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Maple Leafs 4, Penguins 3 - Final - 9-18-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

Greetings from the final preseason game at Mellon Arena. You are reading live on a warm late summer day. You can't find a cloud in the sky. It was a marvelous afternoon to walk up to the Arena. Looking down the Boulevard of the Allies:

-PPG's evil corporate lair:

-Remember how we showed you how Market Square was all ripped up just in time for the G20 on Tuesday:

-Well guess what brilliant implement of public relations they've employed to cover the ugly truth. Tarps!

-Welcome to Pittsburgh. Don't you dare look at our construction.

-The new Reed Smith Centre on Fifth Ave.:

-There's quite a bit of work going on down along Fifth Ave.:

The PNC building along Fifth Ave.and Wood Street has this really cool "plant" display alongside the building. This whole thing is made of shrubbery:

-If you didn't know that the Duquesne Club has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior in 1889, you do now:

-Welcome:

-Dan Bylsma's Qdoba:

-Mellon's evil corporate lair:

-Consol Energy Center rising up beind the Church of the Epiphany:

-And the current barn:

(We have no idea how that woman got in all three pictures.)

-Gate 3 still looks naked without the big screen:

-The ice:

-Check the comments for information on watching the game on line.

-Some sights around the arena. KDKA-TV's Jory Rand has a posse:

-A Luca Caputi Wilkes-Barre/Scranton jersey:

-Jaromir Jagr early 1990s:

-Is it us, or do you just not see nearly enough Sergei Gonchar jerseys?

-Sidney Crosby Rimouski Oceanic:

-Tom Barrasso has at least two fans here tonight:

-The student rush line filing in from Mario Lemieux Place:

-Jarkko Ruutu Vancouver Canucks:

-We're not sure if wearing the jersey of another team in honor a player who was popular with one of the teams at the arena you are presently at constitutes a jersey foul. And we're not even sure if that previous sentence made sense.

-Warm ups:

-Marc-Andre Fleury and James Reimer are your starting goaltenders.

-James Reimer? We're not sure if any records exist, but the Penguins might break some preseason scoring marks tonight.

-A little birdie told us Paul Bissonnette was planning on fighting tonight. He pretty much as to in order to make this roster.

-Sarah Marince is on hand for the national anthems.

-Just so we're clear, no Jimerson = no anthem pics from us.

FIRST PERIOD

19:38: Off a turnover in the neutral zone, Tyler Kennedy rushes in from the right wing and rips a wrister to the far side wide.

19:14: Matt Cook backhands a puck into the crease. Reimer flops down to stop it. Wyatt Smith is in the crease hacking away. The puck hops up in the air and Smith swats it into the net. The red light goes off. A crowd gathers behind the net around Caputi. Officials wave off the goal.

18:36: Cooke gives Carl Gunnarsson, who couldn't have a more Scandinavian name, a good stiff check into the boards behind Toronto's net.

18:12: Kris Letang sneaks in from the right point and snaps off a wrister. Reimer fights it off with a "thud."

18:10: Andy Rogers clears the rebound off Letang's shot out of play. That's two minutes for delay of game. Luca Caputi, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Goligoski. Letang and Bill Guerin are on for the power play.

17:58: Malkin is on the right point and  hammers a one-time which Reimer fights off.

17:23: After the penguins control play in the Toronto zone for about 35 seconds, Ian White clears the puck down ice.

16:53: Letang makes an errant backhanded pass to Goligoski at the top of the slot that clears the zone.

16:10: Rogers' penalty is killed. The Penguins controlled the puck well but did little with it.

15:40: Correction on an earlier note. Brent Johnson is the starting goaltender for the Penguins.

15:21: Bissonnette gets tied up with Jeff Finger in the neutral zone. Bissonnette takes a tumble. Finger gets two minutes for tripping. Caputi, Goligoski, Guerin, Malkin and Letang are on for the power play.

14:24: Caputi gets denied down low by Reimer. Reimer hangs on to freeze play. Garnet Exelby comes in and wipes out Caputi. A crowd gathers but little happens.

14:01: An official takes a tumble just outside the blue line. That brings probably the loudest cheer of the night.

13:17: Just as Finger's penalty is killed, the Penguins score. Goligoski controls the puck along the right wing. He snaps off a wrister. Cooke is right in front of Reimer on a screen and deflects the puck underneath the Toronto goaltender. Real nice subtle deflection by Cooke. Goligoski and Letang get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.

12:10: Rogers is having the roughest night of anyone who has ever worn No. 66 in this building. He's sent off for elbowing this time. Malkin, Caputi, Guerin, Goligoski and Letang are back on for the power play.

11:46: Malkin gets the puck at the top of the slot and hammers a slapper just wide of the cage. That bring an "ooooohhhhhhhh...." from the crowd.

