupuis fires a slapper from the left wing which Ference deflects out of play with his stick.
13:05: Paille rattles Gonchar in teh corner with a shoulder check.
12:23: Gonchar controls the puck behidn the net. He doesn't seem prepared for the forecheck of Lucic who barges in and steals the puck. Gonchar ends up tripping him up. That's two minutes. Cooke, Staal, Orpik and Letang take the ice.
11:41: Staal steals a pass, turns and whips it down ice.
11:27: Ryder lifts a quick shot on net. Fleury gloves it.
10:23: Gonchar's penalty is killed. The Penguins really limited the Bruins that two minutes.
10:15: Lucic mashes Eaton into the boards.
9:47: Paille has a chance with a loose puck int he slot. But before he can gain possession, Crosby flies back on a backcheck, dives and pokes it into the corner. What an effort by Crosby.
8:17: Right off a faceoff, Rupp and Chara drop the gloves. Rupp (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) has never looked so small. Chara (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) pretty much controls the fight as Rupp just played defense. We understand Chara was trying to get his team charged up, but what does he accomplish with that? The Penguins lose a fourth-liner for five minutes. The Bruins lose a Norris Trophy win. You tell us who wins that.
8:00: Mark Stuart is nabbed for hooking Fedotenko. That's the second time Fedotenko has drawn a hooking penalty this period. Gonchar, Goligoski, Crosby, Ponikarovsky and Guerin take the ice.
6:00: The Stuart penalty is killed. The Penguins did absolutely nothing with that power play.
4:38: Letang blocks a slapper by Satan.
4:13: Wideman cranks a slapper from the right point. Satan is in front and attempts a re-direction. Fleury fights it off and covers the rebound. Orpik shoves Satan out of the way. That was probably the Bruins' best scoring chance.
3:27: Sturm chops a slapper from the left circle. Fleury boots it out.
2:19: Begin takes a run at Dupuis along the boards in the Penguins' zone. Dupuis dodges most of the hit but Begin still makes contact with a knee-on-knee hit. Both plyaers go down, but Begin takes the worst of the hit. Regardless, he gets two minutes for kneeing. That was more reckless than dirty. Crosby, Gonchar, Ponikarovsky, Guerin and Letang take the ice.
2:01: Letang drives a slapper on net. Rask hangs on despite traffic.
1:01: Crosby deals a pass to Letang moving in from the left point. Letang whips a wrister which hits a body in front.
0:24: From the left of the cage, Kunitz deals a pass through the crease to Ponikarovsky who snaps off a wrister which sails wide on the far side.
0:14: Welcome back Kris Letang. Gonchar controls the puck at the top of the slot and deals to Letang on the left half wall. Letang one-times in on net. It gets Chara and is re-directed by the stick blade of Ponikarovsky down low. The puck beats Rask five hole. The goal was scored just after the end of Begin's penalty, but it's essentially a power play goal. Begin took a stupid penalty and the Penguins made him pay. Letang and Gonchar get assists. Penguins 2-0.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Bruins 0.
-That was a much more entertaining period. Lots of skating. Lots of shots. And there was a little bit more physicality.
-The Penguins pretty much dominated that period. They controlled the puck for the most part and just kept the bulk of the play in Boston's zone.
-Rask has had a really good game outside of the Kennedy goal. If not for him, the Penguins are up by a few more goals.
-The Bruins have had very few quality offensive chances.
-It would be a stretch to say Fleury has been challenged.
-The Penguins have a 20-10 lead in shots.
-In the second period alone, the Penguins had a 15-5 advantage.
-Guerin leads the game with four.
-Ryder leads the Bruins with two.
-Gonchar leads the game with 17:16 of ice time.
-Seidenberger leads the Bruins with 16:42.
-The Penguins have a 15-13 edge in faceoffs (54 percent).
-Crosby is 7 for 10 (70 percent).
-Begin is 6 for 7 (81 percent).
-Eaton, Paille, Ference, Chara and Stuart each lead the game with two blocked shots.
-Were we the only ones who could hear the producer for FSN Pittsburgh yelling "Go, go, go!" during the intermission?
18:43: Rask fights off a chance by Kunitz.
16:41: Stuart blasts a slapper from the left point which sails high, hits the glass and pops out of play.
16:00: Off a steal by Crosby, Orpik blasts a slapper from the left point which totally miss the net.
14:47: Oh wow?!?! Where did that come from!?!?! Rupp blocks a shot by Bergeron at the left point. The rebound kicks up ice. Despite being at the end of his shift, Rupp chases is down, pushes it up the right wing and dwith Lucic and Stuart applying phantom pressure, Rupp rips a wrister from the faceoff circle to the far side which burns Rask on the stick side. What an effort by Rupp. What where the Bruins doing there? They totally dogged it on that play. The goal is unassisted. Rupp probably deserves credit for his own assist. Penguins 3-0.
12:41: Off a faceoff win, Goligoski sneaks a wrister through traffic from the left point. Rask fights it off. Tough save.
10:42: Satan snaps off a light wrister from inside the Penguins' blue line. That's the Bruins' first shot on goal in quite a while. That prompts another Bronx cheer.
9:30: Chara whips a wrister from the left point. It hits a body in front and deflects wide.
