We're running a little behind so we'll have to bypass our pregame thoughts. Sorry.
-Clouds over low over "dahntahn" for the St. Patrick's Day parade:
-A ranter ominous Ice Time cover featuring Matt Cooke:
-Robbie Brown has a fan on hand:
-We're pretty sure this is our first Beau Bennett sighting:
-We always seem to run into a Craig Adams jersey:
-Former Rangers/Penguins forward Petr Nedeved:
-Fans entering the barn:
-We can't tell you how much we despise the scourge of St. Patrick's Day jerseys:
-Some good Penguins jerseys to wear for (the day before) St. Patrick's Day: Shawn McEachern:
-A good Rangers jersey for (the day before) St. Patrick's Day, Ryan Callahan:
-This is tremendous. Jeff Beukeboom:
-Another good jersey for St. Patrick's Day (or any day really), Kevin Stevens:
-You rarely see Paul Martin Team USA jerseys (or three Martin jerseys together):
-Jersey Foul of the Day: Bobby Hull Blackhawks:
-Normally a Chris Wells jersey would be the Jersey of the Day:
-Jersey of the Day: This is an all-timer, Al MacNeil:
-The Penguins' starters are Matt Cooke, Brandon Sutter, James Neal, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Deryk Engelland and Evgeni Malkin.
-The Rangers' starters are Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Henrik Lundqvist.
-Their scratches are Stu Bickel and Matt Gilroy.
-Jeff Jimerson handles business:
19:22: Off an offensive zone faceoff win by Crosby in the left circle, Mark Eaton strikes a one-timer from the left point. Rick Nash blocks the shot. Kunitz settles the rebound and lifts it on net. Lundqvist turns it away.
19:10: A wrister from the left point by Orpik is steered away by Lundqvist.
18:48: Del Zotto strikes a slapper from above the left circle which is blocked by Crosby.
18:30: The Penguins strike first. Off a tap pass from Dustin Jeffrey just inside the New York blue line, Bennett races up the right wing, gets a step on Stralman and swats a slapper from the right circle by Lundqvist's right skate on the far side. Lundqvist looked he was totally unprepared for that shot. Yikes. Jeffrey and Kennedy get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
17:34: After Girardi gets away with a forearm to the face in the right wing corner, Crosby knocks Girardi to the ice with a solid hit behind the New York net.
16:30: Off a tap pass from Neal, Cooke swats a one-timer on net form the right circle. Lundqvist steers it away.
14:51: Crosby steels a puck at the left point an drives a slapper which hits a stick and deflects wide.
12:57: Nash races right down the slot and has a wrister blocked by Orpik.
12:07: Kris Letang and Crosby battle for a puck behind the Penguins' net with Brian Boyle and J.T. Miller. Miller gives Crosby a shove from behind and Crosby goes down a little too easily the. Miller is called for cross checking. Crosby, Kunitz, Martin, Letang and Neal take the ice.
11:52: Letang swats a one-timer from above the left circle which is turned away.
11:41: Neal pumps a one-timer form the slot which Callahan blocks.
11:28: A one-timer by Martin from center point is blocked in the slot by Boyle.
11:21: Crosby cranks a one-timer from the right circle which Ryan McDonagh gets a piece of with his stick.
10:44: Crosby sneaks a pass from the left circle by Del Zotto to Kunitz just to the right of the crease. Kunitz pumps a wrister on net. Lundqvist eats it up as Eminger upends Kunitz with a low hit.
10:19: Simon Despres cracks a one-timer from the right circle. Lundqvist kicks it out.
10:12: The Penguins' power play comes to an end as Despres is called for elbowing Hagelin. We'll have four-on-four for five seconds. Crosby, Dupuis, Orpik and Martin take the ice.
10:07: Miller's penalty expires. The rangers will have a five-on-four for 1:55.
9:26: Orpik takes a pass from Martin in his own right wing corner and blasts it down ice for a clear.
9:09: Richards sneaks a wrister from the above the left circle which hits a stick and is deflected wide.
8:12: The Despres minor is killed The Rangers had nothing going on there. They only recorded one shot on net with that two minutes.
7:57: Crosby flies up the left wing, chips a puck by a flat-footed McDonagh and races in on net on a partial breakaway. He lifts a wrister which hits off the near post, deflects off the left arm of Lundqvist and bounces out.
