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Winter wins it for Quaker Valley ..... PIAA playoff roundup

Written by Mike White on .

Roundup of WPIAL teams in today's first round of the Pitt playoffs

Spring might be just around the corner, but it was still Winter time for Quaker Valley today.
Fondi made a layup with 2.4 seconds left in overtime to lift Quaker Valley to a 42-40 win against District 6 champion Richland in a PIAA Class AA first-round boys playoff game at Central Cambria. It was the only points scored in overtime.'
Fondi scored 17 points for Quaker Valley. Matt
Class AAAA
*New Castle 71, Bethel Park 64: Bethel Park trailed by only nine at halftime. Then New Castle led by 20 after three quarters. Malik Hooker scored 25 points and Stew Allen added 18 to propel the Red Hurricanes (27-0). Joe Mascaro poured in 38 points for the Black Hawks, who lost to the Red Hurricanes by 27 in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

*Hampton 58, Allderdice 43: The Talbots bounced back from the WPIAL loss to New Castle and defeated the City League champion Dragons. David Huber and Ryan Luther each had a big half for Hampton. Huber scored 13 of his 15 in the first half and Luther 12 of his 16 in the second half.
*North Allegheny 82, Altoona 57: The win sets up a second-round game against New Castle, just like last year. Cole Constantino had 16 points and the Tigers (22-4) took a 19-point halftime lead against the District 6 champion Mountain Lions (13-10) at Hollidaysburg.
*Erie McDowell 65, Kiski Area 46: The Cavaliers (17-7) were outscored by 14 points in the second quarter and could not recover in falling to the District 10 champion Trojans (23-3) at Gannon University. Joe Brungo and Michael Simmons scored 10 points apiece for the Cavaliers.
Class AA
*Beaver Falls 56, Central Martinsburg 44: The defending champion Tigers (19-7) jumped to a 14-point halftime lead and went on to eliminate the Dragons (16-7) at Altoona. Dan Stratton led the Tigers with 17 points.

Levi Masua* Seton-LaSalle 82, Penns Valley 51: Levi Masua (pictured) had 18 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks and 5 steals to vault the WPIAL champion Rebels (26-1) to their first PIAA victory since 2000 after coasting past the Rams (19-7) at Penn Hills.
*Greensburg C.C. 92 Bald Eagle Area 59: Brian Graytok's 25 points helped the WPIAL runner-up Centurions (23-3) amass their second-highest point total of the season in defeating the Eagles (20-6) at Hempfield.
* Aliquippa 60, Fairview 42: Jassir Jordan scored 21 points and the Quips (19-6) picked up their first PIAA win in five years by defeating the Tigers (22-4) at Gannon University.
* Summit Academy 75, Conemaugh Township 59: Propelled by a 27-point performance from Dasonte White, the Knights (17-6) advanced to the second round courtesy of the victory against the District 5 champion Indians (21-6) at Johnstown.
*West Middlesex 76, Neshannock 66: The Lancers (18-7) trailed by three points at the half and were eventually defeated by the District 10 champion Big Red (21-5) at Slippery Rock University.

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'You've got to turn up': Anderson's second-half spurt puts RMU in NEC title game

Written by Craig Meyer on .

 

Karvel Anderson didn’t necessarily need a basket, but he needed something. More importantly, his team needed something.

For the past 61 minutes, the Northeast Conference player of the year with the textbook shooting stroke was scoreless. With his team trailing Saint Francis by five at halftime of the NEC semifinals, he had no points, promoting his teammate, Lucky Jones, to turn to him in the locker room and offer some advice.

“I told my man on my left,” Jones said in the postgame press conference, motioning to Anderson, “and said ‘You’ve got to turn up.’”

In the game’s final 20 minutes, Anderson did just that when the Colonials needed him the most. And the eight-man team that has seemingly found every way to win this season pulled it off yet again.

Anderson had a game-high 21 points, all of which came in the second half, as Robert Morris came back to defeat Saint Francis, 60-57, in the NEC semifinals Saturday at the Sewall Center.

“This is something that we’re used to by now,” guard Anthony Myers-Pate said. “Adversity is a part of our team. We stepped up, we stayed together and we remained a family.”

The Colonials (21-12) will host Mount St. Mary’s Tuesday in the conference championship game, their fifth appearance in the title game in the past six seasons.

Jones added 18 points, helping keep the team afloat during a subpar offensive performance in the first half.

Entering Saturday, Robert Morris had defeated Saint Francis 13 consecutive times, a streak dating back to 2008. But even with two of those wins coming this season, the gap between the two programs wasn’t as glaring as it once was.

Early on, it showed.

A 14-0 run gave the Red Flash a 16-6 lead, a spurt aided by a nine-minute stretch in which the Colonials did not score. By halftime, it had closed the deficit, but still trailed, 20-15, marking the lowest-scoring first half of the Andy Toole era (which dates back to 2010).

Still, the team didn’t panic.

“I wouldn’t say there was a high level of confidence, but when I went in, I said ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s 5-0, 20-15, 70-65 – it’s still five points,’” Toole said. “As poorly as we played offensively, we defended well enough to give ourselves a chance and that’s exactly what you can ask for out of a situation like that.”

