At 10:53 of the second period in the Pittsburgh Penguins/Boston Bruins game, video review confirmed the referee's call on the ice that Carl Soderberg directed the puck into the Pittsburgh net with his glove. According to Rule 67.6 "a goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck with his hand into the net." No goal Boston.
-Mike Johnston made some major changes to his first and second lines at today's morning skate. Basically, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have flip-flopped wingers. Crosby skated with Nick Spaling and Patric Hornqvist while Malkin worked with Chris Kunitz and Patric Hornqvist.
-Given the fact that Crosby and Kunitz seem to have been joined at the hip for so long, a primary visceral reaction to that breakup would be change. But when you look at their recent numbers, it makes sense. Crosby only has one goal - which came on the power play - over the past 11 games while Kunitz hasn't scored in his past eight games. We've never been fans of breaking up Crosby and Kunitz but when they don't produce, how can keeping them together be justified?
-Spaling will replace Kunitz on the left wing of the first line. Spaling seems to have the speed and skating to keep up with Crosby but does he have the hands?
-We know what Patric Hornqvist can do with Crosby.
-Kunitz will rejoin Malkin. They were together most of the 2011-12 season along with James Neal. Malkin ended up winning the Hart and Art Ross Trophies that season and Kunitz was a big reason why.
-It remains to be see if Jayson Megna will dress tonight. If you're a Megna fan, there was a small sign of good news. Zach Sill stayed on the ice today after the morning skate for some extra work. That usually indicates a player will be scratched.
-In light of the Islanders' fourth line making an impact over the back-to-back sweep against the Penguins this past week, an energy player such as Megna could go a long way towards giving the Penguins' inert fourth line some life.
-UPDATE: The team's Web site announced Megna will replace Sill in the lineup.
-The Penguins won't get the Bruins at their best tonight. This is a beat-up Bruins squad. With Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuad, the Bruins won't be normally as physical on the blue line as they usually are. Additionally, creative playmaker David Krejci, who always seems to do damage against the Penguins, is out of the lineup.
-How long has it been since the Chara last missed a game against the Penguins? A long time. It was two teams ago for him in fact:
The last time Chara missed a game against the Pens, he was playing for Islanders on Feb. 12, 2000. He's played 52 straight vs. Pens since.— Pens Radio Network (@PensRadioNet) November 24, 2014
-The Hockey world lost a few big-named coaches over the past 24 hours with Viktor Tikhonov and Pat Quinn. Over the past week, the work of hockey has seen Pat Burns posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Pascal Dupuis stricken with a blood clot, the personal and financial troubles of Jack Johnson as well as the deaths of Murray Oliver, Quinn and Tikhonov. It's been a sobering eight days.
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist, Nick Spaling, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo and Zach Sill.
-The Bruins' starters are Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Reilly Smith, Torey Krug, Dennis Seidenberg and Tuukka Rask.
-Their scratches are Matt Fraser, Chris Kelly and David Krejci.
19:20: Smith chops a loose puck from the left circle on net. Fleury kicks it out.
18:52: Olli Maatta air mails a wrister from the neutral zone. Rask gloves it.
17:21: ON a partial three-on-two, Bergeron fires a shot from the right wing. Fleury gets a piece of it.
17:13: Krug chucks a wrister from the right point which its off Simon Despres who is in above the crease. The rebound bounces to the right of the crease where Smith whips it wide with a backhander. He had a goal there.
16:34: Letang rips a wrister from the left circle. Rask kicks it out.
16:27: Welcome back Sidney Crosby to the score sheet. Adams chops a slapper from the left circle on net. Rask fights it off. Hornqvist kicks the puck with the back of his right skate to Crosby and he lifts a wrister by a scrambling Hornqvist. Adams and Letang get assists. That's Adams' 100th career assists. Penguins 1-0.
14:53: The Bruins get the game's first power play as Martin is called for holding Carl Soderberg. Adams, Marcel Goc, Rob Scuderi and Christian Ehrhoff take the ice.
14:21: Carl Soderberg rips a wrister from the right circle. Fleury fights it off and Scuderi clears the rebound down ice.
13:41: Loui Eriksson rips a wrister from the right circle. Fleury fends it off.
12:51: Off a feed from former Penguins prospect Joe Morrow, Krug whacks a one-timer from the center point. It hits something and hops over the net.
12:45: As Martin returns to the ice, Krug pumps a slapper from the right point. It hits something again.
12:23: Off a feed from Hornqvist, Comeau fires a wrister from the right circle. Rask gets a piece of it.
