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Blues at Penguins - 11-23-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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-Greetings from a cold, clear, Thanksgiving eve in Pittsburgh. It's dark, so we dont' have many photos from a walk up. This stunning view should suffice:

-The demolition of the Civic Arena is getting tougher and tougher to look at:

-The current barn:

-The ice:

-The rink:

-The Blues are the Penguins' first rival. When the NHL expanded in 1967, all the new teams were put in a one division. And for whatever reason, the Penguins and Blues became early rivals. Penguins stat god Bob Grove had a fun video on the team's Web site about a classic game between the two:

-Some jersey sightings. Ron Francis:

-Keith Tkachuk Blues:

-Fans walking in off Centre Avenue:

-Marc-Andre Fl___ All-Star:

-We need a ruling on this. Did Team Canada ever wear this?

-Two Matthew Barnaby fans:

-Former Blues goaltender Brent Johnson:

-Kevin Stevens:

-Denis Lemieux Charlestown Chiefs:

(We'll forgive the slight jersey foul.)

-Jiri Slegr:

-Jersey of the Night: This might be an all-timer. Mark Johnson:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Matt Cooke, Tyler Kennedy, Jordan Staal, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Steve MacIntyre and Joe Vitale.

-The Blues' starters are David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Alexander Steen, Roman Polak, Kris Russell and Brian Elliott.

-Their scratches are Cade Fairchild, Evgeny Grachev and Chris Porter.

-Jim. Er. Son:

FIRST PERIOD

19:29: Martin drives a slapper from the left point. Elliott makes the save but fumbles the rebound.  Neal grabs it and plays it along the boards behind the net. Sullivan claims it and deals a little backhanded pass to Malkin to the right side of the cage. Malkin tries to jam it in on his forehand. Elliott holds it out.

19:16: Matt D'Agostini hustles up the left wing and snaps off a wrister from a bad angle. Fleury deflects it out of play.

18:45: Brooks Orpik head off the ice hunched over. He does not retreat to the locker room. 

17:08: Jamie Langenbrunner whips a wrister at the cage from the right point. Fleury hangs on and freezes play. Orpik returns to the ice.

16:36: T.J. Oshie pumps a wrister on net from the right half wall. Fleury eats it up.

15:08: Malkin pushes the puck up the right wing, fends off a check from Jason arnott and flicks a backhander off the side of the cage from the right wing.

14:27: Paul Martin. Oof. Martin makes a brutal turnover from the left of the Penguins cage as he forces a pass which is intercepted by Scott Nichol. Nichol takes the puck and pumps a slapper from above the left circle. Martin slides down to block it and ends up deflecting over the left shoulder of Fleury. Uggggglllleeee..... The goal is unassisted. Martin deserves one assist. Blues 1-0.

13:15: D'Agostini has a chance from the slot and chops a feed over the cage.

10:28: Tyler Kennedy makes a nice move by Barrett Jackman at the Blues' blue line on the right wing and enters the zone with a little speed. He gets a little greedy and tries to deke by Ian Cole as well but Cole lays out on the ice and knocks the puck away with a stick on puck. Nice play by Cole

9:42: Backes has a chance in tight denied by Fleury. Oshie follows up on it and Fleury fends that off as well. There's a scrambel for the puck as Fleury tries to regian his footing. The puck slides out to the top of the slot. Alex Pietrangelo pounds the slapper at the cage. Fleury kicks both his feet to his right and makes the save. Wow!

9:35: Sidney Crosby chops a feed in the slot wide of the cage.

8:56: Deryk Engelland and Ryan Reaves drop the glove. Reaves is a tough a dude. They circle around near the Penguins' blue line and lock up. Reaves lands an early right rabbit punch. Engelland responds with one of his own. Engelland slips and falls forward as Reaves takes advantage and lands several rights. Give that one to Reaves.

7:12: Crosby deals a little fee dto Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis pushes it on net but the puck hits a skate and deflects out.

5:26: Patrik Berglund chops a backhander from the right circle. Martin deflects it away with a stick on puck.