9:00: Crosby creates a two-on-one with Kunitz against Ference. Crosby elects to shoot from the left wing. He snaps a wrister high. Rask fights it off. Crosby pursues the rebound but his held off by Ference. Crosby loses his lid.
7:37: Fleury fights off a shot in tight by Paille. Leopold is called for holding Paille. Bruins must get a goal here. Staal, Cooke, Eaton and Gonchar take the ice.
7:17: Wheeler gets a chance to the right of the cage but can't jam one by Fleury.
6:13: Dupuis blocks a slapper by Wideman at the left point.
5:51: Off a steal by Cooke, Staal dumps the puck down ice.
5:37: The Leopold penalty is killed.
5:24: Crosby gains the blue line in the slot and deals a backhanded pass to Guerin on the right wing. Guerin snaps off a wrister which is off the mark.
3:32: And the Bruins are nabbed for too many men. That pretty much sums up their night. Totally out of whack. Crosby, Kunitz, Guerin, Gonchar and Goligoski take the ice.
2:30ish: Steigerwal talks about Guerin's days with the Bruins:
1:43: As Steigerwald talks about some nutso fan who who blocked the Penguins' team bus with his car this morning and challenged them to a fight, Kunitz puts a slapper on net. Rask makes the save.
1:24: Thornton comes out of the penalty box and has the making sof a breakaway as he chases down a loose puck in the slot in the Penguins' zone. Fleury comes flying out of the net and pokes it away. In the process, Thornton tumbles of Fleury who loses his stick and his glove. Yeesh. That was a little scary.
1:09: Lucic snaps off a wrister from the slot on net. Fleury gloves it and freezes play.
0:00: End of game. Fleury gets his first shutout of the season. Penguins 3, Bruins 0.
-It's kind of funny how the roles in this game can be reversed. Last night, the Penguins were the team playing with something to prove. They wanted to show they could beat the Devils at least once. They were playing for their lives as the Atlantic Division leaders. But they come out and get run over by the Devils. Tonight, the Bruins were the team with everything in the world to prove. They wanted to prove they're one of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference and they also wanted to prove they can stand up for themselves. But they end up being the team which comes out flat.
-This was a huge rebound by the Penguins. The loss in New Jersey might've been their worst loss of the season. But they shook that off, walked right into a potential buzzsaw in Boston and came away with an effiicient clean win.
-The Bruins had so much momentum going into this game. The got to sit at home and sleep in their own beds as the Penguins were coming off a crushing road loss in New Jersey. And there was so much energy coming into this game over how to handle Matt Cooke. But they were just flat.
-We wonder how healthy this team is in regards to the illness several members were dealing with.
-You have to give Matt Cooke credit for how he handled the situation. He knew it was coming. He stepped on the ice, got an invitiation from Shawn Thornton and took care of business. Thornton won the fight and that was it. End of story. Cooke doesn't have a strong reputation in terms of fightning, specfically in regards to his willingness. But he did what he had to tonight.
-What a rebound by Marc-Andre Fleury. It would be a stretch to say he was challenged, but he came off a disaster of a game in New Jersey and recorded his first shutout of the season.
-Fleury's last shutout was nearly a year ago. He made 31 saves against the Flames in a 2-0 home win, March 25, 2009.
-We loved what Mike Rupp did tonight. He played a few more minutes tonight due to some line up changes and responded with a strong all-around game. His goal was the product of a fantastic all-out effort. Additionally, he took one of the best players in the NHL in Zdeno Chara off the ice for five minutes. And he was solid defensively.
-We thought Ruslan Fedotenko played a stronger game than usual. He was responsible for the play that got the puck out of the Penguins' zone and set up Tyler Kennedy's goal. And he drew a few penalties.
-The Penguins' blue line was a lot cleaner tonight. Granted, they could only improve after last night's disaster, but all the defensemen, especially Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski, played much "cleaner" tonight. If that makes sense.
-Ponikarovsky had a nice rebound game. His goal was exactly the type of score you need from him. Down low off a re-direction. Additionally he was solid in the high traffic areas and was a presence on the back check occasionally. We're starting to think he's an up and down presence.
-You'll never win any games when your offense gets blanked, but Tuukka Rask wasn't sharp. His positioning on the first and third goals was less than ideal.
-The Penguins dominated shots, 31-17.
-Bill Guerin led the game with five shots.
-Milan Lucic led the Bruins with three.
-Dennis Seidenberg led the game with 25:31 of ice time.
-Sergei Gonchar led the Penguins with 23:02.
-Eric Godard had 3:31 of ice time on five shifts.
-The Bruins led in faceoffs, 24-20 (55 percent).
-Steve Begin was 9 for 11 (82 percent).
-Sidney Crosby was 9 for 15 (60 percent).
-Chara and Letang each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Brooks Orpik recorded his 75th career point.
-Here's a who's who of players. Rupp moved past Rene Corbet, Andy Hilbert, Pete Laframboise, Rene Robert and Neil Wilkinson for 258th place on the team's all-time scoring list. All six players have 18 points, but Rupp (13) has more goals than Corbet (9), Hilbert (7), Lafromboise (5), Robert (7) and Wilkinson (4).
-Fleury moved past Manny Fernandez and Brian Hayward for 100th place on the NHL's all-time career wins list. Fleury has 144 while Fernandez and Hayward each have 143.