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Lightning at Penguins - 02-25-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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-Greetings on a cold, dreary, slightly snowy day in Pittsburgh. After a few warm days approaching the 60s, it's white out. Dahntahn:

-The slowly disappearing Civic Arena:

-Today's barn:

-The ice:

-The rink:

-The rafters:

-A celebratory James Neal is on the cover of Ice Time:

-Note: We had a computer issues while trying to post photos from our pregame walk around the building. We'll post in due time.

-A few sights around the arena. Two Ulf Samuelsson jerseys. One in "Snoop Dogg" form:

-The other in early-90s form:

-Steve Sullivan:

-Mike Rupp:

-Fans walking in off Center Avenue:

-Former Penguins/Lightning antagonist Matthew Barnaby:

-Former Penguins forward and ex-Lightning coach Rick Tocchet:

-The Civic Arena:

-Gilles Meloche:

-Ben Lovejoy:

-Jean Pronovost:

-Mario Lemieux Team Canada:

-Pray for this Steve MacIntyre fan:

-Rob Brown:

-Peter N ---- d:

-Normally, a Paul Bissonnette Wheeling Nailers jersey would be jersey of the day:

-But we have to go with this tremendous Rene Corbet Mannheim Eagles:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Chrus Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Zbynek Michalek, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Dustin Jeffrey, Brent Johnson and Ben Lovjeoy.

-The Lightning's starters are Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos, Nate Thompson, Eric Brewer, Brendan Mikkelson and Dwayne Roloson.

-Its only scratch is Ryan Shannon.

-It looks like the Penguins' defensive pairings will be:

Kris Letang - Paul Martin
Brook Orpik - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Deryk Engelland

-No Jimerson. No photo.

FIRST PERIOD

19:22: Malkin races into the offensive zone with the puck on his backhand, he fends off a check from Eric Brewer and flings a backhander on net from the left circle. Roloson bodies it away. The rebound ends up on Orpik's stick at the left point. He drives a slapper to the net. Roloson eats it up.

18:55: Teddy Purcell sneaks up the right wing and taps a feed to the slot. St. Louis is there and jabs the feed just wide to the left of the cage.

17:46: Thompson pushes the puck into the offensive zone on the right wing and flings a wrister on net. Fleury bodies it away.

16:54: Michalek flings a shot from the right point but ended up high sticking Mike Angelidis in the face. That's two minutes. Orpik, Jordan Staal, Matt Cooke and Paul Martin take the ice.

15:46: Dupuis forces a turnover at the right poitn and flings the puck down ice to kill some time.

15:04: Brett Connolly races into the offensive zone on the rigth wing and flings a wrister on net. Fleury knocks it dead and covers.

14:54: The Michalek minor is killed. The Lightning did little with that chance.

13:18: Matt Gilroy fumbles a puck in his own zone. For some reason, Paul Martin is in deep and forces the turnover. He taps the puck by Gilroy and races in on net on a mini breakaway. He goes to his backhand but looses the puck

12:49: Sullivan hustle sup the left wing in the to the offenisve zone and lings a backhander on net from the left circle. Roloson bodies it away.

11:34: From the slot, Pyatt shoots against the grain with Fleury sliding to his right. The puck sails juuuuustttt wide to the far side.

10:40: A loose puck slides in on net down thes crease. Trevor Smith hustles after it but before he can get a stick on it, Fleury jumps out of his crease and pokes the puck away.

9:39: Victor Hedman corralls a puck at the left point and flings it below the Penguins' goal line. Dupuis throws him to the ice to cheers.

9:36: Malone trie tto hams in a forehand wraparound from the right of the cage. Fleury's left skate holds it out.

8:51: The Penguins get busy down low and cash in. Malkin controls the puck behind the net and deals a simple pass to Kunitz in the left circle. Kunitz guns a one-timer which beats Rolson on the glove side. Roloson was missing his goal stick after breaking it while attempting a poke check against Neal. Malkin and Neal get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 1-0.

