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Jets at Penguins - 03-20-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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-Greetings on a marvelous first day of spring. Its in the 80s. It's sunny. It's humid even. It feels like Early June. Not mid-March. The trees are blooming:

-It's sunny looking down Fifth Avenue:

It's even sunny on the Civic Arena's bloody carcass:

-The current barn:

-The ice:

-The rink:

-More computer issues. We'll have pregame photos up in due time.

-A good jersey to wear for a game against a Canadian team, Brooks Orpik Team Canada:

-And some not so great jerseys to wear against a Canadian Team. Mario Lemieux Team Canada:

-Sidney Crosby Team Canada:

-A good jersey for any occasion:

-Elvis has entered the building:

-A few Jets fans are here. Andrew Ladd and Rick Rypien:

-Speaking of old WHA teams, Joe Sakic Nordiques:

-Fans walking in off Centre Avenue:

-Fans heading up to the 200 level:

-The Civic Arena:

-Ruslan Fedotenko:

-Crosby Oceanic Rimouski:

-Kevin Stevens:

-Sergei Gonchar:

-The always rare Mark Letestu/Ron Francis Whalers combination:

-Dave Schultz:

-Jersey Foul of the Day: Tyler Kennedy in the late 80s/early 90s style:

-Jerseys of the Night: Manitoba native Ken Wregget:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Arron Asham, Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Deryk Engelland, Matt Niskanen and Brad Thiessen.

-Their scratches are Dustin Jeffrey, Brent Johnson, Ben Lovejoy, Richard Park and the great Joe Vitale.

-The Jets' starters are Tanner Glass, Spencer Machacek, Jim Slater, Ron Hainsey, Zach Bogosian and Ondrej Pavelec.

-Their scratches are Nik Antropov, Eric Fehr, Mark Flood, Randy Jones and Chris Thorburn.

-Jeff Jimerson handles the anthems:

FIRST PEROD

19:25: Bryan Little spins from the lef circle and whips a pass to Blake Wheeler. Wheeler grips and rips a wrister from the right circle. Thiessen slides to his left and battles it away with his glove.

19:10: Malkin circles around his own zone and deals a pass from the slot to Kunitz on the left wing of the neutral zone. Kunitz hustles into the offensive zone and lifts a wrister from the left circle. Pavelec fights it off.

17:56: Welcome back Sidney Crosby. Martin spins around the right point and wraps the puck around the boards to Cooke behind the net. Cooke taps it to Crosby in the right wing corner. Crosby deals a little pass to Kennedy in the right circle. Kennedy rips a shot which appears to glance off the leg of Kyle Wellwood and squirts through Pavelec's gear.It's Crosby's first point at home in his comeback. It's Kennedy first goal in forever. (Jan. 13th actually). Crosby and Cooke get assists. Forget the other two lines, who do you break this trio up? The "Woo-Hoo!" song and the WWE "KENNEDY!" clip are played. Penguins 1-0.

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16:25: And the Jets answer right back. Glass pushes the puck up the right wing, pulls up in the right circle and pushes a pass to the slot. Jim Slater gets behind Martin and re-directs it over the right shoulder of Thiessen with his right skate. Officials rule it a goal but immediately review it. A brief review confirms the call on the ice. Tie game. Martin got beat there. Glass and Machacek get assists. Jets 1, Penguins 1.

14:54: Letang loves a wrister from the right point. It hits something and hops up on net. Pavel fumbles the puck and lets it drop to his feet. Malkin is there but can't get a stick on the rebound.

14:18: Kane pushes the puck up the right wing, gets by Martin and attacks the net. Letang appears to block it with a stick on puck.

14:07: The Jets keep it coming. Kane jabs a one-timer timer from the right circle. Thiessen fights it off.

13:32: From the left point, Andrew Ladd slides a cross ice pass off the left wing boards. Dustin Byfuglien takes the bounce off the boards and booms a slapper on net. Thiessen eats it up.

12:30: Eric Tangradi rattles Ron Hainsey with a solid hit on a forecheck in the left wing corner.

10:50: James Neal punches a quick slapper on net from the left wing circle. Pavelec fights it off.

10:44: Kane lifts a wrister from the left half wall on net. Thiessen gloves it.

10:24: The Penguins get the first power play of the game as Byfuglien is nabbed for high sticking Crosby. That seemed kind of a ticky tack call. Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Neal, Letang and Kunitz take the ice.