7:39: Lundqvist is keeping his team in this. Crosby taps a pass from the right point to Kunitz in the slot. Kunitz tone-touches it to Dupuis just above the crease tot the right of the net. Dupuis steers it on net. Lundqvist reads it all the way and fights it off. A small scrum ensues but nothing comes of it.
6:01: Stralman blocks a shot by Eaton and is limping.
4:47: Niskanen takes a pass at the right point and drives a slapper which Lundqvist kicks out.
3:34: Martin sneaks a wrister on net from the left point. Lundqvist fights it off. Kennedy battles a defender and
3:08: Cooke heads to the dressing room after blocking a shot by Girardi.
2:40: From deep on the left wing, Richards pushes a wrister on net. Fleury hugs the near post and eats it up.
2:33: Dupuis has a chance near the cage but his tied up by McDonagh. As they pursue the puck behind the net and McDonagh slams Dupuis into the end boards from behind. Crosyb recovers the puck and tries t play itinto the crease. Lundqvist covers it. Girarid and Crosby mixit up. Crosby slugs him with a right. A scrum ensues. Officials break it up. Crosby and Girardi get roughing minors. Nothing for McDonagh who appeared to extend his arms to slam Dupuis into the boards from behind. Four on four for two minutes.
2:25: Orpik lifts a soft one-timer on net. Lundqvist fights it off and covers despite Kennedy crashing in.
2:05: Kennedy has a wrister from the right circle blocked by Stralman.
1:40: Letang skates off a check from the right circle and flings a wrister wide on the near side.
1:23: Neal lifts a backhander from the left circle which Lundqvist battles away.
0:33: Crosby and Girardi return to action.
0:02: Crosby leaves a drop pass in the left circle for Kunitz who lifts a wrister over the cage.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Rangers 0.
-That was a pretty dominating period for the Penguins. If not for Lundqvist and the Rangers' "abandon-all-hope-of-offense-and-block-every-shot-possible" style of defense, the Penguins have a bigger lead.
-What was scary for the Rangers was that even as they played that style, the Penguins still had plenty of quality scoring chances.
-The Crosby-Kunitz-Dupuis line looks so dangerous right now. It could do some damage today before this is over.
-Bennett played with Jeffrey and Kennedy primarily that period and they obviously had something going on with that goal. They seem to be clicking today.
-That said, depending on the status of Cooke, that could all change. Cooke did not play the final 3:18 of that period.
-Mark Eaton is back in the lineup with the Rangers not exactly using the toughest lineup. He looked sharp along side Letang primarily.
-The Penguins have a 13-4 lead in shots.
-Richards leads the game with three.
-Neal and Letang each lead the Penguins with two.
-Letang leads the game with 9:43 of ice time.
-McDonagh leads teh game with 8:31 of ice time.
-Faceoffs are tied, 11-11 (50 percent).
-Derek Stepan is 6 for 10 (60 percent).
-Crosby is 5 for 9 (56 percent).
-Crosby, Stralman, Callahan, McDonagh and Eminger each lead the game with two blocked shots.
20:00: Cooke returns to the bench for the start of the period.
19:28: Callahan chucks a wrister from the left circle which hits Martin. There's a scramble for the rebound with Nash and Stepan. Nahsi is able to spin off a check and whips a wrister on net from in tight. Fleury challenges and kicks it out.
19:12: Callahan flings a wrister from the left circle which Martin blocks.
18:59: On a icing call, the Penguins call a timeout to get a breather.
18:45: Huh? Off a faceoff, Hagelin wrestles by Letang and snaps off a quick wrister from the left circle which buzzes Orpik's tower and is knocked down by Fleury who seemed surprised. Fleury slide out of his crease and still manages to cover the puck. That was weird.
18:28: Kennedy strikes a shot from above the right circle over the cage.
18:06: Kennedy races up the right wing and snaps off a wrister slightly wide which Lundiqvist kicks out.
17:49: Stralman snaps a wrister from the right point which Taylor Pyatt re-directs on net. Fleury kicks it out. Letang skates the rebound away. Rangers are controlling this period thus far.
16:10: Off a drop pass from Stepan, McDonagh pumps a heavy shot on net. Fleury boots it out. The Rangers have a 5-0 lead in shots this period.
14:49: Rick Nash breaks a stick and that creates an unlikely two-on-one with Brandon Sutter and Mark Eaton against Steve Eminter. As Eminter lays down to block a pass, Sutter deals a pass from the left wing to
14:35: Letang gets a chance up n the right wing and flings a wrister on net. Lundqvist eats it up.
12:49: Neal tries to push a pass from down low near the right of the cage to Jeffrey above the blue paint. Del Zotto manages to get a piece of the pass and deflects it wide.
12:31: Orpik chips a puck down low to the end boards for Tanner Glass. Glass is tripped up by Eminger. No call.
11:34: Stralman grips and rips a wrister from the right point which Fleury boots out.
10:50: A slapper by Del Zotto from center points hits something and skips over the cage.
10:01: With Dupuis cutting to the net, Crosby tries to sneaks a pass to the slot but Girardi kicks it out.
9:55: Dupuis snaps of a heavy one-timer from deep on the right wing. Lundqvist kicks it out as he's kind up put back on his hieels by the shot.
9:29: Kunitz flings a wrister from deep on the right wing whch hits the outside of the near post.
9:21: The first line is taking thigns over. Off a pass from Crosby, Dupuis whips a wrister on net from above the left circle. Lundqvist kicks i out.
9:01: McDonagh blings a wrister on net from the left wing. Fleury gloves it.
8:22: Bennett takes a pass at the right poitn of his own zone and flings a wrister up ice hoping to spring Jeffrey on a breakaway. The pass as a little too much on it and clacks off the Jeffrey's stick. The puck slides in on net and Lundqvist covers.
8:03: Nash tries to jam in a backhanded wraparound from the left side of the cage but loses the pucke beofr he can get a clean shot off.
7:28: The Penguins get another power play as Nash is called for tripping Orpik in the Penguins' zone. It looked like Orpik and Nash got tangled up and each fell. As Orpik got to his feet and skated away, Nash reached out with his stick and tripped Orpik intentionally. With the first unit a little gassed, the J.V. power play of Niskanen, Despres, Sutter, Kennedy and Bennett takes the ice.
6:12: Letang leans a wrister on net from the left circle. Lundqvist fights it off with his glove hand. Kunitz battles for the rebound but no dice.
5:44: McDonahgh chips the puck down ice to kill some time.
5:24: As the Nash minor spires, Hagelin chips a backhander on net from the right circle which Martin deflects over the cage.
5:06: Del Zotto swats a wrister from the left point wide on the near side. It hits off the end boards and Fleury covers it on the side of the cage.
4:56: Cooke chips a puck up ice hoping to spring Dupuis loose on a breakaway. Del Zotto keeps pace and pokes the puck away. Great defensive play.
4:26: Attendance is announced as 18,658. It is the team's 267th consecutive sell-out.
3:39: Kunitz races up the right with on a chance but is fended off by McDonagh. Another great individual defensive play.
2:23: Cooke deals a pass to Kennedy on the right wing. Kennedy rips a wrister from the right circle which Lundqvist fights off.
2:01: After Fleury has some issues nalding a puck, Del Zotto pumps a shot from the left point. Jeff Halpern deflects it wide.
1:52: Micheal Haley fires a slapper form the right point. It hits something in front and deflects on net. Fleury kicks it out.
0:28: With Marian Gaborik driving down the slot, Richards drives a slapper form the right circle which Orpik leans down to block.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Rangers 0.
-That was hardly the best period for the Penguins. They appeared to be a little timid in terms of defending the puck in their own zone. They allowed the Rangers to control the puck a lot more that period.
-The Penguins really didn't get much in the way of sustained pressure on the Rangers' net that period.
-The Penguins' power play is 0 for 2 but it's actually looked pretty good. There's been a lot of puck movement and they've put plenty of shots on net.
-In honor of the holiday, the officials appear to be using former referee Bill McCreary's interpretation of the rule book. There is a lot of interference being tolerated by both teams today.
-Fleury was pretty strong that period. He saw a lot of quality shots and turned them all away.
-Lundqvist wasn't tested as much as he was in the first period, but he's still looking strong.
-The Rangers defend one-on-one so well. They're defensemen can skate like crazy and have the pain tolernace of a dead animal. They just take abuse to break up shots or passes.
-The Crosby-Dupuis-Kunitz like is still flying around like it's going to do something today.
-The Penguins have a 19-14 lead in shots.
-Letang lead the game with four shots.
-Richards lead the game with three shots.
-Letang lead the game with 17:58 of ice time.
-McDonagh leads the Rangers with 17:00 of ice time.
-The Rangers have an 18-17 edge in faceoffs (51 percent).
-Stepan is 9 for 15 (60 percent).
-Sutter is 7 for 12 (58 percent).
-Orpik leads the game with three blocked shots.
-Stralman, Callahan, McDonagh and Eminger each lead the game with two blocked shots.
18:34: Haglein races up the left, muscles by a stick check from Letang and lifts a wrister which Fleury fights off.
16:10: Off an offensive zone faceoff win, Girardi booms a one-timer from the right point wide of the cage.
15:23: Off another offensive zone faceoff win, Stralman hammers a one-timer from the right point. Fleury bodies it away.
15:05: Kennedy pushes the puck up the right wing, and tries to jmu over a check check from Strlman. Stralman ends up tripping him. That's two minutes. The Penguins could put this away here. Martin, Letang, Kunitz, Crosby and Neal take the ice.
14:15: Maritn has a pass from the right point stolen by Darroll Powe. Powe flings the puck down ice for a clear.
13:26: As Halpern loses his tick, the Penguisn hold and pass the puck around the perimeter. from the hgh slot, Letang slides a pass to the left circle. Kennedy hammers a one-timer which sneaks by Lundqvist and hits twine. A strong game for Kennedy. Letang and Martin get assists. The "Hey Song" is played as well as the WWE "KENNEDY!" clip. Penguins 2-0.
12:43: Wow... just wow. What a pretty, pretty, pretty goal. Jeffrey leads a two-on-two rush up into the offensive zone. He deals a pass to Dupuis on the right wing. Dupuis fakes with a forehand shot, gets Lundqvist to commit and lifts a backhander over a sprawling Lundqvist from deep on the right wing. What a special move that was. Just special. Jeffrey and Cooke get assists. The "Hey Song" is always special. Penguins 3-0.
12:04: A slapper by Eminger is deflected out of play.
9:49: Bennett chucks a wrister on net from the right
9:34: Pyatt flings a wrister from the slot on net. Fleury gloves it.
8:49: McDonagh flings a wrister from the left wing on net. Fleury fights it off.
8:31: Gaborik decides to make an appearance and snaps off a wrister from the right wing.
8:09: The great Joe Vitale sneaks up the right wing and snaps off a wrister which Lundqvist fights it off.
7:37: Del Zotto pushes the puck out of his defensive zone. Tanner Glass challenges and gets his stick into Del Zotto's skates. Del Zotto trips up and that's two minutes for Glass. This is do or die here for the Rangers.
7:24: Orpik chips a puck up the left wing and spring Sutter loose on a partial breakaway. Sutter races up the left wing and snaps off a wrister. He partially fans on the shot and it hops over the cage. Sutter, Dupuis, Martina nd Orpik take the ice.
7:54: Niskanen strikes a slapper which hits something in front and deflects wide.
5:37: The Glass minor is killed. The Penguins were outstanding during that two minutes. The Rangers failed to record a shot with that chance. They didn't even have a sniff at the net.
4:40: The great Jove Vitale pushes a puck up the left wing and chops a slapper which Eminger blocks.
4:23: Bennet deals a pass to Martin above the right cirlce. Martin chops a slapper which Lundqvist fights off.
3:50: Sing-song "Hennnnn....Riiiiikkkk" chants begin.
3:00: Fleury is three minutes away from setting the franchise record for _____. He is currently tied with Tom Barrasso with 22. We don't to say the word at the risk of jinxing it.
2:31: Kunitz pushes the puck up the right wing and sneaks a pass by Eminger across the crease to Crosby who jabs it on net.
2:00: Two minutes til the record. Tick. Tick. Tick.
1:21: "FLERRR-EEEE!" chants begin.
1:00: One minute tot he record. Tick. Tick. Tick.
0:48: The Rangers nearly score. Hagelin fights off a check in the right circle, spins and whips a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off despite Gaborik hovering around. More "FLEERR-EEEE!" chants.
0:30: Thirty seconds to the record. Tick. Tick. Tick.
0:10: Ten seconds. Tick. Tick. Tick.
0:00: End of game. Fleury passes Tom Barrasso for most shutouts in franchise history with 23. Penguins 3, Rangers 0.
-First things first. Marc-Andre Fleury now owns the all-time shutout record (23) and the wins record (241) in the history of this franchise. Can we quit critiquing his work for just one day and enjoy him for being one of the two best goaltenders, this franchise, which has been mostly lacking in stable goaltending, has ever had?
-What kind roll are the Penguins on right now? They just seem so confident regardless of the opponent or the type of game they get involved with.
-As we stated last week, the beauty of this streak is the fact the Penguins have been winning all sorts of games. They can run and gun as they did in Montreal or they can grind out ugly wins as they did this past week against Boston. When a team can win in a variety of fashions, that can be scary.
-The Penguins' depth really came through today. Sidney Crosby and James Neal, the only all-star forwards in the lineup today, were bottled up. The offense cam from a rookie (Beau Bennett), a struggling third-liner (Tyler Kennedy) and a first-liner playing the best hockey of his life (Pascal Dupuis).
-This shutout wasn't just Fleury. His team defense was outstanding. The Penguins limited the quality scoring chances the Rangers' stars had. The likes of Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik had very few high quality chances today.
-That said, the Rangers looked dreadful on offense. They just didn't seem to have much in the way of a scheme today. They got some quality chances more though individual efforts than though any means of of a team approach.
-This game was a lot closer than the final score would indicate. The Penguins were outplayed with a narrow one-goal lead in the second period. The Rangers challenged Fleury quite a bit in the second period. He held the fort with a little help from the defense.
-Tyler Kennedy had his best game of the season clearly. He scored a power-play goal, had a nice secondary assist which eventually led to Bennett's goal, drew the penalty which led to his own goal and was involved in several scoring chances. Hopefully for his sake, he can build off this.
-We really liked the line of Kennedy, Dustin Jeffrey and Bennett today. They had some chemistry today and seemed to really be tuned into one another.
-As a line, Crosby, Dupuis and Chris Kunitz were bottled up by the Rangers for the most part. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Giradi pretty much never left the ice when that trio was on. That said, Crosby-Dupuis-Kunitz still looked pretty dangerous. It created so many things.
-Henrik Lundqvist had a strong game. He probably should have stopped Bennett's goal but really kind of held the fort for his overwhelmed team. If not for him, the Penguins pull away early.
-The Penguins' special teams had a good day going 1 for 3 on the power play and turning away both Rangers' power plays. Perhaps it's because the Rangers have a pretty passive defense, but the Penguins' power play was able to establish itself in the offensive zone and move the puck around while generating shots. On the penalty kill, we're willing to bet the Rangers' rotten power play was more to blame than the Penguins' penalty kill. That said, 2 for 2 is 2 for 2.
-The Rangers are in a bad spot right now. They've dropped three consecutive games and their offense is just in the dumps. Someone kicked a hole into a cabinet in the visiting locker room presumably with a skate.
-The Penguins are now 17-4-0 with Simon Despres in the lineup and 4-4-0 without him. Just saying.
-The Penguins are now 6-0-0 with Mark Eaton back in the lineup.
The Penguins led in shots, 27-23.
-Carl Hagelin led the Rangers with five shots.
-Dupuis and Kris Letang each led the Penguins with four shots.
-Letang led the game with 25:35 of ice time.
-McDonagh led the Rangers with 24:09.
-The Rangers controlled faceoffs, 32-22 (59 percent).
-Derek Stepan was 15 for 25 (60 percent).
-Brandon Sutter was 10 for 19 (53 percent).
-Letang and Steve Eminger each led the game with four blocked shots.
-Fleury (241) passed up Bill Ranford (240) for 50th most wins in NHL history.
-Letang (199) passed up Kunitz (198) for 37th place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.
-Bennett had his second game-winning goal of the season. The only other rookies with multiple game-winning goals this season are Montreal's Brendan Gallagher (three), and Cory Conacher and Alex Killorn of the Lightning (two each).