3:53: Pirates second baseman and Pine-Richland product Neil Walker is shown in the stands on the video board. He gets an enthusiastic applause. He probably hasn't heard an applause that loud since his days at Pine-Richland.

1:53: Jordan Staal picks up a puck in neutral zone, weaves his way into the offensive zone and whips a wrister at the cage. Elliott steers it to the right corner.

1:35: Letang drives a slapper from the right point on net. Elliott fends it off.

1:11: Crosby takes a pass in the neutral zone, gains the offensive zone, skates by Chris Stewart and is tripped up. That's two minutes. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Sullivan and Letang take the ice.

0:55: Letang controls the puck and is houded by Backes who steals it and flings it down ice. Nice defensive work.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

-While the Penguins played horribly in that period, in all reality, if it weren't for one mistake, this is still a 0-0 game.

-The Penguins just didn't have display any jump. Maybe you should expect a let down after Monday's emotional game, but they were completely flat.

-Alternatively, the Blues didn't look too good in last night's 3-2 loss against the Kings. You kind of had to figure they wanted to show a better effort tonight.

-Crosby had a few chances. He was doing the things he normally does. Going to corners. Battling for pucks. On seven shifts, he had 5:34 of ice time, no shots and was 4 for 7 in faceoffs.

-Outside of one chance early, Malkin's line has been quiet.

-David Backes has looked very good. He's been engaged in several plays in all three zones.

-Fleury was very good. He bailed out his teammates a few times.

-Elliott was hardly tested.

-The Blues have a 13-4 lead in shots.

-Oshie leads the game with three.

-None of the Penguins has more than one.

-Letang leads the game with 8:50 of ice time..

-Jackman leads the Blues with 8:06.

-The Penguins are 14 for 19 in faceoffs (74 percent).

-Staal is 6 for 7 (86 percent).

-Berglund is 1 for 1 (100 percent).

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

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: The Penguins have49 seconds of power-play time on fresh ice. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Sullivan and Letang take the ice.

19:39: Off a turnover by Sullivan at the Blues' blue line, Steen picks up a puck in the neutral zone and flies up ice on a partial shorthanded breakaway.He fends off a backchecking Crosby and shoots a low backhand shot. Fleury holds it out.

19:11: The Stewart minor is killed. The Penguins did little with that.

17:28: Cooke is sent to the box for holding former Penguins forward Brett Steling. in the Blue's slot. Orpik, Michalek, Staal and Adams take the ice.

16:43: From just inside his own blue line, Dupuis chops a puck off the left wing boards and up the ice for a clear.

16:20: Russel chases after a puck in the left wing corner of the Penguins' zone and is smeared along the boards on a hit by Orpik. Oof.

15:38: Some "Seach and Destroy" by Iggy Pop and the Stooges is played:

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15:28: The Cooke minor is killed.

15:04: Steen chucks a half slapper form the left wing on net. Fleury knocks it dead and covers. Langenbrunner makes contact with Fleury while looking for a rebound. Letang takes exception and cross checks Langenbrunner a few times.

13:40: Michalek corrals a loose puck at the right point. He winds up and tees a rocket off. It flies through traffic and clinks off the far post. Argh. Neal has a nice screen on the play.

13:28: Jackman pumps a slapper on net from the left point. Fleury eats it up.

13:13: Crosby is taking a shifts with Malkin and Sullivan. Some serious wheels on those three.

12:47: Crosby is sent off for tripping Berglund in the right circle of the Blues' zone. HE'S BACK! Michalek, Orpik, Staal and Cooke the ice.

12:17: D'Agostini throws a wrister on net from the right circle. Fleury fends it off. Backes is in front battling for the rebound. Orpik shoves him into D'Agositini and knocks down both players. Two for one with Free Candy.

11:13: Crosby's minor is killed. Another solid effort by the Penguins.

10:56: Arnott booms a slapper from the right point. Orpik blocks it in the slot. Oof.

9:58: Pietraangelo walks in from the bleu line and snaps off a wrister off the cross bar and out of play. Just past the halfway mark of the game and the Penguins have all of seven shots. During a stoppage, Tom Mimidis of Charleroi is honored as the 25,000,000 person to officially attend a Penguins game throughout the franchise's history. Dang.