11:44: Milan Lucic (6-foot-3, 235 pounds) staggers Simon Despres (6-foot-4, 214 pounds) with a stiff check on the Bruins' right half wall.
10:59: Daniel Paille whips a loose puck from the right circle wide to the far side.
10:38: Dougie Hamilton corrals a puck at the right point and chips it on net. Gregory Campbell re-directs it on net and Fleury snags it.
10:00: The Bruins tie it up... maybe. After Martin loses a puck battle behind his net, Kevan Miller corrals a puck above the left circle and rips a wrister at the cage. Fleury kicks it out. Bergeron is able to backhand the rebound out of mid air. It glances off Fleury's left shoulder and flutters into the cage. Officals rule it a legit goal on the ice as the Penguins protest claiming Bergeron struck the puck with a high stick. A lengthy video review follows. Referee Kyle Rehman explains the call on the ice was "no goal." He then announces the video review confirms the call. Kudos to Rehman for explaining that very well.
8:56: Ehrhoff pitchforks a backhander from the right point. Rask smothers it.
8:20: A wrister by Hamilton from the right point is blocked.
8:04: After stealing the puck in the neutral zone, Bennett tries to push it up the left wing and is flattened by Hamilton. Downie appears to doe a drive-by on Hamilton but nothing comes of it.
7:19: Adams pinches off Alex Khokhlachev from a puck on the Penguins' left half wall and denies him the puck. Great play.
6:12: Soderberg backhands a wraparound from the left of the cage. Fleury holds it out.
5:44: Lucic gives Despres a thump on the right half wall again. This time, Despres braces for the hit and fends it off.
5:39: Despres chops a slapper from the right point. Rask eats it up despite having Comeau in front.
4:39: Hamilton rips a wrister from the right point. Fleury kicks it out with his left leg as Smith bumps into Fleury's head. That's goaltending interference. It's a rare power play for the Penguins. With elements of the first power play on the ice the previous shift, the J.V. power play of Bennett, Sutter, Ehrhoff, Maatta and Downie takes the ice.
4:22: Bennett whips a quick wrister from the left circle. Hamilton blocks it with a stick.
4:13: With a stoppage, the first power play unit of Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Hornqvist and Letang jumps over the boards.
3:02: Ehrhoff chops a slapper from the left point. Rask kicks it out.
2:39: Smith's penalty expires. The Penguins did little with that chance.
1:45: Despres and Lucic collide once again, this time at the Penguins' left point.
1:15: A wrister by Soderberg from the left wing is blocked in front.
0:41: Ehrhoff whips a wrister from the left circle. Rask says no.
0:34: Erhoff chops a slapper from the left point. It gets blocked.
0:00: Seidenberg air mails a slapper from the red line. Fleury stops it. End of period. Penguins 1, Bruins 0.
-It would be a stretch to say the new lines had a huge impact that period. That said, Crosby seemed to have a little extra jump in his skating. Perhaps he has a little extra spark from the change.
-The Penguins seemed to do a better job at generating scoring chances with traffic than the Bruins. A lot of the Penguins' chances were getting through with screens. Meanwhile, more than a few of the Bruins' chances seemed to hit a body or a stick in front. When the Bruins did get a shot through, it came with little traffic in front of Fleury.
-It would be a stretch to say Megna had a huge impact in his first period of the season. He had three shifts for 2:25 of ice time.
-Lucic and Despres have collided a few times. It will be interesting to see if that turns into anything ugly.
-Shots on net are tied, 10-10.
-The Penguins have an 18-17 edge in attempted shots.
-Downie, Letang and Soderberg each lead the game with two shots.
-Letang leads the game with 8:34 of ice time.
-Hamilton leads the Bruins with 7:25 of ice time.
-The Penguins lead in faceoffs, 15-5 (75 percent).
-Crosby is 7 for 8 (88 percent).
-Soderberg is 2 for 4 (50 percent).
-Seidenberg leads the game with two blocked shots.
19:17: Brad Marchand chucks a wrister from the right half wall. It gets tipped wide.
18:33: Digging a puck out from behind the Boston cage, Kunitz backhands a pass to Comeau streaking in from the left circle. His forehand shot is denied by Rask's blocker.. Boston fans offer "Tuuuuuuuu..." chants in appreciation.
18:17: Tie game. Taking a feed from Soderberg, Eriksson cuts across the slot, goes deep to the right of the cage an sneaks a feed to Lucic all alone to the right of the cage. Ehrhoff was out of sorts on that play. He looked like he was on his knees breakdancing while Lucic was all alone. Eriksson and Soderberg get assists. Bruins 1, Penguins 1.