Once the second half began, momentum began to swing in a gym where it was previously non-existent.

The Colonials scored 15 of the first 17 points of the half to take a 30-22 lead. Six of those points came from Anderson free throws, something which opened things up for him.

“To see the ball actually go through the hoop for the first time in the tournament, it did a lot for me,” said Anderson, who also broke the program’s single-season scoring record Saturday.

Robert Morris’ advantage grew to as many as 12, but Saint Francis made a final push. An uncontested dunk from Ronnie Drinnon with 2:12 remaining capped off a 10-1 run, one that trimmed the Colonials’ lead to one.

Down by three with 15 seconds remaining, Saint Francis had a final chance to tie the game, but a 35-foot 3 from Malik Harmon went off the front rim.

For Red Flash, who won an NEC tournament game for the first time since 1995, it was a season of progress, but it was ultimately one that ended in disappointment.

“Playoff basketball’s a lot of fun until you have to get in that locker room with a bunch of guys that have battled all year and are great kids that do everything you ask on and off the court,” Saint Francis coach Rob Krimmel said. “That’s not an easy moment.”

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

 

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Empty Netter Assists - 03-08-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Shelly Anderson recap from last night's game. “I just tried to make the next stop, tried to keep the team in the game. I always believe that we can come back and score some goals. And they did.” - Marc-Andre Fleury.

-The Los Angeles' Times recap. “Overall I think it was a good test for us, but to fall in the shootout again was a little disappointing.” - Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri.

-The Associated Press' recap. "He definitely held us in it those first two periods. In the third, I thought we went after it more. But he really had to make some saves pretty consistently to allow us to get ourselves back in the game." - Sidney Crosby on Fleury.

-Highlights:

-Chris Kunitz trolled Anaheim's Corey Perry:

-Tanner Glass versus Anaheim's Patrick Maroon:

-A good look at the bout:

-A good look at Brandon Sutter's shootout goal against Anaheim's Jonas Hiller:

-A good look at Hiller's reaction to Sutter's goal:

-Glass didn't have much compassion for Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf after he missed his shootout attempt:

-Anaheim's Cam Fowler chased after Crosby behind the cage:

-Fleury flashed a wry smile under his mask:

- Simon Despres < Anaheim's Matt Beleskey:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-“Even at the Olympics, when he played best against best, he was so calm. He didn’t look like he was a first-year player. It was fun to follow him. And also off the ice — how much work he does every day for preparation. It’s truly professional stuff.” - Ducks forward and future Hockey Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne on fellow Finn Olli Maatta.

-Peter Mannino made 20 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 2-1 shootout loss on the road to the Utica Comets.

-Eric Hartzell made 25 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-4 loss to the Reading Royals.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton assigned forward Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Harrison Ruopp to Wheeling.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins all-star defenseman Larry Murphy (right). Acquired midway through the 1990-91 season along with Peter Taglianetti in a trade that sent Chris Dahlquist and Jim Johnson to the North Stars, Murphy spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1990-81 by appearing in 44 games and scoring 28 points. Murphy recorded 23 points in 23 playoff games in 1991 and helped the Penguins claim their first Stanley Cup title. In 1991-92, Murphy recorded 77 points in 77 games. During the 1992-93 campaign, Murphy appeared in 21 games and netted 16 points while helping the franchise claim its second consecutive Stanley Cup title. The 1992-93 season saw Murphy set a career high for points when he netted 85 in 73 games and helped the Penguins claim the President's Trophy. In 12 postseason game that spring, Murphy recorded 13 points. During 1993-94, Murphy had 73 points in 84 games. Murphy played in six postseason games that spring and recorded five assists. His final season in Pittsburgh saw him net 38 points in 48 games in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign. During the 1995 postseason, Murphy saw action in 12 games and scored 13 points. In the 1995 offseason, the Penguins traded Murphy to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Dimitri Mironov and a draft pick. Murphy retired as a player following the 2000-01 season and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. A three-time all-star, Murphy is fifth all-time among defensemen with 1,216 career points. In 336 games with the Penguins, he recorded 301 points, 22nd-most in franchise history. In 74 postseason games, he had 72 points, seventh-most in franchise history.

-Happy 49th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Mike Rowe. A third-round pick in 1983, Rowe spent parts of three seasons with the Pengins. As a rookie in 1984-85, he appeared in six games and failed to record a point. In 1985-86, Rowe played in three games and did not score a point. His final NHL season was 1986-87. He saw action in two games and failed to record a point. After spending all of 1987-88 with the Penguin's IHL affiliate in Muskegon, Rowe joined the Whitley Warriors in Britain during the 1988 offseason. In 11 games with the Penguins, Rowe failed to record a point.

-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins forward and scout Greg Malone (right). A second-round pick in 1976, Malone spent seven seasons with the Penguins as a player. As a rookie in 1976-77, Malone appeared in 66 games and scored 37 points. In three postseason games that spring, he recorded two points. He followed that up in 1977-78, Malone saw action in 78 games and scored 61 points. In 1978-79, Malone appeared in a career high 80 games in led the team with 35 goals and 65 points. During that season's playoffs, he played in seven games and recorded one assists. Malone was limited to 51 games and 51 points in 1979-80. In 1980-81, he played in 62 games and netted 50 points. During the 1981 postseason, he played in five games and scored five points. Malone appeared in 78 games in 1981-82 and recorded 39 points. In three postseason games that spring, he failed to record a point. Malone's final season with the Penguin as a player was 1982-83. He appeared in all 80 games and scored 61 points. Prior to the 1983-84 season, he was traded to the Whalers in exchange for a draft pick. In 495 games with the Penguins, Malone recorded 364 points, 14th-most in franchise history. In 18 postseason games, he scored eight points. Following his retirement as a player, Malone, the father of former Penguins forward Ryan Malone, became a scout with the Penguins and eventually became the franchise's head scout, a position he held through 2006.

-Happy 71st birthday to former Penguins defenseman Tracy Pratt. Acquired midway through the 1968-69 season along with George Swarbrick and Bryan Watson in a trade that sent Earl Ingarfield, Gene Ubriaco and Dick Mattiussi to the Oakland Seals, Pratt spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1968-69 by playing in 18 games for the Penguins and recording five assists. In 1969-70, Pratt played in 65 games and scored 12 points. In 10 potseason games that spring, he recorded one assist and 51 penalty minutes. During that postseason, Pratt set a single-game record which still stands for penalty minutes in a postseason game with 32. In the 1970 offseason, he was claimed by the Sabres in the expansion draft. In 83 games with the Penguins Pratt had 17 points and 158 penalty minutes.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Bob Boughner (right). Acquired from the Predators at the 2000 trade deadline in a deal which sent Pavel Skrbek to Nashville, Boughner spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1999-2000 by playing in 11 games and scoring one goal along with recording 69 penalty minutes. He appeared in 11 postseason games that spring and recorded two assists. His most notable moment as a Penguin occurred during those playoffs when he injured Flyers forward Keith Primeau with a check to the head in an Eastern Conference semifinal series. He followed that up in 2000-01 by playing in 58 games, scoring four points and recording 147 penalty minutes. In 18 postseason games that spring, he recorded one assist. During the 2001 postseason games he joined the Flames as a free agent. In 69 regular season games with the Penguins, he recorded five points and 216 penalty minutes. In 29 postseason games, he recorded three assists. Boughner is currently the president and head coach of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires.

-After the Jump: Roberto Luongo returns to the Panthers in a big way and it's the tenth anniversary of one of the NHL's darkest days.

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Hot peppers rule! They will wake you up!

Written by Doug Oster on .

 

Dave Foreman stood on his deck last summer holding a glossy green 'Carolina Reaper' pepper freshly picked from the garden. His wife Kelly stood ready with a camera as Mr. Foreman, 55, bit into one of the hottest peppers in the world.

He took one big bite and threw the stem into the yard, fearing his dogs might try to eat it if he passed out from the fire in his mouth. The face he made was priceless and captured for eternity by his wife.

Sources for hot pepper seeds

• Pepper Joe's Hot Pepper Seeds, phone number for orders only 1-843-742-5116, www.pepperjoe.com.

• Redwood City Seed Co., 1-650-325-7333, www.ecoseeds.com.

• High Mowing Seeds, 1-802-472-6174, www.highmowingseeds.com.

"It was about 20 minutes of pain," he said, laughing. "I was happy I did it. I just had to know what it was like to eat the hottest pepper. I couldn't grow a pepper like that and then not eat it."

'Carolina Reaper' is rated anywhere from 1.4 million to 3 million Scovilles, depending on who you ask. To put it in perspective, a jalapeno runs about 2,500-8,000 Scoville units.

Mr. Foreman's passion for heat began as a child. His mother would never let him touch the hot sauce his father enjoyed. So when he got out on his own, he began trying hot sauces and was captivated by them.

In the late 1970s, he began growing his own hot peppers. "I was becoming obsessed with hot sauce, and you really couldn't buy good hot sauce back then."

Mr. Foreman started growing the relatively mild jalapenos, then moved on to cayenne, Thai peppers, and eventually Habaneros and Scotch bonnets. He finally found the heat he had been searching for when he discovered India's Bhut Jolokia, also known as the Ghost Pepper. Rated at 1 million Scovilles, it was the hottest pepper in the world at the time.

Last season, Mr. Foreman grew the even hotter 'Carolina Reaper,' using nine peppers to make three gallons of his famous homemade salsa. After the first tasting, "it was already up there," he said of the heat. His wife and his brother will enjoy it with him until this summer's harvest comes in. He also makes a sweet hot mustard with the peppers.

His pepper seeds are started toward the end of February or early March. They take about 10 days or so to germinate using an Aero Grow unit, a small growing system with lights. The heat of the lights is enough to get the peppers going until it's time to transplant them into the garden. Because they love warm soil, Mr. Foreman waits until mid-June to plant them outside.

Each season, he plants only the hottest peppers he can find. He grew a dozen 'Reaper' plants last year, but only four went into his garden and provided way more than he needed. He gave the other seedlings to friends. Mr. Foreman says one plant would suit his needs, but he grows extras just in case the deer get to them before they fruit. He left a few plants in the garden over the winter, and the deer never touched them.

"I know people think I'm crazy, but I've developed this tolerance [to the heat] because I keep eating them. People think there's just heat there, but there's flavor, too. They have unique flavors, but you get the heat along with it."

20140225dopeppers4magMatthew Hirsh, greenhouse manager and grower at Chapon's Greenhouse in front of flats of peppers. He's growing the hottest peppers in the world. Photo by Doug Oster

In one part of Chapon's Greenhouse in Baldwin Borough, there are "handle with caution" warning signs over the seedlings alerting gardeners interested in super-hot peppers. Greenhouse manager and grower Matthew Hirsh started to see an interest in extremely hot peppers about two seasons ago. It was the Ghost Pepper that really seemed to get gardeners talking.

When he and his crew plant the seeds, they use a plastic seeder to avoid getting the spicy oils on their hands. It can wreak havoc if it gets into the eyes.

He's growing a wide range of hot peppers from jalapenos all the way up to the 'Carolina Reaper.' Mr. Hirsh has learned a few lessons over the past two years about growing them.

He starts some seeds as early as Christmas because many can be stubborn to germinate even when using heat benches to warm the moist planting mix in the seed trays. Others are started later, but he says home gardeners should start seeds as soon as possible.

"You definitely want to get a head start on them. They aren't hard, but you need to be patient with them because they are slow."

Many take nearly 90 days to reach maturity and should be planted outside when all chance of frost has passed. At Chapon's, all vegetables and herbs are grown organically.

Some growers will use landscape fabric on their beds to heat the soil; others will tent the planting area with floating row covers or plastic to create a greenhouse effect on the bed. Wall O' Waters are season extenders that are filled with water and surround each plant. Gardeners will put them out a couple of weeks before planting to warm the soil.

Mr. Hirsh overheard a couple looking at the Ghost Peppers. When the wife was surprised that her husband was interested, he said, "Oh, they're not for eating. They're for giving to your friends." That could provide quite a surprise for "friends."

Mr. Hirsh enjoys hot peppers such as 'Super Chili'(50,000 Scovilles) and has even used dried Ghost Peppers in the kitchen. "But I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to eating them raw," he said with a smile.

20140225dopeppers1magSteve Peckyno of Jefferson Hills doesn't even like peppers, but has grown the Ghost pepper for years. Photo by Doug Oster

In Jefferson Hills, 76-year-old gardener Steve Peckyno has grown Ghost Peppers for years. "It was the hottest pepper in the world, and I don't even eat peppers but that fascinated me," he said.

He bought his seeds the first year they became popular. Back then the only way to get them was from the University of New Mexico at 50 cents per seed. He bought 10. He starts his seeds in early March under fluorescent shop lights, which hang from his homemade PVC light rack. Mr. Peckyno cautions fellow gardeners to always start the seeds in a sterile planting mix to avoid damping off. It's a fungal condition that causes seedlings to rot at the base and collapse.

Once the seeds sprout and get a few inches tall, putting on true leaves, he pots them up into bigger cups filled with his homemade potting soil. To make it, he combines his compost made from leaves and grass clippings with perlite.

His gardening friends have had dismal results trying to bring the pepper to fruition. To succeed, he puts three plants into one 8-inch pot filled with his potting soil. The peppers grow on the heat of the driveway in front of a low brick wall.

Conventional wisdom dictates one plant should be put in each pot, but Mr. Peckyno gets tall, healthy-looking plants loaded with peppers. He fertilizes regularly with Miracle-Gro.

Once while standing outside with his wife, Evelyn, they watched a squirrel grab a Ghost Pepper and run away. "He stopped after about 10 feet, spit it out and kept going. I think he was hurting for a while," he said, laughing.

Mr. Peckyno has gardened for more than 40 years and now gives most of his plants away.

"I like the satisfaction, to see them grow. When you think about it, you take a tiny, tiny seed. It grows into a full-sized plant. That's phenomenal, it's God's work."



 

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Penguins at Ducks - 03-07-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

-With two new members of the Penguins, we'll review the previous players who have worn their numbers.

22 - Paul Andrea, Greg Polis, Bob Kelly, Brian Spencer, Kim Davis, Mike Bullard, Neil Belland, Dwight Mathiasen, Jim McGeough, Chris Joseph, Wayne Van Dorp, Steve Dykstra, Paul Stanton, Rick Tocchet, Norm Maciver, Jason Woolley, Sven Butenschon, Dan LaCouture, Randy Robitaille, Matt Murley, Ric Jackman, Chris Thorburn, Jeff Taffe, Tim Wallace, Matt D'Agostini, Lee Stempniak.

-We'll cite Bob "Battleship" Kelly as the best No. 22 for having the coolest nickname.

57 - Chris Ferraro, Shawn Heins, Marcel Goc.

-We'd give Heins the edge in this one mostly by default. He had a pretty hard shot.

