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Penguins at Senators - 03-15-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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Hey, guess where we are:

-No, not quite:

-Corey Potter will wear No. 42. His predecessors with that number include:

Tuomas Gronman 1998-1998
Dustin Jeffrey 2009-2009
Nick Johnson 2010-2010

-The Penguins' starters are Alex Kovalev, Chrus Kunitz, Jordan Staal, Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek, Paul Martin and Brent Johnson.

-Their scratches are Chris Conner, Eric Godard, Matt Niskanen and Steve Wagner.

-The Senators' starters are Erik Condra, Nick Foligno, Ryan Shannon, Brian Lee, Chris Phillips and Craig Anderson.

Their scratches are Daniel Alfredsson, Matt Carkner, Pascal Leclaire, Milan Michalek and  Peter Regin.

-FSN Pittsburgh offer your lines and defensive pairing:

-Lyndon Slewidge is all business:

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FIRST PERIOD

19:31: Fleury denies Condra and Shannon on a pair of opportunities in tight.

18:05: After a turnover by Deryk Engelland in his own zone, Zack Smith rips a wrister from the right circle. Johnson eats it up. Potter knocks him into Johnson after the whistle. Zith gets two minute sfor goaltenders interference. Huh? Potter knocked him into Johnson. That's a gift for the Penguins. They'll take it. James Neal, Alex Kovalev, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang and Mark Letestu take the ice.

16:59: Neal rips a wrister from above the right circle. Anderson eats it up.

16:15: Jason Spezza lifts a wrister from the slot shorthanded over the cage.

16:05: The Smith penalty expires. The Penguins had very little pressure there.

15:57: Off a turnover by Sergei Gonchar in his own zone, Matt Cooke lifts a wrister from the left circle. Anderson eats it up. Gonchar owes Anderson a beer.

14:03: Kovalev carries the puck in his own zone for approximately 10 seconds. He's booed the entire time.

13:38: Potter gets a chance in the right circle and rips a wrister. Anderson appears to fight it off with the shaft of his stick.

12:12: Cooke drops Smith with a solid hit on the right wing wall in the Senators' zone.

11:35: After Chris Neal slams Maxime Talbot in the neutral zone along the left wing boards, Pascal Dupuis lifts a wrister from the slot. Anderson fights it out of play with his blocker.

11:07: Jason Spezza chops a one-timer from the left circle on net. Johnson fights it off.

10:46: Wow! Kunitz cycles around the right wing corner of the Senators zone fending off Chris Phillips. He deals a cross ice pass to the left point for Martin. Martin tees up a slap pass juuuuust to the left of the cage. Tyler Kennedy is there and re-directs it with the shaft of his stick off the left post. It clanks off that post, hits off the other post and deflects into the net. That was pretty. Kennedy's hot streak continues. Just a dazzling play. Martin and Kunitz get assists. Penguins 1-0.

8:34: Phillips is in deep and punches a quick one-timer low on net from the left circle. Johnson kicks it out with a "thud."

7:51: Michalek snaps off a wrister from the left point. Anderson gloves it.

7:27: Potter makes a nice play to get a puck out of danger in his own  zone with two Senators forecheckers bearing down on him. He flips the puck off the right wing boards and gets it to Mike Rupp in the neutral zone who skates it up ice.

6:58: Adams flips a backhander on net from the left circle. Anderson fights it off. Adams pursues the rebound but gets slammed to the ice on a shoulder check by Brian Lee. Nice hit.

6:15: Letang turns the puck over in the neutral zone. Neil picks it up and attacks the net with speed. Neil moves to the forehand but is hooked up by Lovejoy as he approaches the net. Neil loses the puck. Lovejoy is sent off for hooking. That's a good penalty for Lovejoy. Dupuis, Martin, Talbot and Michalek take the ice.

5:15: Spezza controls the puck in the left circle and flips a saucer pass over Potter who has stretched out on the ice for a potential block. Bobby Butler is alone in the slot but Johnson glove s the pass before Butler can get a stick on it.

4:15: Lovejoy's penalty expires.

4:10: Filip Kuba rockets a one-timer from the left point. It appears to hit Shannon in front. Shannon corrals the puck in the right circle, spins and whips it on net. It clanks

3:27: Kovalev sneaks a nifty pass from the left point to the slot for Letestu. Letestu moves in on net and lifts a wrister which clanks off the right post.

3:20: Neil clobbers Kovalev after making the pass. Engelland decides to hold Neil accountable and drops the gloves with him. They put on a really good show. Engelland lands several rights as Neil plays defense. Neil holds off Engelland and lands a few. They wrestle around more before Engelland falls over with Neil on top. What a fight!

2:14: Karlsson sneaks a wrister on net from the left point. Johnson fights it off.

0:51: Kovalev rips a wrister from the left circle wide on the far side.

0:40: Colin Greening is nabbed for interference against Talbot. Neal, Letestu, Kunitz, Kovalev and Martin take the ice. Kovalev mans the left point.

0:37: Off a faceoff win by Letestu in the left circle, Kovalev guns a one-timer from the slot. Anderson kicks it out with a tough save.

0:02: Kovalev settles a puck at the right point, surveys the net and guns a slapper. Phillips blocks it.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Senators 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION


-That was a solid period for the Penguins. They controlled play for the most part in the Senators' zone. They pressured Anderson quite a bit and limited the Senators' offensive chances.

-Plenty of physical play from both teams. There has been more than enough hitting.

-We liked Corey Potter so far. He faced a few tough situations in his own zone with forecheckers bearing down him and he got it of danger. He's spent a few seasons in professional hockey so he's a pretty mentally mature player. He also has an edge.

-Potter had 4:48 of ice time on six shifts and one shot.

-The Penguins have a 13-8 lead in shots.

-Cooke and Neal each lead the game with two.

-Shannon leads the game with 8:19 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 8:03.

-The Penguins have a 10-8 lead in faceoffs (56 percent).

-Jesse Winchester is 3 for 4 (75 percent).

-Letestu is 4 for 6  (67 percent).

-Martin and Gonchar each lead the game with two blocked shots.

-Fire Promote Matain Ray Shero's current level of employment.

SECOND PERIOD

20:00: The Penguins will have 1:20 of power play time on fresh ice. Letestu, Kovalev, Letang, Neal and Kunitz take the ice.

19:34: Letest taps a pass from the left wing to Neal in the left circle. Neal guns a one-timer. Anderson fight sit off.

19:02: Kovalev rips a big wrister from the slot. Condra blocks it.

18:39: They were eventually going to get that. Kennedy deals pass from the left of the net to Kovalev in the right circle. Kovalev punches ti on net. Anderson makes the initial save. Kunitz and Kennedy can't bury the rebound but Staal is finally able to with Anderson swimming in his own crease. It's not a power play goal as Greening's penalty expires. Kennedy and Kunitz get assists. Penguins 2-0.

17:58: Michalek is nabbed for tripping Greening. Greening looked like he just kind of fell over. That looked like a make up call. Letang, Martin, Adams and Talbot take the ice.

17:52: And the Senators don't waste any time. Off a turnover by Letang off the faceoffs in the right circle, Foligno is able to force a pass to Shannon. Shannan drive to the net, goes to the backhand and punches a shot by Johnson's right leeg. A nice goal by Shannon. Sloppy play by the Penguins. Foligno gets the only assist. Penguins 2-1.

16:55: Welcome back to the score sheet Ben Lovejoy. Staal controls a puck behind the the Ottawa net and deals a pass to Lovejoy coming in on the right circle. Lovjeoy steps up and hammers a one-timer to the far side by Anderson's glove hand. What a shot. That was a legit goal. That wasn't any softie allowed Anderson. Nice play by Staal to read Lovjeoy's approach. Staal and Kunitz get assists. Penguins 3-1.

15:37: Shannon has a prime chance in the slot. Johnson challenges the shot and swats it over the cage with a glove save. Huge save.

12:38: Martin has a wrister from the left point blocked in front.

12:26: And Matt Cooke gets in on the act. Martin controls a clearing attempt at the left point and whips it on net. It hits Andre Benoit's skate. Jeffrey swats the rebound on net immediately. Benoit and Cooke are battling for position and one of them appears to kick the puck. It hits off Anderson's left leg and deflects off the left post into the cage. A video review immediately takes place. Officials confirm the goal. Cooke gets credit for the goal. Jeffrey and Martin each get assists. Penguins 4-1.

9:35: Cooke is nabbed for tripping Karlsson inside the Penguins Senators' blue line. Adams, Martin, Talbot and Michalek take the ice.

8:30: Karlsson is sent off or holding Michalek. Four on four for 55 seconds.

