-Hey, guess where we are:
-No, not quite:
-This is only vaguely connected to tonight's post since the show was set in New York, but "Night Court" probably had the best opening credits music in the history of television:
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Arron Asham, Mike Comrie and Ben Lovejoy.
-The Rangers' scratches are Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Derek Stepan, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Henrik Lundqvist.
-Looks like Marian Gaborik is going to give it a go. He was listed as a game-time decision due to an illness. The Rangers' scratches are Derek Boogaard and Matt Gilroy.
-The Staals are brothers... but not the ones you think:
-FSN Pittsburgh provides the lines and defensive pairings:
19:18: Kris Letang loses his lid. Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey talk about his hair for 14 minutes. Errey even drops a corny "head and shoulders" line. Female FSN Pittsburgh viewers swoon. Over Letang. Not Errey's one-liners.
15:50: It doesn't take Dan Bylsyma long to bust out the bingo ball machine/line changer:
Evgeni Malkin is on with Crosby and Kunitz.
15:35: Zbynek Michalek snaps off a pass from the left circin in his own zone to Kunitz at the red line. Kunitz takes the puck, gains the blue line and snaps off a clunky wrister low on Lundqvist with Marc Staal moving in. Lundqvist eats it up.
14:50: The Rangers get sloppy in their own zone and the Penguins make them pay. Dupuis snaps off a wrister rin the slot. it gets blocked. Ruslan Fedotenko tries to settle it with a glove but essentially places it right on the stick of Talbot. Talbot says "merci" to his former teammate and immediately snaps off a wrister from the right circle to the far sid eover the blocker-side shoulder of Lundqvist. Great heads up play by Talbot off a brutal turnover by Fedotenko. Promote Ray Shero. Dupius somehow gets an assist. Talbot now has 49 career goals. Penguins 1-0.
12:08: Off a combined turnover by Fleury and Michalek behind their own net, Staal attempts a wraparound on the forehand. Fleury denies him.
11:30: The Staals, all of them, are brothers:
11:08: Letang is in deep on the right wing and takes a pass from Talbot. Letang rips a wrister but Steve Eminger slides down and blocks the shot.
7:38: Off a turnover, Ryan Callahan turns and whips a wrister on net from the right wing. Fleury knocks it dead and covers.
6:48: Just as Steigerwald and Errey laud Michalek for blocking shots, he does just that by denying a wrister by Erik Christensen.
5:42: Rozsival blasts a slapper from the right point to the far side. It misses the cage.
5:14: Letang goes in deep with the puck on the right wing and is simply plastered against the wall by Staal. Letang's lid is knocked off again.
5:00: On a delayed penalty, Malkin sweeps a one-timer on net from the right circle. Lundqvist eats it up. Callahan is nabbed for interference against Crosby. Paul Martin, Crosby, Malkin, Letang and Kunitz take the ice.
3:00: The Callahan minor expires. The Penguins did next to nothing with that chance.
2:44: Gaborik leads a two-on-one rush up the right wing with Callahan against Deryk Engelland. Gaborik elects to shoot and rips a heavy wrister. Fleury fights it off. That entire scoring chance was created by Goligoski pinching in.
1:55: Talbot is on with Dupuis and Matt Cooke.
1:42: Rupp and Brandon Prust bump each other prior to a faceoff. The puck is dropped, they drop their gloves. Rupp grabs his collar with his left arm and wings some large overhead rights. A few land. Prust lands a few jabs. Rupp falls on top of Prust. Not a great fight.
0:54: Off some sloppy play by the Penguins in their own zone, Fleury denies Callahan who jabs a loose puck on net with backhander. Letang hooks Callahan and crashes him in to the net. That's two minutes. Cooke, Talbot, Martin and Michalek take the ice.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Rangers 0.
-There's really one way to describe that period:
-Boring. Neither team really seemed that into it. There was very little aggression on either side. The building seems dead. The Penguins just happened to be able to cash in on a mistake.
-It would be a stretch to say either goaltender was challenged a great deal.
-Goligoski and Letang each had a mistake which led to scoring chances for the Rangers.
-The Rangers have an 8-6 lead in shots.
-Callahan and Rozsival each lead the game with two shots.
-Michalek leads the game with 8:12 of ice time.
-Dan Girardi leads the Rangers with 7:57.
-The Penguins have a 12-8 lead in faceoffs (60 percent).
-Crosby is 6 for 11 (55 percent).
-Brian Boyle is 4 for 7 (57 percent).
-Michalek leads the game with three blocked shots.
-None of the Rangers has more than one.
20:00: The Rangers will have 1:06 of power play time on fresh ice. Talbot, Michalek, Cooke and Orpik take the ice.
