-Hey guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-No Evgeni Malkin. His wonky knee will sideline him tonight.
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang and Brent Johnson.
-Their scratches are Malkin and Zbynek Michalek.
-The Hurricanes starters are Eric Staal, Sergei Samsonov, Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen Jamie McBain and Cam Ward.
-Their scratches are Drayson Bowman and Zac Dalpe.
FSN Pittsburgh presents your re-tooled lines with Malkin out:
-And the defense:
19:34: Jokinen shuffles a loose puck towards the net from the left of the cage. Johnson is swimming around in his crease and still punches it out.
18:39: Tyler Kennedy moves around the back of the Carolina net, turns to the right of the net and whips the puck on net. Ward makes the initial save then makes a fine save on Mark Letestu on the rebound.
16:33: Samsonov whips a nice little backhander from the right circle.
16:00: The Hurricanes are all over the Penguins. Jokinen jumps on a loose puck in the slot and whips a big wrister on net. Johnson punches it away with
15:42: So much for the Dupuis moves up the left wing on a two-on-one with Crosby against Pitkanen. Pitkanen kind of just occupies space and doesn't even really challenge Dupuis or take away the passing lane. Dupuis moves in on net and attacks. He's able to sneak a backhander under Ward and into the cage. As usual, a loud cheering section for the Penguins in Carolina can be heard:
-That guy to the right isn't crazy about those red Penguins t-shirts. Crosby and Kunitz get assists. Penguins 1-0.
15:08: After a point shot by Alex Goligoski is denied by Ward, Kennedy kind of falls on top of Ward. He get's two mintues for roughing. Maxime Talbot, Matt Cooke, Paul Martin and Kris Letang take the ice.
14:10: Craig Adams is a former Hurricane:
13:08: Kennedy's penalty is killed. The Hurricanes didn't post much
12:36: Crosby flies up the right wing, challenges Tim Gleason one-on-one and snaps off a wrister to the far side. Ward knocks it away with his blocker.
12:10: Crosby gains the offensive zone and leaves a drop pass near the top of the slot. Bobby Orrpik steps up and booms a slapper on net. Ward is in perfect position and eats it up.
8:41: After about stagnant play for almost three minutes, Adams tries to cut inside McBain in the slot on an "inside-out" move. McBain sticks a shoulder to him and knocks away the puck.
7:29: Orpik has the puck knocked away by Staal at the right point. Staal has the makings of a breakaway but Staal makes a marvousl recoversand knocks Staal off the puck in the Penguins' zone. What a play by Orpik. What skating ability! Staal loses his composure and jabs Orpik with his stick in the back. That's two minutes for slashing. Martin, Crosby, Letestu, Goligoski and Kunitz take the ice.
6:43: Martin simplifies things on the power play and just fires a slapper on net from the top of the slot. Kunitz and Letestu have chances on the rebound. Look at that, three scoring chances just from putting a low percentage shot on net.
6:01: Orpik gets the "booing" treatment from Carolina fans every time he touches the puck. Fans down there are still sour over a hit he gave Cole several years ago which broke Cole's neck:
5:29: Staal's penalty is killed. Not a bad effort by the Penguins.
4:37: Lovejoy is nabbed for cross checking Lovejoy. Kind of a bunk call. Ruutu was engaged with and just kind of fell over. Cooke, Talbot, Letang and Martin take the ice.
3:50: Pitkanen guns a one-timer from the top of the slot. Johnson fights it off and covers despite an apparent re-direction by Staal.
2:30ish: An Eddie Shack reference is dropped by Paul Steigerwald:
0:10: Bob Errey mentions that Letang is on the bench in some discomfort. He suggest Letang is dealing with a hand ailment.
0:01: Corvo blasts a last-second slapper from the right point. Godard hustles out and blocks the slapper. He's smarting after that.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Hurricanes 0.
-That was hardly a complete effort, but the Penguins out more fire and heart into that period than they did in the entire game last night.
-Brent Johnson has been outstanding once again. The team started slow and the Hurricanes jumped all over them for the first three minutes or so. Johnson held the fort and allowed his team to take the lead eventually.
-Kennedy has pieced together a few nice games. He's playing like he's still hungry.
-The Penguins have a 10-7 lead in shots.
-Goligoski, Letestu, Kennedy, Jokinen and Corvo each lead the game with two shots.
-Martin leads the game with 8:32 of ice time.
-Pitkanen leads the Hurricanes with 8:00.
-The Penguins have an 8-5 lead in faceoffs (62 percent).
-Letestu is 4 for 4 (100 percent).
-Ruutu is 2 for 5 (40 percent).
-No one has more than one blocked shot.