7:47: This is a penalty-fest all of a sudden. Off a neutral zone faceoff, Smith gets the stick up in the face of Neal. That's two minutes. Four on three for 12 seconds. Letestu, Kovalev, Neal and Letang take the ice.

7:35: Cooke's penalty expires Five on three for 1:05 seconds.

6:30: Karlsson's penalty expire. The Penguins still have a one-man advantage for 47 seconds.

5:46: Just as Smith's penalty expires, Letang drives a slapper from the right point wide on the near side. Kovalev is there and attempts to re-direct it on net but the puck hops out of play.

5:17: Talbot gets slammed into the boards between the team's benches. For a moment there, we almost had another incident with a turnbuckle.

3:23: Lovejoy whips a wrister on net from the left circle to thaf ar side. Anderson kicks it out with his left foot.

2:37: Kovalev has a nice chance in the right circle and snaps off a wrister welllll high and wide to the far side.

2:16: Neil tags Kovalev behind the Penguins' net with a solid hit.

1:30: Neal has a nice chance in tight on the right wing and snaps off a wrister. Anderson eats it up.

0:49: Deep on the right wing, Jeffrey spins off a defender and deals a pass to the creae. Cooke barges in and taps it wide on to the left of the cage.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Senators 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-This is as dominating of a performance we've seen from the Penguins in a good long while. The Senators aren't a very good team and the Penguins are taking full advantage of them.

-Chris Kunitz looks like he's fully back in the swing of things. He's involved quite a bit around the opposing net. He even creating some thing offensively.

-Jordan Staal continues to play with motivation after his dreadful game Saturday. He rebounded with a strong effort Sunday against the Oilers and he has carried that over to today.

-Tyler Kennedy continues to be the team's best forward in the absence of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

-The Penguins are dominating shots, 27-9.

-Neal and Cooke each lead the game with four shots.

-Engelland and Kunitz are the only Penguins skaters who have failed to record a shot.

-Letang leads the game with 17:59 of ice time.

-Spezza leads the Senators with 15:42.

-The Senators have a 23-16 lead in faceoffs (59 percent).

-Winchester is 8 for 10 (80 percent).

-Staal is 6 for 12 (50 percent).

-Karlsson leads the game with four blocked shots.

-Michalek and Martin each lead the game with two blocked shots.

-Shannon leads the Senators with three.

THIRD PERIOD

19:38: Condra sails a wrister from the right circle to the far side. Johnson gets a pice of it iwth his blocker.

19:21: Ryan Shannon has a chance in tight denied by Johnson's right leg.

18:34: Neal snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Anderson kicks it out.

18:20: Kovalev chops a shot from the left circle. Anderson fights it off.

17:16: Butler controls a loose puck on the right wing and snaps off a cross ice pass to Jim O'Brien moving on off the left point. O'Brien puts a heavy wrister on net.Anderson kicks it out.

16:53: Martin pounds a slapper which gets through traffic and is fought off by Anderson.

14:48: Smith gets loose on a breakaway and rips a wrister which Johnson catches with his left shoulder and deflects over the cage. That was a big missed opportunity for smith.

14:18: Off a rush up the left wing by Greening, Butler is robbed in the slot by Johnson.

13:29: Adams pumps a heavy wrister on net from the right circle. Anderson fights it off.

13:19: Spezza tries to stick handle through Letang in the left circle of the Penguins' zone. Letang holds his ground and strips the puck from Spezza.

12:59: Letang strikes a slapper from the right point. Anderson knocks it dead, searches for the rebound and covers to freeze play. Play has opened up quite a bit this period. Lots of up and down action.

12:50: Winchester smacks Engelland in the left wing corner of the Penguins' zone with a solid hit.

11:26: Kovalev has a wrister from abovel the left circle blocked by Karlsson.

11:13: Dear lord. Michalek for Norris. Kovalev controls the puck in the right wing corner of the Senators' zone and deals a pass to Jeffrey behind the net. Jeffrey turns and distributes a pass to Michalek sneaking in from the right point. Michalek cranks a one-timer by Anderson's blocker on the far side. What a shot. That's three goals in four games for Michalek. Great work by Kovalev to control that puck in the corner and deal it to Jeffrey. Jeffrey and Kovalev get assists. Penguins 5-1.

8:36: Kovalev sneaks a wrister from the left wing. Anderson fights it off.

7:40: Svatos has a chance with a loose puck above the left circle and guns it high of the cage.

