2010-11 - A game by game recap - 05-16-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Nothing seemed to go exactly as scripted for the Penguins in 2010-11. Even on the opening night, the Penguins opened a brand, new, shiny building which saved their very existence with... a loss to the rival Flyers.

It was an eventful season by any stretch. From opening Consol Energy Center to the Winter Classic to a injuries for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to Feb. 11 on Long Island to the trades for James Neal and Alex Kovalev.

A lot happened within the course of seven month.

This is a compact review of all of that.

(Note: The first link for each game listed is video provided by the NHL on YouTube. The second link is our live blog from that game.)

Regular season

2 - Flyers 3, Penguins 2 - The building which Mario Lemieux built is opened with... some rookie named Sergei Bobrovsky making 29 saves?

9 - Canadiens 3, Penguins 2 - The Penguins have a chance at getting revenge against the Canadiens for ousting them from the 2010 postseason, but the Habs steal a win with two goals in the final 3:16 of regulation.

11 - Penguins 3, Devils 1 - Remember how the Devils swept the Penguins in all six games of the 2009-10 season? Hmm... not so much this season. Brent Johnson starts his season off very well.

13 - Maple Leafs 4, Penguins 3 - As Sidney Crosby gets his first goal of the season, the world and Colton Orr's jaw gets introduced to Deryk Engelland's right fist:

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15 - Penguins 3, Islanders 2 - It took a little while, but the Penguins finally get their first win in their new digs courtesy of an overtime goal by Alex Goligoski. And on a power if you can believe it:

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16 - Penguins 5, Flyers 1 - Sidney Crosby kicks starts his season after a slow start with two goals against a team he normally rips apart.

18 - Penguins 5, Senators 2 - Sergei Gonchar is "welcomed" back to Pittsburgh by watching his former tenant score on of the more prettier goals of the season:

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21 - Penguins 4, Predators 3 - Kris Letang caps off a surprisingly fun game with another overtime goal from the defense.

23 - Blues 1, Penguins 0 - A re-match against former Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak doesn't go so well as he wins a goaltending duel in overtime against Brent Johnson.

27 - Lightning 5, Penguins 3 - The Penguins manage to get two shorthanded goals from Craig Adams and Matt Cooke on the same power player and still lose. If you can imagine such a thing, they were shutout by the Lightning on all five power play chances.

29 - Flyers 3, Penguins 2 - The Flyers get their second win of the month in Consol Energy Center as the Penguins' power play goes 0 for 4.

30 - Penguins 3, Hurricanes 0 - Despite Evgeni Malkin missing the game due to an injury, The Penguins rebound with a business-like win in Carolina. Brent Johnson caps off his stellar October by making this ridiculous save to earn the shutout:

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3 - Stars 5, Penguins 2 - Matt Niskanen and Sidney Crosby step on the same sheet of ice for the first and only time all season. It would also be the last time Sidney Crosby goes without a point until after Christmas.

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5 - Ducks 3, Penguins 2 - Sidney Crosby and the man picked after him in the 2005 draft, Bobby Ryan, put on a show with two points each.

6 - Penguins 4, Coyotes 3 - Mark Letestu and Brent Johnson bail out Marc-Andre Fleury from another rough start with a comeback shootout win.

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10 - Bruins 7, Penguins 4 - The Penguins' high-priced defense absolutely collapses and allows five goals to the Bruins in the third period.

12 - Penguins 5,  Lightning 1 - Marc-Andre Fleury wins the game he has to win to get his season on track.

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13 - Penguins 4, Thrashers 2 - Evgeni Malkin's first hat trick and power play goal of the season lead to a comeback win down south.

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15 - Rangers 3, Penguins 2 - One of the craziest endings to a game you'll ever see. After being shutout for most of the game, the Penguins manage to take an improbable 2-1 lead with just over two minutes left in regulation. Then.... they allow the Rangers to tie it with a shorthanded goal with 1:26 left. THEEENNNNNN the Rangers win it on a two on none in overtime:

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17 - Penguins 3, Canucks 1 - The Penguins defense rebounds after collapse two days prior and shuts down one of the best offenses in the league. They wouldn't lose another game for nearly a month.

19 - Penguins 5, Hurricanes 4 - Sidney Crosby collects four points in a wild shootout win at home.

22 - Penguins 3, Panthers 2 - Sidney Crosby keeps rolling as he jukes Tomas Vokoun out of his jock on this goal:

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24 - Penguins 1, Sabres 0 - Marc-Andre Fleury records his first shutout of the season.

26 - Penguins 2, Senators 1 - The Penguins catch a big break when a non-interference penalty by Mark Letestu allows Alex Goligoski to score the game-winning goal on the power play.