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8:01: The Penguins get busy again in front of Roloson and cash in. Michalek booms a slapper from the left point. It hits the great Joe Vitale in front and bounces in the crease. Cooke turns and lifts off a wrister over the glove hand of Roloson. The puck clunks off the cross bar and in off the left skate of Roloson. What a lucky break. Michalek and Vitale get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" Song double shifts.  Penguins 2-0.

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6:05: Another penalty for Michalek. This time for interference against Tom Pyatt. Orpik, Engelland, Staal and Cooke take the ice.

5:27: Malone has the puck down low to the left of the cage

5:20: And the route is one. Hedman loses a puck at the left point and allows it to slide into the neutral zone he bumps into a linesman and gets held up. Staal jumps out of his zone and races after the puck. He picks it up and races into the offensive zone on a shorthanded breakaway. He motors and snaps off a wrister which burns the five hole of the hapless Roloson. That linesman should get an interference minor. It's Staal's 20th goal of the season. No assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is getting a ton of work this period. Penguins 3-0.

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4:05: The Michalek minor is killed.

3:54: Bruno Gervais settles a puck in the right circle and jabs a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off.

2:50: Former Penguin Tim Wallace slams Kunitz to the ice at the right point of the Tampa Bay zone. Nice hit.

1:28: After some strong work i the left wing corner of the Lightning's zone, Niskanen booms a one-timer form the left point it sails wide to the near sid eand deflects ff the end boars to the right of the cage. Dupuis is there but can't settle the puck enough to put it into the open cage.

0:32: Wow! Nate Thompson flies up the right wing boards by Orpik and attacks the net. Fleury flops down in his crease and smothers the puck in the blue paint. A few bodies crash in and the net gets dislodged. Orpik owes Fleury a beer for that save.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Lightning 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-Almost everything went the Penguins' way in that period. They got some fortunate bounces, but they earned most of their chances. They are taking advantage of an undermanned Lightning team in a big way today.

-Roloson just doesn't have it. He looks completely overwhelmed.

-Fleury looks like he's continuing his hot streak from Tuesday against the Rangers. He's tuned in.

-Today's defensive pairings seem to be working so far for the Penguins.

-The Penguins have an 11-9 lead in shots.

-Malone leads the game with three.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-None of the Penguins has more than one.

-Hedman leads the game with 10:24 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 7:47.

-The Penguins have an 11-10 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).

-Staal is 6 fro 8 (75 percent).

-Stamkos is 6 for 11 (55 percent).

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

SECOND PERIOD

18:27: Staal makes a strong rush through the neutral zone and gains the Tampa Bay blue line on the left wing. From deep int he corner, he deals a pass to Dupuis in the left circle. Dupuis swats a one-timer which hits a stick and deflects out of play.

17:55: The great Joe Vitale rattles Gilroy in the right wing corner of the Lightning's zone.

17:15: After a turnover by Tangradi in his own zone, Gervais slides a wrister on net from the left wing. Fleury knocks it dead and covers.

16:03: Off a Penguins turnover at the Tampa Bay blue line, Hedman snaps off  pass to St. Louis on the right wing in the neutral zone. St. Louis deals a pass to Stamkos who gets behind Letang and appears to have the makings of a mini breakaway. Letang keeps up with him and interferes with him just enough to force to flub an initial shot. Fleury pokes the puck away. It gets kicked up and glances off Fleury's glove. Letang skates the rebound out of danger.

15:55: Connolly hustles up the left he wing and drives to the net. He goes backhand/forehand and tries to tuck a shot in low. Fleury holds it out. Stamkos is camped out above the crease and his rebound chance is denied by Fleury as well. Tough, tough saves.

145:12: Gilroy flings a wrister from deep on the right wing . It hit something in front an ddelfects to Smith in the slot. Smith hurries the shot and puts the puck on net. Fleury kicks out his right leg and makes another tremendous save. Wow!

14:09: Deryk Engelland drops the gloves for the first time in a long while inside at the right point of the Lightning's zone with Angelidis. They mostly get twisted up in each other's jerseys and wrestle around. Engelland wiggles free and lands one big right. Angelidis slips a bit and officials try to break it up. He recovers and wri

14:02: Fleury is just on fireh right now. ff the ensuing faceoff, a wrister by Marti is blocked at the right point. It deflects to the 

13:24: The great Joe Vitale pumps a wrister on slapper on net from above the right circle. ROloson fights it off.