19:19: Cooke air mails a long-distance slapper from the Rangers blue line. Lundqvist knocks it down and covers.
18:54: The Letang minor is killed. The Rangers were unimpressive with that two minutes.
17:57: Off a turnover by Sean Avery in the Penguins' zone, Crosby leads a transition up the right wing on a two-on-one with Malkin against Girardi. Crosby deal to Malkin. Malkin rips a wrister which Lundqvist fights off.
15:03: Malkin backhand chops a shot on net from the right wing. Crosby is in front and re-directs it on net. Lundqvist knocks it down and covers.
13:56: Off a rush up ice, Todd White guns a wrister from the top of the slot. Fleury snags it with a glove hand.
13:33: Engelland absolutely slams Fedotenko into the left wing boards in the Penguins' zone.
12:21: Crosby has a bit of a two-on-one formed with Dupuis against Michael Del Zotto. Crosby forces a pass from the right wing but Del Zotto slides down and blocks it with his stick. Really nice defensive play.
10:15: Conner goes in deep on the right wing, shakes off Rozisval, turns and attacks the net. His low wrister is booted out by Lundqvist.
8:12: Letang guns a slapper from the right point. It's more of a pass really as Crosby is down low to the right of the cage and pushes it on net. Lundqvist is there with the save.
7:59: Dupuis controls the puck deep on the right wing and deals to Crosby. Crosby controsl th epuck in the right circle. As Dupuis moves towarsd the net, Crosby deals a backhanded pass to Letang in the left circle. Letang rips an immediately shot by the blocker of Lundqvist. What a shot. Crosby and Dupuis get assists. Crosby now has points in 13 consecutive games. Penguins 2-0.
6:44: Chris Conner > Henrik Lundqvist. Kennedy gains the offenzive zone. He snaps off a wrister from teh slot. Eminter Blocks the intial shot. Conner picks it up and rips a wrister by the left leg of Lundqvist. Conner has three goals in his last two games at Madison Square Garden. Kennedy and Goligoski get assists. Penguins 3-0.
6:41: Off the faceoffs, Kennedy and Avery, hardly strangers, ssquare off. They hold each other off with their lefts and exchange rights. It's a quick but entertaining fight. Kennedy slips and falls backwards with Avery on top. Avery of course takes advantage of the situation and continues to throw punches. Officials pounce on them and break it up. This wasn't their first fight:
5:03: Kunitz smacks a shot from the right wing wide on the near side. It ricochets off the back wall to Dupuis in the left circle. Dupuis seemingly has an open net to shoot at but Lundqvist is able to scramble to his right and fights off the shot.
3:41: Huh? Rozsival gains a loose puck in the Rangers' zone, turns and hits Gaborik with a pass on the left wing. Gaborik gains the offensive zone, gets some phantom pressure from Letang and rips a beautiful wrister over the blocker side shoulder of Fleury on the near side. That kind of came out of no where. Rozsival gets the only assist. Fire Craig Patrick. That annoying "Let's Go Rangers!" goal song is played. Penguins 3-1.
2:55: Kunitz controls the puck on the right wing, skates away from his defender, cuts across the slot and gets Lundqvist to commit. He has Lundqvist beat but snaps off a wrister from the left circle which clunks off the near post.
0:56: Boyle swats a loose puck on net from the right wing. Fleury gloves it.
0:29: Dupuis whips a backhander on net from the slot. Lundqvist fends it off.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Rangers 1.
-That was a little bit more interesting. There were a few more goals, a fight and a little bit more action in general.
-This is still a kind of choppy, sloppy game though. Lots of just sloppy play by both teams in terms of turnovers.
-The defense will have to seal a win late once again.
-How can you not love this third line? It dominates down low on most shifts and can occasionally chip in offensively.
-There apparently was some sort of dissent on the Rangers' behalf over the penalty Callahan took in the first period. It looks like Crosby might have slew-footed him in the process. We don't recall FSN Pittsburgh showing a replay of the collision. MSG had it though:
-If that's Matt Cooke, that's a penalty.
-The Penguins have 20-14 lead in shots.
-Boyle and Malkin each lead the game with three shots.
-Rozsival leads the game with 15:13 of ice time.
-Fire Craig Patrick.
-Crosby leads the Penguins with 14:37.
-The Penguins have a 20-17 lead in faceoffs (54 percent).
-Crosby is 11 for 16 (69 percent).
-Boyle is 6 for 10 (60 percent).
-Michalek, Girardi and Eminger each lead the game with three blocked shots.
