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Penguins-Capitals In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
Fleury robs Green for the second time tonight, AND DUPUIS BEATS NEUVIRTH WITH A QUICK SNAP SHOT! The Penguins win in a shootout, 3-2!

Perreault is stoned by Fleury. TK got so close on his attempt but can't capitalize!

Knuble misses, and so does Letestu. Laich and Kunitz also fall short on their attempts.

Malkin got himself a wide-open net, but the puck slides off his stick and hits the side of the net!

Crosby decides to go with the quick shot, but Neuvirth is ready and makes the save!

Semin misses the net on his attempt!

Letang answers back for the Pens as he whistles a shot past Neuvirth!

Ovi is going first for the Caps. He beats Fleury with a deft backhand move.


In a made-for-TV ending, we're going to a shootout.

0:34: Crosby cleanly wins the faceoff in the Pens zone. Huge win in the dot for Sid.

1:02: Malkin's shot pops into the air and into the glove of Neuvirth.

2:35: The play is now under review...and the play stands! No goal!

2:35: Someone call the cops because Mike Green just got robbed!!! Fleury makes an absolute amazing save on the Caps blueliner, who had a wide-open path to the net! Flower was on his back but manages to reach back and grab the puck0 just before it crossed the goal line! Green cannot believe it as he puts his hands up in disbelief.

3:32: Michalek steers a speeding Ovi into the corner and completely denies the Caps captain. Huge shutdown play by Z.

5:00: We're off! While Bylsma started Crosby, Caps coach Bruce Boudreau did not start Ovi.


That'll do it for regulation as the teams end the first 60 minutes tied 2-2. We're going to overtime!!! The two teams will skate 4-on-4 for a five-minute period.

0:34: Beautiful hustle by Geno as he barges his way past John Carlson and gets a shot off.

2:34: Letang skates the puck in low and nearly undresses a Caps defenseman with a smooth move, but can't quite blaze a clear path to the net.

5:29: Laich and Mike Knuble jump on a loose puck in the neutral zone to head down the ice 2-on-1. Laich slides it over to Knuble, who proceeds to stuff it past Fleury for the shorthanded tally. Penguins 2, Capitals 2

6:25: Perreault gets his second penalty of the night as he gets two for hooking. Pens are on the PP!



Engelland's shot RINGS off the post so loudly I almost jumped!

The Caps are back to full strength!

10:48: After a lengthy delayed penalty, the Caps finally touch the puck so that Nicklas Backstrom can take a seat in the box for hi-sticking. Fleury was getting comfortable on that bench.

13:03: After Orpik annihilates Semin on the boards, the Caps forward skates slowly off the ice.

15:11: Spectacular save by Fleury on a Capitals player!



17:09: Perreault's out of the box. We're back to 5-on-5 hockey.

18:00: After the Caps nearly get a 3-on-1 shorthanded, Paul Martin breaks it up and sends the Pens right back into the offensive zone.

19:13: After Perreault hauls down Letang behind the Pens net, he's getting two for holding. Pens on the PP!

19:43: Now that's how you come out hard! Crosby battles through two Caps defenders to one-arm a puck in front of the net as his momentum carries him behind the nett. Chris Kunitz finds the loose puck and stuffs it past Neuvirth! Penguins 2, Capitals 1

20:00: It all comes down to the final 20 minutes, which is underway now!


Crosby struck first in tonight's game, as Ovechkin hasn't tallied on four shots. Here's a recap of their rivalry to tide you over until the next period starts.


- Mark Letestu has won 10 of 13 faceoffs for a 77-percent success rate.
- Orpik leads the team with four hits.
- The Caps have had six power plays to the Penguins' two.

0:00: The first 40 minutes concludes with the Pens and Caps tied, 1-1. Washington holds the advantage in shots, 25-12.

0:59: Both teams are back to full strength.



3:07: Malkin and Kunitz get a 2-on-1, but Ovechkin deflects Geno's cross-ice pass! Looks like Ovi is getting a penalty for tripping after the play. Pens on the PP.

6:17: The Caps capitalize on what was was technically a 5-on-4 goal, but Rupp had just been released from the box and didn't have time to get into the play. As the Caps collapsed further and further down in front of Fleury, Mike Green's quick shot flew into the net. Penguins 1, Capitals 1

8:09: After Mike Rupp gets two for hooking, Cooke gets called for delay of game as his clearing attempt from the Pens' own end goes over the boards and out of play in the Caps' zone. Talk about not knowing your own strength! The Caps are getting a 5-on-3 power play for 1:51.


8:32: The Pens end up icing the puck again as they try to get some fresh legs out for the unit that couldn't change after the first icing. Bylsma wisely calls a timeout to give his troops some rest.

10:34: Eric Fehr just fanned on a re-direct attempt, and the Pens are whistled for icing on the ensuing clear.


13:17: That just looked like a game of ping pong between Fleury and the Caps players as they keep finding their rebounds. But Flower stands tall and his teammates clear the puck out!

Another huge save by Flower as he smothers a shot by Laich! But now Goligoski is heading to the box for hooking. Pens on the PK.

15:28: Matheiu Perreault tries to slide the puck underneath Fleury but Flower's all over it.

18:37: Malkin sneaked into the zone on a breakaway and was hauled down by Mike Green. Malkin was awarded a penalty shot. He tried to go backhand, but couldn't get the puck high enough over Neuvirth's pad.

20:00: We are underway.


The Winter Classic truck is at the Verizon Center! After this contest is over, the truck will make the trek to Heinz Field, as the NHL is taking over the stadium when the Steelers-Carolina game ends to begin transforming the field for the outdoor hockey game.


- Craig Adams has three blocked shots.
- Crosby's goal was his sixth re-direct of the season.
- Michalek and Conner are both celebrating birthdays today! Z is 28; Conner is 27.

0:00: The Pens managed to stave off an early flurry by the Caps to take a 1-0 lead into the second. Washington has 12 shots to Pittsburgh's 6.

1:05: Neuvirth bobbles Dupuis' shot but manages to hang onto it for the whistle.

Ovechkin and Co. = fans of the toques.

2:38: The Pens are doing a fantastic job of taking away the Caps' time and space. They're forcing Washington take low-risk shots from the perimeter.

3:23: Malkin barrels through two Caps players to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Nice hustle by No. 71.

6:58: Fleury calmly gloves an Erskine shot from the point after an energetic shift by Crosby, Dupuis and Kunitz.

Malkin took advantage of the teams being allowed to wear Winter Classic toques in warmups, while Crosby stuck with his good ol' helmet.

9:06: The penalty boxes are now cleared! We're back to 5-on-5 hockey.

9:51: Letang is back on the ice. Phew. Pens on the PP!

10:33: It's now 4-on-4 for 33 seconds. I can barely keep up with these changing special teams.

11:13: Now we're 4-on-3 as Laich's getting two for interference.

11:49: Fleury shakes off a hovering Laich and dives on a shot from Backstrom, who's camped out on the back door. Flower's playing out of his mind as he's been tested often and early.

12:01: After making a great defensive play where he intercepted a pass in front of Fleury and cleared it out of danger, Michalek's getting whistled for delay of game as the puck unfortunately went up and over the boards. The Pens are two men down for 1:21.

12:40: Pens are back on the PK as Chris Conner is in the box.

13:18: Letang just blocked a blistering shot with his body off the stick of Semin. He was writhing in pain on the ice but was able to skate to the bench without help.



14:56: The captain has now extended his point streak to 23 games, which is now the best stretch since the 2004-05 lockout! It's also the NHL's second-best streak in 18 years, after Mats Sundin tallied in 30-straight games in the 1992-93 season!

16:39: Sidney Crosby with a gorgeous re-direct to beat Michal Neuvirth on the Pens' first shot of the game!!! After Malkin carried the puck behind the Caps' net, he sent it to Kris Letang on the point, whose shot bounced perfectly off Crosby's stick into the net. Penguins 1, Capitals 0

HUGE play by the Pens PKers! They just proved why they're No. 1 in the league with a man short as guys are throwing their bodies in front of shots and Fleury's backing them up with huge saves. We're back to full-strength.

The Caps' top-three scorers are on the ice - Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin, with Laich rounding it out.

18:50: Now Malkin is getting whistled for interference on Ovechkin. 4-on-3 for 1:28.

19:11: Alex Ovechkin throws a hit on an unsuspecting Malkin as No. 71 is gearing to break the puck out of the Pens zone. Both sides are fired up, and once the smoke clears, Matt Cooke and Erskine are the ones heading to the box. 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes.

19:29: Early chance for the Caps as Brooks Laich intercepts a pass in the neutral zone and whips a shot at Fleury. Big save by Flower.

20:00: We're underway!!!


7:09 PM:
Godard officially gets the call. Engelland is back in on defense. Here are the Pens lines:



Fleury gets the nod between the pipes.

6:50 PM: Are you gearing up to watch the game on FSN right now? You should be, because they're giving away some huge prizes as part of the "Great Gift Giveaway."

6:45 PM: The news from today is that the Pens recalled goaltender John Curry and forward Dustin Jeffrey from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after Brent Johnson and Arron Asham suffered injuries in Wednesday's game.

Although the Pens didn't have a skate this morning, head coach Dan Bylsma spoke to the media prior to the game at Verizon Center in Washington. He announced that Asham is definitely out of the lineup for tonight, and either Jeffrey or Eric Godard will suit up in his place.

6:40 PM: The Pens and the Caps are about to meet on the ice for the first time this season. This is the game we've all been waiting for!!!

Tonight's game is the prelude to the two teams' next meeting, the highly-anticipated 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field on New Year's Day. has put together Winter Classic Central for the latest stories, videos and activities stemming from this awesome event. You should definitely check it out.
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