27 - Penguins 4, Flames 1 - Sidney Crosby first hat trick of the season and his 200th career goal moves him ahead of Steven Stamkos for the league lead in scoring:

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29 - Penguins 3, Rangers 1 - Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky calls Sidney Crosby dirty for an alleged slew foot, but Crosby gets a point in his 13th consecutive games and a win.


2 - Penguins 3, Thrashers 2 - Another home game. Another hat trick for Sidney Crosby.

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4 - Penguins 7, Blue Jackets 2 - The Penguins and their fans invade Columbus.

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6 - Penguins 2, Devils 1 - Bill Guerin officially retires and the Penguins' win streak hits 10 games.

8 - Penguins 5, Maple Leafs 2 - Two-goal efforts by Sidney Crosby and Mark Letestu prompt Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson to proclaim, "The turning point of the game was when they dropped the opening faceoff."

11 - Penguins 5, Sabres 2 - Dustin Jeffrey's return to the NHL sees him record his first career two-point game.

14 - Flyers 3, Penguins 2 - Evgeni Malkin returns to the lineup after missing four games, but the Penguins' 12-game winning streak comes to an end.

15 - Rangers 4, Penguins 1 - The Penguins' defense reverts to its early-season form and allows four goals in the final 10 minutes.

20 - Penguins 6, Coyotes 1  - Evgeni Malkin ties a career-high with four points and Deryk Engelland adds Taylor Pyatt to his victims list:

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22 - Penguins 5, Panthers 2 - We get introduced to the "Ben Lovejoy Hat Trick."

23 - Penguins 3, Capitals 2 - Two heated rivals give us (and HBO) a dazzling display of hockey at its finest. Crosby's scoring streak hits 23 games.

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26 - Senators 3, Penguins 1 - Who wouldn't want to make a trip to Ottawa the day after Christmas? Apparently the Penguins didn't. And the Michaleks are brothers:

28 - Penguins 6, Thrashers 3 - Sidney Crosby collects four points as his scoring streak reaches 25 games.

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29 - Islanders 2, Penguins 1 - With the Winter Classic weighing on their minds, the Penguins overlook the Islanders and Sidney Crosby's scoring streak (and his skeevy mustache) comes to an end.

31 - Capitals 5, Penguins 5 (Alumni) - Mario Lemieux and the Penguins get another chance to pick apart Don Beaupre and the Capitals.


1 - Capitals 3, Penguins 1 - For one soggy night, Pittsburgh is the center of the hockey universe. While Jordan Staal returns, it's the beginning of the end of Sidney Crosby's season.

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8 - Penguins 8, Lightning 1 - Chris Kunitz picks up his second career hat trick and Sidney Crosby plays his last game of the season.

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6 - Canadiens 2, Penguins 1 - Carey Price strikes a pose and beats the Penguins in a shootout.

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8 - Wild 4, Penguins 0 - Jose Theodore continues his mastery of the Penguins with his fourth career shutout against the team.

10 - Bruins 4, Penguins 2 - The Penguins play a strong game for about 55 minute then stage another come from ahead home loss to the Bruins.

12 - Penguins 5, Canadiens 2 - Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins get a little revenge on Carey Price and strike their own pose:

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15 - Penguins 3, Bruins 2 - Jordan Staal collects two points and helps Pittsburgh, the city, go 5-0 on a mid-January Saturday.

18 - Penguins 4, Red Wings 1 - The Penguins capitalize on a few mistakes and beat a team which seems less and less like a rival.

20 - Devils 2, Penguins 0 - It's like old times as the Penguins play a game without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the first time since 2005-06 while Martin Brodeur collects his eighth career shutout against the Penguins.

22 - Penguins 3, Hurricanes 2 - The Penguins get their first win with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup.

25 - Penguins 1, Islanders 0 - Forced to get defensive, the Penguins grind out a boring shutout.


1 - Penguins 4, Rangers 3 - No Crosby. No Malkin. No Staal. No Letestu. No Asham. No problem. Dustin Jeffrey steps up and leads the the Penguins to a gusty shootout win in Manhattan.

2 - Penguins 3, Islanders - Brent Johnson loses a shutout (technically) but gets a technical knock out of Rick DiPietro.

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4 - Penguins 3, Sabres 2 - The Penguins' nightmare season in regards to injuries continues as Evgeni Malkin is lost for the season due to a knee injury:

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6 - Capitals 3, Penguins 0 - A bad Super Bowl Sunday in Pittsburgh gets off to a bad start in Washington.

8 - Blue Jackets 4, Penguins 1 - The Blue Jackets get a little bit of revenge for the Columbus Invasion two months earlier. Matt Cooke is suspended for the first time this season.

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10 - Penguins 2, Kings 1 - The Penguins' lose another center as Dustin Jeffrey suffers an injury but Jordan Staal steps up and scores a overtime goal.

