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Penguins-Blue Jackets Saturday Game Blog

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00: The Penguins hold on down the stretch and improve to 3-0 on the preseason following a 3-1 defeat of the Columbus Blue Jackets at CONSOL Energy Center. Pittsburgh received goals from Dupuis, Malkin and Asham. Next game Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Chicago.

Empty net at the Columbus end.

You're never going to believe this one!!! Malkin just dropped the gloves with Columbus forward Rick Nash - who undoubtedly has more career fights on his resume. Yet, when all was said and done, it was Malkin who picked up the victory. What a fight! I can't even describe how loud the building is!!!

Arron Asham was stoned second earlier, but off the next faceoff he made sure to bury his next chance. Dustin Jeffrey won a faceoff to Kris Letang, whose shot was stopped by Mason, but Asham was there in the blue paint to pick up his second goal in as many nights. Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 1.

Pittsburgh is on the power play following a minor penalty to Calvert for hooking.

Fleury just continues to outdue himself. He just made two saves in a row on Dorsett right outside the crease. He has 25 saves thus far.

Penguins forward Ryan Craig will not return tonight with a groin pull.

Crosby's back and the Penguins are back to full strength.


Another big save by Fleury, this time a right-pad save on a blast from the center point by David Savard. About 10 seconds later Fleury quickly moved from his right to left to get a glove on a sneaky shot from Fedor Tyutin.

Sidney Crosby picked up a slashing penalty following the last whistle.

Mason just made one of his best saves of the evening as he got his right-handed catching glove into the air to stop a drive from the top of the right circle from Michalek. Another deft setup on the play by Crosby.

Another lightweight battle in the Columbus zone as the Penguins Tim Wallace drops the gloves with Blue Jackets tough guy Derek Dorsett. This is the fourth fight of the night.

You really hope Tyler Kennedy can find a way to get a puck behind Mason because he is having a great game here tonight.


Not sure what has gotten into Kris Letang tonight but he has now droped the gloves twice ... AND HE'S 2-0 IN THEM! There wasn't much question as to which player got the better of that one as Letang must have gotten 20-25 punches in. Letang picked up an extra two minutes for slashing and Voracek two for roughing.

Both teams are back full strength as Kennedy is robbed by Mason on a shot from the  bottom of the far circle. Great setup on the play by Crosby.

A small fracus erupts in front of Fleury and Letang comes out of it with the only penalty for roughing ... Although that didn't matter much because just seconds after the ensuing draw Voracek picked up an offensive-zone penalty to negate the Columbus power play.

Now that's a gorgeous goal! Evgeni Malkin carries the puck over the line and drops off to defenseman Andre Hutchinson, who carries down the right side. Hutchinson sends a return pass to Malkin, who directs a shot along the ice into the net. Great screen on the play by Eric Tangradi, who took Mason out of the play. Penguins 2, Blue Jackets 1.

Columbus falls to 0-for-4 on the power play as the Penguins are able to kill off another penalty.

Brooks Orpik was called for a cross-checking penalty at the end of the second period, which means the Penguins begin this frame having to kill.



- Brooks Orpik leads the Penguins with six blocked shots while Arron Asham has picked up five.
- Corey Potter leads the Penguins in ice time at 14:02 minutes.
- Orpik and Kris Letang have each blocked four shots apiece.

Pascal Dupuis' goal late in the second period allows the Penguins to enter the second intermission tied at 1-1 with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both teams have 14 shots on goal.

Fleury was laying on the seat of his pants but that didn't stop him from using his right pad to knock away a Voracek shot. That led to the first "Fleury, Fleury, Fleury" chant at CONSOL Energy Center.

Columbus turns the puck over to Pascal Dupuis in the near circle and within seconds Dupuis is able roof a shot over the glove of Mason to tie the score. Well-deserved tally for Dupuis. Penguins 1, Blue Jackets 1.


I really like the way Potter is playing tonight. Not only is he making sound defensive decisions, he is throwing the body around "like it is the first of the month" as Mike Lange would say.

Not sure what happened, but Crosby and Brassard got into it a bit behind the play. No penalties were called, but I'm sure as you guessed, the crowd didn't like seeing Crosby hit like that.

I'm not positive on this one, but I do believe we have the first "Cotton-Eyed Joe" performance here in the new building. These youth hockey players in attendance are sure loving jumping around waving their towels to an old Civic Arena favorite.

Simon Despres (left) and Tim Wallace (right)

After the lightweight battle we move on to the heavyweight division. Eric Godard of the Penguins and Jared Boll of the Blue Jackets squared off in a lengthy, fairly even bout. If the "Ultimate Home Game" crowd wasn't into the game before, they certainly are now!

Nothing fires a crowd up like a good old-fashioned hockey fight. Kris Letang's the hero of the moment as he receives a standing ovation after getting the better of Matt Calvert. Letang doesn't fight often, but you couldn't tell during that bout. Spirited effort!

Fleury was a brick wall in the pipes for the Penguins the last 20 seconds. During two Columbus rushes into the Pittsburgh zone he stopped Voracek not once, but twice and then Nikita Filatov. On Filatov's shot, Fleury had to dive back a la his save on Nick Lidstrom that clinched the '09 Cup.


Tyler Kennedy is hustling all over the ice for the Penguins. He is creating scoring chances every time he comes out by being tenacious on the forecheck.

Seconds after the penalty expired Kris Letang nearly evened the score as he ripped a shot from the middle of the circles off the post to the left of Mason. That came after the Penguins put on quite an impressive display on the power play trapping the Jackets in their own zone almost the entire two minutes.

Pittsburgh begins the second period on a 1:58 minute power play.



- Pascal Dupuis led the Penguins with three shots on goal.
- Pittsburgh totally dominated on the faceoff dots, 14-3. Crosby, Jeffrey and Vitale each went 4-1 while Ryan Craig was 2-0.
- The Penguins also outhit the Blue Jackets, 13-9.

After 20 minutes the Penguins trail for the first time at CONSOL Energy Center, 1-0. Columbus defenseman Michael Ratchuk has the only tally thus far. Shots are 7-6 in favor of Pittsburgh.

Great hustle on the PK by Dustin Jeffrey leads to a tripping penalty on Ratchuk. If Jeffrey wouldn't have been tripped he would have had all the time in the world to hit an uncovered Joe Vitale just outside the crease.

Dupuis is very underrated as a penalty killer. He just hustled halfway across the ice to get his stick on what looked like it was going to be a wide-open one-timer from the top of the circles.

Another penalty against the Penguins. Eric Tangradi picked up a hooking call in the offensive zone.


Steve Mason had to make two great saves to prevent Pascal Dupuis from picking up a shorthanded goal. Dupuis stole the puck in the neutral zone, got a good initial shot off and then hustled to get a crack at the rebound.

Pittsburgh will be penalty killing for a second time after getting caught with too many men on the ice. Malkin will serve the penalty.

I guess Orpik took exception to Ratchuk scoring on his watch because on the very next shift he absolutely drilled him against the glass to the ice. All of the students in the lower bowl loved that.

A turnover by the Penguins in their own zone results in Columbus striking first. Michael Ratchuk took the errant clearing attempt and fired a backhander over a prone Fleury. Assist went to Brassard. Blue Jackets 1, Penguins 0.


Corey Potter has gotten a lot of praise here the first two weeks of camp. We just saw why as he broke up a two-on-one with a great intercept. He looked like Troy Polamalu in the secondary.

I'm noticing Fleury being really active in his net coming out and playing pucks the first half of this opening frame. This being the exhibition season, it's the perfect time to work on those minor details.

Pittsburgh kills off the Vitale minor.

Tyler Kennedy is getting some work in on the PK. Kennedy mentioned at the outset of camp that he would be interested in adding that duty to his reportoire.


There were a zillion penalties called last night in Columbus, and quickly we have a call against the Penguins as Joe Vitale is sent off for slashing.

The defense pairings for the Penguins:

Simon Despres-Kris Letang
Zbynek Michalek-Andrew Hutchinson
Brooks Orpik-Corey Potter

Columbus has a lot of their big boys dressed for this game as well with Rich Nash, Jakub Voracek and Derick Brassard all traveling down Route 70.

These two teams are completing a home-and-home series. Pittsburgh was victorious yesterday at Nationwide Arena by a 5-4 count.


7:06 PM:
Tonight's starting lineup for the Penguins in addition to Fleury includes: Brooks Orpik and Corey Potter on defense and the Sterling-Crosby-Malkin trio up front.

7:03 PM:
A couple of quick notes as the Penguins get set to take the ice before a rocking lower bowl filled with young kids waving their "Ultimate Home Game" white rally towels.

- Sidney Crosby is in the lineup for the Penguins and will skate on a line with Brett Sterling and Evgeni Malkin.

- Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod in goal.

- Brooks Orpik is wearing an "A" along with Malkin for tonight's game.


7:00 PM:
Welcome to the "Ultimate Home Game!" Tonight at CONSOL Energy Center the Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets will be greeted by a raucous crowd that includes 8,000 college-age kids attending on behalf of "ImaginePittsburgh" and 5,000 youth hockey players representing the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League.

Tonight's "Ultimate Home Game" is being broadcast live on the CW by the Penguins' TV broadcast tandem of Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey.

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