Hello from Pittsburgh. We opted to walk up to Mellon Arena today and take in the beautiful autumn day:
-Fifth Avenue Place:
-Point Park College's...er... University's Lawrence Hall:
(That arrow is pointing to the dorm room we lived in for two years.)
-A propaganda poster from World War II in a store along Smithfield Street:
(The window was real dirty.)
-The City-County Building:
-A Curtis Joseph Maple Leafs jersey:
-A few yahoos are already here:
-Major jersey foul here. Not only does this idiot has his jersey tucked in, but it's an Eric Lindros jersey to boot:
-Bryan McCabe jersey:
-The line outside Gate 2:
-The fan festival along Mario Lemieux Place:
-Gary Roberts Maple Leafs jersey:
-A CBC minivan:
(We have no idea why, but that's just awesome in our eyes. We're weird.)
-Curtis Joseph is scheduled to start in net for Toronto tonight. He gave up one of the more famous goals in Penguins history just over seven years ago:
-Toronto's scratches are Jeff Finger, Ian White, Mike Van Ryn and Ryan Hollweg.
The Penguins have scratched Darryl Sydor, Paul Bissonnette and Matt Cooke.
-A Mario Lemieux Team Canada jersey:
-Darryl Sittler jersey:
-A Randy Carlyle t-shirt jersey for sale in a kiosk here at the arena:
-Nice, but one problem. This is the logo on the front:
-A Connor James jersey:
-We like ran over three kids to get this picture. Then we smashed the guy wearing the jersey.
-Look at the guns on this guy:
The national anthems are sung. No Jeff Jimerson so no picture from us. We didn't hear any booing from up here in the press box. Good showing Penguins fans. Stay classy.
-Marc-Andre Fleury get the start in net.
19:55: Wow that was quick. Niklas Hagman gets called for hookings. SIdney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Goligoski, Petr Sykora and Miroslav Satan on for the power play.
19:45: Former Penguin Dominic Moore steals the puck, pushes it up ice and pumps a shot on net. Fleury makes the save. The rebound pops up in the air and bounces off the top of the net.
19:20: Sykora rips a wrister from the right wing. Joseph kicks it out.
19:07: Malkin picks up a loose puck near the net and fires a wrister. Joseph with the save.
18:05: Tyler Kennedy tries to center a pass from the corner but misses the target. The puck sails all the way to the other end of the ice and that essentially kills the power play.
16:56: The great Mike Zigomanis covers a puck in the corner and freezes play. The might've been the greatest puck covering in the history of hockey.
16:15: Malkin leaves a drop pass for Crosby along the right boards. Before Crosby can pick it up, Jonas Frogren drops Crosby with a nice shoulder check.
15:25: Hagman tosses a puck towards a puck towards the net from the corner. It bouces off Rob Scuderi and riccochets towards the net. Fleury is able to hold it out.
14:20: Goligoski gets away with a high stick on Alexander Steen in the corner.
13:41: Jordan Staal dishes a nice feed to Sykora in the slot and Sykora sweeps a shot right on net. Joseph with the save.
12:43: Scuderi scoops up a loose puck at the blue line and shoots on net. Joseph gloves it. We don't t think Rob Scuderi has heard so many people at one time yell, "SHOOOOOT!" at him at once. During a commercial break, a piece about "The Save" is played.
-Following the video, Frank Pietrangelo is shown in the stands and gets an ovation. Solid.
-Goligoski actually got a double minor for high sticking. Apologies for the error. Scuderi, Zigomanis, Mark Eaton and Staal are on for the penalty kill.
11:47: Pavel Kubina snaps a quick shot from the left wing. Fleury traps it against his chest and freezes play. Brooks Oprik, Maxime Talbot and Pascal Dupuis join Eaton on the ice.
10:43: Goligoski's first penalty expires, Scuderi, Hal Gill, Crosby and Jarkoo Ru...er.. uh... Bill Thomas take to the ice. Sorry, we still see Ruutu in No. 27.
9:48: Nikolai Kulemin whips a wrister on net from the slot. Fleury gloves it.
9:31: Orpik smashes Mikhail Grabovski in the corner.
8:43: The Penguins kill both penalties. Weak effort by Toronto with the man advantage. They controlled the puck a bunch, but didn't put a lot of shots on net.