12:51: After Hedman turns the puck over in his own zone, Michalek fires a slapper form the left point. it glances off the cross bar and deflects out of play.

12:04: Attendance is announced as 18,596. It is the team's 239th consecutive sellout.

11:37: Malkin glides up the the right wing by a checker and attacks the crease. He forces his way to the blue pain but can't get a shot off. As the puck bounces to the left wing corner, Roloson gives Malkin a shove to the face. Malkin pops him back. Hedman shoves Malkin to the ice All five skaters cluster up in the slt on a scrum. Officials break it up afer a few seconds. Malkin and Roloson each get roughing minors. Smith will serve Rolson's minor. Four on four.

11:06: The Penguins end up with a four on three power play.  Mikkelson hooks up Neal on the right wing wall of the Tampa Bay zone. Neal, Letang, Sulivan and Kunitz take the ice.

10:38: Off a pass by Letang from the top of the slot, Neal guns a one-timer from the left circle. Roloson reads the play and kicks it out.

9:49: Staal pushes the puck up the ice into the offensive zone and taps a pass to Sullivan on the left. wing. Sullivan taps it right back to him on to the right of the blue pain. Despit hitting the stick of Hedman, it trickles right to Staal who slams it by the glove hand of a helpless Roloson. What in the world was the Lightning doing giving the Penguins' that much space. Sullivan and Neal get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 4-0.

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9:37: Malkin and Smith return to play.

9:23: Purcell has the makings of a breakaway but before he can shoot, Michalek slides down and gets a stick on the puck. Fleury swees the puck away.

8:52: Staal and Richard Park each have a chance in tight but can't beat Roloson down low.

7:48: Connolly snaps off a wrister from the left wing. Fleury bodies it away.

7:16: Malkin and Neal hook up on their faceoff play again. Malkin beats Connolly cleanly in the left wing circle of the offensive zone. Neal is directly behind Malkin and snaps off a wrister which Roloson fights off.

6:19: During a scrum in front of the Penguins' crease, Niskanen cross checks Pyatt. That's two minutes. Michalek, Staal, Cooke and Orpik take the ice.

6:08: Purcell snaps off a wrister from above the left circle. Orpik blocks it down.

4:55: Hedman guns a slapper from the top of the slot.

4:37: Hedman chucks a wrister on net from the left point. Pyatt is just to the right of the crease an makes a nifty little re-direct to the far side of the net. Fleury kicks out his right skate and prevents a goal. Wow.

3:57: Stunning. Just stunning. Malkin takes a pass int the right wing corner and rifles sick one-timer which dances along the goal line and beats Rolson from an impossible angle. Roloson is just stunned. Malkin kind of coasts behind the net and stares Rolson down. Kunitz actually pins Malkin against the glass to prevent further trouble. Kunitz and Engelland get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is never trouble. Neither is the "Malkamania" video. Penguins 5-0.

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3:06: Martin snaps off a wrister from the left point which hits a body in front.

2:50: As St. Louis has the making of a breakaway, the great Joe Vitale and Mikelson drop the gloves to the left of the Tampa Bay net. They mostly wrestle around and Vitale's shoulder pads and jersey are kind of torn off. Both players get fighting majors. Vitale gets an additional goaltending interference minor. The Lightning gets a power play. Cooke, Staal, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

2:32: The Lightning cashes in right away. Connolly deals a pass down low to Malone Malone battles in the blue paint and is knocked over by Orpik. As Michalek sides down yet again, the puck squirts loose to the right of the crease. Purcell snaps it off by the blocker of Fleury. A dirty goal there. Malone and Connolly get assists. Penguins 5-1.

0:23: On a delayed penalty, Stamkos snaps off a shot from the slot. Fleury kicks it out. Malkin is called for hooking Connolly. Tough time to ttake a penalty.  Michalek, Staal, Adams and Orpik take the ice.

0:05: Purcell has a wrister from the left circle blocked by Orpik.

0:01: As time expires, Stamkos snaps off a wrister. As Stamkos' stick breaks, the puck rings off the right post. OThe official to the right of the net waves it off. St. Louis protests but no dice.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 5, Lightning 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-The only thing the Penguins can accomplish at this point is avoiding injuries. They have the win wrapped up, presumably. They have padded some stats. Don't let up by any means, but don't get anyone dinged up.

-What in the world has happened to Dwayne Roloson? He just doesn't belong on an NHL rink right now.

-Jordan Staal is playing some of the best hockey of his career. If he didn't lose six weeks due to an injury, he has 30 goals by now.

-The Lightning has a 25-21 lead in shots.

-Malone leads the game with four.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Letang leads the Penguins with three.

-Hedman leads the game with 18:46 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 16:12.

-The Penguins have a 26-18 lead in faceoffs (59 percent).

-Staal is 11 for 16 (69 percent).

-Hall is 3 for 5 (60 percent).

-Orpik leads the game with four blocked shots.

-Mikkelson leads the Lighting with three.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-A few jersey sightings from EN readers. spotted an amazing Stu Barnes Winnipeg Jets jersey in the loge box where he's having a bachelor party:

-@BigBurgher spotted a Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens jersey foul:

-Why?

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: The Lightning will have 1:37 of power play time on fresh ice to work with. Staal, Adams, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

18:17: Purcell flings a wrister on net from the left circle. It hits a body in front. Stamkos battles for it but can't get a stick on the puck.

18:54: Shorthanded, Staal pushes the puck into the offensive zone and controls it on the right wing. He draws two defenders in and taps a pass to Dupuis moving up on the left wing. Dupuis flings a backhander over the cage.

18:10: Malkin races into the offensive on on the right wing, gains the blue line, cuts to the slot and deals to Staal on the right wing. Staal guns a wrister on net. Roloson snags it.

14:58: After a few stagnant minutes, Adams knocks Clark over behind the Tampa Bay net.

14:10: Malkin takes a pass, flies through the neutral zone, gains the blue line, splits the defense, completely embarrasses Clark and attacks the net. He tucks a quick shot under the right leg of Roloson.  What mcre can you say about Malkin? Fans know what to say as they chant "MVP!" Niskanen get the only assist. That's the easiest assist of his career. Brett Clark's trade value was just demolished. The "Woo-Hoo!" song and the "Malkamania" video is played. Penguins 6-1.

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11:59: Connolly whips a wrister from the right wing to the far side of the cage.

11:33: off a turnover by Brewer, Staal snaps off a wrister from the slot. Roloson bodies it away.

10:34: After a scramble in the Penguins' crease, Fleury's stick ends up above the hash marks. Martin takes the ice for his shift and retrieves Fleury's stick for him. That elicits a rare applause for Martin.

8:59: The great Joe Vitale trips up Mikkelson in the left wing corner of the Lightning's zone. That's two minutes for tripping. Adams, Staal, Orpik and Michalek get assists.

7:58: Off an offensive zone turnover by the Lightning, Dupuis pushes the puck up the right wing and whips a low wrister on net. Roloson kicks it out.

7:24: So much for tha tpower play. Connolly is called for slashing. Four on four for 25 seconds.

7:05: J.T. Wyman guns a slapper from the right point. Fleury makes th save but allows a rebound to his right. Martin is Johnny On the Spot and skates it out of danger.

6:51: Sulivan push the puck through the neutral zone and is tripped up by Wallace. No call.

6:18: Chili goal! Malkin gains the offensive zone and taps a pass to Kunitz in the left cirlce. Kunitz snaps off a wrister. Roloson kicks it out ot the slot. Malkin follows it up and jabs it into the net by the skates of a completely lost Roloson. Hats and "MVP!" chants rain down. The "Woo-Hoo!" song and the "Malkamania" videos are getting worn out. Neal and Sullivan get assists. Penguins 7-1.

