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Devils at Penguins - 03-25-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME
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-Greetings from a cool, clear sunny day in Pittsburgh. Consol Energy Center:

-Hall of fame defensemen are in style tonight. Paul Coffey:

-And Scott Stevens:

-The ice:

-Only a few jersey sightings today on account of us being late:

-Matthew Barnaby:

-Travis Zajac:

-A peculiar jersey foul here with two Blue Jackets fans. Rick Nash and Mike Commodore:

-Jaromir Jagr:

-Former Devil Mike Rupp:

-Sergei Gonchar:

-When you're wearing a Craig Adams jersey, you're pretty hardcore:

-You know, you might as well go ahead and invest in a full blown Ilya Kovalchuk jersey instead of a modest t-shirt jersey. It's not like he's not signed to the franchise for 17 years or anything:

-The sun setting on the Civic Arena (in more ways than one):

-Jersey of the Night: Zbynek Michalek Team Czech Republic:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Tyler Kennedy, Chris Kunitz, Jordan Staal, Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Matt Cooke, Eric Godard, Dustin Jeffrey, Brent Johnson Mark Letestu and Eric Tangradi.

-The Devils' starters are Ilya Kovalchuk, Nick Palmieri, Travis Zajac, Mark Fayne, Henrik Tallinder and Martin Brodeur.

-Their scratches are Mark Fraser and Rod Pelley.

-Jimerson handles business:

FIRST PERIOD

18:28: Letang leads a rush up the left wing into the offensvie zone. He makes a nifty move around a defender at the left point and whips a wrister wide on the far side of the cage. 

17:27: From the right wing corner, Rupp deals a pass to Matt Niskanen at the left point. Niskanen winds up for a one-timer but his stick breaks and the puck skids to the left of the cage. 

15:00: Five minutes in and neither team has put an official shot on net. 

14:25: Mattias Tedenby and Deryk Engelland race for a dump in behind the Penguins' net. Tedenby puts a Heimlich maneuver on Engelland. That's two minutes for holding. Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Tyler Kennedy, James Neal and Chris Kunitz take the ice.

12:30: Mike Comrie is getting some power play time with Jordan Staal and Alex Kovalev

12:18: Just as the Tedenby penalty expires, Michalek snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Puck magnet Anton Volchenkov kneels down and blocks it. 

12:00: EN co-worker Shelly Anderson spotted Devils defenseman Colin White leave the ice and head to the locker room. 

9:56: Brian Rolston whips a wrister from the right half wall. Fleury fights it off and swats away the rebound with his stick. That's the first shot of the game. Over ten minutes in. And it wasn't like it was a good shot either. Yeesh. 

6:56: After a stagnant three minutes, Engelland slams Adam with a solid check in the left wing corner of the Penguins' zone.

6:26: Matt Niskanen gets the Penguins first official shot on net as he punches a pedestrian slapper on net from the right point. Brodeur calm steers it to the opposite boards with his blocker. Fans offer a mock cheer for the "breakthrough." 

5:18: Mark Fayne snaps off  a wrister from the right point wide on the near side. Ilya Kovalchuk appeared to deflect it wide.

5:01: The first quality shcoing chance of the game comes from Staal, He takes a pass at the Devils' blue line, gains the offensive zone, cuts inside Andy Greene and whips heavy wrister low on net. Brodeur kicks it out. 

3:39: Pascal Dupuis whips a low wrister from the right half wall low on net. Brodeur kicks it away. 

1:19: Kennedy gets a pass on the right wing, gains the offensive zone and cranks a slapper which Mark Fayne appears to block wide.

0:53: Kovalchuk fights off a check from Stalla the right point, slides to the slot and whips a heavy wrister wide to the right side of the cage.

0:00: End of... zzzzz... period. Devils 0, Penguins 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-That's worth two of these:

-We know Jacques Lemaire is back coaching the Devils, but when did Kevin Constantine come back to coach the Penguins. That was textbook mid-90s defensive hockey. Lots and lots of defense. Very few offensive chance.

-Neither team really pressed the issue at all on offense. There were a few exploratory ventures into the respective offensive zones but little else.

-Neither goaltender really had to do much.

-We know the Penguins are probably a little spent after grinding out last night's game and the Devils are desperate for wins, but this was ridiculous.