7:37: Letestu apparently has not played since 18:19 of the third period. No idea what happened.

5:54: Kunitz has a wrister in the left circle blocked by Gonchar. Fire Ray Shero.

5:51: Francis Lessard decides to make an appearance for the first time tonight and gets mixed up with Deryk Engelland. Both players get 10-minute misconducts.

5:17: Karlsson booms a slapper from the right wing. Johnson kicks it out.

5:03: Kovalev booms a slapper from the right point. Anderson fight it off.

4:57: Smith tries to start something with Letang in the left wing corner of the Senators' zone. Letang just smirks refusing to be goaded into something by Smith.Smith is sent off for roughing. Letang, Martin, Rupp Kennedy and Neal take the ice.

4:19: Neal rips a wrister from the right circle wide on the near side. Rupp makes contact with Anderson and knocks him over. That's a minor. Four on four for 1:22.

3:04: Butler chops a bouncing puck on net from the slot. Johnson punches it away with a blocker.

2:57: Smith's penalty expires. The Senators will have 38 seconds of power play time.

2:32: Spezza booms a slapper from the right circle wide on the far side.

2:19: Rupp's minor expires.

2:14: Cooke snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Anderson fight it off.

1:59: Martin drops Neil behind the Penguins' net.

1:25: O'Brien whips a heavy wrister on net from the slot. Johnsock kicks otu the puck. Condra follows up on the rebound but punches it high.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 5, Senators 1.

POSTGAME


-If nothing else, we know the Penguins can handle business against bad teams. They face the two worst teams - in terms of record - in the NHL in back to back games and drop them with identical 5-1 wins. The Penguins handled business and picked up the easy two points.

-The part that impressed us the most tonight was how involved so many different players were involved in the offense tonight. Only two Penguins skaters, Engelland and Kunitz, failed to record a shot on net. And Kunitz ended up with three assists.

-Johnson was strong, particularly in the third period. It was key to get him a start before the playoff started. It's assumed he was scheduled to start against the Oilers Sunday, but after Fleury was pulled against Montreal Saturday, Johnson had to sit Sunday. Johnson needed to get at least one game in before the start of the postseason. You don't want him rusty if something happens to Fleury.

-The Penguins' defense has really turned it on in the face of some less than ideal conditions as of late. An injury to Brooks Orpik has forced everyone to pick up more minutes. Niskanen's illness only made that problem worse. Players like Michalek and Lovejoy have stepped it up as of late and are contributing much more than just defense.

-Michalek's talked yesterday about confidence with his shot and how that has grown the past week or so. It just grew a whole lot more tonight.

-Lovejoy was glowing yesterday about the elevated ice time he has received as of late. And he has taken advantage of it. When the playoff start, the coaches will have a tough time determining if Lovejoy or Engelland is their No. 6 defenseman assuming everyone else is healthy.

-Like we said earlier, Staal extended his rebound game Sunday into tonight's contest. He has pieced together two strong games after a dreadful effort Sunday.

-We liked Potter quite a bit. Like we said, he's a pretty mature player for someone who has only had a handful of NHL games. He never panicked with the puck and always seemed to have confidence with it. The fact that he hasn't been able to crack the NHL lineup this season shows how much depth the Penguins have at the position within the entire organization.

-Martin once again had a quietly dominant game. He doesn't blow away anyone with a big play or even statistics, but he just always seems to know what to do in all situations.

-Not that the bar was set really high, but Ryan Shannon was the Senators' top player tonight. He was involved all over the ice.

-The Penguins dominated shots, 41-22.

-James Neal led the game with seven shots.

-Shannon led the Senators with four.

-Letang led the game with 24:50 of ice time.

-Gonchar led the Senators with 23:11.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-The Senators controlled faceoffs, 33-21 (61 percent).

-Winchester was 12 for 14 (86 percent).

-Letestu was 6 for 13 (46 percent).

-Karlsson led the game with five blocked shots.

-Michalek, Martin and Potter each led the game with two blocked shots.

-Kennedy (16) set a new career high in goals.

-Cooke passed up Russ Anderson, Randy Hillier and Brooks Orpik for 89th place on the team's all-time scoring list. All three players have 92 career points but Cooke (40) has more goals than Anderson (15), Hillier (13) and Orpik (9).

-Kunitz (91) passed up Alex Goligoski (90) and Dean Prentice (89) for 93rd place.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

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