-Hey, guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-Sadly, we don't have walk up to the arena to share with you. We've misplaced our voice recorder and it's probably the worst day of the year to try and go to an electronics store. We're running a bit late and decided to park near Consol Energy Center.
-It's a shame too. It's a marvelous fall day. Sunny and in the mid-30s. Really pleasant.
-The student rush line:
-The model of Consol Energy Center in the lobby:
-EN contributor Ron Michalak spotted a gold mine of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans. Rob Scuderi:
-This is obscure. John Jakopin:
-A few more jersey sightings. Ron Francis:
-Based on spotting two Deryk Engelland jerseys, we're predicting either an assist or a fight from him today:
-A few former Penguins turned Senators still have some fans here. Alex Kovalev:
-Erik Christensen with a slight jersey foul:
-Egads. Steve McKenna:
-Even if the numbers and letters are a funky yellow, here's an all-timer. Mark Kachowski:
-Even if this jersey is amazing, it's still a jersey foul. Jari Kurri Campbell Conference all-star:
-Tony Esposito Blackhawks:
(We'll waive any jersey foul in this case since Esposito used to be the Penguins' general manager.)
(He wore No. 4 in the 2009 preseason.)
-The Civic Arena:
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Mike Comrie, Deryk Engelland and Eric Godard. Never mind that Engelland prediction.
-The Senators starters are Daniel Alfredsson, Peter Regin, Jason Spezza, Sergei Gonchar, Chris Phillips and Pascal Leclaire.
-Their scratches are Matt Carkner and Brian Lee.
-Jeff Jimerson takes time off from his busy holiday schedule to handle the anthems:
19:46: Spezza snaps off a heavy shot on net from the slot. Fleury punches it away.
19:15: Kunitz has a wrister from the right wing denied by Leclaire
18:12: We just overheard the SportsNet East broadcaster give their first "Michaleks are brothers" reference:
16:09: Kunitz has a clean shot in the slot. He rips a wrister which Gonchar appears to deflects out out of play.
16:05: Off a faceoff win, Orpik rips a wrister from the right point to the far side. Leclaire gets a piece of it with his blocker.
15:26: Regin blasts a one-timer from below the left circle. Fleury is in perfect position and fights it off.
15:23: Phillips puts a wrister on net. Fleury eats it up.
13:14: Jesse Winchester lifts a wrister from the right wing. Fleury fends it off.
13:04: What a display by Crosby. He leads a rush up the slot, gains the offensive zone and challenges Gonchar one-on-one. Gonchar separates him from the puck for a moment but Crosby is able to lunge forward and pokes it on net. Leclaire is able to eat it up. What an effort.
12:52: Kunitz has a chance from in tight to the left of the cage. He puts a little too much lift onthe shot though and misses the cage.
11:55: Kovalev tees up a big slapper from the left wing. Fleury fights it off.
11:32: Milan Michalek chops a half slapper on net from the slot. Fleury eats it up.
11:22: Off a faceoff win by the Senators, Fleury eats up a quick shot by Neil.
9:58: Tyler Kennedy forces David Hale into a turnover at the left point
9:35: Milan Michalek puts a funny backhander on net from the right wing. It handcuffs Fleury a bit but he's able to fight it off with his blocker.
9:20: Fleury steers away a wrister by Mike Fisher from the right circle.
8:07: Phillips corrals a puck at the left point. He sends a shot/pass to just inside the right circle to Chris Kelly. Kelly hesitate for a moment to pull the trigger. That allows Fleury to slide to his left and deny Kelly with a spectacular glove save. Wow! During a commercial stoppage, the Penguins pull a classy move and acknowledge Alfredsson and Kovalev for each reaching the 1,000-career point mark recently.
7:49: Erik Karlsson booms a slapper from the left point. It appears to hit Ruutu in on a screen. Fleury reacts to the initial shot but is out of position for the rebound. As Fleury's swimming in his crease, Winchester collects the rebound and punches it over Fleury. Some cruddy luck for the Penguins. Good work by the Senators to simply go to the net and get a dirty goal. Ruutu and Karlsson get assists. Fire Ray Shero. Senators 1-0.
6:41: Kennedy gains the zone on the left wing and rips a wrister wide on the near side.
6:10: Letestu has a chance on the left wing but rips his wrister wide on the near side.
5:34: Kelly collects a loose puck in the slot and jabs it on net. Fleury juuuust gets a piece of it with his right foot.
4:48: Dupuis shuffles a backhander on net form the right circle. Leclaire boots it out.
3:04: Karlsson snaps off a loose puck from the right wing boards. Fleury hugs it against his chest and freezes play.