8:24: Kubina fires a slapper from the point. Orpik blocks it with is ankle. Eaton is called for hooking. Talbot, Gill, Scuderi and Dupuis on for the penalty kill.
7:32: Talbot backhands a clear out of the Penguins' zone. Orpik, Kris Letang, Thomas and Zigomanis take the ice.
7:00: Orpik rings a clear off the boards. Scuderi, Staal, Kennedy and Gill take the ice.
6:24: The penalty is killed. Another weak effort by Toronto.
6:17: The Penguins go to the penalty box yet again. This time it's for too many men. The Penguins protest it quite a bit. Sykora serves the two minutes. Zigomanis, Staal, Scuderi and Gill on again for the kill.
5:35: Sooner or later, Toronto was going to get a goal. Jason Blake rips a shot from the slot. Fleury makes the initial save. Nikolai Antropov is there to chop the rebound under Fleury. Not a great goal by Fleury to give up. You have to think Maple Leafs 1-0.
4:44: The Penguins move the puck around in the Toronto zone. Crosby takes is and forces it towards the net. The puck comes loose. Dupuis is there to shuffle it under Joseph. The "Hey Song" is played. Crosby and Malkin get the assists. It is Crosby's 200th career assist. It is also his 299th career point. Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 1.
3:14: During a stoppage, Eric Godard and few of the Maple Leafs exchange their opinions on the Venice Film Festival. We think.
2:50:The Penguins put a shot on net. We missed it. We were digging up the Wikipedia page for the Venice Film Festival. Sorry.
0:14: Dupuis throws a puck on net from the corner. Joseph makes the save. Malkin digs for a rebound. Luke Schenn and company mob Malkin and push him against the boards. A scrum ensues.
0:00: End of period. Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 1.
-That was kind of an odd period. Considering how much power-play time the Maple Leafs had, the Penguins are probably a bit lucky to be tied.
-Shots are even, 12-12.
-The Penguins control faceoffs, 11-5. Staal is 3-for-3. The not-so-great Mike Zigomanis is 0-for-1.
-Kubina leads in ice time with 8:06.
-Orpik leads the Penguins with 7:18.
-Best messages sent to the video board:
"Where is Jeff Jimerson?"
"Scuderi is life."
19:33: Malkin comes up ice with the puck, criss-crosses with Dupuis and feeds him the puck Dupuis sweeps a quick shot on net. Joseph eats it up. Nice little play.
19:02: Kulemin pushes a soft shot on net. A prone Fleury nudges it out with his left toe.
18:05: Jason Blake zips a shot on net from the left wing. Fleury makes the save. The rebound carries out of play.
17:45: Crosby carries the puck up ice and throws a pass to Malkin near the blue line. Malkin gives it back to him. Crosby then dishes a pass to Dupuis in the crease. He's tied up with a Maple Leaf and can't quite get his stick on the puck.
15:15: Fedotenko is called for hooking Anton Stralman. It's the right call, but Stralman got away with a dive. Talbot, Dupuis, Scuderi and Gill on for the kill.
14:47: Dupuis steals a puck at the blue line and forces it up ice. A two-on-none appears to develop but play is stopped once Talbot touches the puck. A hand pass is called. Fans boo but it's the right call. Replays show Dupuis forcing it up ice with his hand. Eaton, Staal, Zigomanis and Orpik on for the kill.
14:12: 17,033 is the announce attendance. That's 99 from a complete standing room only sell out.
13:16: Thomas blocks a shot and forces the puck up ice. From the left wing, he throws a wrister on net. Joseph with the save. Ruslan Fedotenko's penalty expires.
12:57: The Penguins will get a power play. Frogren is called interference. During the stoppage, Orpik tries to check Steen's hat size or something.
12:19: Malkin fires a slapper from the top of the slot. Matt Stajan blocks it.
12:05: Greatest. Power. Play. Ever. Crosby controls the puck in the left faceoff circle and spot Satan near the opposite side of the crease. Crosby zips a pass through a few legs and Satan simply directs it into the net. Nice pass. It is Crosby's 300th career point. Penguins 2-1.
10:58: With Fleury out of position, Hagman throws a puck on net from along the goal line. It rings off the post.