17:49: The Bruins take the lead thanks to a former Penguins prospect. Taking a feed from Hamilton, Joe Morrow, the Penguins' 2010 first round pick, chucks a wrister from the left point. it appears to glance off the butt of Campbell and sails by Fleury's glove hand. Fleury was jammed up on that shot. Morrow gets credit for the goal. It's his first career goal. Fire Ray Shero. Hamilton and Gagne get assists. Bruins 2-1.
17:19: Letang chops a slapper from the right point. It gets blocked. Letang recovers the puck and chops it wide to the far side.
16:55: After icing the puck, the Bruins call time out to get a breather.
16:10: Barktowski cranks a slapper from the left point over the cage.
15:49: After skating offsides, Steve Downie shoots the puck on net following the whistle. Downie puts his hand up as if to apologize. A few Bruins seems to have words with him regardless.
16:02: Bartkowski whips a wrister from the left point. It deflects over the cage and out of play.
14:43: Letang has a shot blocked by Dennis Seidenberg.
12:29: Off a cross-ice feed from Downie in the left wing corner, Despres pinches in deep in the right circle and rips a wrister which Rask snags. Great pass by Downie.
11:36: Off a feed from Malkin, Maatta booms a one-timer from the left circle. That shot is off the mark.
11:11: The Penguin get another power play as Bergeron hooked up Ehrhoff. That looked a little ticky tack. Crosby, Malkin, Hornqvist, Letang and Kunitz take the ice.
10:18: Tie game. Malkin, Crosby and Letang move the puck from the right half wall tot he center point to the left half wall. Malkin take the feed, move to the left circle and rips a wrister by Rask on the near side. Just a lethal wrister. Letang and Crosby get assists. Bruins 2, Penguins 2.
9:07: The Bruins score (again)... or do they (again)? Eriksson directs a shot-pass off a rush from the right wing towards the net. Luicic drives to the slot and appears to get a piece of it. The puck flutters up in the air where Carl Soderberg makes contact with it and directs the puck into the cage before it's dislodge. The officials immediately wave off the goal but consult the video replay and confirm the call. They rule Soderberg knocked the puck in with his hand. That's two overturned goals for the Bruins.
8:25: Off a backhanded feed by Crosby, Hornqvist chops a slapper from the left circle. Rask kicks it out and is greeted with "Tuuuuuu" chants.
7:43: Campbell chops a slapper form the right point wide of the cage.
7:23: After getting tripped up on the Penguins' right wing wall by Miller, Bennett heads back to the bench in discomfort. He heads back to the dressing room.
6:44: Wristers by Hamilton and Seidenberg in tight are blocked.
6:39: Lucic booms a slapper from high slot which is off the mark.
5:35: Letang lifts a wrister from the right circle. Rask east it up. Crosby and Miller mix it up. A scrum ensues but nothing comes of it.
4:30: Miller chops a slapper from the left point. Fleury snags it. Despres and Lucic mix it up after the whistle with Lucic gives a few high shoves/punches. Each player gets roughing minors.
4:04: Things get dicey for the penguins as Martin helped up Smith on the wall in front of the Penguins' bench. The Bruins will get a four-on-three power play for 1:33. Ehrhoff, Scuderi and Sutter take the ice.
3:43: Bergeron smacks a one-timer from the high slot. Fleury holds it out. Eriksson can't quote get a stick ont eh rebound.
3:37: Hamilton rips a wrister from the high slot wide of the cage.
3:19: Krug powers a one-timer from the right circle. Fleury eats it up.
2:42: Smith rips a wrister from the right circle. Fleury fights it off.
2:27: As Despres and Lucic return to the ice, Sutter chips the puck down ice.
2:05: Letang rims a puck out from behind his net and out of the zone to kill off the rest of Martin's penalty. Huge effort by the Penguins.
1:29: Crosby pushes the puck up the left wing and hits Letang with a crossing pass in the right circle. Letang rips a wrister juuust wide to the far side.
0:00: End of period. Bruins 2, Penguins 2.
-If you didn't see Bennett's right knee injury, here you go:
-We're not sure if this is good or bad news, but he injured his left knee in training camp.
-The Bruins have a 24-20 lead in shots.
-The Bruins have a 38-33 lead in attempted shots.
-Letang leads the game with four shots.
-Lucic and Smith each lead the Bruins with three shots.
-Letang leads the game with 16:50 of ice time.
