0:00: And the Pens win! Crosby may not have made the empty net, but it effectively killed the clock and the Pens skate off with the 3-1 win over Vancouver.
Crosby just missed two shots at the empty net, one from the point and one from the side of the goal.
The net was dislodged and Vancouver's nice six-on-five shift will have 50 more seconds to try to score, and keep the Pens from getting an empty-netter.
The Canucks called a timeout.
Vancouver pulled Luongo from the net.
Sedin's penalty expires, and we are back to even strength.
Crosby's penalty expires, and the Pens will have 45 seconds left on the power play.
The Canucks power play will be nullified by Henrik Sedin, who held Cooke's stick.
Ehrhoff took a shot from the left point, but Fleury made the save and froze the puck.
Crosby tried to clear the puck, but it went out of play. Sid will go to the box for delay of game.
Malkin made a nice move around two defenders after a pass from Kunitz. But Luongo got his stick on it.
Kesler ripped a shot from the right side, and Fleury blocked the shot with his masked. He looked a little shaken up, but the crowd cheered him on for making the save.
Off the faceoff, the puck soared into the air. Fleury caught it and the Pens won the ensuing draw.
Fleury made another save and the puck hopped into the netting.
Add a couple more nice saves for Fleury on that shift by Vancouver.
Manny Malhotra had great chance to beat Fleury from the bottom of the left circle, but Fleury poked it away.
Henrik Sedin made a nice cross ice pass to Daniel, who one-timed it at the net. But Letang made a great block.
Now the Canucks are getting some nice zone time. They are throwing everything they have at the Pens, but Fleury and the defense are both making some nice blocks.
Malkin hit another post. This time on a backhander from the left dot.
Letang did get a shot past Luongo, but it bounced off the post.
Chris Conner almost scored on a shot from the right cirle. Luongo made the save, but he looked back, unsure if it would pop out into the net.
All of Pittsburgh's lines are getting some great zone time and some nice scoring chances, which is the best way to keep the Canucks from scoring.
Crosby made a nice spin move to get the puck to Dupuis, who was breaking down the slot. Duper's shot was deflected away though.
The last time the Penguins went into the third period with a lead at home, they wound up winning by four goals. Let's hope the Pens can find that energy once again to take down this tough Vancouver team.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Max Talbot's 11 shorthanded goals are tied for fifth in franchise history. Thanks to an assist on Crosby's goal, he now has two points tonight.
- Crosby leads the Pens with three shots.
- The Pens are outhitting the Canucks 19-16.
Thanks to some great penalty killing, the Penguins built their one-goal lead into a two-goal lead, as they head into the third period with a 3-1 advantage. The shots are little more even now, with 20 for the Pens and 18 for the Canucks.
The penalty to Dupuis expires, and the Penguins are looking to score again before the end of the frame.
This Vancouver power play looks much better than the first three, but Fleury is standing tall. He made a nice save on Bieksa, who also took a shot from the point.
Fleury is gaining some steam here. Ballard took a wicked shot from the point, but Fleury caught it with his left leg and froze the puck.
Adams almost got the Pens another shorty, but Luongo made the save.
Dupuis will head to the box for tripping.
Moments later, Fleury made another incredible save! Kesler's turning backhander was kicked away.
Fleury made a great save on Burrows, whose one-time from the top of the crease was smothered by the Flower.
The Sedins' incredible cycling was stopped by a nice block from Letang.
Despite some nice chances, the Penguins couldn't light the lamp on the power play.
Luongo fell down behind the net, and the Penguins almost got another goal. But Hamhuis saved the day for Vancouver and blocked Malkin's shot in front of the wide open net.
The power play is generating some nice chances. After a few pucks on net, Geno's shot from the left circle was caught by Luongo.
Crosby draws the Penguins' first power play. A flying puck bounced into the slot and Sid almost got another goal, but Keith Ballard hooked him up and will go to the box.
During the break, the scoreboard thanked the fans. Throughout the Penguins' sellout streak - which started in 2007 - the Penguins have now entertained more than 3 million fans
And the Canucks get on the board. Daniel Sedin passed it across the crease to his twin borther. Henrik's shot was blocked by Fleury, but Dan Hamhuis got the rebound and put it in the net. Penguins 3, Canucks 1
A crazy play ends in a Penguins goal! Christian Ehrhoff couldn't quite grab the puck in the slot. It found Rupp who sent it across the crease to Asham. The shot was stopped by Luongo's stick, but Asham and Malkin crashed the net. The puck went in, and Asham got credit for the goal. Penguins 3, Canucks 0
Tonight's attendance is 18,252 - another sellout.