-It's hard to really rate Comrie on his return. He's on the fourth line and this type of game isn't exactly ideal for his talents. He had 3:35 of ice time on five shifts.

-The Penguins have a 3-1 lead in shots.

-The Devils actually had a second official shot but scorekeepers took it away.

-No one player has more than one.

-Greene leads the game with 8:34 of ice time.

-Michalek leads the Penguins with 8:19.

-The Devils control faceoffs, 7-2 (78 percent).

-Zajac is 3 for 3 (100 percent).

-Rupp is 2 for 3 (67 percent).

-Volchenkov leads the game with two blocked shots.

-Devils defenseman Colin White suffered a lower-body injury and will not return.

-Without White, the Penguins need to focus on beating the heck out of the Devils' remaining defensemen with the forecheck. Wear them out.

SECOND PERIOD

19:32: James Neal records the Penguins' first shot of the second period a lot earlier this time as his wrister is turned away by Fleury.

16:53: Zajac snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Lovjeoy appears to block it a bit. The puck still flutters in on net and Fleury fight sit off with his blocker.

16:32: The Devils get their first power play as Letang is nabbed for hooking Zajac in the left circle. Michalek, Martin, Dupuis and Maxime Talbot take the ice.

15:08: Kovalchuk get sa little space to wkr with on the left wing and rips a heavy wrister from the circle. Fleury kicks it out.

14:33: Just before the Letang minor expires, Vladimir Zharkov puts a long-distance wrister on net from the top of the slot. Fleury fights it off.

14:24: Talbot coasts up the left wing and deals a pass across the slot. Kunitz is there but can't get a clean shot off putting it wide on the near side.

14:20: Michalek guns a slapper from the right point. Brodeur eats it up.

13:22: Lovejoy snaps off a wrister from the right point. it gets deflected on its way to the net and takes a weird hop off the boards. It deflcts to the left circle. Kunitz jumps on it. He hurries the shot and puts it wide of the cage.

11:58: Craig Adams hustles up the right wing and lifts a wrister on net. Brodeur absorbs it and freezes play.

11:36: Tedenby has  a wrister from the slot blocked by Martin.

11:32: David Clarkson circles out of the left wing corner and whips a wrister on net. Fleury eats it up.

11:27: Anssi Salmela cracks a one-timer from the right point. Fleury kicks it out.

10:57: Volchenkov and Kunitz race after a dump into to the left wing corner of the Devils' zone. Volchenkov takes a tump and Kunitz crashes on top of him. Volchenkov is shaken up a bit but doesn't leave the ice. That could have ended up a lot worse.

10:12: Rolston has a chance in the right circle but Michalek closes in and forces him to eat the puck.

9:57: The Penguins call a time out to get a breather after an icing call. Attendance is announced 18,329. It is the team's 203rd consecutive sellout.

9:52: Kennedy is tripped up at the Penguins' blue line by Rolston. Kennedy sold that a bit. Comrie, Staal, Letang, Martin and Kovalev take the ice.

9:44: Martin has a slapper from the top of the slot blocked and cleared down ice.

9:19: Kovalev whips a wrister on net from the right circle. Brodeur knocks it dead and covers.

8:02: Kunitz tees up a slapper from above the left circle. It smacks off Brodeur's lid and deflects into the left wing corner. Kunitz and Volchenkov race for the rebound. Kunitz slams Volchenkov into the boards and to the ice.

7:55: Niskanen puts a slapper on net. Brodeur covers to freeze play. Volchenkov hunches over and appears to be in discomfort. He's still smarting after that hit from Kunitz.

6:18: Rupp steals a puck in the neutral zone, rushes up the left wing and whips a wrister on net. Brodeur makes the save but allows a poor rebound. Staal is there and sweeps it right back into Brodeur. Brodeur freezes the puck. Rupp kind of apepars to step on his blocker hand.

4:54: Kovalev steals a puck off Salmela at the right wing corner turns and puts a pass to the slot. Talbot re-directs it on net. Brodeur kicks it out. Nice steal and pass by Kovalev

4:03: Fleury bobbles a dump in attempt and allows a rebound. Tendeby jumps on it and punches a quick shot on net. Fleury kicks it out.

3:45: Engelland whips a wrister on net from the right point. Brodeur fights it off.

2:59: Engellands slams Tedenby into the boards from behind behind the Penguins net. That's two minutes for roughing. Kind of a ticky tack call. Michalek, Martin, Staal and Talbot take the ice.

