About the Blues - 11-09-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Blues.

When and where: 8 p.m. EST. Scottrade Center.

TV: Root Sports, Fox Sports Midwest.

Record: 10-2-2, 22 points. The Blues are in third place in the Central Division.

Leading Scorer: Alexander Steen, 20 points (14 goals, six assists).

Last Game: 3-2 home win against the Flames, Thursday. Brian Elliott made 18 saves for the Blues.

Last Game against the Penguins: 3-2 home shootout loss, Jan. 24, 2012. Patrik Berglund scored two regulation goals for the Blues.

Blues Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: We'll take the easy way out on this one and go with Steen who is scoring on just about everyone. He has failed to record a point in only one game this season.

Ex-Penguins on the Blues: Ty Conklin, goalie development coach; Jordan Leopold, D; Brenden Morrow, LW.

Ex-Blues on the Penguins: Matt D'Agostini, RW; Bill Guerin, player development coach; Jacques Martin, assistant coach; Todd Reirden, assistant coach.

Useless Blues Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Leopold (638) is one of three active NHL players born in Minnesota who have played in at least 600 regular season games. The others are Predators center Matt Cullen (1,089) and Penguins defenseman Paul Martin (600).

Best Blues Video We Could Find: Former Blues defenseman Al MacInnis putting a hole in the boards with a slap shot during pregame warm-ups in the 2000-01 season:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (10-3-0, 2.07 GAA, .920 SV%) for the Penguins. Jaroslav Halak (8-2-1, 2.30 GAA, .911 SV%) for the Blues.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right wingers Beau Bennett ("lower body"), Chuck Kobasew ("lower body") left winger James Neal ("upper body"), defenseman Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Blues, defenseman Jordan Leopold (hand) is out. Left wingers Brenden Morrow ("upper-body") and Magnus Paajarvi ("upper body") are on injured reserve.

Update: Bennett ("lower body") and Neal ("upper body") were officially removed from injured reserve this afternoon.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins primary lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 9 Pascal Dupuis
36 Jussi Jokinen - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 19 Beau Bennett
15 Tanner Glass - 16 Brandon Sutter - 22 Matt D'Agostini
59 Jayson Megna - 46 Joe Vitale - 27 Craig Adams

2 Matt Niskanen - 58 Kris Letang
44 Brooks Orpik - 5 Deryk Engelland
3 Olli Maata - 41 Robert Bortuzzo

The Blues primary lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

20 Alexander Steen - 42 David Backes - 74 T.J. Oshie
12 Derek Roy - 17 Vladimir Sobotka - 25 Chris Stewart
9 Jaden Schwartz- 21 Patrik Berglund - 91 Vladimir Tarasenko
32 Chris Porter- 40 Maxim Lapierre - 75 Ryan Reaves

19 Jay Bouwmeester - 27 Alex Pietrangelo
5 Barret Jackman - 22 Kevin Shattenkirk
28 Ian Cole - 46 Roman Polak


-The last time the Penguins played the Blues this happened:

-Sobotka has 98 career points.

-Backes has 693 penalty minutes.

-Our live blog, direct from our couch, begins at approximately 7:45 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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Three keys for Duquesne vs. Abilene Christian in 2013-14 opener

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

Matt Freed/P-G


It's gameday again, friends.

Duquesne hosts Abilene Christian in a 2 p.m. tip Saturday at the A.J. Palumbo Center on the Bluff. I'd typically have a recap up right at the final buzzer, but I'll be in Morgantown covering WVU/Texas today and won't be covering this game. Fire away in the comments section and follow on Twitter at both @dukespg and @stephenjnesbitt for more frequent updates through the day.


Matchup: Duquesne (0-0) vs. Abilene Christian (0-0), 2 p.m. today, A.J. Palumbo Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Radio, Internet: WPGB-FM 104.7,,

Duquesne: The Dukes return just three scholarship players and two starters. … Duquesne is 75-4 when opening the season at home. … Dukes outscored Clarion, 72-32, in the paint in a 103-88 exhibition win last week.

Abilene Christian: Wildcats have 11 newcomers, including eight junior-college transfers. … Only returning player, Parker Wentz, averaged 8.3 points per game last season. …  Abilene is in its first year in the Southland Conference and their first Division-I season since 1973.

Hidden stat: Duquesne guard Micah Mason shot over 50 percent from 3-point range (40 of 79, .506) as a freshman at Drake University last season.


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Empty Netter Assists - 11-09-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-“I’d say St. Louis is probably the most physical team in the league." - Brooks Orpik (above) on the Blues.

-The great Joe Vitale will have a homecoming in St. Louis.

-How much does the absence of James Neal impact the production of Evgeni Malkin?

-“I’m more excited to see Malkin because he’s from Russia and Russian players are the best for me. He was playing in the NHL when he was young, and there were a lot of highlights with him. He is one of the best players in the world. It’s so cool when you can play against those guys.” - Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko on playing Malkin tonight.

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Pascal Dupuis speaks:

-"I cried. And I still remember going to school the next day, and it was one of the most devastating days of my life. The kids were saying the Flyers and your old man suck." - Ray Shero on his father, former Flyers coach Fred Shero, and the Flyers missing the playoffs after losing the last game of the 1971-72 season. Fred Shero will be posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday.

-Shero was in Toronto last night for a Hall of Fame ceremony prior to the Devils-Maple Leafs game:

-Malkin and several current and former Russian/Soviet Union star players "sang" in a music video promoting Russia's Olympic team:

-Chris Conner, Tom Kostopoulos and Harry Zolnierczyk each had a goal and an assist for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 6-5 home loss to the Albany Devils. Dominik Uher recorded two assists for the Penguins while goaltender Peter Mannino made 14 saves.


-A hat trick by Carter Rowney led the Wheeling Nailers to a 6-2 road win against the Fort Wayne Komets. Denver Manderson added a goal and an assist for the Nailers while Mike Condon made 28 saves.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins forward Bill Guerin. Acquired at the 2009 trade deadline in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Islanders, Guerin spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. Guerin finished 2008-09 by appearing in 17 games and scoring 12 points. In the 2009 postseason, he played in all 24 games, finished third on the team with 15 points and helped the franchise claim its third Stanley Cup title. He returned in 2009-10 and saw action in 78 games while scoring 45 points. He played in 11 games in that spring's playoffs and scored nine points. He retired following that season and is currently a player development coach with the Penguins. In 95 regular season games with the Penguins, Guerin scored 57 points. In 35 postseason games, he scored 27 points.

-After the Jump: Ilya Bryzgalov heads north.

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Lights Out: WPIAL quarterfinals

Written by Nick Veronica on .

Updated WPIAL playoff brackets are posted below. Click on the class heading for a larger view.

Class AAAA

wpial aaaa quarters

Class AAA

wpial aaa quarters

Class AA

wpial aa quarters

Class A

wpial a quarters

Games of the week

  • Seneca Valley led Woodland Hills 7-6 after three quarters but had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the fourth. Woodland Hills advanced, 28-14. Check out Mike White's live blog for more. 
  • Upper St. Clair officially ended North Allegheny's streak of consecutive titles, staying perfect with an 41-23 win. Check out @CraigMeyerPG's feed for more. 
  • Franklin Regional held off West Mifflin, 14-12. West Mifflin is now 20-2 in the last two years when Jimmy Wheeler goes over 100 yards rushing. Check out Brad Everett (@BREAL412)'s feed for more. 
  • Alex Rowse and Beaver knocked off Mount Pleasant, 21-7. More on @RyanRiordan's feed.

Other games of note

  • Undefeated McKeesport lost to Penn-Trafford in Class AAAA, 35-20.
  • Neshannock pounded Monessen in Class A, 35-6.

City teams in PIAA playoff

  • University Prep's comeback attempt fell short against Somerset in a Class AAA game, losing 28-20. More on Nick Tolomeo (@NickyT27)'s feed. 
  • Westinghouse lost to Chestnut Ridge in a Class A game, 55-20.

Odds & ends

  • High score: Clairton 52, Fort Cherry 35.
  • Shutouts: none.
  • OT games: none.


Follow Post-Gazette sports reporter Nick Veronica on Twitter @NickVeronica.

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Live Friday blog - Woodland Hills wins, 28-14

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal - Woodland Hills vs. Seneca Valley. For reports and updates on other games, look to the right of this blog at our Twitter feed @PGVarsityXtra. If you have a score or update, tweet with #WPIAL.


5-yd TD pass from T.J. Holl to Eric Mrkonja.


And another "pick 6" for Woodland Hills. This one 100 yard return for Jihad Brown. PAT good makes it 28-7 with 2 minutes left. Emptiness in red zone all night for Seneca.


Woodland Hills fumbled ball away. But two plays later, T.J. Holl overthrew a receiver and Donte Broadus intercepted and returned it 55 yards for TD. PAT good 21-7 with 4:44 left.

9:43 - Fourth and 1 TJ Holl stopped. Woodland Hills takes over at 42.


Fourth and goal, QB Harry Randall up the middle, carries some defenders into end zone for a touchdown. Also great run for 2 pt conversion, diving into end zone. Woodland Hills leads, 14-7, with 7:57 left.

Randall is difference in game. Can't throw too well but can he run!!!

9:31 - Harry Randall breaking loose again. 31-yard run puts ball at SV 3. 

Bad news for North Allegheny. Pitt recruit Elijah Zeise out of game with shoulder injury. 

9:24 - Pass INT in end zone for WHills Mike Nash. Seneca stopped again red zone.


Corbin Kessler intercepts pass for SV and now the Raiders are moving again as third quarter ends. Second and goal from the 11.

Woodland Hills has no passing game and that will hurt. 2 for 6 so far.


On first and goal from the 4, SV's Mason DeHart scores TD. Chad Izenas kick. Seneca Valley QB Holl should return.

9:13 - Helped by a 15-yard penalty, Seneca Valley has driven to the Woodland Hills 4. But bad news for Seneca Valley. QB T.J. Holl hobbles off with a leg injury.

9:07 - Again Seneca Valley turns it over on downs in Woodland Hills territory. At the 32. Three and out for Woodland and Seneca takes over at its own 28.

8:58 - Second half underway. Three and out for WHills on first possession.

North Allegheny 16, Upper St. Clair 13

No defense in this one. Clairton-Fort Cherry 30-29

How fast things change. Aliquippa now leading Quaker Valley 22-14.


Seneca Valley has moved ball but missed two field goals and turned ball over on downs at 20. Difference in game is basically Harry Randall, Woody High QB. Has six carries for 106 yards and a 54-yard TD run. Besides him, Woodland Hills has only 47 yards offense. No yards passing.

Seneca Valley has 58 yards rushing. T.J. Holl 0 yards on 10 carries. But he has 85 yards passing. 7 of 10 

8:25 - Again Seneca drives and comes up empty. This time turning the ball over on downs at the WH 20.

SHOCKER - Quaker Valley leading Aliquippa 14-6


8:17 - I thought WH might break one sooner or later. Keeper by Harry Randall and he goes 54 yards for TD. PAT blocked. 6-0 with 5:15 left first half.

8:13 - Seneca Valley misses 33-yard field goal. Second miss short this game.

USC has taken 13-7 lead on NAllegheny. Mount Pleasant over Beaver 7-0

8:07 - Seneca Valley on drive inside WH 20

NA scores first but USt. Clair ties it 7-7.

Clairton on top Fort Cherry 8-7 on pick six.

7:59 - Seneca Valley defense doing nice job so far on Woodland Hills running game. You wonder if WH will break one sooner or later, though.

Just got text from Plum hoops coach Ron Richards. Listen to this. Former Plum basketball star Nolan Cressler is pouring it on Syracuse tonight. Ron says Nolan Cressler has 22 points AGAINST SYRACUSE - and it's still the FIRST HALF!!! 


7:54 - After having first and goal from 6, Seneca moves backward and then had to settle for Chad Izenas FG attempt, but it was short.

7:48 - Two first downs for Woodland Hills and then Michael Denny intercepts pass for SV. Raiders then pick up two first downs and now inside 25.

7:39 - Seneca Valley receives three and out punt

7:25 - Five minutes from game time. Woodland Hills fans must not travel well. Not many here. 

Quick update from PIAA Class AAA playoff game from Nick Tolomeo. Somserset scores on opening drive and takes 7-0 lead on University Prep.


**** Woodland Hills running back Miles Sanders not expected to play because of an injured ankle. He has missed past few games.

**** I think big key to game is Woodland Hills' speed on the perimeter of its defense. That might keep Seneca Valley QB T.J. Holl hemmed in. He has more than 2,500 yards offense this season.

**** About 35 minutes from game time and there is practically no one here. Of course, traffic at this time of year in Wexford area can be horrible.


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