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In-Game Blog: Pens vs. Leafs

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
Pens representatives will be providing an ongoing in-game blog during Penguins games this season. Check back for updates, injury reports and information throughout the game.

9:33 PM EST: No goal. Locker room out.

9:32 PM EST: Malkin's assist on Crosby's 100th goal was Gino's 200th career point. The Leafs Antropov appears to have scored a goal. The play is currently under review. He clearly kicked it in. It looks pretty distinct to me. We'll wait for the official call.

9:29 PM EST: Sykora gets his first goal of the season on the power play on another beautiful setup pass from Crosby. Pittsburgh extends its lead to three goals. I think they'll be able to hold on to this lead. Call it a hunch. Pens 4, Leafs 1.

9:28 PM EST: Crosby got a nice standing ovation from the sell out crowd at Mellon Arena. Much deserved.

9:26 PM EST: Crosby just scored the ugliest 100th career goal ever. CuJo came way out of the net to play the puck and was caught in a dead zone. The puck slid behind the net and Crosby threw the puck off of a Leafs defender and into the net. Pens 3, Leafs 1.

9:24 PM EST: Big save for Fleury on Antropov, who wound up for a full-force slap shot 20 feet away from the net. Pittsburgh kills the penalty and has yet to blow thier most recent third period lead.

9:20 PM EST: Critical penalty for the Penguins to take. Satan goes to the box for tripping. Let's see if Pittsburgh's PK is up to the challenge.

9:08 PM EST: Crosby set up another great scoring chance when he penetrated the zone and dropped the puck to Dupuis. Dupuis' shot however was blocked by Schenn.

8:46 PM EST: CuJo just made the save of the game on Malkin. Leaning to his left he threw his pad out to the right and stopped a sure goal for Malkin. The Penguins top line continues to create opportunities for itself. Malkin, later on that same shift, hustled down to negate an icing call. While Brooks Orpik took out Dominic Moore behind the Penguins net. A ton of action in that final minute of the period. That's the end of the second period. Toronto leads in shots, 21-20, but trails in goals, 2-1.

8:42 PM EST: Fleury just made a sprawling save to deny Jason Blake of a goal. He's been in top form and is playing as good as any goaltender in the league right now. Which is good news for Pittsburgh of course.

8:40 PM EST: Ron Wilson has been matching his top defensive combo of Tomas Kaberle and rookie Luke Schenn. Schenn will be a great player in a few years but he's getting a quick lesson on how to handle a superstar line. Malkin, Crosby and Dupuis are clicking and creating a lot of scoring chances. Schenn stood up a speeding Crosby but also has been caught flat footed on a few plays. It will a good learning experience for the youngster, but for the Penguins its been a great spark for the team.

8:37 PM EST: Props to Fleury for some outstanding saves. The Maple aren't afraid to shoot the puck and Marc-Andre has been up to the challenge so far. 

8:33 PM EST: Liking more and more of what I see from Tyler Kennedy. The kid plays hard, hustles and has a nose for the net. He just broke up a routine breakout from the Leafs, held his own behind the net and wrapped around for a quick opportunity on CuJo.

8:29 PM EST: Pittsburgh is now converting 25 percent of its Big Mac opportunities. That's a 1 for 4 conversion rate on the season for those keeping track at home. Free Big Mac's for the 17,033 fans in attendence.

8:27 PM EST: The Penguins converted their first BIG MAC ATTACK of the season. The Mac Attack fell conveniently on a power-play opportunity. Crosby fed a cross ice pass through the legs of rookie Luke Schenn for an easy tap-in for Satan. It's Satan's third powerplay goal for the Penguins this season and gives Pittsburgh the lead. Crosby's assist also was his 300th career point. To quote a text message from my cousin Iesus, "That pass was **** SWEET!" Pens 2, Leafs 1.

8:19 PM EST: Terrible call by the linesmen costing the Penguins a great opportunity for a short-handed attempt. Maxime Talbot deflected a blue-line pass and had a two-on-none break with Pascal Dupuis. The linesman blew the whistle for an offsides even though clearly it wasn't. Both players pointed to their chest to take blame for the offsides, however, it was just a blown call.

8:14 PM EST: Good flow to the second period. Not a lot of whistles or stops in play. Of course, until Fedotenko's hooking penalty. At least the Penguins penalty killing is getting a lot of practice.

7:52 PM EST: Human bowling time. Dave is ready to hit some pins.....STRIKE!!!! Dave gets the first strike of the year! First intermission. Game tied at 1-1.

7:51 PM EST: Maple Leafs rookie Luke Schenn got in Malkin's face after the Penguins' winger tried to stuff in a covered puck into the net. Schenn pushed Malkin into the boards and face rubs were had by all. Schenn is a physical force for an 18-year-old and was the No. 5 pick in June. He's trying to make a name for himself by roughing up Malkin.

7:47 PM EST: Random question. I know the Penguins scored and everyone is excited but does the horn they blow after a Pittsburgh goal have to be so loud? It's parrell to the press box and I'm going to be deaf for a week now. I'm surprised my glass didn't shatter.

7:43 PM EST: Dupuis knocks in a shot between CuJo's pads. The Penguins tie the game at 1-1. Crosby fought off a defender and made a great pass to Dupuis. That's Crosby's 200th career assist. Pens 1, Leafs 1.

7:40 PM EST: It was bound to happen. Toronto cashes in on the power play. Nik Antropov knocked in a Jason Blake rebound between Fleury's pads. Leafs 1, Pens 0.

7:38 PM EST: Pittsburgh just killed another one. Kudos to the PK. Billy Thomas got his first action on that penalty kill. The Penguins however took another penalty. They were assessed a too-many-men-on the-ice penalty. Sykora will serve the minor.

7:34 PM EST: Pittsburgh's penalty killing continues to do its job. They just killed a double-minor high sticking penalty to Alex Goligoski. Mark Eaton just took a hooking penalty. So it's back to work for the PK. Eaton was caught out on a long penalty killing shift. Credit the Leafs for keeping up the pressure after the penalty expired to draw another power play opportunity.

7:28 PM EST: Pittsburgh just honored Frank Pietrangelo on the scoreboard in a nice piece. I have to say that I had a chance to interview Frankie for an article I wrote for about "The Save" and he couldn't have been nicer. Just a wonderful guy to talk to, humble and genuine. It was really a pleasure for me to meet him.

7:27 PM EST: Jordan Staal and Petr Sykora look like they're reading each other well. Staal cycled the puck behind the boards and drew two men to him. Sykora drifted behind them into the slot. Staal then made a crisp pass that Sykora one-timed. CuJo made the save, but it was a great play by Staal and Sykora. That's a benefit to learning to play alongside each other.

7:19 PM EST: Curtis Joseph gets his first start of the season in net for the Leafs and has been tested early, especially by the Penguins new third line.

7:18 PM EST: Pens power play five seconds into the game and Toronto gets a great short-handed chance that deflected off the cross bar.

7:14 PM EST: Ms. Maurince (spelling?) sang the National Anthems. Definitely an upgrade over Jeff Jimmerson. (No offense to Jeff).

7:07 PM EST: Scratches for the game are in. Toronto: D Ian White, D Mike Van Ryn and L Ryan Hollweg (actually a suspension but whatever). For Pittsburgh: D Darryl Sydor, L Paul Bissonnette, L Matt Cooke. Fox Chapel native Bill Thomas will play his first game as a Penguin at Mellon Arena. Congratulations to the Thomas family. They are a wonderful group.

7:00 PM EST: Served Chinese food for the media dinner...for those who are interested.
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