-First things first. A meteorite hit the dang earth. Think about that....
-Beau Bennett will make his Penguins debut tonight and it appears he'll begin on the third line with Brandon Sutter and Tyler Kennedy. There's been some fretting over placing Bennett on the third line given his considerable skill set. But keep in mind that Dan Bylsma mixes and matches his lines constantly. Just because Bennett will begin on the third line that doesn't mean he'll finish there. Look at Matt Cooke.
-Bennett becomes the 18th player to wear No. 19 for the Penguins. He joins:
Bob Rivard (1968)
Jean Pronovost (1969-1978)
Gregg Sheppard (1979-1982)
Rick MacLeish (1983)
Grant Sasser (1984)
Arto Javanainen (1985)
Willy Lindstrom (1986-1987)
Dave McLlwain (1988-1989)
Randy Gilhen (1990)
Bryan Trottier (1991-1994)
Vladimir Vujtek (2003)
Rico Fata (2003)
Ramzi Abid (2004)
Ryan Whitney (2006-2009)
Colby Armstrong (2008)
Mike Comrie (2011)
Jason Williams (2012)
-Vladimir Vujtek? Yikes.
-Bennett becomes the third California-born player to play for the Penguins. He join Brookis Orpik and Brett Sterling.
-Eric Tangradi makes his Jets debut against the Penguins. It looks like he'll be on a line with Olli Jokinen and Kyle Wellwood, two fairly skilled players. We'd expect him to have a lot of jump in his game tonight given this being his first game against his former team. Based on some of the comments he's had since joining the Jets, he seems like he wants to prove something to Penguins management.
-The Jets have had some success with bigger forwards in the past two seasons. Andrew Ladd, Nik Antropov and Blake Wheeler have been solid players for the Jets. Perhaps they can find success with Tangradi as well.
-Marc-Andre Fleury gets another start after a so-so outing against the Senators. Hopefully for his sake, that shaky second period was just a hiccup.
-The Penguins' inconsistent power play gets a treat as it takes on a Jets' penalty kill which is operating at a league-worse 67.5 pecent. Yeesh.
-Zach Bogosian makes his season debut after recovering from a wrist injury. You have to imagine he'll be a bit rusty. We'd expect the Penguins to try and test him a bit tonight.
-EN reader @eahoff10 is at the game in Winnipeg and spotted this awful jersey foul. A No. 66 Jets jersey with what looks like "Martini" on the name plate:
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre FLeury.
-Their scratches are Rpbert Bortuzzo, Zach Boychuk and Dustin Jeffrey.
-The Jets' starters are Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom and Ondrej Pavelec.
-Their scratches are Grant Clistrome, Paul Postma and Anthony Peluso.
19:34: Enstrom chops a one-timer from the left point. Bryan Little in front of the net battling with Orpik and re-directs it on net. Fleury knocks it down and smothers the rebound.
19:12: Off a feeed by Wellwood in the left corner, Tangradi chops a one-timer on net from the left circle. Letang gets a piece of it but the puck still deflects on net. Fleury fights it off and swats the rebound away.
17:47: Kris Letang calmly collects a puck at the right point, moves in a bit and swipes a slapper on net. Pavelec fights it off.
17:08: Tobias Enstrom is seen hunched over in the tunnel leading to his dressing room. A trainer is attending to him. Replays show Pascal Dupuis giving him a pedestrian check into the right wing corner of the Jets' zone but nothing was apparent in terms of how he may have been injured.
16:58: Deryk Engelland and Chris Thorburn oare locked up in the right wing corner of the Penguins' zone and drop the gloves. They mostly wrestly around whilanding a few rabbit punches before officials break them up. That was hardly the most entertaining fight you'll see.
16:41: The Penguins go to the net and get rewarded. The great Joe Vitale races up the right wing boards, dodges a few stick checks and lifts a wrister towards the net. Pavelec fights it off. The rebound hops in front of the blue paint. Craig Adams drives to the cage and hacks at the puck a few times before finally punching it in. What a play by Vitale to create that chance. And Adams was just persistent with the rebound. Vitale and Letang get assists. Penguins 1-0.