2:25: Dainius Zubrus wheel through Michalek and Martin in the slot and has  a clean chance on net. His backhander is denied by Fleury's left leg. Michalek and Martin owe Fleury a beer.

0:59: Engelland's minor is killed. The Penguins allowed very little to the Devils that two minutes.

0:36: "Fan favorite" David Steckel whisp a wrister from the right circle wide to the far side.

0:02: Lovejoy has a slapper from the right point blocked by Zubrus.

0:00: End of period. Devils 0, Penguins 0.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-That period wasn't nearly as dreadful as the first, still...

-Both teams did a lot better job of creating some offensive chances.

-The Penguins appeared to put a little bit more pressure on the Devils' shorthanded defensive corp.

-The Penguins have a 16-10 lead in shots.

-Adams and Rolston each lead the game with three.

-Greene leads the game with 18:03 of ice time.

-Michalek leads the Penguins with 16:13.

-The Devils dominate faceoffs, 20-6 (77 percent).

-Zajac is 7 for 8 (88 percent).

-Rupp is 2 for 4 (50 percent).

-Martin leads the game with three blocked shots.

-Fire Lou Lamoriello.

-Zubrus, Kovalchuk and Volchenkov each lead the Devils with two.

-James Neal is your IceTime cover boy:

-EN reader Norma Basko spots a Rick Tocchet jersey:

 

THIRD PERIOD

19:30: Zajac takes a pass in the slot, fends off a check from Martin and punches a backhander on net. Fleury fights it off. Palmieri follows up on the rebound and puts his own backhander on net. Fleury covers to freeze play.

17:59: Dupuis gets run into one of the linesmen on the right wing at the Penguins' blue line. Dupuis is sent to the ice. Ouch.

16:49: Asham guns a slapper from the left point. Brodeur fights it off.

15:35: Off a poor turnover by Neal on the right wing in how own zone, Jacob Josefson has a prime chance in the slot. He has Fleury all alone but stickhandles too much looking for a opening and loses the puck. Just shoot the puck dude.

13:50: Fayne cranks a one-timer from the right point wide to the far side.

13:26: Dupuis drops Josefson with a stiff shoulder check to the chest in the right wing corner of the Devils' zone.

11:25: Rupp slams Salmela with a hit into the left wing corner of the Devils' zone.

11:18: Rupp is wrecking everyone. He drops Adam Mair along the right wing boards of the offensive zone.

9:54: Michalek chucks a wrister from the right point. It hits a skate and deflects juuuuust wide on the far side.

9:00: A note from the Penguins: The first period tied a Penguins' franchise record for fewest combined shots in a period with four. The previous mark was five.

8:42: Niskanen is nabbed for slashing Fayne. Adams, Michalek, Staal and Martin take the ice.

6:42: Two minutes later and the Devils didn't accomplish a thing with that two minutes.

6:08: Tallinder chops a slapper from the neutral zone on net. Fleury punches it away with his blocker.

5:30: Patrick Elias decides to make an appearance tonight and chops a slapper from the left circle. Fleury fights it off with a "thud."

4:20: Lovejoy trips up Josefson in the right wing corner of the Penguins' zone. Josefson sold that a bit. Two minutes for Lovejoy. Staal, Adams, Michalek and Martin take the ice. Also, the Devils lose another defenseman as Anton Volchenkov will not return due to a lower-body injury. Yeesh.

4:03: A bouncing puck slides trickles to Kovalchuk right in the left circle. He has a wide open look at the net and it hops over his stick. Argh.

3:21: Dupuis taps a puck down ice along the left wing and out of the defensive zone.

2:31: Zharkov has a chanc ein the left cirlc ebut Letang is able to block the puck with his stick.

2:25: Elias cracks a one-timer from a tough angle on the right wing. Fleury shoulder sit away.

2:20: Lovejoy's penalty is killed. Huge kill for the Penguins.

0:53: Fayne sails a one-timer from the right point wide on the near side

0:32: Tallinder whips a wrister on net from above the left circle. Fleury gloves it.

0:03: Michalek air-mails a slapper from the center faceoff circle. Brodeur kicks it out with his left leg.

0:00: End of period. Devils 0, Penguins 0.

THIRD INTERMISSION

-The Penguins have a 23-20 lead in shots.

OVERTIME

3:48: Kovalev whirls around the net from the right wing, emerges on the left wing and flips a backhander over the cage on the near side. 

3:17: Kovalev makes a nice inside out move and undresses Fayne. He whips a wrister from left circle wide to the far side. 

2:31: Oh geez! Kovalev whips a pass from the right point to the slot. Martin is cutting towards the net on a version of the Whitney play. As he spins, the puck hits off his stick and deflects on net. Brodeur is in perfect position to make the save. Wow! 

1:32: Neal gains the offensive zone and eals apss to Rup. Rupp whips  a wrister on net from above the left circle. Brodeur fights it off. 

0:46: Niskanen snaps off a wrister from the left point. Brodeur fights it off.

0:40: Niskanen interferes with Zajac at the Devils blue while chasing for a puck No call. 

0:00: End of period. Devils 0. Penguins 0.

FOURTH INTERMISSION

-The Penguins dominated that overtime period. Where was this in teh first 60 minutes of play?

SHOOTOUT

-Letang is up first for the Penguins. With everyone standing, he moves in on Brodeur and flips a backhander just over the cage. He has Brodeur but couldn't punch it in.

-Rolston is up fro the Devils. He goes slighly to the right, attacks the net and has his forehand shot denied by Fleury's right foot.

-Kovalev is up. Fans chant "KO-VEE! KO-VEE" He comes in with a wrister. Brodeur's left leg denies him.

-Another "Kovy," Kovalchuk, is up. He goes wide ot the right comes to the slot and has his wrister denied by Fleury's left leg.

-Neal goes wide to right, comes across the slot, get Brodeur to commit and whips a wrister over his blocker. Penguins 1-0.

-Do or die for the Devils. Elias comes in and whips a wrister. Fleury swats it away with is glove hand. End of shootout. Penguins 1, Devils 0. End of game. Penguins 1, Devils 0. 

POSTGAME

-That was pretty much like an MMA fight between two submission specialist. Their submission move of choice just happened to be boredom. Both teams played it very tight. There weren't a ton of quality chances allowed by either team. It essentially became a staring contest and the Devils blinked first.

-The Penguins could have lost this game very easily. They were a little gassed after last night's draining win in Philadelphia. They could have come out flat for the first period. But the Devils failed to take advantage in the first period and came out just as flat. Said Brodeur:

"Well when you get one shot  on net in the first period when they’re supposed to maybe take a period to get themselves going. We just didn’t jump on them. And from there, they just started getting more energy in the second. The tired team, usually you try to jump on them as much as you can and we weren’t able to do that today."

-The Penguins didn't exactly take advantage of the Devils' bad situation on defense. The Devils played a lot of the game with only four defensemen. The Penguins should have been a little bit more aggressive on the forecheck. They could have worn out the Devils' blue line, forced some mistakes and get some goals in regulation or overtime.

-Neither goaltender was forced to do much, but each stole a few goals. Brodeur and Fleury were each sharp.

-Brodeur continues to make history against the Penguins. He He officially recorded his ninth career shutout against the Penguins. Only Hall-of-Famer Bernie Parent has more. Brodeur also recorded two shutouts in a single season against the Penguins for the third time in his career.

-If nothing else, the Penguins' new acquisitions are giving them an edge in the shootout. Neal and Kovalev have been difference makers in that area.

-It would be a major stretch to say Mike Comrie was noticeable tonight. He was on the fourth line mostly and this was hardly a game where his style of play would have thrived. That said, him just getting back on the ice is an accomplishment.

-We really liked the game Kunitz had. He was a strong on the forecheck and even contributed a few offensive chances.

-The Penguins led in shots, 26-21.

-Rolston led the game with four.

-Niskanen, Staal, Kunitz, Adams and Letang each led the Penguins three.

-Greene led the game with 27:47 of ice time.

-Martin was right behind him with 27:46.

-Fire Lou Lamoriello.

-The Devils controlled faceoffs, 24-15 (62 percent).

-Elias was 8 for 11 (73 percent).

-Staal was 9 for 19 (47 percent).

-Martin and Letang each led the game with three blocked shots.

-Greene, Tallinder, Zubrus, Kovalchuk, Zajac, Volchenkov and Fayne each led the Devils with two.

-Fleury recorded his 19th career shutout. It was the fourth time he has recorded on on March 25.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

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