-EN Reader John Whitco is on hand and sent in a few jersey sightings. Teemu Selanne Jets:

-Charlie Conway Mighty Ducks:

-Another readers spotted a Francois Leroux:

-Sidney Crosby:

-Paul Kariya Mighty DUcks:

-Jersey of the Night: We'll go with ex-Penguin Ben Lovejoy:

-Robert Bortuzzo's "upper-body" injury from last night's game will keep him out of the lineup. Deryk Engelland will replace him.

-The Penguins starters are Sidney Crosby, Taylor Pyatt, Lee Stempniak, Matt Niskanen, Rob Scuderi and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Gibbons.

-Gibbons had a pretty ugly shift last night which led to San Jose's first goal.

-According to the team's Web site, the Penguins' lines and defensive pairings in warm-ups were:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 22 Lee Stempniak
36 Jussi Jokinen - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 18 James Neal
17 Taylor Pyatt - 16 Brandon Sutter - 46 Joe Vitale
15 Tanner Glass - 57 Marcel Goc - 27 Craig Adams

44 Books Orpik - 3 Olli Maatta
4 Rob Scuderi - 2 Matt Niskanen
47 Simon Despres - 5 Deryk Engelland

-The Ducks' starters are Andrew Cogliano, Saku Koivu, Daniel Winnik, Cam Fowler, Ben Lovejoy and Jonas Hiller.

-Their scratches are Mark Fistric and Tim Jackman.

FIRST PERIOD

18:33: On a delayed penalty, Nick Bonino booms a slapper from above the right circle. Fleury makes the stop. Kunitz is called for slashing Corey Perry. Orpik, Maatta, Sutter and Adams take the ice.

17:43: Perry jumps on a loose puck in the slot and whips a wrister. A stick-on-puck by Orpik deflects it out of play.

16:33: The Kunitz minor is killed. The Ducks didn't do much with that chance.

16:06: The Ducks strike first. Pery drives up the left wing, pulls up and leaves a drop pass for Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf takes the puck and lifts a wrister from the left circle. Fleury makes the save but allows a rebound. Perry jumps on it, gets a step on Maatta and cleans up the garbage. A nice, ugly goal. Getzlaf and Saku Koivu get assists. "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise is played. Ducks 1-0.

15:10: A one-timer by Jakub Silfverberg from the left circle is denied by Fleury.

14:33: Corralling a puck at the left point, Bryan Allen booms a slapper from above the left circle. Fleury fights it off.

12:13: Deryk Engelland to the rescue? Okay. After a wrister by Jokinen is blocked, a lose puck trickles in the high slot. He collects it, grips and rips it through Hiller's five hole. Good for Engelland but Hiller needs to make that save. Jokinen and Malkin get assists. Ducks 1, Penguins 1.

11:39: Off a neutral zone faceoff, Glass and Patrick Maroon drop the gloves. they mostly wrestle around before each player gets t heir right hands loose. A few punches are thrown before each player tires out and gives one another a pat on the side.

11:19: After Hiller smothers a puck, a scrum breaks out to the right of the Ducks' net. Perry and Malkin are in the middle of it.

10:16: Getzlaf gets a chance off the left wing. Wide open, he whips a rising wrister. Fleury knocks it dead and covers.

10:00: Malkin is tripped up behind the Ducks' net by Beauchemin. Beauchemin is nabbed for tripping. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz and Niskanen take the ice.

9:54: Off a feed by Niskanen, Crosby whacks a slapper from the right circle wide of the cage.

9:39: Malkin pumps a wrister from the right circle on net. Hiller eats it up.

8:11: Stempniak lifts a wrister from the left circle which is blocked.

8:00: The Beauchemin minor is killed. Not much going on there for the Penguins.

7:00: A wrister by Cogliano from above the left circle deflects out of play.

6:50: More penalties. The great Joe Vitale chips and chases a puck up the left wing by Allen and his skates kind of take off from underneath him. Allen is called for tripping while Vitale is given an embellishment minor. Four-on-four for two minutes.

4:50: As Allen and the great Joe Vitale return to the ice, a wrister by Lovejoy from the right half wall is kicked out by Fleury.

4:30: Engelland pops a slapper from the right point. Hiller kicks it out.

4:04: Using Scuderi as a screener, Richard Rackell releases a wrister from the right circle. Fleury eats it up. Andrew Cogliano went to the dressing room following a collision with Simon Despres.

3:40: A slapper by Matt Beleskey from above the left circle deflects out of play.

3:28: Lovejoy puts a wrister on net. Fleury snags it.

2:33: A wrister by Perry from the right circle is rejected by Fleury.

2:18: Another power play for the Ducks. Neal hooked Getzlaf during a scrum near the Penguins' net. Orpik, Scuderi, Goc and Adams take the ice.

0:23: A slapper by Getzlaf from center point is blocked by Glass.

0:21: Cam Fower has a slapper from the right point blocked.

0:12: A one-timer by Fowler from the left circle is blocked.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4113/5199651737_a744ffe168.jpg

-The Penguins were a little lucky to get out of that period with a tie. The Ducks controlled play early and late and put a lot of puck towards the net.

-Fleury was busy and he was sharp.