17:55: Prust snaps off a wrister from a tough angle on the left wing. Boyle appears to re-direct it on net. Fleury fends it off and covers to freeze play.
16:40: Off a faceoff win by Malkin, Martin moves the puck from the right point to Michalek at the top of the slot. Michalek unleashes a boomer of a one-timer. It clinks off the cross bar and bounces in the crease behind Lundqvist. Lundqvist looks back and falls backwards on the puck.
14:26: The Rangers get a nice chance as Engelland hooks up Derek Stepan in the slot after Gaborik deals a pass to the slot. Kind of a ticky tack penalty. Cooke, Orpik, Adams and Michalek take the ice.
14:12: Michalek blocks a pass/shot by Gabork from the left wing.
13:42: Gaborik snaps off a wrister from the left cirlc.e Fleury gives up an iffy rebound. Girardi comes crashing in off the right wing. Fleury is able t hold that out.
13:30: Christensen blasts a one-timer from the right half wall. Fleury stands up and fights it off.
12:42: Boyle has a chance in tight off a bad play by Michalek. Fortunately for Michalek, Boyle shoots way high and onto Madison Avenue.
12:26: The Engelland penalty is killed. The Rangers put some decent pressure on net.
11:01: Alexander Frolov decides to make an appearance as he chips a backhander on net from the right circle. Fleury makes the save but allows a rebound. Fedotenko hurries the shot wide to the far side.
10:47: Goligoski is sent off for tripping Fedotenko in the right wing corner in the Penguins' zone. Talbot, Orpik, Michalek and Cooke take the ice.
8:51: Cooke beats Boyle to a puck in the neutral zone and whips it down ice to essentially kill off the rest of Goligoski's minor. The Rangers didn't even get a sniff of the net that two minutes.
8:33: Prior to a faceoff, Malkin and Avery mix it up a bit. Engelland steps in to offer his imput to the coversation. Officials step in and break it up. Errey and Steigerwald then make fun of Avery's media guide picture:
7:57: As Crosby (tripping) and Prus (elbowing) get minors, Stegierwald begins singing Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night:"
-Four on four.
6:11: Girard lifts a wrister from the right point. Fleury fights it off, bobbles the rebound and traps it against his chest.
5:57: Crosby and Prust return to the ice.
4:59: Boyle has a chance in the slot but Martin is able to reach his stick in and deflects the puck out of play.
2:57: Crosby coasts up the the right wing on a two-on-one with Dupuis against Girardi. Crosby rips a wrister off the near post.
2:49: Orpik hits Staal from behind into Fleury.
2:34: Malkin whips a wrister on net from the right circle. Lundqvist eats it up.
2:06: Lundqvist is lupped for an extra attacker.
1:58: Malkin snaps off a wrister from the neutral zone. He misses the cage.
1:22: Del Zotto rips a wrister from the left circle. Michalek flops down and appears to get a piece of it delfecting it high.
1:08: Orpik whips a puck around the boards. It strikes Avery on the side of his face. He returns to the bench with a funny look on his face. Hopefully he's not injured, but don't expect a lot of tear to be shed for him.
0:27: After an icing call, the Rangers call a time-out to get organized. With the faceoff in the Rangers, zone, Lundqvist returns to his net.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Rangers 1.
-It wasn't an overly entertaining game by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it was absolutely boring. But the Penguins kept things simple in the game and earned a workman like win tonight.
-The thing that stood out the most to us was the fact that the Penguins got all their scoring from secondary sources. Crosby was limited to a single assist. Malkin was blanked. But the Penguins got goals from secondary sources in Talbot, Letang and Conner.
-The defense once again sealed a win late. The Penguins had to deal with two power plays in the third period, but their penalty killers shut everything down and barely allowed the Rangers to even get a sniff of the net.
-He was hardly tested, but Marc-Andre Fleury was solid. He did what he needed to in order to get the win.
-Michalek was fantastic in our oppinion. He's a puck magnet blocking shots and passes. And he nearly cashed in on a goal with his underrated right-handed shot.
-The Penguins just seemed flat. They had very little going on period.
-The Penguins ended up with 27-26 lead in shots.
-Malkin led the game with six.
-Boyle led the Rangers with four.
-Del Zotto led the game with 25:01 of ice time.
-Orpik led the Penguins with 23:07.
-The Rangers had a 29-26 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).
-Crosby was 14 for 19 (74 percent).
-Christensen was 10 for 16 (63 percent).
-Michalek, Martin, Girardi and Eminger each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Letang (102 points) moved ahead of Nick Harbaruk (101) and Warren Young (101) for 76th place on the team's all-time scoring list.
-Dupuis (90) moved ahead of Kennedy (89) for 90th place.