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5:54: Niskanen drives a slapper from he left point. It deflects behind the cage. Asham smacks Mikkelson behind the net. He doesn't appear comfortable after the fact and heads to the bench. Athletic trainer Chris Stewart attends to him but Asham remains on the bench.

3:22: Staal snaps off a rister from dep on the left wing wide of the cage.

2:42: Brewer guns a slapper from teh left point wide on the near side.

2:32: Asham takes a pas in the right point and snaps off a wrister. Clark kneels down and blocks it.

0:47: Pascal Dupuis gets in on the act. Staal chops a slapper from the left circle. Clark blocks it. Staal recovers the rebound and chops it on net. Roloson completely fumbles the rebound. Dupuis sneaks in and pokes it by the right skate of Roloson. Just embarrassing. Staal and Sullivan get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is going to need some ice bags tonight. The "Anchorman" "Super Duper" video is played too. Penguins 8-1.

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0:11: GIlroy pounds a slapper from the right of hte crease. Fleury eats it up. "FLERRR-EEE! FLERRR-EEE!" chants rain down.

0:00: End of game. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played again and Mike Lange informs us of Elvis' whereabouts. Penguins 8, Lightning 1.

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POSTGAME

-That was Evgeni Malkin's "Michael Jordan" game. Remember how an opponent would get Jordan mad back in the 1990s? Instead of getting flustered, Jordan would focus everything in his power to embarrass you. That's pretty much what Malkin did today after his dust-up with Dwayne Roloson. Malkin got mad and demolished the Lightning and Roloson.

-When a player like that gets into a mindset like that, watch out.

-Coming into the is game, this was billed as a showdown between the league's top two scorers, Malkin and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos. Many north of the border have even been calling for the Ontario-born Stamkos to win the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP. We're thinking a few less folks are feeling as keen on Stamkos after this game.

-Don't dismiss the play of Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins allowed A LOT of odd-man rushes and breakaways. Fleury was there more often than not to turn those chances away. He was just as vital to this win as Malkin.

-Jordan Staal should not be overlooked either. His shorthanded goal, with an assist from the linesman who blocked Victor Hedman, pretty much was the turning point. The Lightning was trailing 2-0 at that point and had a chance to get back into the game with a power-play chance late in the first period. Instead, Staal's goal killed any hopes of that.

-If there was a negative to take out of this game, it's all the offensive chances the Penguins' defense allowed. As the game got out of hand, they got a little sloppy in that regard. If not for Fleury, the Lightning would have made this a little bit more respectable.

-Also, the Penguins took way too many penalties and gave the Lightning way too many power plays.

-Special teams were once again a success for the Penguins. They held the Lightning to one goal on six power-play chances and they scored on both of their power-play chances.

-Dwayne Roloson does not look like anything resembling an NHL-caliber goaltender. He just doesn't have it any longer.

-The Lightning actually ended up with a 35-34 lead in shots.

-Staal, Malkin and Ryan Malone each led the game with five shots.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Matt Niskanen, Craig Adams and Arron Asham were the only Penguins skaters who failed to record an official shot on net.

-Kris Letang led the game with 22:55 of ice time.

-Eric Brewer led the Lightning with 22:40.

-The Penguins had a 36-26 lead in faceoffs (58 percent).

-Staal was 14 for 22 (64 percent).

-The great Joe Vitale was 11 for 17 (65 percent).

-Adam Hall was 6 for 12 (50 percent).

-Brooks Orpik led the game with five blocked shots.

-Brett Clark and Brendan Mikkelson each led the Lightning with three.

-Victor Hedman left the game in the third period due to an "upper-body" injury.

-Staal (13) passed up George Ferguson and Maxime Talbot (12 each) for fourth place on the franchise's all-time shorthanded goals list.

-Jordan (13) passed up Eric (12) for most shorthanded goals in the Staal family.

-Staal (228) passed up Jan Hrdina (227) for 32nd place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

-Dupuis moved past Ryan Whitney for 52nd place. Both players have 150 points, but Dupuis (63) has more goals than Whitney (34).

-Kunitz (141) passed up Kevin Hatcher and Vic Hadfield (140 each) for 57th place.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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