15:28: According to broadcaster Bob Errey, Tangradi had some words for Matt Niskanen prior to a faceoff. Battlign for a puck, Tangradi slams Tyler Kennedy into the left wing boards.
14:23: Little lifts a wrister from the right circle. Fleury bats it away with his glove.
14:02: A dump-in by th ePenguins from the neutral zone hits off the end boards and deflects to the front of the crease. Cooke and Neal each have chances on the rebound but can't beat Pavelec.
13:11: Glass is on with James Neal and Evgeni Malkin. After a steal by Neal behind the Jets' net, the puck is played to Despres at the left point. Despres lifts a wrister which is off the mark. Glass had a screen in front of Pavelec.
11:32: Tangradi chips a puck off the right wing boards, races by Martin and has a litte space in the right circe. As he attempts a backhander, Niskanen challenges and deflects the puck out of play with a poke check.
10:30: According to various media in Winnipeg, Enstrom is done for hte night. Ouch. He's so valuable for them. There won't be any easing Bogosian back into the lineup now.
9:50: Alexander Burmistrov glides up the left wing wall, makes a dazzling move by Letang and lifts a wrister which completely clears the cage and the glass. A fancy move followed up by a bad shot.
9:01: The Jets will get the first power play of the night. Orpik is called for cross checking against Jim Slater in front of the Penguins' crease. Sutter, Dupuis, Martin and Letang.
7:16: Glass wins a puck battle on the right wing boards of his own zone and chips it down ice.
7:01: The Orpik minor is killed. The Jets didn ot record an official shot on net with that chance.
6:26: Malkin plays a puck off the left wing boards in the Jets' zone to Martin above the right circle. Martin whacks a one-timer wide on the near side.
5:14: Evander Kane slams Letang into the boards at the right point of the Winnipeg zone.
4:30: Vitale races up the right wing and centers a pass to the slot for Adams. Adams appears to be held up abit by Jokinen but no call.
4:17: Tangradi and Despres race after a puck dumped into the left wing corner of the Penguins' zone. Tangradi drops Despres hard.
3:41: Kunitz gains the offensive zone with speed up the right wing wall and rips a wrister on net.
3:20: Byfuglien snaps off a wrister from the slot. Fleury fights it off.
2:58: Bennett shows of his defensive chops. From above the left wing circle, Antropov deals a pass to Kane streaking up the right wing. Bennett is back on a backcheck and breaks up the pass with a poke check.
2:22: After some solid woak on the boards by Malkin and Neal, Neal lifts w riste ron net from the left wing. Pavelec eats it up. Bennett was on the ice for that shift.
1:29: Kane tries to chug his way up the right wing boards, gains the offensive zone but is knocked off the puck by Malkin at hte point.
0:53: HUGE save. Despres whips a pass across the ice from the left wing in his own zone to Engelland on the right boards. The puck takes a big bounces off the boards and hops right to Little left circle. Little races in on a mini-breakaway. He goes wide to his right with a forehand shot. He lifts a little wrister but Fleury's left pad holds it out. Despres and Engelland owe Fleury a beer.
0:36: Mark Stuart chucks a puck on net from the left point. Fleury knocks it dead despite taffic and is able to cover the rebound.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Jets 0.
-The Penguins controlled the first 15 minutes of that period. The Jets began to feed off some physical play and took over the last portion of the period.
-So far so good for Bennett. He seemed confident and composed. His defense was pretty impressive. He seems responsible in that area. It looks like he's been absorbing the lessons he's been given in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
-Bennett had 5:44 of ice time on five shifts and one shot.
-Eric Tangradi is playing like a man with a chip on his shoulder. And understandably so. He was a pain in the butt in terms of some of the hits he doled out.
-The Jets seem to be going after Letang quite a bit with some hits.
-Joe Vitale has used his speed up the wings to create a few chances. It's a pretty underrated aspect of his limited game.
-Losing Tobias Enstrom is a killer for the Jets. He's like a light version of Erik Karlsson of the Senators. He does so many things and is a tremendous skater. The Jets' defense is going to be taxed tonight.
-Litte is such an underrated player. He's one of the few successful first-round picks in Jets/Thrashers history. He's the seventh-leading scorer among players from what was a strong 2006 draft.
-The Penguins have a 12-6 lead in shots.
-Adams leads the game with three shots.
-Little and Blake Wheeler each lead the Jets with two.
-Ron Hainsey leads the Jets with 9:31.
-Letang leads the Penguins with 9:22.
-Faceoffs are tied, 8-8 (50 percent).
-Crosby and Little are each 4 for 6 (67 percent).
-Bogosian leads the game with two blocked shots.
19:00: The Jets keep after Letang. Antropov gives Letang a hit on the lerft wing boards of the Penguins' zone.
17:44: Zach Redmond and Burtmistrov each have chances in tight but can't beat Fleury.
17:18: Wellwood lifts a wrister from the right circle. Dupuis blocks it.
16:31: Taking a pass from Bennett at the left point, Niskanen strikes a one-timer from the left point which gets blocked by Tangradi.
16:20: The great Joe Vitale slams Wellwood into the boards in front of the home penalty box. Oof.
15:33: Crosby lifts a backhander from the right circle wide on the near side.
14:18: After James Wright slams Niskanen from behind on the right wing boards of the Penguins' zone, Adams takes exception and challenges Wright. They mostly wrestly around with a handful of punches being thrown. Officials step in and break it up.
13:27: Hainsey has a chance above the left circle and lifts wrister. Malkin slides down and blocks it with his legs.
13:11: Malkin races in off the left wing, slides to the slode, allows Hainsey to slide down and out of the play on a block attempt and puts a wrister on net. Pavelec challeges and fights off the puck. Neal has a chance with the rebound to the right of the cage but can't put it by Pavelec's left skate.
11:08: Wheeler races up the right wing, gets a step on Despres and lifts a wrister on net. Fleury challenges and fights it off.
10:49: Bogosian booms a slapper from above the right circle wide to the far side.
10:27: The great Joe Vitale challegnes Byfuglien and snap soff awrister which Pavelec fight soff.
10:11: Glass chips a loose puck on net from the left circle. Pavelec knocks it dead and covers.
9:30: Kunitz snaps off a wrister from the left circle wide on the near side.
7:54: Byfuglien booms a slapper from above the left circle. It hits something and deflects off the end boards. The puck bounces to Slater to th eleft of the cage and he whacks it on net. Fleury is able to kick it out.
7:23: Jokinen has a chance in the slot but snipes his wrister wide to the right of the cage.
6:44: Bogosian strikes a slapper from the right point. Bennett slides down to block it and taps the rebound into the neutral zone. Gutsy defensive play.
6:10: After a turnover by Despres behind his net, Hainsey lifts wrister from the center point over the cage.
5:53: With the Jets dominating puck possession in his own zone, Fleury covers the puck to break up their momentum.
5:11: Kane puts a shot on net rom deep on the left wing. Fleury holds it out. Antropov jabs at the rebound with a backhander twice while battling with Paul Martin. Fleury holds the shots out.
4:27: Letang has a slapper form the right point blocked by Tangradi.
3:19: Off a rush by Little into the Penguins' zone, Ladd jabs a boucing puck on net from the left circle. Fleury fights it off.
3:01: Redmond lifts a wrister from the slot. Fleury fights it off. Kennedy tries to corral the rebound but is tripped up by Thorburn. Letang, Martin, Crosby, Malkin and Kunitz take the ice. Neal is on the bench in some discomfort and being attended to by athletic trainer Chris Stewart.
2:24: Malkin snaps off a wrister from the left circle which Stuart blocks.
1:54: From below the goal ine on the right wing, Crosby snekas a pass through the crease to Kunitz in the left circle. Kunitz lifts a wrister off the side of the cage.
1:35: Malkin chops a slapper from above the left circle. Pavelec fights it off.
1:14: Niskanen puts a puck on net from the right point. Sutter re-directs it on net. Pavelec fights it off.
1:01: The Thorburn minor is killed. Penguins put plenty of rubber on net that chance. Officially they had two shots on net.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Jets 0.