10:36: Orpik drops Kulemin along the boards with a check.
9:37: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
9:15: From the left wing, Dupuis tries to rocket a shot to the far side of the net. Unlike Philadelphia's Antero Niittymaki on Tuesday night, Joseph is able to make a fine glove save. During a television stoppage, Crosby's 300th career point is acknowledged.
8:10: Carlo Colaiacovo, a name we've dreaded spelling all night, tries to knock over Malkin inside the Toronto blue line. Malkin puts him on his knees without his helmet.
8:05 :During a stoppage, an official has to leave the ice with an apparent injury. He is holding a towel over his hand. Maybe he has windburn from sticking his hand up for all those Penguins penalties.
7:01: Grabovski forces the puck towards the net and pushes a shot. Fleury makes the save. A small "Flerr-EEEE! Flerr-EEE!" chant follows.
6:21: From behind the net, Kennedy tries to jam in a wrap around. Joseph covers it up. Just as the officials freeze play, Talbot nudges Stralman into the cage. A scrum ensues.
4:59: Crosby takes a pass in the slot and fires a wrister. Schenn blocks it.
4:25: Kulemin fires a shot on net. Scuderi blocks it. Kulemin follows the rebound behind the net. Scuderi tries to play the body. Kulemin sticks Scuderi on his butt.
3:55: Replays show Frogren and Malkin discussing their favorite strategic bomber models. We think.
2:08: Satan re-directs a pass to Talbot streaking down the left wing. Talbot comes in on net and snaps a quick wrister. Joseph knocks it down and covers.
1:38: The Maple Leafs force the puck into the crease. Blakes puts two shots on net from in tight. Fleury is able to keep both of them out. Another small "Flerrr-EEE! Flerr-EEEE!" follows.
0:57: Play is halted as the Maple Leafs played the puck with a high stick. Things have slowed down so much, we're noting pucks being played with high sticks.
0:37: Oprik puts a shot towards the net. Malkin intercepts it, turns and shuffles a shot on net. Joseph makes the save with his right toe. Either that or the puck hit the post. Our replay wasn't clear.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 1.
-After a fairly fast-paced first half of that period, things slowed down the final 10 minutes or so.
-The Maple Leafs have a 21-20 lead in shots.
-Blake leads the game with five shots.
-Dupuis and Satan lead the Penguins with four.
-The Penguins are dominating faceoffs, 23-12. Crosby is 11-for-15. The great Mike Zigomanis has rebounded, 3-for-4.
-Staal leads in ice time, 15:37.
-Tomas Kaberle leads Toronto with 15:18.
-Frogren leads the game with three blocked shots.
-No Penguin has more than one blocked shot.
-Best message sent to the video board:
-Someone wakes up Andre Savard and gets him some face time:
18:17: Stralman tries a quick one-timer from the slot. A Penguins player blocks it with the shaft of his stick and out of play.
17:48: Crosby comes up ice and leaves a nifty drop pass for Dupuis. Dupuis fires a wrister that Schenn blocks.
16:44: Fedotenko hits a Maple Leaf into the boards from behind.
15:59: Godard abosolutely levels Steen at the Maple Leafs blue line.
15:28: From the boards, Satan feeds a puck to Kennedy streaking in from the point. Kennedy fires a low wrister. Joseph eats it up.
15:23: Malkin is called for holding on Frogren. Zigomanis, Scuderi, Staal and Gill on for the kill. Toronto needs this.
15:01: The Penguins clear. Dupuis, Talbot join Gill and Scuderi.
13:58: Blake tries to shoot a wrister. Scuderi blocks it with his stick.
13:39: The Penguins clear. Eaton, Orpik, Staal and Crosby on for the kill.
13:22: Eaton clears the and kills the rest of Malkin's penalty.
13:03: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
12:13: Staal and Sykora come up ice on a two-on-one against Colaiacovo. Staal elects to keep the puck. He switches to the backhander and tries to lift a shot. Coliacovo appears to get a piece of it and deflects the puck away. The Penguins need to put the Maple Leafs away there. Can't let them hang around.
10:09: Big opportunity for Toronto here. Satan is called for tripping. Zigomanis, Staal, Scuderi and Gill on for the kill.
9:58: Kaberle tosses a light shot from the right point on net. Fleury absorbs it easily.