11 - Islanders 9, Penguins 3 - The low point of the season. For the Penguins. The Islanders. The NHL. And the sport.

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13 - Rangers 5, Penguins 3 - A heavily depleted Penguins' lineup gets overwhelmed by the Rangers.

16 - Penguins 3, Avalanche 2 - Tyler Kennedy steps up and delivers for his team in overtime.

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20 - Blackhawks 3, Penguins 2 - Matt Cooke returns to the lineup but the Penguins simply can't match the defending Stanley Cup champions in a shootout.

21 - Capitals 1, Penguins 0 - The Penguins face the Capitals in an indoor facility within the 412 area code for the first time this calendar year but can't find any offense. The Alex Goligoski era comes to and end as well.

23 - Sharks 3, Penguins 2 - The James Neal/Matt Niskanen era begins with disappointment as Patrick Marleau scores with just four seconds left in overtime. And Brooks Orpik breaks his hand.

25 - Hurricanes 4, Penguins 1 - A new Alexei Kovalev era begins with a loss in Raleigh.

26 - Penguins 6, Maple Leafs 5 - Alex Kovalev pays off dividends with a ringing shootout winner:

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2 - Maple Leafs 3, Penguins 2 - Matt Niskanen's first goal as a Penguin isn't enough to overcome a desperate Maple Leafs team.

4 - Devils 2, Penguins 1 - A late overtime goal by Ilya Kovalchuk gets the red-hot Devils another win.

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5 - Penguins 3, Bruins 2 - Dustin Jeffrey takes a gift from Dennis Seidenberg and gives the Penguins a hard-fought win in Boston.

8 - Penguins 3, Sabres 1 - Chris Kunitz returns to the lineup while Zbynek Michalek and James Neal each get their first goal with the Penguins who complete a season series against the Sabres.

12 - Canadiens 3, Penguins 0 - The Penguins sellout their 200th consecutive home game but offer a flat effort against the Canadiens.

13 - Penguins 5, Oilers 1 - Two goals from Chris Kunitz help the Penguins rebound and bury the hapless Oilers.

15 - Penguins 5, Senators 1 - Jordan Staal collects a goal and an assist as the Penguins handle business against another bad team.

20 - Rangers 5, Penguins 2 - Matt Cooke helps cost the Penguins a game and ends his season.

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21 - Penguins 5, Red Wings 4 - The Penguins' penalty kill struggles without Matt Cooke and they nearly blow a four-goal lead in a thrilling shootout win.

24 - Penguins 2, Flyers 1 - Another shootout win in Philadelphia gets the Penguins miracuously back into the race for the Atlantic Division.

25 - Penguins 1, Devils 0 - Offense gets set back to the mid-1990s but a James Neal shootout winner earns the Penguins another two points.

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27 - Penguins 2, Panthers 1 - The Penguins set an NHL record by recording their fourth consecutive shootout win.

29 - Flyers 5, Penguins 2 - A showdown for first place in the Atlantic Division results in a one-sided battle.

31 - Lightning 2, Penguins 1 - In a playoff preview, the Penguins just can't figure out Dwayne Roloson.


2 - Penguins 4, Panthers 2 - A power-play goal by Zbynek Michalek leads to a season sweep of the Panthers.

5 - Penguins 4, Devils 2 - Two goals by Pascal Dupuis leads to another key win down the stretch.

8 - Penguins 4, Islanders 3 - The Penguins get the best form of revenge in a shootout win on Long Island.

10 - Penguins 5, Thrashers 2 - The regular season ends on a good note for the Penguins and Mike Comrie who gets his only goal of the season.


13 - Penguins 3, Lightning 0 - Marc-Andre Fleury's fifth career postseason shutout gets the Penguins off to the right start in the playoffs.

15 - Lightning 5, Penguins 1 - The Penguins get blanked on the power play (it will become a theme) and watch the Lightning cash in on a few mistakes.

18 - Penguins 3, Lightning 2 - Arron Asham gets his third point in as many games to lead the Penguins to a win.

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20 - Penguins 3, Lightning 2 - James Neal breaks out of a goal scoring slump and gives the Penguins a win in an overtime thriller.

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23 - Lightning 8, Penguins 2 - The series takes a big swing in the other direction as the Lightning dismantles the Penguins.

25 - Lightning 4, Penguins 2 - If there's a way to describe how the Penguins' offense looked for the bulk of this series, it's Chris Conner's penalty shot attempt.

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27 - Lightning 1, Penguins 0 - In the end, the Penguins' power play fails them and ends their season.

(Photos: Consol Energy Center and Crosby second-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Lemieux first-Keith Srakocic/Associated Press; Crosby first, Lemieux second, Malkin and Penguins last-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Lovejoy-YouTube; Heinz Field-Jamie Squire/Getty Images; Johnson-Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Penguins/Islanders-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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