10:06: Malkin tees up a slapper from the left circle. Colin Stuart leans down to block it. Oof.

9:43: Crosby chops a slapper from the left point. Slater blocks it. Glass clears the rebound down ice.

8:28: Malkin clips Colin Stuart in the Jets' right wing corner.. That's a "four minuter" on account of blood. Four on four for four seconds.  Staal, Craig Adams, Brooks Orpik and Zbynek Michalek take the ice.

8:24: The Byfuglien minor expires. The Jets will have 3:56 of power-play time

8:12: Staal gets loose in the left circle ircl and lifts a wrister to the far side. It beats Pavelec on the glove side and clinks off the far post. The goal horn plays for about five seconds as play continues. That gave everyone a scare.

7:08: Ladd controls the puck behind the Penguins net and whips a tough pass to Little in the left circle. Little grips and rips a wrister which toasts Thiessen on the near side. What a pass by Ladd. The Jets swill have two minutes of Malkin's second minor to work with.  Letang, Michalek, Staal and Cooke take the ice.

6:11: Grant Clitsome pumps a wrister on net from the left point. Thiessen battles it away.

6:00: HUGE save. Wellwood feeds a backhanded pass from the left of the cage to Kane across the crease. Kane pumps a one-timer on net from point-blank ranger. Thiessen slides to his left and kicks it out. Tough, tough save.

5:08: Malkin's second minor is killed.

4:56: After some hard work by Malkin in the left wing corner, Tobias Enstrom hauls down Malkin. That's two minutes for holding.  Neal, Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz and Letang take the ice.

4:31: Malkin takes a pass at the left point and booms a slapper on net. It hits something in front an dhops to the

4:07: Malkin lifts a little wrister from the left circle. Pavelec bodies away.

3:16: The power play breaks through. Malkon controls the puck to the left of of the cage turns towards teh blue pain and deals a pass to Neal all alone oin the left circle. Neal pluncs the feed tino the cage by the blocker of a helpless Pavelec who lays on the ice in despair for a few moments. Malkin and Crosby get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song and some lame "Real Deal" video with KDKA's Larry Richert is played.Jets 2, Penguins 2.

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2:05: Ladd snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Thiessen kicks it out.

1:13: Glass gives Crosby a pretty ride into the boards in front of the Jet's bench. Crosby bounces off it fine.

0:57: Off a neutral zone turnover by Malkin, Kane lifts a wrister from the left circle. Thiessen eats it up.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

-That was a fun period of hockey. Lots of up and down action. Lots of skating. Lots of shots. A little hitting. A little goaltending. Not too much defense.

-Forget the first or second lines, what about the third line? Crosby helped Kennedy and Cooke become producers in his three games back.

-Thiessen has been busy but he's been sharp. He's had to make several tough saves.

-Ditto Pavelec.

-The Penguins have a 13-12 edge in shots.

-Kane and Neal each lead the game with five.

-Letang leads the game with 8:42 of ice time.

-Hainsey leads the Jets with 7:59 of ice time.

-The Penguins have a 13-12 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).

-Staal is 6 for 10 (60 percent).

-Alexander Burmistrov is  4 for 7 (57 percent).

-Stuart lead the game with three blocked shots.

Letang lead t he Penguins with two.

SECOND PERIOD

19:39: From the left wing, Letang slides a pass from the right circle to the slot. Staal streaks down the slot and taps the puck on net. Pavelec juuuust barely holds it out with his left leg. Tough save.

18:45: Malkin picks up a loose puck above the left circle and barrels his way towards the crease. He loses the puck and loses his balance making contact with Pavelec. He falls to the left of the crease. The puck rols right to Neal in the left circle. he jabs a quick shot which beats Pavelec on the near side. The puck appeared to glance hit off Pavelec's right side and deflect into the net. Malkin gets the only assist. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 3-2.

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17:55: Kennedy taps a puck away from Stuart who takes a spill. Kennedy winds up and chops a slapper from the left circle. Pavelec kicks the rebound out. The puck hops to Machacek who almost kicks the puck into the cage.

17:18: Play is halted to repair glass behidn the Penguins' net. "Cotton-Eyed Joe" is busted out early.