-Hamilton leads the Bruins with 15:28 of ice time.
-Faceoffs are even, 21-21 (50 percent).
-Crosby is 9 for 16 (56 percent).
-Bergeron is 10 for 18 (56 percent).
-Seidenberg leads the game with three blocked shots.
-None of the Penguins
18:38: Maatta rattles Soderberg in the right wing corner of the Penguins' zone.
18:19: Bennett is back on the ice.
17:05: Letang wires a slapper from the right point. It gets deflected wide.
15:18: Paille has a chance in tight but Sutter strips him with a poke check. Huge play by Sutter.
14:47: Smith floats a backhander from the right circle over the cage.
13:38: Hornqvist floats a wrister from the left circle over the net.
13:30: Crosby rips a wrister from the left circle. It hit something in front. Hornqvist swats at it and the pucks goes wide.
13:18: Hornqvist is knocked down away from the puck by Lucic near the benches. No call.
13:05: Comeau golfs a slapper form the right wing. Rask fights it off.
12:45: Off a feed from Malkin, Kunitz rips a wrister which is blocked out of play by Miller.
12:05: Off a faceoff win in the left circle of hte Boston zone by Crosby, Letang rips a wrister from the left point. Rask saves. There's a battle for the rebound but no one in a white jersey can get a handle on the puck.
10:45: Kunitz whacks a slapper from the left wing. Rask gloves it.
9:59: Miller rips a wrister from the left point. It deflects wide on the far side.
9:28: Marchand snaps off a wrister from the right wing. Fleury fends it off.
9:08: After Letang fumbles a puck near his own cage, Soderberg snaps off a wrister form in tight. It sails out of play.
7:49: Goc is skating on the third line in place of Bennett.
7:07: Marchand floats a wrister from the high slot It misses the net and hops off the end boards. It ends up int eh crease behind Fleury and somehow it avoids going into the cage. Wow!
6:48: David Pastrnak has a chance in tight but can't get a clean shot off.
6:00: Despres floats a spinning wrister from the left point wide to the far side.
5:14: Using Morrow as a screen, Sutter rips a wrister from the right circle. Rask snags it.
3:54: Martin air mails a slapper from center ice. Rask stops it easily.
3:11: Argh! Goc whacks a slapper from the left point. It hit something. Sutter has a clean look at the net on the rebound in the slot but pushes it wide of the cage.
2:31: Crosby fires a slapper from the left circle. Hornqvist crashes in. Play is halted. The Bruins are called for too many men on the ice. A huge break for the Penguins. Hornqvist is on his knees behidn the net and Marchand grabs his chin. Hornqvist gets in Marchand's grill and they jaw back and forth. Thankfully for the Penguins, he holds back from taking a penalty. Khokhlachev will serve the minor. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Hornqvist and Letang take the ice.
2:27: Letang wires a slapper from the right circle. Rask steers it away.
1:27: Crosby whacks a one-timer from the right circle. It glances off the far pos and hits the left corner boards. It ends up clearing the zone.
1:02: In tight, Hornqvist is absolutely robbed by Rask. Wow.
0:27: The Boston bench minor is killed. A huge effort by the Bruins.
0:02: Goc fires a spinning wrister from the left half wall. It gets blocked.
0:00: End of period. Bruins 2, Penguins 2.
-The Penguins have a 32-28 lead in shots on net.
4:28: The Penguins load up for the four-on-four situation and strike immediately. Crosby glides up the left wing wall. With Letang driving to the cage, Crosby moves a cross-ice pass to Malkin in the right circle. Malkin leans down and drops the hammer on a one-timer which blows by Rask's left skate. Wow. Crosby gets the only assist. End of game. Penguins 3, Bruins 2.
-When all the stupid stuff - the knees to the head, the mid-ice muggings, the hollow threats through he media - are eliminated, the Penguins and Bruins can play some pretty marvelous hockey. Tonight was a perfect example of that.
-There wasn't much of that garbage. A few scrums here and there and some where chin grab by Brad Marchand on Patric Hornqvist, but for the most part, this was just a hockey game. And it was a fantastic game. Each team exchange chances. There was high drama all over the ice. Each goaltender came to play. There were a few meaty hits and more than enough offense to keep this entertaining.
-We're not sure how to gauge the new lines. Even if the Bruins were dealing with considerable injuries, this is still a pretty good defensive team with Tuukka Rask in net. The Penguins put a lot of rubber on net and Rask was more than up to the challenge.
-Sidney Crosby seemed to have a little extra spark to his game tonight. We're not sure if that was a result of playing with Nick Spaling and Patric Hornqvist but he seemed to be energized.
-Hornqvist seemed to benefit from being reunited with Crosby. He made his money around the cage and was a complete pest to the Bruins near the cage.
-One part of Hornqvist's game which doesn't get nearly enough attention is his composure. Despite taking a ton of abuse and grief from the opposition, Hornqvist never seems to retaliate and put his team in a bad position by taking a penalty. When the Bruins took that too many men penalty late in regulation, Marchand tried to goad Hornqvist into a penalty by grabbing his chin. Hornqvist got up and started screaming at Marchand but that was the extent of his reaction. He avoided the penalty and allowed his team to go on a power play. Could you imagine the person Hornqvist was traded for, James Neal, having such a restrained response to Marchand?
-We can't saw we saw a bunch from Spaling on that line.
-If there was a ton of chemistry immediately between Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin and Blake Comeau, it was evident to us watching on television
-Kris Letang played one heck of a game tonight. He was all over the ice tongith and had a pretty big role in the Penguins' final two goals. On the overtime score, he drove the net and opened things up for Crosby to hit Malkin on a cross-ice pass which produced the winning goal.
-Kudos to Mike Johnston for loading up on the first shift of the four-on-four situation in overtime by putting his two best forwards, Crosby and Malkin, on the ice with his two best defensemen, Letang and Paul Martin. They raced up ice and just scored a goal like it was practice.
-He had the benefit of two pretty clear cut goal reversals working in his favor, but Marc-Andre Fleury played a pretty strong game. he had a few sequences where he was fighting the puck but the Fleury did more than enough to earn this win.
-This was his 300th career win and the team's web site has been pumping out all these tweets and graphics playing up the significance of how many games Fleury did it and how he's one of the fastest goaltenders to reach this mark. It's a meaningful accomplishment for sure. You don't win 300 games as a goaltender by simply showing up. But it should come with an asterisk. Fleury's career has almost exclusively been played in the era of the shootout. Without ties, that's a lot of extra wins Fleury has been able to rack up which many of his peers didn't have the benefit of. Additionally, with regular season overtime only being introduced in the 1980s, there are many older goaltender who never had the benefit of overtime wins to inflate their win totals. Also, NHL seasons weren't always 82 games. Earlier in the 20th century, seasons were only 18 games long.
-Fleury has had the benefit of shootouts, overtimes and 82-game seasons to inflate his gaudy win totals. Feel free to celebrate the accomplishment but realize the context.
-The NHL explained the two non-goal calls by video review. The first one:
At 10:00 of the first period in the Pittsburgh Penguins/Boston Bruins game, the referees held a group huddle that determined Patrice Bergeron's stick was above the height of the crossbar when he deflected the puck into the net. Video review confirmed that group decision. According to Rule 60.5 "An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick." No goal Boston.
-Beau Bennett returned to the game in the third period but was used sparingly. Mike Johnston explained:
“We just didn’t feel in the third that it was worth pushing him. They felt that he could go back out – he tried it – but I just didn’t think he was sharp.”
-The Bruins played a pretty good game but they looked like a shell of themselves. Without Zdeno Chara, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci, something was just missing. Actually, more than something was missing. A lot was missing.
-Patrice Bergeron, as is usually the case, was very involved in virtually every situation but something was off with him.
-Milan Lucic was one of the few Bruins stars who make a true impact, literally in some cases. He was physical as usual and bumped heads with Simon Despres a few times. And his goal came as a result of doing what he does best as an offensive weapon: being near the net.
-Joe Morrow looked pretty good in his first game against his former team. He was very aggressive with his skating and didn't' seem afraid to take some chances.
-The Penguins led in shots on net, 33-29.
-The Penguins led in attempted shots, 58-50.
-Letang led the game with 26:26 of ice time.
-Kevan Miller led the Bruins with 22:44 of ice time.
-The Penguins had a 27-26 edge in faceoffs (51 percent).
-Crosby was 13 for 21 (62 percent).
-Bergeron was 12 for 24 (50 percent).
-Dennis Seidenberg led the game with five blocked shots.
-None of the Penguins had more than one blocked shot.
-Craig Adams recorded his 100th career assist.
-Letang (246 points) moved past Peter Lee (245 points) for 32nd place on the franchise's career scoring list.
-Malkin (657 points) moved past Ulf Dahlen (655 points) for 250th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list.
-Fleury tied former Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun for the 30th most wins in NHL history with 300.