8:22: Antropov blasts a big slapper from the slot. Fleury is in perfect position and eats it up.
8:09: The Penguins kill off the rest of Satan's penalty.
7:45: Joseph comes out to play a puck. Crosby pokes it past him and into the back boards. Grabovski slides into the crease to protect the open net. Crosby banks the puck off Grabovski and into the net. Kind of a lucky goal but it counts. It's also Crosby's 100th career goal and his first of the season. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 3-1.
7:32: A tribute to Crosby is played on the video board set to "Have A Nice Day" from Bon Jovi.
-It's going ot be hard having a nice day after hearing that garbage song. Either way, Crosby is given a standing ovation. Moore is nailed for interference.Satan, Sykora, Malkin, Crosby Goligoski are on for the man advantage.
6:32: After a clear by Toronto, Crosby zips through the defense and fires a wrister. Joseph says no.
6:24: Malkin winds up for a slapper at the point and drops a pass to Crosby at the boards. Crosby spies Sykora on the other side of the crease and zips another nice pass through some legs to Sykora who directs it in by a prone Joseph. It was similar to Satan's goal tonight. "Hey Song." Penguins 4-1.
5:54: Letang takes out Grabovski with a check behind the Penguins' net.
5:15: "GO-HOME LEAFS! GO-HOME LEAFS!" It's a whole night of accomplishments. It's announced that Malkin's assist on Crosby's goal is his 200th career point. "GEE-NO! GEE-NO!"
4:50: The Leafs strike perhaps. Blake controls the puck behind the net brings it forward and throws it into the crease. Antropov appears to boot it in ala Nick Lowrey. The Penguins protest immediately. A review confirms the non-goal.
3:56: Alexei Ponikarovsky throws a wrister at the net from the slot. Scuderi kneels down to block it.
2:09: Stalman tosses a wrister on net from the left wing. Fleury makes the save.
1:40: "FLERRR-EEE! FLERR-EEE!"
1:08: Kubina is called for holding. The J.V. power play is on. Staal, Kennedy, Letang, Goligoski and Talbot.
0:24: Moore tosses a backhander towards the net. Goligoski kneels and blocks the shot.
0:08: Penguins fans stand and offer their team an ovation.
0:00: End of game. "Song 2" from Blur is played. Penguins 4, Maple Leafs 1.
-While the Leafs are hardly an outstanding team, this was easily the Penguins' most complete game of the season. The effort was there for most of the game. The players seemed more comfortable with the new lines. The power-play was efficient (2-for-4) and Fleury was very solid as usual with 26 saves.
-Malkin assisted on all four Penguins' goals.
-Crosby had a goal and three assists.
-Malkin's last four-point regular season game was a 7-1 rout of the Flyers in Pittsburgh, March 16.
-Crosby's last four-point regular season game was a 4-2 win at Minnesota Oct. 30, 2007.
-That was the first time both of them have hit the four-point mark in the same game.
-Malkin is still in 34th place with 201 points. He trails Paul Gardner's 203 points.
-Sykora is close to cracking the Penguins' top 100 career scorers. He now has 65 points as a Penguin which is 104th most all-time with the team. Dennis Owchar is in 100th place with 67 points (18 goals, 49 assists)
-Staal seemed a lot more comfortable back at center. Dupuis looked really good with Malkin and Crosby. Amazing how being teamed with two of the best players in the world will help you out.
-Maple Leafs led the game in shots, 27-25.
-Blake's five shots led the game.
-Dupuis and Satan led the Penguins with four.
-The Penguins controlled the faceoffs, 34-22.
-Crosby was 16-for-22.
-Kaberle led the game with 24:06 of ice time.
-Gill led the Penguins with 22:28. When was the last time Hal Gill led any team in ice time?
-Schenn, Colaiacovo, Ponikarovsky and Scuderi led the game with three blocked shots each.
-Schenn, the Maple Leafs' top draft pick this year, looked very solid. We've seen a few of his regular season games this year and he looks like a legit player. He'll anchor Toronto's blue line for a long while.
-We neglected to give a heads on the game being broadcast on the NHL Network within the United States for some of you Center Ice or Gamecenter subscribers who were blacked out. We apologize for the oversight.