11:15: Letang blasts a slapper from the left point that hits Caputi pretty squarely in front of the net. The shot staggers Caputi but he skates it off.

10:28: The feed from the Toronto broadcast is available up here in the press box and they just showed this little beauty:

That still isn't old.

10:10: Rogers' penalty is killed. The Penguins did little with that opportunity.

8:40: Darryl Boyce gets Toronto's first shot of the game as he swats a loose puck in the slot on net. Johnson fights it off.

8:04: Hopewell's own Nate Guenin slides down and makes a nice block on a Toronto shot from the right faceoff circle.

7:42: We get our first "LET'S GO PENS!" chant of the night.

6:53: Caputi gets a nice feed from Malkin in the slot and rips a wrister that appears a bit wide. Reimer reaches out and knocks it away with his blocker.

6:36: Ben Lovejoy hammers a slapper from the left point that misses the mark. It riccochets off the back boards and comes to the left of the cage. Malkin is there and is able to chip the puck in by Reimer on the stick side. Nice effort by Malkin to fight off his defender there. Somehow Cooke and Kennedy get credit for the assists. We're pretty sure we saw Lovejoy last touch that puck. Oh well. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 2-0.

4:53: John Mitchell is sent off for hooking. Guerin, Malkin, Caputi, Goligoski and Letang are on for the power play.

4:26: Malkin makes a pretty brutal turnover in the offensive zone as he backhands a puck right to Viktor Stahlberg. Eesh.

3:23: Caputi picks up a loose puck in the slot, turns and whips it at the net. A Toronto defender's stick deflects it high.

2:55: Malkin makes a nifty pass from just left of the net to Caputi in the left faceoff circle. Caputi kneels down and snaps off a wrister. Reimer eats it up.

2:23: During a television timeout, a video of the Penguins meeting President Obama at the White House draws some boos.

1:09: Everytime Rogers touches the puck, he gets booed. We suppose some folks are a little testy about him wearing No. 66.

0:53: Mike Rupp rips a wrister that appears to get deflected out of play.

0:19: Brooks Orpik sneaks a wrister through traffic on net. Reimer fights it off.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-That was a pretty dominant period for the Penguins. And they didn't even seem to be going full speed.

-It should be noted that a lot of the players in the Maple Leafs' roster tonight will probably be playing in the AHL this season. Most of Toronto's NHL talent played against the Flyers' last night.

-Cooke had a pretty good period. He went to the net, created a little traffic, fullfilled his normal duties on the forecheck and mixed it up a bit.

-Caputi looks like he belongs in the NHL. He's been on the Penguins' power play and doesn't seem overwhelmed playing on Malkin's wing. He's been mixing it up a bit in traffic as well.

-Goligoski looks really  smooth and composed anytime he handles the puck.

-Hard to tell anyting about Brent Johnson after that period. He was hardly tested.

-Wyatt Smith had a few decent moments that period.

-Malkin almost looks bored out there.

-The Penguins have a 10-3 lead in shots.

-Caputi leads the game with three.

-Alex Foster, former Penguins forward Tim Brent and Boyce each have one for Toronto.

-Goligoski leads the game with 8:18 of ice time. Letang is right behind him with 8:14.

-White leads Toronto with 7:41.

-Toronto has a 14-9 lead in faceoffs (61 percent).

-Jason Allison, we forgot he was on Toronto's training camp roster, is 4 for 5 (80 percent).

-Kennedy is 3 for 5 (60 percent).

-No one has more than one blocked shot.

-The scorers took away Kennedy's assist on Malkin's goal and awarded it to Lovejoy.

SECOND PERIOD

18:57: Cooke fights his way through traffic and rips a wrister high of the Toronto net.

18:07: Johnson kicks out a swirster by Stahlberg in teh slot.

18:00: Reimer eatsup a wrister by Chris Lee from the left faceoff circle.

17:34: Craig Adams is just destroying anything in a white sweater. First he runs over Gunnarsson with a clean check along the boards in the Toronto zone. Boyce tries to jump Adams. Adams sticks an elbow in his face before Boyce can do anything. Boyce is on the ice in some discomfort. Nick Johnson and Rogers get tangled up. Adams drops his glove and just kind of grabs Matt Stajan. Boyce recovers and skates to the bench in a daze. A couple of penalties are doled out. Adams gets a five minute major for elbowing. He definitely deserved that Rogers and Johnson each get two minutes for roughing. Toronto gets a five minute power play. Lovejoy, Cooke, Orpik and Kennedy are on for the penalty kill.

17:19: It doesn't take Toronto long to cash in. Gunnarsson rips a wrister from the top of the slot. It misses the mark and hits off the backboards. Long-time nemesis Jason Blake fights off Lovejoy and is able to collect the puck and sneak it in behind Johnson who was a bit out of place. That's Blake's 8232nd career goal against the Penguins. We think. Gunnarsson and Allison get assists. Penguins 2-1.

15:15: The Maple Leafs are making the most of of this power play. White collects the puck at the top of the slot, tees it up and simply blows a rising slapper that Johnson appeared to be lost on. Johnson just kind of waves his glove at it and gets burnt. Not a great goal for him to give up. Blake (Who else?) and Mitchell get assists. Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 2.

 13:45: Guenin collects a puck and calmly swats it down ice to kill some time.

13:01: Finger sneaks in from the right point and rips a wrister. Johnson boots it away.

12:48: More trouble for the Penguins. Lovejoy is nabbed for hooking. Toronto will have a five on three for 15 seconds. Goligoski, Letang and Smith are on for the penalty kill.

12:28: Just as Adams' penalty is killed, Toronto scores. Allison controls the puck on the left wing and dishes a pass to Mitchell in the slot. Mitchell fires a wrister that beats Johnson on the stick side. This has been a terrible six minutes for the Penguins. Allison and White get assists. Maple Leafs 3-2.

11:30: On a three-on-two, Smith dishes a feed to Adams in the slot. Adams rips a wrister high. Reimer is able to hang on for the save.

11:09: Tim Wallace knocks down a Maple Leafs player along the boards with a nice check.

10:05: Big Mike Rupp hammers Finger into the boards in the corner and drops the Toronto defender.

9:34: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

9:17: During a stoppage, Bissonnette tries to start something but officials pull him away from the pack. Marc-Andre Fleury replaces Johnson. Fleury gets a partial standing ovation. And a "FLERRRR-EEEEE! FLERRRR-EEEEE!" chant. Cooke grabs a few pucks and fires a few slappers from the slot to warm up Fleury.

9:01: Goligoski gets tangled up with a few Toronto players and takes a nasty tumble. Despite that, he's able to battle and keep the puck in the Toronto zone. Nice hustle.

8:17: Malkin carries the puck into the offensive zone with a little speed, leaves a drop pass for Caputi and drives towards the net. Caputi takes the puck and snaps off a wrister which Reimer fights off.

7:35: Stahlberg whips a wrister on net from the right wing. Fleury kicks it out with ease for his first save of the night.

6:40: Blake flies in on net with speed blowing by Lovejoy to the outside. He shoots low. Fleury attempts a poke check but is able to make the save with one of his leg. Nice save.

5:52: Caputi hustles up the right wing with the puck and tips it by White. He tries to cut inside White but gets tripped up. Officials halt play and give White a tripping penalty. That's not enough for Malkin who skates up White and gives him some of the business. A crowd gathers. Caputi ends up falling on top of Brent in a scrum. White also gets a roughing penalty along with Malkin. Robert Slaney will serve one of White's penalties. The Penguins will end up with a power play. Letang, Goligoski, Kennedy, Guerin and Caputi are on for the power play.

5:46: The Penguins' power play come to an end as Guerin is nabbed for slashing. Four-on-four for 1:54.

3:47: Guerin's and one of White's penalties have each ended and we're back to full strength.

3:33: A fight breaks out down in front of the Penguins' penalty box. Rogers and Bissonnette go at it and quickly fall over. It's not much of a fight, but Bissonnette delivered on his guarantee to fight.

3:23: Another stoppage. Guerin goes back to the penalty box. This time for tripping. Guenin, Cooke, Orpik and Adams are on for the penalty kill.

3:06: Orpik skates the puck into the neutral zone and chips it into the corner in Toronto's zone. He tries to get by Finger but is held up. He gives Finger a few shots to the face. Finger hooks him a bit. No penalties.

1:34: Juraj Mikus picks up a loose puck at the left point. Skates into the slot fending off a backcheck by Malkin and rips a wrister by Flery on the stick side. Really nice shot by Mikus. Poor defense by the penguins. Matt Stajan gets the only assist. The Penguins' penalty kill has been dreadful tonight. Maple Leafs 4-2.

0:04: Letang gets clobbered by Mitchell in the corner on a clean check.

0:00: End of period. Maple Leafs 4, Penguins 2.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-We realize this isn't the Penguins full line up and a lot of their regular penalty killers like Jordan Staal and Mark Eaton are sitting out, but this group of players on the ice tonight needs a refresher on penalty killing. They have been dreadful against what is barely an NHL lineup.

-Toronto is 4 for 6 (67 percent) on the power play. Yeesh.

-Ben Lovejoy has been a tad disapointing. He's looked overwhelmed by the speed of the game at some points.

-Nate Guenin hasn't really done much, but he's done more than Lovejoy.

-Caputi kind of came back to earth that period.

-The Penguins have a 19-14 lead in shots.

-Caputi and Malkin each lead the game with four.

-Alex Foster leads Toronto with three.

-Gunnarsson leads the game with 16:02 of ice time.

-Letang leads the game with 15:49.

-Toronto is leading in faceoffs, 28-14 (67 percent).

-Brent is 7 for 8 (88 percent). Fire Ray Shero.

-Kennedy is 5 for 10 (50 percent).

-Guenin, Jiri Tlusty, Jamal Mayers and Mikus lead the game with two blocked shots each.

-The Penguins' in-game entertainment crew comes through with some "Smile Like You Mean It" by The Killers:

-This is a left over from Tuesday' game, but we spotted this Stu Barne jersey:

-Best message sent to the video board:

"HEY ROGERS 66'S TAKEN"

-Toronto overlord Brian Burke just walked by in the press box barking at someone, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN ITS DONE?"

-Slaney was awarded an assist on Mikus goal.

THIRD PERIOD

18:00: We totally overlooked this news, but the Maple Leafs acquired forward Phil Kessel from the Bruins. We'll have more later.

16:53: Wallace is sent off for tripping. Cooke, Lovejoy, Orpik and Adams are on for the kill.

15:28: Cooke gets a chance in tight shorthanded but can't get it by

14:40: Gunnarsson hammers a slapper wide of the cage.

14:22: White is sent off for tripping. Malkin, Capuit, Guerin, Goligoski and Letang are on for power play.

13:19: Caputi gets a chance in front but can't get it by Joey MacDonald.

13:07: Johnson controls the puck behidn the net and dishes it to Orpik who sneaks in from the right point. Orpik kneels down and snaps a wrister by MacDonald on the glove side. Nifty little shot by Orpik. Johnson and Konstantin Pushkarev get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Maple Leafs 4-3.

12:21: Allison is sent off for slashing. Malkin, Guerin, Cooke, Letang and Goligoski are on for the power play.

11:51: Malkin enters the offensive zone with speed one-on-one with a defender. He fires a rising wrister that MacDonald traps against his chest.

11:04: Mayers turns and flings a puck into his bench halting play.

10:35: Kennedy cuts across the slot and flings a backhander on net. It appears to get by MacDonald for a bit but the Toronto goaltende is able reach back and keep the puck out. Big save there.

10:21: Allison's penalty is killed. Not a lot there for the Penguins' to brag about.

9:17: Adams whips a backhander wide of the cage.

9:00: Lovejoy's lackluster night continues as he's sent off for roughing. Rupp, Cooke, Lee and Letang are on for the kill.

8:25: Juraj Mikus takes the 123rd penalty of the night (we think). Four on four for 1:25.

7:45: Fleury stones a Toronto player. "FLERRR-EEEE! FLERRR-EEEE!"

6:39: Guerin gets a chance in tight and pushes a shot that he whiffs on a bit on net. MacDonald covers it.

5:20: Cooke snaps off a wrister that a Toronto player appears to tip high.

4:38: Cooke jabs Mayers with a solid  hit along the boards and sends him tumbling.

2:44: Kennedy cuts across the slot again and backhand a puck on net. MacDonald is just able to kick it out.

1:00: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.

0:31: Dan Bylsma calls a time out to organize a night everyone can come over watch "Predator." We think:

0:00: End of game. Maple Leafs 4, Penguins 3.

POSTGAME

-Well that was kind of brutal to watch. The Penguins kind of seemed to lose interest after the first period while the Maple Leafs had a bunch of AHLers fighting for jobs.

-We're not really sure to take from this game from a team perspective. The special teams for the Penguins were not good, but a lot of key players weren't in the lineup.

-Caputi looked solid in the first peiod but his performance tailed off along with the rest of the team after the first period.

-Ben Lovejoy was underwhelming.

-Nate Guenin was whelming.

-Malkin looked amazing during some stretches and bored in others.

-Cooke played a pretty complete game.

-Brent Johnson was not sharp. He allowed three goals on eight shots.

-Fleury was better than he was Tuesday against Columbus but not spectacular.

-No one else really stood out.

-The Penguins had a 27-17 lead in shots.

-Kennedy led the Penguins with five.

-Foster and Stahlberg each led Toronto with three.

-Letang led the game with 24:57 of ice time.

-Exelby led the Maple Leafs with 24:53.

-Toronto dominated faceoffs, 38-24 (61 percent).

-Brent was 8 for 10 (80 percent). Fire Ray Shero.

-Smith was 5 for 10 (50 percent).

-Mayers led the game with three blocked shots.

-Guenin lead the Penguins with two.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights.

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