-Once again, special teams are getting a lot of work. Officials have been quick to call penalties.

-Deryk Engelland keeps on finding ways to contribute.

-Perry and Getzlaf looked pretty scare that period.

-Kunitz had some quality trolling midway through the second period when he waved his hand prior to a faceoff and mocked Perry for selling his slash early in the game.

-The Ducks are dominating shots on net, 12-3.

-The Ducks have a 25-14 lead in attempted shots.

-Getzlaf leads the game with two shots.

-Fowler leads the game with 9:05.

-Niskanen leads the Penguins with 08:20.

-The Penguins have a 14-9 lead in faceoffs (61 percent).

-Sutter is 5 for 5 (100 percent).

-Getzlaf is 4 for 6 (67 percent).

-Scuderi, Despres, Lovejoy and Beauchemin each lead the game with two blocked shots.

-Fire Ray Shero.

SECOND PERIOD

19:43: Another penalty early in the period. Stempniak is called tripping Koivu. Stempniak's stick got up on Koivu's hand and Koivu fell forward.  Adams, Goc, Orpik and Scuderi take the ice.

19:00: Perry rips a wrister from the right circle. Fleury gets a piece of it with his blocker. Also, there is an update on Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa:

18:13: A wrister by Selanne from the left circle is wide of the cage.

17:58: A wrister by Beauchemin from the left circle is kicked out by Fleury. Selanne chops it over the cage.

17:43: The Stempniak minor is killed.

16:00: After some fierce battling for the puck behind the net, he deals a pass to Despres at the center point. Despres swipes a one-timer on net which Hiller kicks out.

15:09: Lovejoy corrals a puck at the right point and booms a slapper which is blocked by the great Joe Vitale.

14:20: Malkin lifts a wrister from the right circle which is blocked.

13:45: Perry pushes the puck up the right wing one-on-one against Despres and Despres shoves him off the puck. Wonderful play.

13:12: Crosby steals a puck in the Ducks' left wing corner and deals a pass to Niskanen pinching in down the slot. Niskanen rips a wrister wide of the cage.

12:20: A wrister by Winnik from the high slot is steered away by Fleury.

11:37: On a three-one-one against poor Niskanen, Maroon has a chance to the right to the cage but can't bury is behind Fleury. How did the Ducks not score there? It wasn't so much a matter of the Penguins defending it well as it was a matter of the Ducks not capitalizing.

10:17: Engelland cranks a one-timer from the right point as his stick breaks. The pucks slides in on net slowly and Hiller is able to smother it.

9:51: Kunitz races in off the right wing, dangles to this backhand down the slot and lifts a shot over the cage.

9:08: Cogliano lifts a wrister from the slot. Fleury fights it off.

8:15: A slapper by Beauchemin from the center point is blocked.

6:30: This isn't good:

5:48: The Penguins are up to five shots. Neal uses Beauchemin a screen and releases  heavy wrister from the slot. Hiller snags it.

5:33: After Malkin steals a puck from Perry in the Penguins' zone, Neal chases down a loose puck in the left circle and lifts a wrister which rings off the cross bar.

3:59: The great Joe Vitale hustles up the right wing and snaps off a wrister which is wide on the near side.

3:37: Hampus Lindholm chops a slapper from the right point. Fleury fights it off.

3:07: Silfvergerg cuts inside Goc down the slot and releases a wrister. FLeury eats it up.

2:36: Neal pushes the puck up the left wing in the neutral zone. Beauchemin gets his stick into Neal's hands. Neal sells it a bit and Beauchemin is sent off for hooking. Beauchemin puts up a protest. Malkin, Neal, Crosby, Kunits and Niskanen take the ice.

2:27: Off some tic-tac-toe passing, Malkin whips a wrister from the right circle which Hiller gets a piece of.

1:19: Off a cross-ice feed by Crosby, Malkin cranks a one-timer from near the right point. Hiller eats it up despite traffic.

1:06: Despres wires a slapper from the right half wall wides of the net.

0:36: The Beauchemin minor is killed. Not much going on there for the Penguins.

0:02: A wrister by Beauchemin from the right point is blocked.

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

SECOND INTERMISSION

-What a bizarre game. The Penguins are getting demolished in shots on net but have a 1-1 tie with one of the best teams in the NHL.

-The weird things is it isn't even a matter of puck possession. The Penguins have had it in the Ducks' zone plenty of times. They just can't get very many clean shots off.

-We think it would be a stretch to say Lee Stempniak has distinguished himself on Crosby's wing tonight thus far.

-The Jokinen-Malkin-Neal line looks like it's on the verge of doing something.

-Simon Despres has played a pretty solid game tonight. He's not afraid of the Ducks' skilled power forwards.

-The Ducks have a 23-7 lead in shots.

-The Penguins' record for fewest shots in a game is 11. They've done that five times.

-The Ducks have a 48-31 lead in attempted shots.

-Malkin, Silfverberg and Winnik each lead the game with three shots.

-Beauchemin leads the Ducks with 19:34.

-Niskanen leads the Penguins with 16:49.

-The Penguins have a 22-16 lead in faceoffs (58 percent).

-Sutter is 7 for 9 (88 percent).

-Getzlaf is 8 for 10 (80 percent).

-Beauchemin leads the game with five blocked shots.

-Orpik and Despres each lead the Penguins with three blocked shots.

THIRD PERIOD

18:50: A fowl up with puck retrieval leads to a Ducks goal. Orpik controls the puck behind the Penguins net and is held up into the boards by Perry. Maatta fails to jump on the puck and sees Palmieri jump on it and play a pass to Getzlaf in the slot. Getzlaf deals a little pass to Perry behind Pyatt to the right of the cage and Perry chips a shot in by a scrambling Fleury. Ugh. Just about anyone in a white jersey - aside from Fleury - can take some of the blame for that one. Root Sports showed a good replay of Perry actually giving Orpik a slash to the hands which prevented him from cleanly playing the puck. Getzlaf and Palmieri get assists. "Bro Hymn" plays. Ducks 2-1.

 

 

17:27: Despres loads up a wrister from the right point and whips it wide of the net.

16:50: Bonino has a wide open chance in the right circle and whips a wrister wide of the net. It hits off the end boards and is covered by Fleury.

15:32: Pyatt pushes the puck up the left wing and chucks a wrister off the side of the cag.e

15:21: Neal rips a wrister from the right circle. Hiller fights it off.

13:56: Lindholm chucks a wrister from the center point. Fleury eats it up despite traffic.

12:48: After a solid cycle down low, Lovejoy chops a one-timer from the right circle. Fleury get a piece of it.

12:23: As Pyatt skates with Neal and Malkin, a wrister by Maatta from the right point is blocked.

11:46: A big chance for the Penguins. Palmieir slashes Despre sbehidn the Penguins net and trips him. That's two minutes for tripping. Neal, Malkin, Crosby Neal and Niskane take the ice.

11:21: Off a feed by Niskanen, Malkin whacks a one-timer from the center point. Hiller kicks it out. Kunitz whacks the rebound wide.

11:18: Off a cross-ice feed by Crosby, Niskanen chops a slapper from the left point. Hiller fights it off.

11:02: Evgeni Malkin to the rescue. Neal controls the puck on the right half wall, spins off a check and deals to Malkin charging into the offensive zone. From above the right circle, Malkin releases a wrister by Hiller's glove hand. Kunitz had a great screenon Hiller who looked lost on the shot. Neal and Crosby get assists. Ducks 2, Penguins 2.

10:33: Sutter chases down a puck in the Ducks' right wing corner and sneaks a pass to Jokinen above the blue paint. Jokinen tries to jam in a backhand shot but can't beat Hiller.

9:23: Allen chucks a wrister from the left point. Fleury snags it.

8:58: Perry releases a rising wrister from the slot. Fleury fights it off.

8:37: After Getzlaf air mails a slapper from his own zone off the Penguins' end boards, Winnik chops a loose puck from the left wing off the side of the cage.

7:21: Jokinen snaps off a wrister from the right circle which is blocked.

6:49: Neal battles Lovejoy for a puck in the Ducks' right wing corner and slams him to the ice.

6:24: Off a feed by Crosby, Kunitz whacks a one-timer from the center point which hits a body in front and deflects out of play.

4:57: During a stoppage in play, Beauchemin gives Malkin a little shove in the Ducks' left wing corner. Malkin responds with a cross check. A scrum ensues. No penalties. Malkin got a little lucky there.

3:01: Off a drop pass by Palmieri, Getzlaf whacks a one-timer from the right circle wide of hte net as his stick breaks.

2:41: Palmieri cuts across the sot and lifts a wrister over the cage.

2:32: Pyatt muscles his way by a hip check from Beauchemin on the left wing and releases a wrister which Hiller fights off.

2:22: Pyatt snaps off a wrister from the left point which is blocked.

1:36: Off a drop pass by Sutter, Jokine nlifts  slapper from the right win over the cage.

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

THIRD INTERMISSION

-The Ducks have a  28-14 lead in shots on net.

OVERTIME

4:11: With Lindholm snooping around the net, Fleury freezes a loose puck.

4:03: HUGE SAVE! After Fowler makes a poor pass in the Penguins' zone, Crosby steals it and pushes it up ice. He pulls away from Lovejoy and attacks the net on a breakaway. He goes five hole with a forehand shot and Hiller kicks it out.

2:59: Silfverberg whistles a wrister from the right circle wide on the near side.

1:51: Using Fowler as a screen, Neal snaps off a wrister from the left circle. As Hiller fights it off, Lovejoy knocks Neal over with a solid hit.

1:31: Maatta launches a wrister from the left point which Hiller punches away with a blocker.

1:22: The Ducks call a timeout to get a breather.

0:49: WOW! Beauchemin deals a subtle pass to Lindholm all alone in the slot. Lindholm whips a low wrister which Fleury kicks out. Getzalf whips the rebound back on net and Fleury deflects it out of play. Two huge save. How did those two get so wide open.

0:25: A slapper by Niskanen from the center point is blocked.

0:00: As the horn expires, Neal snaps off a wrister wide of hte cage. End of period. Ducks 2, Penguins 2.

THIRD INTERMISSION

-The Ducks have a 31-17 lead in shos on net.

SHOOTOUT

-Neal is up first. He races right down the slot and lifts a wrister. Hiller's glove hand fights it off.

-Bonino gets the nod for the Ducks. Coasting down the slot, he loads up a wrister and releases a shot. Fleury fights it off.

-Crosby takes the puc, veers to the left, levels out, approaches the net, goes forehand/backhand a few times and sneaks a forehand shot through Hiller's five hole. Penguins 1-0.

-Palmieri attacks the net down the slot with speed. Fleury attacks back with a poke check and prevents a shot from even being offered.

-Malkin can end it. he swings wide, loses the puck in the left circle, recovers and puts a wrister on net from a bad angle. Hiller holds i out.

-Perry must score, He swings wide to the rig, levels out and releases a wrister which blows by the glove hand of FLeury. Ducks 1, Penguins 1.

-Jokinen races right down the slot and attacks. he lift a wrister which Hiller snags with a glove hand.

-Silfverberg weaves his way down the slot and lifts a wrister on net. FLeury traps it against his torso with his glove hand and prevents the goal.

-Kunitz swings to his right, levels out and attacks on his forehand. He jams up Hiller with a forehand move, moves to his backhand and lifts a backhander by a flailing Hiller.  Penguins 2-1.

-Selanne must score. He glides down the slot easily, approaches the net, offers a little move and lifts a wrister by Fleury's glove hand. Ducks 2, Penguins 2.

-Sutter waves his way down the slot, moves to the backhand an lifts an simple shot by Hiller's glove hand. Penguins 3-2.

-Getzlaf must score. He wins to the right levels out, attacks with his backhand and lifts it over the cage. End of shootout. Penguins 3, Ducks 2. End of game. Penguins 3, Ducks 2.

POSTGAME

-In a season with all kind of odd twists and turns, this might have been the most bizarre game of the Penguins' season. They had no business even being on the same rink as the Ducks in the first two periods. They couldn't even hold on to the puck for much of the game let along generate a good scoring chance. Despite that, the Penguins were able to shake off a Ducks goal early in the third period, tie the game on a power play and get it to the shootout where they tend to have success.

-Marc-Andre Fleury was the biggest reason the Penguins pulled this win out. With this team badly losing the puck possession battle, he turned away several quality shots from a talented Ducks team. He was the Penguins' most valuable player tonight.

-Evgeni Malkin stepped up with an important power-play goal which tied the game in regulation. Even beyond that, he and Neal seemed to be sparked much of the night. This was their best game as a duo since the end of the Olympic break.

-At the end of the second period, the Penguins mixed up their second and third lines and that seemed to spark each unit. Basically, Taylor Pyatt switched places with Jussi Jokinen. Pyatt surprisingly kept up with Malkin and Neal and did some of the dirty work which allowed those two to create a few pretty plays.

-Jokinen and Sutter connected on a few snazzy passes which led to quality scoring chances. Sutter seemed to really benefit from the change.

-Lee Stempniak spent most of the night on the right wing with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. Stempniak was hardly a liability by any stretch but there didn't seem to be a ton of chemistry between those three. That will come in time.

-Deryk Engelland returned to the lineup in a big way. He scored his sixth goal of the game which tied the game, 1-1. Overall, he was pretty sturdy in his own zone and didn't hurt his team defensively.

-Brooks Orpik and Olli Maatta did not have a strong night as a pairing. They were on the ice for each of Anaheim's regulation goals and didn't seem very comfortable with one another.

-Simon Despres had another solid game and didn't seem afraid of the Ducks' physical power forwards.

-The great Joe Vitale seemed to have some jump tonight. He always seems to come out flying anytime he returns to the lineup after a healthy scratch.

-The Penguins' special teams had a pretty strong night after a few up and down efforts since the Olympic break. The power play came through with a game-tying goal late and the penalty kill was perfect going 0 for 3. Much of this team's success this season has been due to the special teams.

-Whle the Ducks didn't score all that many regulation goals but it was pretty evident they are much more than Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. They have a ton of depth with the likes of Nick Bonino, Andrew Cogliano and Kyle Palmieri.

-Oh yeah. Don't forget those Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu guys either.

-Maybe it's because he's been out West for a few seasons, but we forgot how much of a Penguin killer Koivu is. He now has 51 points in 49 career games against the Penguins.

-The Ducks skated most of the game with only five defensemen after Luca Sbisa left due to an injury. That didn't help their cause.

-The Ducks led in shots on net, 31-17.

-The Ducks led in attempted shots, 66-54.

-Malkin led the game with five shots on net.

-Perry led the Ducks with four shots on net.

-Francois Beauchemin led the game with 32:29 of ice time.

-Matt Niskanen led the Penguins with 27:19.

-The Penguins had a 31-28 advantage in faceoffs (53 percent).

-Marcel Goc is 7 for 10 (70 percent).

-Nick Bonino was 12 for 19 (63 percent).

-Beauchemin led the game with seven blocked shots.

-Orpik and Despres each led the Penguins with three blocked shots.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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