-Marian Hossa is apparently the team's athletic trainer these days:
-EN reader Damon Athens is at the game and sends in photos. Some Penguins fans:
-A beer from the world for a fan of an Olympic champion:
-Jersey foul? Try millibar foul:
-And Petr Nedved:
19:41: The attack by Rangers forward David Shaw some 22 years ago on Mario Lemieux is referenced:
19:21: Crosby is denied twice times in tight by Ward.
18:31: Tom Kostopoulos is a former Penguin:
17:45: Welcome back Maxime Talbot. Asham motors up the left wing on a two-on-one with Talbot against Jay Harrison. He dishes it to Talbot on the right wing. Talbot tries to move it ot hte forehand and almost fumbles the puck. Either way, he sneaks it under Ward and into the cage. Talbot needed that. Asham and Mike Rupp get assists. It's Asham's first point with the Penguins. Penguins 1-0.
15:25: Brandon Sutter is denied in tight by Johnson.
12:55: Gleason tosses a wrister on net from the left point. Johnson makes the initial save. Samsonov is right there for the rebound but punches it wide to the far side.
12:23: Samsonov spins and whips a backhander on net. Johnson fights it off.
12:16: Sutter guns a wrister from the left circle. Johnson eats it up.
11:28: Anton Babchuk booms a big slapper from the left point. Johnson boots it out despite traffic.
11:39: After a bad turnover by Ward behind his own net, Comirie directs a shot/pass towards the crease. Godard is there and makes a nice re-direct on net. Ward is able to recover and fend it off. Dear lord, we nearly saw Comrie and Godard hook up on a goal.
11:19: Ward boots out a wrister by Letest from the left wing.
9:43: Coutesty of EN reader Caroline, the Staals are brothers according to DirecTV:
9:40: According to Errey, Letang has gone to the dressing room.
8:55: Staal hustles up the left wing against Kunitz. Staal gets a shot off. As Johnson boots it out, Kunitz hauls down Staal. Adams, Cooke, Lovejoy and Goligoski take the ice.
8:07: Pitkanen booms another one-timer from the left point. Johnson fights it off despite a screen.
7:47: Skinner chops a shot from the left circle. Johnson boots it out despite a screen by Ruutu.
7:41: Babchuck fires a laser of a one-timer from the right point. Johnson snares it with a big glove save. What an effort.
6:41: Dan Byslma has a hickey apparently:
6:02: Babchuk chips a wrister from the right point wide of the cage. It riccochets from behind the net to the right of the cage. Skinner is there and punches it on net real quick. Johnson kicks it out.
0:15: After about six minutes of nothing, Goligoski one-time a shot from the top of the slot. Ward fends it off.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Hurricanes 0.
-They didn't create a great deal of scoring chances that period, but for the most part, that was a pretty solid, honest effort once again for the Penguins.
-We've been really impressed with how much the Penguins' forward are backchecking. Guys like Kunitz and Cooke have been coming back really deep.
-The world may have come to an end if Comrie and Godard connected on goal.
-More of the same from Brent Johnson. He has been outstanding.
-The Penguins have a 24-22 lead in shots.
-Goligoski, Crosby and Babchuk each lead the game with four shots.
-Corvo leads the game with 16:21 of ice time.
-Orpik leads the Penguins with 16:06.
-The Penguins are dominating faceoffs, 20-8 (71 percent).
-Letestu is 7 for 7 (100 percent).
-Jokinen is 2 for 3 (67 percent).
-Gleason leads the game with three blocked shots.
-Lovejoy, Adams and Orpik each lead the game with two blocked shots.
19:50: Errey mentions Letang has not returned for the third period.
19:26: Oh dear lord what a save! Sutter chases down a puck deep in the Penguins' zone. With Martin diving to break up a pass, Sutter is able to turn from the left of the cage and sneaks the puck back to Tlusty trailing in the slot. Johnson has committed big time to Sutter but is able to turn to his right and dives. He appears to get juuuuust a piece of Tlusty's shot and deflects it away. Wow! Tlusty had pretty much the entire net to shoot at. Huge.
19:09: Ward eats up a backhander by Crosby from the left wing. Replays actually show Tlusty putting the shot off the far post. So... maybe it wasn't a save.
16:50: Journey's "Any Way You Want It" is played:
15:49: Skinner guns a one-timer from the right circle. Johnson eats it up.
15:42: Letestu is nabbed for interference after he ran Staal into the Penguins' net. Cooke, Adams, Orpik and Martin take the ice.
15:15: Staal puts a wrister on net from the right circle. Johnson initally saves it. Skinner jabs at the rebound but can't beat Johnson's glove hand. Johnson is on his left side on the goal line and gets shove in along with the puck. An offiical immediately rules no goal.