-The Jets dominated that period. They contained the in the Penguins' zone most of that period, initated contact and put plenty of shots on net. If not for Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguing might be facing a deficit right now.
-Fleury was just outstanding. He was challenging shooters and spitting out safe rebounds.
-The Jets seemed to once again give the Penguins problems with their speed that period.
-The Penguins' fourth line might be their best line tonight. It's produced a few scoring chances just through ard work.
-Bennett did not take a shift after blocking that shot by Bogosian.
-A Craig Adams Hat Trick should be a goal, a fight and a mathmatical equation. Because he's from Harvard and those people are smart.
-The Penguins have a 21-20 lead in shots.
-Bryan Little leads the game with four shots.
-Adams and Malkin each lead the Penguins with three.
-Letang leads the game with 18:24 of ice time.
-Hainsey leads the Jets with 17:31.
-The Penguins have a 17-15 edge in faceoffs (53 percent).
-Little is 7 for 10 (70 percent).
-Crosby is 7 for 13 (54 percent).
-Bennett, Hainsey, Stuart, Tangradi and Bogosian each lead the game with two blocked shots.
-Don't mess with Tomas Vokoun:
18:31: Kane hustles up the left wing and whips a wrister wide to the far side. Niskanen pressured him intoshooting that wide.
17:49: Thorburn chips a shot on net from deep on the left wing. Fleury kicks it out.
16:27: A loose puck slides to Byfuglien at the right point. He winds up and golfs a one-timer on net. Fleury kicks it out despite traffic.
16:05: Ladd chops a feed from above the left circle wide to the far side. He appeared to be attempting a re-direction.
15:02: Behind the Penguins' net, Dupuis and Orpik battle with Antropov and Burmistrov. Orpik's stick is on the back of Antropov and rides up into Burmistrov's throat. Ouch. Burmistrov falls holding his Adam's Apple. Offiicails actually call Dupuis for high sticking. They got the wrong guy there. Adams, Glass, Niskanen and Orpik take the ice.
14:03: Ladd leaves a drop pass for Bogosian above the left circle. Bogosian pounds a slapper on net. Letang kicks out a rebound to the left wing boards. Letang chases it down and chips it down ice for a clear.
13:02: The Dupuis minor is killed. The Penguins did not allow much to the Jets there. Officially, Winnipeg had one shot on net during that power play.
12:39: Burmistrov lifts a wrister from above the left circle to the far side. Fleury gloves it.
12:27: Off some good work by Wheeler in the right wing corner, Stuart takes a pass in the left circle and drives a shot wide to the far side.
10:51: The great Joe Vitale circles out of the left wing corner and lifts a wrister on net from the left circle. Pavelec fights it off.
9:55: Bennett lines up for a facoeff on the left wing with Malkin and Neal.
8:34: From the left wing wall, Malkin deals a pass to Crosby in the slot. Crosby grips and rips a wrister wide to the right of the cage.
8:03: Martin settles a puck at the left point and chops a slapper on net. Pavelec gloves it.
7:20: From deep on the right wing, Kennedy flings a wrister on net. Pavelec fights it off.
6:42: Big moment here. Redmond is called for interference against Adams on a chip and chase play. Redmond barely touched Adams. Garbage call. The Penguins send out Malkin, Neal, Crosby, Martin and Letang.
6:18: Letang tries to dance by Stuart at the Winipeig blue line. His stick gets tangled up in Letang's legs. Letang falls. That's two minutes for tripping. This call is legit. The Penguins will have a two-man advantage for 1:38. They sent ouf Malkin, Kunitz, Letang, Crosby and Neal.
5:48: Bogosian steals a puck off Malkin at the right point and chips it down ice to kill some time. BIg play.
5:32: Little steals a puck off Crosby on the left wing boards and chips it down ice.
5:10: Malkin chops a slapper from above the right cirlce wide to the far side. Slater gets to the rebound and backhands it down ice.
4:49: Another power-play goal for Neal. Neal deals apass from the right cirlce to Malin at cneter point. Malkin deals it back to Neal in the right circle. Neal booms a one-timer which squeaks through Pavelec's five hole. What a shot. Malkin and Crosby get assists. The looks on the faces of Stuart and Redmond tell the complete story:
The Penguins still have 31 seconds of a one-man advantage to work with. Penguins 2-0.
4:18: The Stuart minor is killed.
4:06: A slapper by martin from the left point is deflects in front.
3:52: Sutter lifts a wrister from the right wing wall. Pavelec fights it off.
3:13: A loose puck hops into the air in the slot. Burmistrov whacks it out of mid-air on net. Fleury holds it out.
3:04: Crosby air-mails a wrister from just over the Winnipeg blue line on net. Pavelec eats it up.
2:14: Little snaps off a wrister from the high slot. Orpik blocks it out of play with a stick on puck.
2:12: Broadcaster Paul Steigerwald references Orpik's first career game and when he wore No. 29:
-The jersey Orpik wore in that game was actually Krzysztof Oliwa’s old jersey.
1:52: Pavelec is puled for an etra attacker.
1:43: Letang chips a puck from the neutral zone into the offensive zone. The Jets touch up for icing. Not a great play by Letang. The Jets call a time-out to get organized.
1:35: The Jets get a goal off Letang's bad icing. Off a faceoff win in the left circle, Little fas on a wrister. The puck slides to Ladd to the right of the crease. Ladd goes to his backhand and lifts it by the glove hand of a sprawling Fleury. All of that because of a bad icing by Letang. Little and Wheeler get assists. Penguins 2-1.
0:27: After Kane fans on a spinning wrister in the left circle, Kunitz plays a loose puck off the right wing boards at his own blue line to Adams in the neutral zone. Adams chips it down ice for one of us:
It's Adams' second goal. Its his first two goal game since doing it against the Thrashers, Oct. 13, 2006. Kunitz and Orpik get assists. Penguins 3-1.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 3, Jets 1.
-It wasn't perfect. It wasn't pretty. It was hardly a game full of highlights. But it was a honest, hard-fought two points for the Penguins tonight.
-The star of this game was Marc-Andre Fleury. He held the fort for the Penguins, especially in the second period when the Jets were dominating play in the Penguins' zone. If not for a bit of a fluky bounce, he gets a shutout.
-The fourth line was outstanding tonight for the Penguins. It was easily the team's most consistent trio. Craig Adams, the great Joe Vitale and Tanner Glass created chances offensively with plain and simple hustle.
-Beau Bennett looked like he belonged in the NHL tonight. He wasn't overwhelmed by the speed or ferocity of the NHL game. He made little plays which showed he was fluent in the Penguins' system. And he showed some toughness.
-The Penguins better not complain about the officiating for a few games. They got a bit of a break on the penalty to Zach Redmond ultimately led to James' Neal's game-winning goal.
-The Penguins' power play was a mixed bag. It looked bad up until the moment Neal scored. It's weird how this unit just looks so disjointed for long stretches of time then BAM! It scores.
-Ondrej Pavelec deserved better. He fought out plenty of quality scoring chances and gave his team a chance to win this game.
-Eric Tangradi looked a million times better tonight than we can ever remember in any outing he had for the Penguins. He was aggressive, strong on the forecheck and even got involved in Winnipeg's offense a bit. Maybe he was running off emotion tonight, but he just looked like a better fit with the Jets.
-The Jets' blue line did a marvelous job despite the early loss of Tobias Enstrom. Their remaining defneseman each picked up a little bit more ice time and limited the quality scoring chances the Penguins could generate.
-The Penguins had a 28-26 lead in shots.
-Craig Adams and Bryan Little each led the game with four.
-Ron Hainsey led the game with 28:17 of ice time.
-Kris Letang led the Penguins with 27:54.
-The Penguins led in faceoffs, 30-26 (54 percent).
-Little was 12 for 20 (60 percent).
-Crosby was 13 for 24 (54 percent).
-Zach Bogosian and Mark Stuart each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Letang, Bennett and Brooks Orpik each led the Penguins with two blocked shots.
-Orpik (112 points) passed up Mario Faubert (111) for 73rd place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.
-Neal passed up Nick Harbaruk and Warren Young for 83rd place. All three have 101 points but Neal (52) has more goals than Harbaruk (40) and Young (49).