8:45: Roman Polak fling a wrister from the right point. Fleury fends it off.

8:36: Oshie barges his way in off the left wing by Orpik and gets knocked over Fleury by Orpk. Backes crashes in and kicks the puck in with his left skate. An official immediately points at the puck to signal a goal. The Penguins protest. Offiicals review the play on video and overturn the call. No goal.

8:29: Ryan Reaves slide a low wrister on net from deep on the right wing. Fleury covers it.

8:03: Off a steal in the neutral zone, Neal gains the offensive zone and deals a pass from th slot to Crosby on the right wing. Crosby chucks a wrister o net. Elliott fight sit off.

7:57: Michalek chops a shot on net from the right point. Elliot eats it up. Neal makes contact with Elliot. The Blues take exception and give Neal the business. Crosby jumps and and is "greeted" by Backes. They mix it up. Michalek goes after Backes. All heck breaks loose. Crosby and Backes are sent off for roughing. As things settle down and the teams line up for a faceoff, Jackman knocks down Malkin. He's sent off for tripping. The Penguins have a five on four power play. Malkin, Neal, Letang and Sullivan take the ice.

7:44: After a turnover by Sullivan at the left point. Oshie works the puck up the right wing. Letang slides down and prevents the shot with his stick. Malkin checks Oshie into Fleury knocking him down. Fleury is shaken up a bit and athletic trainer Chris Stewart attends to him. Fleury stays in. Malkin is sent off for interference against interference against Oshie. Four on four for 1:46.

6:16: Orpk knocks D'Agostini into the Penguins cage dislodging it.

5:57: The Jackman minor is killed. The Blues will have 14 seconds of power-play time.

5:44: The Malkin minor is killed. Arnott snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Fleury fights it off with his glove hand.

5:21: Attendance is announced as 18,583. It is the team's 220th consecutive sellout.

4:08: Cole pumps a slapper from above the left circle. Fleury eats it up.

3:43: Crosby controls the puck behind the Blues net and taps a backhanded pass to Kunitz in the left circle. Kunitz jabs a little shot on net which Elliott fights off.

3:38: Crosby and Cole race for a puck in the right wing corner. Cole sticks a shoulder into Crosby and plays the puck up ice.

2:36: Kennedy whips a weak wrister from the left circle. Kevin Shattenkirk kicks it out.

0:59: Malkin moves into the left wing corner, spins off a heck and whips a backhander on net. Elliott kicks it out.

0:14: Berglund winds up and cranks a slapper from above the left circle breaking his stick in the process. Fleury fights it off and deflects it out of play.

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

SECOND INTERMISSION

-That was more of the same. The Blues are giving a much more complete effort than the Penguins. The Penguins are just sloppy with the puck and just look flat.

-And again, if it wasn't for Martin's mistake, this is a 0-0 game.

-Dan Bylsma has tried to break up his lines. He has put Crosby out with Malking and Neal. But even that isn't doing much.

-FLeury continues to be the lone bright spot for the Penguins. He deserves more than a few beers after this game.

-Elliott has hardly been tested.

-The Blues have a 26-15 lead in shots.

-Oshie and Malkin each lead the game with four shots.

-Pietrangelo leads the game with 16:42 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 15:43.

-The Penguins have a 26-17 lead in faceoffs (60 percent).

-Malkin is 6 for 7 (86 percent).

-Nichol is 4 for 6 (67 percent).

-Orpik leads the game with six blocked shots.

-Shattenkirk leads the Blues with two.

-EN Reader spotted a pretty dumb jersey foul:

-IceTime pays tribute to 25,000,000 fans:

THIRD PERIOD

19:43: Langenbrunner controls a puck on the right wing boards of the Penguins' zone and cranks a slapper on net. Fleury fights it off to the left wing corner.

19:08: Kennedy has the puck stolen in the offensive zone by Steen. He holds up Steen. That's two minutes. A big kill is needed here. Orpik, Craig Adams, Staal and Michalek take the ice.

18:02: Orpik has another two for one hit as he drops Vladimir Sobotka over Steen. Orpik has been one of the few Penguins who has shown up tonight.

17:37: Martin controls the puck behind the net and despite being hounded by two forecheckers, he's able to deftly avoid them and plays it up ice off the right wing boards. That's a wonderful play which has no statistics but few will laud Martin for it.

17:11: Oshie is called for hooking up Adams in the Penguins slot. Four on four for three seconds.

17:08: Kennedy's minor is killed.

16:57: Kennedy races the puck up deep on the right wing. He leave a drop pass for Malkin in the right circle. Neal then passes to Sullivan at the right point. From above the right circle, Sullvian fires a slapper which glances off the skate of a Blues defender and beats Elliot by his glove hand. Elliott and the blues complain Crosby made contact with him but the officials aren't buying it. Tie game. Malkin and Kennedy each get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Blues 1, Penguins 1.

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15:55: Kunitz snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Elliott fights off the intial shot but allows a rebound. Kennedy crashes in but can't clean it up.

15:00: Crosby races into the offensive zone and leaves a drop pass for Dupuis at the left point. Dupuis winds up and cranks a slapper. Polak drops down and blocks it. He appears to be limping a bit after that.

14:14: Polak pushes a puck up the lef wing boards and tries to poke it up ice from near the Blues' penalty box. Orpik steps up and hammers him to the ice with a hard check. Oof.

14:06: The Blues call a timeout after an icing call.

13:05: Niskanen takes a pass at the left point and shows a shot. Oshie slides down for a block. Niskanen pulls the shot down, allows Oshie to slide buy and chops a pass to Sullivan down low to the left of the cage. Sullivan chucks a wrister into Elliott who freezes play.

12:41: Crosby sneaks up the right wing on a mini two-on-one with Kuntiz against Shattenkirk. Crosby forces  weak pass which Shattenkirk steals and plays up ice.

11:38: Polak slams Adams into the left wing corner boards with a hard hit.

10:58: Kennedy pumps a slapper from the right point. Elliott punches it out.

10:10: Steen races after apuck up the left wing boards and tries to pre-emptively put a body into an approaching Engelland. Engelland slames him to the ice for his trouble.

9:15: Stewart dekes by Michalek on the left wing of the offenive zone and snaps off a wrister from the slot. Fleury kicks it out. Steen follows up on the rebound but is knocked off the puck by Neal. Stewart chops the puck from the right circle. It hits off Martin and bounces to the left of the crease. Langenbrunner is there and swats it by the glove hand of Fleury. A nice dirty goal. Stewart and Cole get assists. Blues 2-1.

8:30: Crosby is called for elbowing Jackman. Kind of a bogus penalty. It's his third of the game. He just got his glove up on Jackman's shoulder. Another big kill is needed here. Staal, Cooke, Orpik and Michalek take the ice.

7:35::Shattenkirk booms a slapper form the right poin. Flery fights it off depsit traffic.

7:15: Arnott booms a slapper from the right half wall. Michalek deflects it out of play.

6:30: The Crosby minor is killed.

5:51: James Neal to the rescue. Neal chops a few low shots from dowl ow to the right of the cage. Elliott holds them out. Malkin collects the rebound, swoops behind the net and deals a backhanded pass to Neal in the right circle. Neal swats a one-timer which beats Elliott to the far side by his glove hand. What an effort by Neal and Malkin. Malkin gets the only assist. Tie game again. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played again. Blues 2, Penguins 2.

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4:21: Cooke circle out of a cluster of bodies behidn the net and turns around in the right circle. He chucks a high wrister on net. Elliott fends it off.

3:49: Malkin chips a little pass from the right wing to Sullivan on the left wing. Sullivan taps a backhanded pass to Neal in tigh all alone. Neal tries to sneak a backhander through Elliott's five hole but the gates are closed.

3:02: Steen goes wide on the left wing and flicks a wrister on net. Fleury eats it up. Orpik gives Steen a shoulder on shoulder check after the shot. Orpik is playing with a big edge tonight.