14:28: As Skinner battles for a loose puck near the net, Goligoski shoves him into the cage. That's two mintues for interfernce. The Hurricanes get a two-man advantage for 47 seconds. Cooke, Adams, and Orpik take the ice.
14:16: After Orpik breaks up a pass, Adams chips it down ice for a big clear.
13:42: Letestu's penalty is killed. The Penguins still have 1:13 of ice time.
13:07: Corvo blast a rising slapper from the left point. Johnson punches it away.
12:28: The Goligoski minor is killed. Big effort by the Penguins there.
12:12: Babchuk booms a big slapper from teh right half wall.
12:00: Crosby slides downand blocks a slapper by McBain from the left point.
11:50: So much for not having any hands. On a two-on-two with Goligoski driving towards the net. Dupuis moves up the right wing and snaps a sick little half slapper to the far side by Ward's right leg. What a shot. Goligoski and Crosby get assists. Penguins 3-0.
-Not to night.
10:03: Pitkanen is called for roughing Adams. Goligoski, Adams, Crosby Letstu and Kunitz take the ice.
8:18: Dupuis has a shot at a hat trick and his "hands" return. He puts it wide on the near side from the left wing.
8:03: The Pitkanen penalty expires. The Penguins did little with that chance.
7:05: On a two-on-on against Pitkanen, Kennedy feeds a little backhanded pass to Cooke in the slot. Cooke lifts a backhander on net. Ward fends it off.
5:39: Dupuis has a chance at a hat trick again and guns a slapper from the slot. ward boots it out.
5:22: Dupuis' hat trick hopes take a hit as he's sent off for tripping Jokinen. Talbot, Cooke, Martin and Orpik take the ice.
4:03: A slapper by McBain from the right point is deflected wide on the near side.
3:47: From the right circle, Jokinen centers a puck which hits off a skate and deflects on net. Johnson snags it with a tough "save."
3:22: Dupuis is back on the ice. Not much going on there for the Hurricanes.
2:12: Steigerwald references Orpik being drafted:
1:45: Asham chops a slapper from the slot. Ward fends it off. That gives us an exsuce to use this shot:
0:56: As Johnson freezes a puck on the side of the cage, Engelland and Talbot mix it up with Ruutu behind the net. ANNNNNDDD the Ruutus are brothers:
AND THE SUTTERS too!
0:15: As time runs down, the impressive showing of Penguins fans offer a standing ovation for their team.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 3, Hurricanes 0.
-What a response. After last night's game, the team held a players' only meeting for 10 minutes after the contest. Whatever was said in that meeting apparently worked. Twenty-four hours after being flat and lifeless against the Flyers, the Penguins went all out and earn this win.
-What really stood out to us was the committment to defense. From the entire team. When you see Sidney Crosby laying out to block slappers from the point, you know everyone has bought in.
-What else can you say about Brent Johnson. Forget about being the Penguins best goaltender right now. He's one of the best in the NHL right now.
-Dupuis needed a night like this in a big way. He's never going to be that great 30-goal threat all of us wish we could see on Crosby's wing, but he had struggled to produce this season. He got the monkey off his back in a big way tonight.
-We liked what Martin did tonight. He stepped up with Letang out and played a strong all around game.
-Conversely, after a solid strong win in New York, the Hurricanes looked pretty flat.
-Ward wasn't bad, but he wasn't exactly his sharpest.
-Asham is starting to come around and get into game shape. He has looked better in each of his three games.
-We'll let the power play go for one night.
-The Hurricanes led in shots, 33-31.
-Babchuk led the game with six.
-Goligoski and Crosby each led the Penguins with five.
-Martin led the game with 26:58 of ice time.
-Rocvo led the game with 25:51.
-The Penguins dominated faceoffs, 36-16 (69 percent).
-Crosby was 13 for 18 (72 percent).
-Jokinen is 2 for 4 (50 percent).
-Martin led the game with four blocked shots.
-Gleason and Corvo each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Johnson recorded his first shutout as a Penguin and the 14th of his career. His last shutout was a 1-0 win with the Capitals at Ottawa, April 1, 2006.
-The Penguins' last shutout against the Hurricanes was a 3-0 win by Marc-Andre Fleury, Jan. 2, 2007. He made 31 saves.
-A few more photos from EN reader Damon Athens. A Mario Lemieux Team Canada fan:
-This is a bit ouf place. A Sami Salo Team Finland jersey:
-Some Penguins fans behind the Carolina bench:
-And finally, this beer vendor seemed a little skeptical of these two Penguins fans: