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Penguins-Avalanche In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


0:50: GOAL! Tyler Kennedy wins it for the Pens in overtime with a gorgeous power-play tally! The final score: Pittsburgh 3, Colorado 2.

1:26: The Pens get a PP opportunity as Michalek is tripped up by Kevin Porter behind Pittsburgh's net!

3:20: Chris Stewart gets a chance but Conner sped down the ice to breathe down his neck on the play.

4:15: Martin's blistering shot from the point hits the side of the cage!

5:00: They're off!

OVERTIME



0:00: We're going to overtime in Denver!!!

2:20: Craig nearly re-directs a Staal feed past Budaj, but the Avs goalie gets a piece of it.

2:54: A couple of big saves by Flower after Colorado brings it back down into the Pens' zone.

4:52: The Pens are just saying no to the Avs' breakout attempts. Pittsburgh is playing shutdown hockey all over the ice.

 

 

7:54: Avs back to full strength.

8:08: Martin's shot clangs off the post!!!

10:12: More offensive zone time for the Pens. Craig and Talbot are battling in the corner and holding the puck on the boards before the Avs finally pry it loose. And they didn't do it legally, as McLeod is getting two for holding. Pens on the PP.

 

12:25: The Sterling-Staal-Johnson line just had a phenomenal shift. They worked it low and kept the puck on their sticks.

14:27: Pens back to full strength.

15:01: Brandon Yip wheels down the ice on a clear shorthanded breakaway, but somehow Fleury stops him!!!

16:27: O'Byrne has Staal's number tonight, as he's getting sent to the box for cross-checking No. 11. Pens on the PP!

 
Brett Sterling giving FSN's Dan Potash a pregame interview (left); Fleury stretching (right)

19:11: Staal sends an odd-angle shot to the net and Sterling nearly sends the rebound home, but somehow Budaj gets his skate on it!!! The Avs are then able to clear it out.

19:40: Pens back to full strength!

20:00: The final frame has commenced!

THIRD PERIOD



Beau Bennett – Pittsburgh's first-round pick (20th overall) in last summer's NHL Entry Draft – is in his freshman season at Denver, so he's at tonight's game.

The 19-year-old talked about a knee injury he sustained in the beginning of the year, what it's been like adjusting to the college game and his overall development.

Watch it here:




SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Staal now has a four-game point streak
- He also leads all players with four shots
- Martin has four blocked shots
- Letang leads with 14:25 minutes played

0:00: The first 40 minutes are in the books. The Pens will end the period with 19 seconds left on Adams' penalty. The teams are tied on both the scoreboard (2-2) and in shots (23 apiece).

1:02: The 5-on-3 is over.

1:40: But now Adams is going to the box for tripping. The Pens will have to kill off a 38-second 5-on-3 Avs PP. Colorado uses this opportunity to call a timeout.

 

1:47: Staal's playing outstanding. He just intercepted an Avs pass on the blue line and cleared it out.

3:02: Vitale's heading to the box for hooking as the Avs cause a flurry of traffic in front of Fleury. Pens on the PK.

5:09: Sterling and Staal embark on a 2-on-1. Staal literally looks at Sterling the entire time before turning his head at the last possible second to get a quick glance at where he wants to place the puck before blasting it past Budaj! Penguins 2, Avalanche 2

 

5:41: Rookie defenseman Cameron Gaunce gets his first-career NHL goal when his wrister from the point finds the back of the net through traffic. Avalance 2, Penguins 1

6:22: Avs back to full strength.

7:28: Goligoski's wrister gets re-directed a plethora of times on its way to the net, but it finally gets sent into the corner.

8:22: Staal draws a holding penalty on Ryan O'Byrne. Pens on the PP.

 

9:04: Michalek makes a beauty of a sliding block. Perfect timing on the play.

10:07: Fantastic cycling on that last shift by Conner, Adams and Kennedy.

11:57: Hejduk spearheads a solid Avs scoring chance, but the Pens defense stands tall.

13:15: Watching Conner work his magic in the offensive zone is mesmerizing. It's crazy how he can just wheel and deal down there.

 

14:59: Nick Johnson and Ryan Wilson go toe-to-toe, and both guys are going to get five for fighting. (Anyone else think of the band when they read that phrase?)