1:01: Malkin circle ouf rom behind the glol in and is tripped up in the left circle. No call.

0:05: Letang pushes the puck up the right wing, spins off a check from Jackman and flings a backhander on net. Elliott eats it up.

0:00: End of period. Blues 2, Penguins 2.

THIRD INTERMISSION

-The Blues have a 41-32 lead in shots.

OVERTIME

3:28: Sobotka goes in deep on the left wing and is rattled in the corner boards by Letang.

2:59: Langenbrunner has a slapper from the right poitn which hits a body in front.

2:48: Polak whips a wrister from the right circle. Dupuis, without a stick, flops down to block it.

2:05: Kunitz snaps off a wrister from above the right circle. Elliott kicks it out of play.

1:52: Oshie snaps off a wrister from the slot well high of the cage.

1:37: Oshie flies up the left wign and snap soff a wrister to the far side. Fleury juuuuuusttt barely gets his left toe on it.

0:52: Wow. Just wow. Sobotka controls the puck on the left wing boards and deals a pass to the slot. Pietrangelo is streking in on net with Staal trailing. Pietrangelo takes the pass on his forehand, drags it across the front of the crease by Fleury who overplays the pass. Pietrangelo lifts the shot by Fleury's blocker with a backhand. What. A. Goal. End of game. Penguins 3, Blues 2.

POSTGAME

-The Penguins just didn't show up outside of a 10 to 15 outburst in the third period. They were flat in the first and second periods and were completely outclassed in overtime. They were lucky to even get a point here.

-As with any Ken Hitchcock team, the Blues were very good defensively. They didn't allow the Penguins much space or time in the offensive zone. They limited the amount of follow up second chance rebounds the Penguins saw and really played a pretty sound, positional game. They earned this win.

-In terms of offering the a complete effort on behalf of the Penguins, the list begins with Brooks Orpik and ends with Marc-Andre Fleury. They were the two biggest reasons this game wasn't a more decisive win for St. Louis. Fleury bailed out his teammates on multiple occasions, especially early on. And Orpik just hit, hit hit anyone in a white jersey. The other 17 players on the ice tonight should all buy them a beer.

-The Blues' effort makes you really realize how bad the Islanders are. Oof.

-As easy as it could be to blame Ken Hitchcock for his boring defensive style which chokes the life out of most games, the Penguins are the ones to blame. They were brutal.

-The Penguins tried to mix up their lines quite a bit in order to get better match ups but got little out of that tactic. When asked about the changes by the Penguins, Hitchock had a funny reply:

"Mix them up? There was 57 different combinations coming at you. Mix them up? Never mind mix them up. I've never seen so much stuff going at us. It's hard to get the match ups you want on the road but I thought we got them about 80 percent of the time which is good for us."

-Brian Elliott had a solid game. He wasn't tested much in the first two periods, but the Penguins turned the heat on in the third and Elliott had to prevent a lot of chances down low. He was strong.

-You won't find a bigger champion of Paul Martin or Zbynek Michalek than here on Empty Netters, but they were not good tonight. Neither have been good most of the season. Regardless, we're confident they'll turn it around.

-Crosby taking penalties certainly didn't help matters. He needs to be more disciplined, even if one of his minors was bogus.

For once, the special teams weren't to blame for the Penguins. The power-play got a goal and the penalty kill wipe out all five of the Blues' power plays.

-T.J. Oshie is a very nice player. It's a shame we only get to see him in person once every two years.

-The Blues led the game in shots, 43-33.

-James Neal led the game with six.

-Oshie and Alexander Steen each led the Blues with five.

-Orpik led the game with 28:44 of ice time. He deserved every second.

-Pietrangelo led the Blues with 27:59.

-The Penguins led in faceoffs, 40-28.

-Orpik also led the game with eight blocked shots.

-Michalek was right behind him with six.

-Ian Cole led the Blues with three.

-Michalek appeared in his 500th career game.

-Tyler Kennedy moved ahead of Al McDonough for 62nd place on the all-time franchise scoring list. Both players have 130 points, but Kennedy (61) has more goals than McDonough (56).

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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