2:37: Milan Michalek lifts a wrister from a funny angle on the left wing. Fleury seems a bit surprised by the shot but still gloves it.
2:23: Spezza moves around from behind the net and whips a wrister from the left circle. Fleury is in perfect position and eats it up. The Senators have controlled play for about the last seven minutes.
2:13: Matt Cooke booms a one-timer from the left wing. Leclaire boots it out.
0:08: Above the left circle, Chris Conner slides out to block a wrister by Hale. The puck deflects out of play.
0:00: End of period. Senators 1, Penguins 0.
-Hopefully you're not a fan of defense. Because you didn't see a lot of it in that period. There were a combined 35 shots. Yeesh.
-Play seemed fairly even for the first 10 minutes or so, but then the Senators slowly took over and kept play in the Penguins' zone. They earned this lead.
-Fleury was pretty sharp that period. If not for a funny bounce, this is a 0-0 game.
-Leclaire was fantastic. But it would be a stretch to say he was challenged a great deal.
-We're still not crazy about this Ben Lovejoy-Alex Goligoski pairing.
-The Senators have a 21-14 lead in shots.
-Spezza leads the game with three shots.
-Dupuis, Kunitz, Kennedy and Crosby each lead the Penguins with two.
-Orpik leads the game with 7:56 of ice time.
-Karlson and Kuba each lead the Senators with 7:03.
-The Senators have a 9-8 edge in faceoffs (53 percent).
-Malkin is 4 for 5 (80 percent).
-Spezza is 6 for 9 (63 percent).
-Paul Martin leads the game with two blocked shots.
-EN reader @mblume77 spotted a Jay McKee jersey:
18:39: Fisher snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Martin blocks it.
18:18: Kelly rips a wrister from the left wing. Fleury makes the initial save but can't corral the rebound. Alfredsson has a chance but can't get a clean shot off.
17:20: Letestu punches a quick wrister on net from the right wing. Leclaire boots it out.
16:37: Kunitz guns a big one-timer from the right wing. Leclaire makes the save but allows a rebound. It trickles loose in the crease but no one in a black jersey is there to clean it up.
14:13: Orpik golfs a slapper from the left point. Milan Michalek blocks it.
13:52: The first penalty of the game goes to Cooke for boarding Karlsson in the left wing corner in Ottawa's zone. Karlsson is slow to recover to his feet but eventually makes his way back to bench with a trainer. Dupuis, Michalek, Orpik and Talbot take the ice.
13:32: Spezza snaps off a wrister from the right half wall. Fleury fends it off.
13:00: After some mucking and grinding below the Penguins' net, Orpik whips a puck down ice for a big clear.
12:37: Some fans are actually booing Gonchar every time he touches the puck. Really? The Penguins best defenseman in the past 15 years and you're going to boo him?
12:20: Spezza launches a one-timer from the left circle. Fleury eats it up despite a slight screen by Milan Michalek.
11:52: The Cooke minor expires. Solid effort by the Penguins that two minutes.
11:35: Crosby flies up the left wing on a two-on-one with Dupuis against Chris Campoli. Campoli flops down to take away the shot. Crosby elects to shoot. Leclaire fends it off. Karlsson is nabbed for interference. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and Martin take the ice.
11:21: Malkin rips a shot from the right circle. It hits a cluster of bodies in front. After some battling down low he recovers the rebound moves around the back of the net and distributes a backhanded pass to Crosby in the slot. Crosby grips and rips a wicked wrister. Leclaire comes up with an even wickederer glove save. If that's a word. Huge save.
10:51: A wrister by Malkin from the slot is tipped wide by Phillips' stick.
10:28: Letang blasts a one-timer from above the left circle to the far side. Leclaire comes up with a glove save.
9:41: And the power play cashes in after a nice effort. Kennedy sneaks up the left wing and moves the puck into a cluster of bodies in front of hte net. Martin is down low battling for possession. The puck trickles out to the right circle. Malkin is right there and pounds it through a few legs and by Leclaire's left foot. A nice ugly goal. Kennedy and Crosby get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 1, Senators 1.
8:44: During a stoppage, "Cotton-Eyed Joe" is busted out:
8:01: During a delayed penalty, Winchester has Fleury beat down low but lifts a backhander wide to the right of the cage.
7:59: Mike Rupp is sent off for boarding Ruutu. Cooke, Talbot, Zbynek Michalek and Mike Rupp take the ice.
7:12: Kuba snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Milan Michalek is in front and re-directs it on net. Fleury knocks it dead and freezes play. Attendance is announced as 18,299. It is the team's 178th consecutive sellout.
5:59: Rupp's minor expires. Not a lot going on there for the Senators.
5:50: Rupp flies up the right wing and whips a backhander on net. Leclaire fends it off.
5:35: Alfredsson is nabbed for hooking Talbot. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and Martin take the ice. The always solid "Your Love" by The Outfield is used for the Kiss Cam:
4:46: Letang distributes a pass from the left circle to Malkin in the slot. Malkin turns and whips a wrister on net. Leclaire makes the easy save.
3:48: What is about Kennedy jumping on the power play late which seems to create scoring chances? He just creates two scoring opportunities. One off the left wing. And another from the right circle. Leclaire stands tall on each save.
3:11: Cooke snaps off a wrister from the slot. Leclaire boots it out with his left foot.
1:05: Zbynek Michalek launches a one-timer from the right point. Leclaire fights it off.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Senators 1.
(That's a repeat of our first intermission Zamboni photo. Sorry.)
-It's not often you have games with a combined 66 shots on net and only two goals. It's even rarer when that's the case after only two periods.
-If you like goaltending, this is your game. If you like defense, this isn't your game.
-Despite the score, this has been a pretty fun game. There have been plenty of quality scoring chances. The goaltending for each side has just been that good.
-Kennedy has played an outstanding game. In addition to just being a solid, physical, speedy presence on the third line, he's been one of the Penguins' best players on the power play.
-Milan Michalek has probably been the Penguins' best forward.
The Penguin shave a 34-32 edge in shots.
-Kennedy leads the game with six.
-Spezza and Michalek each lead the Senators with four.
-Letang leads the game with 16:06 of ice time.
-Kuba leads the Senators with 15:49.
-The Senators have a 20-15 lead in faceoffs (57 percent).
-Malkin is 4 for 5 (80 percent).
-Spezza is 12 for 18 (67 percent).
-Martin and Phillips each lead the game with three blocked shots.
18:38: Milan Michalek sticks Cooke into the right wing boards with a solid check.
18:21: Milan Michalek is denied from the left circle by Fleury.
17:26: Zbynek Michalek is in deep on the right wing and launches a slapper from the circle. Leclaire fends it off.
17:13: This is kind of rare. Kelly gets a double minor for hooking Letestu and holding Conner. The third line drew those minors with speed. Plain and simple. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Martin and Letang take the ice.
15:58: Crosby jabs a little wrister from the right circle wide on the near side.
15:36: Zbynek Michalek launches a one-timer from the left circle wide on the far side.
14:55: Welcome back to the power play Alex Goligoski. Zbynek Michalek dishes a from the right point to Goligoski on the left point. A Goligoski moves towards the net, Letestu and Fisher get tangled up int he slot. Fisher takes a tumble. Goligoski approaches the net and rips a wrister over the blocker-side shoulder of Leclaire on the near side. Kuba and Kennedy were screening Leclaire. Heck of a shot by Goligoski. That said, Letestu could have been called for interference on Fisher. The Penguins get a break and get a lead. Michalek and Kennedy get assists. Three power play points in three games for Kennedy? Hmmm... The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 2-1.
13:42: Lovejoy rips a wrister from deep on the right wing to the far side. Leclaire boots it out with a right foot.
13:06: Alfredsson booms a slapper from the top of the slot. Fleury kneels down and boots it out.
11:47: Malkin corrals a dump-in attempt in the left circle in the Penguins' zone.
11:37: Malkin is nabbed for hooking Winchester in the neutral zone. Big two minutes here. Adams, Orpik, Zbynek Michalek and Dupuis take the ice.
10:37: Karlsson cracks a one-timer from the left point. Fleury fights it off.
9:37: The Malkin minor is killed to a round of applause.
9:03: After Fleury eats up a wrister by Phillips, a large scrum breaks out being the Penguins' net with Neil and Kunitz in the middle of it. No penalties come out of it.
7:49: "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour is played:
7:13: Foligno emergeges from behind the net, turns and whips a wrister from the left circle. Fleury holds it off depsite having Neil fall on top of him. As play is blown dead, Fleury turns and tries to punch Neil with his blocker. Neil tries to get at Fleury as an official and Lovejoy hold him back. Fleury and Neil each get roughing minors. Conner will serve Fleury's minor. Four-on-four.
5:59: Spezza comes up on a rush up on the right wing. He moves in on net and rips a low wrister. Fleury holds it out.
5:50: Malkin collects the rebound and leads a transition up ice on the right wing. He gains the zone, waits, waits, waits and deals to Cooke in the slot. Cooke rips a wrister wide to the left of the cage. He has to get that on net.