15:52: Letang (Cinco Ocho) absolutely flies down the length of the ice and releases a shot at Budaj, who barely gets a piece of it. Great puck protection by 58.

16:36: Chris Stewart capitalizes on a loose puck in the crease. Penguins 1, Avalanche 1

 

17:15: Avs back to full strength.

19:17: The first penalty of tonight's game is being assessed to Stastny as he hi-sticks Sterling. Pens on the PP!

20:00: They're off to the races at Pepsi Center.

SECOND PERIOD



Interesting fact  – Kris Letang and Paul Stastny were stall mates as members of Team Staal at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C. Here's photographic proof (courtesy of Getty Images):



FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- The Avs are outhitting the Pens, 18-9
- Orpik's 7:12 of ice time leads the team
- Adams has won all three of his faceoffs

0:00: That'll do it for the first. The Pens enter the first intermission with a 1-0 lead while the Avs have an 11-10 advantage in shots.

 

1:49: That was Vitale's first-career NHL goal. Congrats Joe!

2:33: Goligoski feeds Martin, who sends a precise heads-up pass up the ice to Sterling. He goes on to send a streaking Vitale a pass, which he receives on his backhand, quickly turns to his forehand and rifles past Budaj! Penguins 1, Avalanche 0

3:16: Dan Bylsma uses his patented timeout move to give his players a rest, as they've been stuck on the ice for a while and just got whistled for icing. Good move by Coach, especially factoring in the change in altitude that's sure to be affecting the Pens.

 

4:43: Both teams have players with the last name Dupuis and both of their first names start with the letter "P." I will make sure to spell their first names out every time to ensure there's no confusion!

6:20: Both teams are going chance for chance and the goalies are definitely having to be sharp early. The tempo so far is fantastic.

7:20: O'Reilly hits the red painted metal!!!

 

8:08: Each team is finishing their checks on the forecheck, but there seems to be a lot of open ice everywhere else. Both squads are taking full advantage of it.

10:06: Cody McLeod picks up a loose puck behind the net and throws it to the front of the cage. Phillipe Dupuis and Paul Stastny try to shove it home, but Fleury smothers it.

10:52: Milan Hejduk dances around the Pens zone, effectively shielding the puck from all who challenge him. But Pittsburgh eventually clears.

 

13:13: A great breakout for the Pens just now. Short and sweet passes. That's the way to do it.

14:56: Adams absolutely blasts a shot from the high slot after a pretty feed from Pascal Dupuis, but the puck goes just wide.

15:50: Ryan O'Reilly whistles a quick shot from the half wall, but Fleury turns it aside.

 

17:36: Orpik floats a shot on net after the Pens win the offensive zone draw back to him, but Budaj comes up with the save.

19:24: Staal muscles his way to the front of the net for a great early scoring chance, but his shot goes just wide.

20:00: And they're off!

FIRST PERIOD



8:55 PM: Pens' lines for tonight:

Sterling-Staal-N. Johnson
Dupuis-Adams-Kennedy
Rupp-Talbot-Conner
Craig-Vitale-Wallace

Orpik-Letang
Martin-Michalek
Goligoski-Engelland

Fleury gets the nod between the pipes. Peter Budaj is in goal for the Avs.

8:46 PM: While yesterday marked head coach Dan Bylsma's two-year anniversary of officially being named head coach of the Penguins, today marks the two-year anniversary of his first-ever game as an NHL skipper – a 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Check out the timeline of his best moments so far at the helm of the Pens.

8:45 PM: The Pens are in the Mile High City, preparing to face the Avalanche for the first and only time this season. Both teams have been ravaged by injuries, with Colorado suffering a huge blow when it was announced this morning that sophomore sensation and leading scorer Matt Duchene is out indefinitely with a hand injury.

But both teams are soldiering on, with Pittsburgh looking for its first win at Pepsi Center since Feb. 25, 1999. Guess who was one of the Pens' goal scorers in that 3-2 win?

He's got two Stanley Cups, five Art Ross Trophies (leading scorer), three Ted Lindsay Trophies (players' MVP) and a Hart Trophy (league MVP) – not to mention he rocked one of the greatest haircuts of all time for most of his playing career.

In his honor, here's a clip showing 10 beauties of his 646 total goals.


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