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16:56: Pavelec holds out a crease in the blue paint. Crosby jabs it under his leg. It slides towards the crease but Ben Maxewell. swats it out.

16:06: Some 1980's hockey on display tonight. The Penguins get loose in their own zone and pay the price. Ladd controls the puck on the left wing wall and slides a cross-ice pass to Ladd in the left circle. Little lifts a wrister by the glove of a helpless Thiessen. The game is tied again.Ladd and Enstrom get assists. Jets 3, Penguins 3.

15:26: Kunitz jabs a one-timer from the left point wide of the cage to the far side.

13:05: The third line strikes again, Crosby beats Stuart for a puck behind the Jets' net, turns and quickly zipa  pass to Kennedy above the blue pain, Kennedy is on the door step and snaps it by the right skate of Pavelec. Pavelec looks like he wants to cry. Crosby has gotten Kennedy going. He now has six points (two goals, four assists) in four games with Crosby. Crosby and Cook get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played again. Penguins 4-3.

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10:58: After Enstrom blows a tier anf falls down at the Jets' blue line, Dupuis gets sprung loose on breakaway. Dupuis hustles in on net and goes to the backhand. Pavelec holds it out. Dupuis get away with a trip there.

10:40: Martin winds up and booms a slapper from the left point. Enstrom eats it up.

9:53: Tangradi (6-foot-4, 221 pounds) taps Byfuglien (6-foot-5, 266 pounds) into the boards behind the Jets' zone and sends him sprawling.

9:17: Malkin motors up the left wing and releases a wrister from the left circle. Pavelec kicks it out with is right leg.

8:53: On a delayed penalty, Neal whips a wrister from the left circle wide of the cage.

8:29: Forget the power play. Just go with a delayed penalty. Martin taps a backhanded pass from the left circle to Crosby in the slot. Crosby fake a shot then taps it to Malkin. Malkin surveys the net. The Jets give him a wide open lane to shoot at. Malkin takes the space and pounds a slapper by the blocker of Pavelec. What a shot. That wasn't even fair. Crosby and Martin get assists. It's Malkin's 200th career goal. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is going to need a maintenance day tomorrow. The Malkamania clip is played too. Penguins 5-3.

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8:11: "MVP!" chants rain down.

7:34: Clitsome tries to push the puck up the left wing and is slammed to the ice by Engelland.

7:10: With a stoppage, Pavelec is mercifully pulled in favor of Chris Mashson. Pavelec was a shooter tooter today.

5:21: The Jets aren't give in up. Maxwell circles around the back of the net, Fights off a check from Letang and deals a pass to the slotfor Tim Stapleton. Stapleton brushes off Martin and whips the puck under Thiessen. What a wild game. Maxwell and Machacek get assists. Penguins 5-4.

4:44: Attendance is announced as 18,589. It is the team's 245th consecutive sellout.

2:57: Hat trick. Neal pushes the puck up the left wing and leaves a drop pass for Malkin. Malkin takes the puck and deals it back to Neal in the left circle. Neal booms a onet-imer which sneaks between Mason's left shoulder and the near post. Wow! What a shot! There was no room for error there. An inch to the left or right and it's not a goal. Hats rain down. Malkin and Orpik get assists. The "Woo-Hoo"! song is setting a career high in ice tie tonight. It's Neal's second career hat trick. The first came with the Stars in an 8-2 rout of the Maple Leafs.  Penguins 6-4.

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1:33: Sullvian race sup the left wing and leaves a dropp pass for Staal. Staal booms aone-timer from above the left circle. Mason eats it up.

1:11: A save! Enstrom circles behind the net, emerges on the left wing, turns and lifts a wrister which Thiessen gloves.

1:05: Malkin takes a shifts with Neal and Crosby on his wings. Not fair.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 6, Jets 4.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-Wow. What a fun 40 minutes this has been. Up and down. Goals, goals and more goals. This is like a 1985 meeting between Mario Lemieux's Penguins and Dale Hawerchuk's Jets.

-Sidney Crosby sure has done wonders for Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy. All of a sudden, the Penguins have three scoring lines.

-James Neal had a dry spell as of late. Before tonight, he had two goals in his previous 13 games. He broke out of that funkin a big way tonight.

-Paul Martin and Kris Letang are having a rough night in their own zone. They've been on the ice for al three of the Jets' even-strength goals.

-The Penguins have a 28-22 lead in shots.

-Neal leads the game with seven shots.

-Kane leads the Jets with six.

-Byfuglien leads the game with 15:50 of ice time.

-Letang lead the Penguins with 14:58.

-The Penguins have a 30-22 lead in faceoffs (58 percent).

-Staal is 11 for 18 (61 percent).

-Slater is 7 for 15 (47 percent).

-Stuart leads the game with four blocked shots.

-Orpik and Letang each led the Penguins with two.

-EN Reader spotted this great collection of jerseys, Zigmund Palffy and Dick Tarnstrom:

-Malkin is on the cover of IceTime tonight:

 THIRD PERIOD

18:43: Glass lifts a wrister from the left wing. Michalek goes stick on puck and deflects it out of play.

18:25: Stuart deals a pass to Glass in the left circle. Thiessen over plays the puck and is out of position for a wrister by Glass. Thankfully for the Penguins the shot sails wide to the far side.

17:53: Another goal. Sure, why not? After Malkin and Neal try their faceoff play in the left circle, Mason steers the rebound to the left corner. Malkin chases after the rebound and just plays it oth e crease. It hits off Mason and cllnkis int oth net. Mason wants that one back. Kunitz and Neal get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song's legs are getting rubbery. The "Malkamania!" clips gets a second shift. Penguins 7-4.

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17:07: Byfulien booms a one-timer from the left point. Thiessen fights it off with his glove.

17:00: Maxwell chasea after the pcuk in the left wing corner and deals a pass to Enstrom in the left circle. Enstrom rips a wrister which Thiessen gloves. Tough save.

16:41: Letang snaps off a wrister from the left point. Mason punches it away.

14:33: Thiessen's trying to close things out here. Byfuglien golfs a slapper from the left point. Thiessen eats it up despite heavy traffic.

13:36: Off a given and go with Malkin, Kunitz races in off the left wing and chops a little forehand shot on net. Mason holds it out.

12:14: Malkin is working with Tangradi and Asham on the wings.

12:04: Kennedy almost had the hat trick. Crosby pitchforks a backhanded pass from the Penguins' blue line to Kennedy at the Jets' blue line. Kennedy twists inside Enstrom and snap off  a wrister rwide to the right side of the cage.

11:11: Slater weaves his way in from the slot towards the left circle. He snaps off a wrister which misses the cage.

9:57: Sullivan tries to jame in a little shot form in tight to the right of the cage. No dice.

8:10: Adams breaks his stick on a one-timer attempt at the left point. that creates a two-on-one chance for the Jets. Stapleton tries to leave a drop pass but Adams hustles back and breaks it up with his gloves. What a play.

6:33: And the second line gets in on the action. oFf a turnover in the neutrla zone by the Jets, Staal taps a little feed to Dupuis' wheelhouse above the left circle. Dupuis winds up and cranks a one-tmer which blows by the glove of Mason on the near side. What a shot. Dupuis sets a new career high with his 21st career goal. Staal and Sullivan get assists. Who do you call if you run out of "Woo-Hoo!" song? The "Super Duper" clip from "Anchorman" is also played. Penguins 8-4.

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6:00: Letang blocks a wrister by Kane on the right wing.

4:08: Off a faceoff wi in the lef tcircle, Ladd pumps a one-timer from above he left circle. Thiessen kicks it away.

3:11: Dupuis has a wrister from the slot blocked.

1:05: Kennedy is tripped at center ice by Kane. That's two minutes.Kennedy, Malkin, Letang, Niskanen and Tangradi take the ice. Nice of Bylsma to put Kennedy and Malkin on the ice with the hopes of getting a hat trick.

0:33: From the left wing corner, Malkin slids a pass to Kennedin the left circle. Kennedy guns a one-timer which hits something and deflects out of play.

0:00: End of game. The "Woo-Hoo!" song gets one last shift. Mike Lange informs us of Elvis' whereabouts. Penguins 8, Jets 4.

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-Bottle that up and save some of it. Because you won't see too many other games like that in the next couple of months. That was a game straight out of the 1980s. Instead of Dale Hawerchuk and Mario Lemieux, we got James Neal and Bryan Little. It was up and down the ice at a furious pace. It had a ton of goals and very little defense.

-Neither coach was probably all that crazy about the lack of defense, particularly Winnipeg's Claude Noel. This wasn't the hockey you'll see in three weeks when the playoff start.

-Dan Byslma referred to this game as a "track meet."

-News Flash. Sidney Crosby is still good. He's managed to make Tyler Kennedy a productive player once again. And Matt Cooke has had a surge in offense as well. How do you break up this line?

-James Neal broke though in a big way today. Before today, he only had two goals in his previous 13 games. It wasn't a full-blow slump, but it was a lag in production. A hat trick is a great way to break out of a slump or a lag.

-Evgeni Malkin was tuned in tonight. He just controlled the puck like it was glued to his stick and the rest of the world, including the Jets, just watched. How does this man not win the Hart Trophy?

-The Penguins' power play still looked a little awkward at times, but it scraped one goal. Progress.

-Forget about analyzing the goaltending. Neither starting goaltender had a chance tonight. Brad Thiessen did just enough to earn a win tonight. Ondrej Pavelec was left out to dry.

-What's scary about the Penguins now is how one line can get shut down and the other two kind of fill the gap. The second line had carried this team for hte most part the past few weeks offensively. Tonight, it was limited to one meaningless goal late in the game. In stepped the first and third lines produce goals.

-Killjoy Time: The Jets aren't a very good defensive team. There's a reason they have given up 16 goals in two games against the Penguins in Consol Energy Center.

-The Penguins' top defensive pairing of Paul Martin and Kris Letang didn't have a great game defensively. They were on the ice for three of the Jets' even-strenght goals.

-Winnipeg's Evander Kane had a very good first period then everything kind of dried up for him.

-A few highlights from Claude Noel's post-game media availability:

On the Penguins:
"You can see with that level of skill and that level of play they had, it was no easy task. We’ve given up 16 goals (in the past two games) against that team. Tonight, obliviously…. It was tough to defend. They’ve got a good team."
 
On Crosby:
"The addition of Crosby certainly doesn’t hurt them. If you give them space, they eat you up."
 
On the Penguins' skill:
"They create space, they’re tough to handle one-on-one. They make plays. They make plays in tight areas. They make plays under pressure. They’ve got experience. They’ve got size. They’re just good players."
 
Was it an issue with the forwards or defense?
"You figure it out. Forward issue, defense issue? You figure it out. You watched the same game as I did. You answer the question. You can look at it and dice however you want. They played well. They have a good team and they scored goals. They were dangerous and we had trouble containing them."
 
How difficult is it to get match-ups against the Penguins' centers?
"It’s difficult but even if you get match-ups. You’ve got Staal at center. You’ve got Malkin at center. And you’ve got Crosby at center. Who do you want to throw out there that’s going to shut those guys down? Those are tough guys to shut down. That’s why they’re almost the number one team in the league. That’s why they’re favored going into the Stanley Cup playoffs. They’re not an easy team to shut down. Even if you match them up, they’ve got a lot of thing they throw at you."
 
On facing Crosby as a third-line center:
"When you’ve got those kind of bullets as a coach, you’ve got options. You can put him on the wing. You can put him on the center. You can put him anywhere. He’s an energized guy. I’m sure he’s enthused to play his first home game in a while. What are you going to do? They’re good players. They’re world class players these guys. They’re tough guys to handle. Even the best players in the league have trouble handling those guys. They’re all you can handle. You got to handle them as a group and it’s no easy task because they pick you apart."

-The Penguins led in shots, 35-30.

-Neal led the game with 10.

-Kane led the Jets with seven.

-Kris Letang led the Penguins with 24:25 of ice time.

-Dustin Byfuglien led the Jets with 24:03.

-The Penguins had a 42-31 advantage in faceoffs (58 percent).

-Staal was 14 for 22 (64 percent).

-Slater was 12 for 23 (52 percent).

-Colin Stuart and Grant Clitsome each led the game with four blocked shots.

-Brook Orpik and Letang each led the Penguins with three.

-Malkin recorded his 200th and 201sth career goals.

-He is the seventh player in Penguins history to score 200 goals for the franchise.

-Dupuis set a new career high with his 21st goal of the season.

-Cooke (124 points) passed up Gregg Sheppard (122) for 66th place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

-Orpik (109) passed up Maxime Talbot (108) for 77th place.

-Neal (78) passed up Greg Hotham (74) for 101st place. Neal trails Michel Ouellet (80) by two points for 100th place.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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