2:51: HUUUUGE save by Leclaire to keep his team in this game. After a fairly stagnant three minutes, Cooke steals a puck in the defensive zone and chips it up the left wing. Malkin chases it down and deals a pass to the slot. Dupuis is there and taps it on net. Leclaire is able to come up with a tough, tough glove save.
1:54: Karlsson sneaks in off the right point and rips a wrister on net. Fleury eats it up.
1:26: Gonchar launches a one-timer from the right point. Fleury is square to the shot and eats it up again. The Senators call a time out to get something organized.
1:17: Leclaire is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:49: Regin cracks a half slapper from the right wing. Zbynek Michalek appears to get a piece of it with his stick and deflects it high and wide on the far side.
0:19: Karlsson has a point shot from the right point denied in tight.
0:08: Gonchar sneaks in from the left point and jabs a loose puck in the slot wide on the far side.
0:02: Kunitz jumps on a loose puck and lifts it down ice with backhander to end the game.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 2, Senators 1.
-Amazing how just one mistake can be the difference in a tight game. In Wednesday's game, a bad turnover by Buffalo's Luke Adam led to a goal by Pascal Dupuis, the only goal in a 1-0 Penguins' win. Tonight, a mistake by the officials led to the Penguins' getting the game-winning goal in a 2-1 game.
-The Penguins caught a huge break when Goligoski scored his power play goal. Mark Letestu interfered with Mike Fisher. Fisher fell over in the slot. That allowed Goligoski to sneak up the left wing and rip a beautiful shot by the right shoulder of Pascal Lecaire. If Fisher were able to defend Goligoski, chances are, there isn't even a shot.
-Fisher, Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson each said the officials claimed they didn't see the interference. Fisher outright said it should have been an interference call. We don't know how anyone objectively watching this game can disagree with him.
-Karlsson was pretty brutal in his assessment of the officials:
"I think that's why they have two refs out there. To see stuff like that. We get two penalties on the same guy on the same shift. I've never seen it before. If they make that call, they can't miss an interference like that. It's just tough to see how both referees can miss it."
-Regardless, the Penguins got a break and they took advantage of it. That's why their on a pretty torid streak right now.
-Another reason is Marc-Andre Fleury. He once again played an outstanding game and give his team a chance to win. If Fleury wasn't on his game today, the Senators would've cashed in on a few of the multiple chances they had and could've put this game away earlier.
-The defense once again sealed a win late. With Leclaire pulled, Zbynek Michalek partially blocked a wrister by Peter Regin from the left wing with about 50 seconds left. After that, the Penguins' defender played all-out in terms of preventing the Senators from getting clean shots off. For the third consecutive game, the defense turned back a late charge.
-You have to love this third line. The speed and tenacity of Kennedy, Conner and Letestu drew the double minor on Chris Kelly in the third period which led to Goligoski's goal.
-Speaking of Kennedy, he has had three assists on the Penguins last three power play goals going back to the Florida game. In addition to that, he helped screen Leclaire on the Goligoski goal.
-Amazing how easy it is to get goals when the power play is an actual weapon instead of an internal obstacle.
-We don't think it was a coincidence the Senators' only goal came with Goligoski and Lovejoy on the ice at the same time. You have to hold your breath anytime those two are on the ice.
-Just like Fleury, Leclaire was tremendous as well. He made things look so easy despite facing a ton of shots.
-We loved what Milan Michalek brought for the Senators. He was a force down low on screens and was able to get some quality shots on net from the perimeter.
-Erik Karlsson was strong on the blue line for Ottawa. He responded after being benched in the last game and provided a strong offensive presence.
-Karlson isn't a fan of Matt Cooke either. Cooke took a boarding minor in the second period against Karlsson. Said Karlsson, "I think it's a cheap hit. He's the second guy in from behind. I just just took a hit and he hits me from behind. Then tells me to keep my head up. That's the way it is sometimes."
-The Senators ended up with a 44-40 lead in shots. 84 shots? Yeesh.
-Karlsson led the game with seven shots.
-Kennedy led the Penguins with six.
-The only skaters who failed to get a shot on net were Conner, Adams, Arron Asham, Campoli and Ryan Shannon.
-Zbynek Michalek led the game with 24:09 of ice time.
-Kuba led the Senators with 23:55.
-The Senators led in faceoffs, 27-23 (54 percent).
-Spezza was 17 for 26 (65 percent).
-Malkin was 5 for 7 (71 percent).
-Phillips led the game with five blocked shots.
-Martin led the Penguins with four.
-Crosby very quietly extended his scoring streak to 11 games.
-Kennedy moved ahead of Pascal Dupuis for 90th place on the team's all-time scoring list. Both players have 88 points, but Kennedy (42) has more goals than Dupuis (38).
-Goligoski now leads the team with three game-winning goals this season.