The penalty to Rupp expires. The Pens may not have had a power-play chance, but they sure took advantage of the Canucks' power plays.
And the Penguins get a shorthanded goal! Max Talbot led a two-on-one, but he couldn't score on the first chance. But he got the puck behind the net and wrapped around to Luongo's left side and slid it into the net. Penguins 2, Canucks 0
Fleury just made a great save on Henrik Sedin! The Canucks captain had a point-blank shot from the low slot, but Fleury kicked it away.
Rupp will head right back into the box for boarding. The fans aren't too pleased.
The penalty expires as Samuelsson caught Fleury out of position. But Flower made it back in time.
Michalek had a nice block on Daniel Sedin, which was followed by a Matt Cooke
block and a clear.
Mike Rupp will head to the box for interference, and the Pens' PK will take the ice.
Crosby almost got another breakaway chance, but he fell down while he squeezed past two defenders.
19:51: Brooks Orpik
was just credited with an assist on Crosby's goal. Tack on another point for the Pens' high-scoring defense.
The puck has been dropped, and the Penguins will look to build on their one-goal lead.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Orpik is leading the game with four hits.
- Michalek is leading the Penguins with two shots.
- Letang has a team-high two blocks, one of which was a crucial stop on the penalty kill.
Pat McIlvain (above), a soldier wounded in Afghanistan, was honored by the Penguins last week
. Many players - including Crosby and Talbot - have been wearing wristbands to support him and they are now on sale at The Pat Mac Fund's website
. Visit the site to contribute to a good cause.
After a pretty close-checking beginning, the Penguins started to dominate near the end of the period after Sid's goal. The Pens head to the break with a 1-0 lead, and they lead the Canucks in shots 11-6.
0:22: Brooks Orpik
is dominating behind the net. Burrows had a chance for a wrap-around, but Orpik checked him into the boards. He then had a few more hits to help the Penguins re-gain possession.
1:55: Evgeni Malkin
took a nice backhanded shot from the high slot, but it went just over the net.
Letestu and Conner just had a two-on-one. Letestu couldn't quite get the shot off, but he managed to pass it to Engelland at the point. Engelland's blast was nearly re-directed by Letestu, but there was too much traffic in the crease.
The Penguins strike first. As the penalty expired, Crosby flew out of the box and got the puck for a breakaway. He ripped a wrister from the low slot through Luongo's blocker side. Penguins 1, Canucks 0
Fleury made a big save early in the PK on a Vancouver shot from the point. Talbot promptly cleared the puck.
The Pens will be on the PK as Crosby is sent to the box for holding.
TK added another chance for the Pens. His shot from the right circle was sticked away nicely by Luongo, though.
Malkin just set up a great chance for the Penguins. He danced around a few defenders and backhanded a pass to Cooke in the low slot. Cooke's re-direct went just wide.
Vancouver's top line just had a nice shift, and got a couple pucks through the crease. But Fleury and the defense held strong.
Fleury made another nice save, this time on Kesler who was breaking down the right side.
Mikael Samuelsson ripped a slapper from the top of the right circle. But Fleury got a piece of it, and it sailed into the netting.
Letang hustled back to get the icing call. He and Tanner Glass collided, and Letang slid into the boards awkwardly. A few seconds later, though, he got up and skated easily to the bench.
A weird bounce off the boards found Kennedy who put a shot on Luongo. The rebound went to Dupuis, who tried to find a hole between the goaltender and the post, but the puck bounced out to the boards.
Rupp found the puck behind the goal line and sent it across the crease. Crosby got a piece of it, but couldn't quite put it past Luongo.
Crosby danced behind the net again (a play that still haunts Jason Spezza), he made a nice move around the net to get the puck in the crease, but Luongo made the save.
After Adams was sent crashing into Luongo, he dropped the gloves with Kevin Bieksa. Adams got a few nice swings in, but Bieksa knocked him off balance with a punch just a few seconds into the fight.
Andrew Alberts took a shot from the point, but Fleury was there with the nice glove save.
Chris Conner is playing wing on a line with Malkin and Asham.
The Penguins' top line is already generating some opportunities. Crosby's pass to Dupuis in the slot set up a nice chance, but the shot ricocheted off a Vancouver skate.
Cooke, Kennedy and Letestu started for the Penguins.
And this game between two of the NHL's best teams has begun.
Fleury got another nice cheer when he was announced as the starting goaltender. 7:00 PM:
We are a few minutes from puck drop between the Penguins and Canucks. Vancouver is 10-4-3 and will be a tough test for the Pens.
Pittsburgh will use the following lines: