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Penguins-Coyotes In-Game Blog

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

Brent Johnson stops all three shots he faced (one missed the net) and Mark Letestu scores on the final shot to give the Penguins the victory!!


Huge save on a Malkin blast by Bryzgalov with 3.4 seconds to play and we will go to a shootout.

The fans here are voicing their displeasure because the Penguins are going to spend the remainder of the game on the power play because Oliver Ekman-Larsson just took a holding penalty on Kennedy. Dan Bylsma uses his timeout to re-charge the troops for this final push.

It's actually the Coyotes who are carrying the play here in the overtime period. Brent Johnson is doing a great job to keep them off the board.

Great toe save by Johnson on Vrbata's shot from the slot after a good move to the inside.

The Penguins are 2-1 when the game stretches beyond regulation this season while Phoenix is 0-3.


There's the horn and we will head into overtime with the score tied at 3-3 following a scoreless third period. Shots on goal are 36-25 in favor of Pittsburgh after 60 minutes.

This one has the feel of overtime or a shootout to it. That's OK, because the Penguins have won 16 of their past 24 games that have gone beyond regulation.

Oh what a save right there by Bryzgalov, who dropped down to his knees to deny a chance by Letestu from two feet away. I thought that was the go-ahead tally.


I'm going to place my bet right now. Sidney Crosby is going to score the game-winning goal tonight. He has that fire in his eye and he is around every loose puck. He is playing like the best player in the world that he is.

A couple nice chances there for the second power-play unit but the Penguins are unable to score.

This is just me thinking out loud, but why does every team have to do the 'Jersey Shore T-Shirt Time' promo every time they want to pass out t-shirts to the crowd?! Rod, Billy and our game entertainment staff, please stay clear of this trend!!

The turkey is once again on the table for the Penguins with less than 10 minutes to play in the third period. Ray Whitney - usually a Penguins killer - is in the box for hooking.

I couldn't help but notice the Coyotes were all ready for the Christmas season as they had Santa hats on sale in the gift shop.

Pittsburgh continues to throw everything they have Bryzgalov's way. You just have the feeling it is all going to pay off soon because Bryzgalov to me has been fighting the puck all night, even when the Coyotes were ahead 2-0.

Cooke's penalty is over and both teams are back to full strength.


The Penguins are going to need to rely on their penalty killing unit once more because Cooke was just given a boarding call.

Coach Bylsma has to be pleased with this opening shift. Off the rush, Crosby just missed setting up Dupuis for a goal, as Dupuis' tip went off the post to the right of Bryzgalov.

This contest is officially up for grabs, but with how well the Penguins have played, I'll put my money on them earning the two points.


As part of my tour of University of Phoenix Stadium, went around back to check out the famous outdoor field. In case you weren't aware, the Cardinals keep their playing surface outside, constantly keeping it watered, before bringing it into the stadium on game day via the opening in the picture on the right. It's really cool to see up close. Oh, and their field is pretty torn up as well.

- It's been quite a game for Crosby and Malkin. Not only have they each scored, but they have accounted for nine of the Penguins' 22 shots (Crosby, 5; Malkin, 4).
- Hits are now 20-13 in favor of the Penguins.
- Pittsburgh has blocked 10 shots through two periods.

What a great and resilient period for the Penguins. Trailing 2-0 entering the frame, they quickly drew even on goals by Crosby and Malkin. When the Coyotes went ahead late in the period, the Penguins tallied even later to make it 3-3 after 40 minutes. Shots on goal favor the Penguins, 22-18.

That's what a power play that generates positive momentum can do for you! Mark Letestu stayed with the puck behind the net and sent a perfect pass to Kunitz standing on the far side of the net. Kunitz roofed a shot from an impossible angle to give the Penguins power-play goals in back-to-back contests. Penguins 3, Coyotes 3.

HUGE CHANCE right here for the Penguins. They will have 1:10 to work on a two-man advantage after Martin Hanzal just took an elbowing penalty.

Malkin continues to make things happen for the Penguins with his speed. He just forced Lepisto take a hooking penalty because if Lepisto didn't, Malkin was probably going to toss a shot over Bryzgalov for his second goal of the night.

Crosby and Malkin both look like they have that jump tonight, so head coach Dan Bylsma is running them out there together with the Penguins now trailing by a goal.

That's a bad break right there for Johnson. Just seconds after the Penguins kill off the Asham penalty, Wolski took a shot from the far circle went off Paul Martin's body and skipped behind a stunned Johnson. Coyotes 3, Penguins 2.


The stripes just caught Asham tripping a Coyote in the neutral zone, putting Phoenix back on the power play.

What can you say about the job Brent Johnson is doing for the Penguins. He just made yet another spectacular save, this time sliding across his crease to make a right arm stop on Taylor Pyatt off the rush.

Deryk Engelland continues his tour of taking on the NHL's top fighters. He just went toe-to-toe with former Penguin Paul Bissonnette. While Engelland might have been on the losing end, he continues to earn himself major respect around the league.

Pittsburgh kills off the Michalek minor and they are right back on the offensive.

What a save right there by Brent Johnson! While down in the butterfly he reached up with his glove hand to deny what looked like a sure second goal of the game for Eric Belanger.

So, as a huge football fan, and even bigger Larry Fitzgerald fan, I had to walk across the street before the game and check out University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. I definitely came away impressed. Oh, and because this is my blog and I can cover what I want, let's take a look back at one of Larry's best catches during his two years with the University of Pittsburgh.

Michalek will spend the next two minutes in the sin bin after hooking one of his former teammates.

The Penguins just caught a break right there. Keith Yandle just took a drop pass in the high slot and ripped a shot that eluded Johnson, but it rung off the post and deflected up into the netting.

Evgeni Malkin's centering pass was originally broken up by Sami Lepisto, but the Penguins center stayed with the caroom, lifting a shot high over the shoulder of Ilya Bryzgalov to tie the score. Assists went to Arron Asham and Paul Martin. Penguins 2, Coyotes 2.

Ask and the Penguins deliver! Derek Morris just fans on a pass in the slot, enabling Crosby to jump on the loose puck and quickly fire a shot past a startled Bryzgalov to get the Penguins on the board. Coyotes 2, Penguins 1.

Hopefully the Penguins can build off their strong finish to the first period.


So, we've had ourselves a pretty fun West Coast trip. On Tuesday night, I was treated by our director of communications Jennifer Bullano to a birthday dinner at NoBu in Dallas. I hear it's one of the best sushi places around, and it lived up to its billing. On Thursday afternoon, FSN's Dan Potash took me to In-N-Out Burger in Anaheim - another place which lived up to the hype. Here in Phoenix, in addition to getting to have lunch with one of my best friend's parents, we stayed at the beautiful Wigham Resort.


- Sidney Crosby had three of the Penguins' nine shots.
- Kris Letang led the Penguins with 9:08 time on ice.
- Pittsburgh had the edge on faceoffs, 10-7.

The first period is complete at Arena. It's the Phoenix Coyotes owning a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard, while the Penguins hold a 9-8 shots advantage.

Pittsburgh is unable to capitalize on their first power play despite a couple good looks.

Great work right there in the near corner by Mike Comrie to use his body to protect the puck. David Schlemko takes a penalty as a result after slamming him into the boards from behind.

I'll tell you what, the Penguins have good jump in their skates right now and have really turned it on since falling behind 2-0.

Maybe going on the penalty kill is what the Penguins needed. They are currently on a stretch which has seen them kill of 29 of 31 opposition power plays following that kill.


The Coyotes just played a nice video tribute on the board to Zbynek Michalek. Classy move on their part.

Wow, this just can't get any worse. Just when it looked like Crosby might have chipped a loose puck barely into the net to get the Penguins within one, the referees instead ruled that Pascal Dupuis should be given a goaltender interference call.

Great play by Brooks Orpik to break up a three-on-one rush for the Coyotes. A goal right there could have doomed disaster for the Penguins.

Brent Johnson is now in goal for the Penguins in place of Fleury.

After the commercial break the Coyotes will be on the man-advantage as Deryk Engelland will be off for tripping. Check that, they are giving Radim Vrbata credit for his fourth goal of the season. Vrbata sneaked a shot under Fleury as he was hauled to the ice by Engelland. Coyotes 2, Penguins 0.

Several Coyotes fans are booing Zbynek Michalek whenever he touches the puck. If they only knew he is like the nicest guy ever!

The Penguins lose containment on the backdoor during a Phoenix rush, allowing Eric Belanger, who did well against the Penguins last season, took a pass from Wojtek Wolski and roofed a shot over Fleury. Coyotes 1, Penguins 0.

Sidney Crosby records the first shot of the night for either team as he streaks down the left wing and fires a shot off the pad of Ilya Bryzgalov.


A couple of notable scratches for Phoenix. Ed Jovanovski is out due to illness and captain Shane Doan is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.


9:04 PM:
Here is the lineup head coach Dan Bylsma will employ tonight against the Coyotes:



9:01 PM:
Defenseman Zbynek Michalek will be making a homecoming in tonight's game. Michalek, who signed with the Penguins as a free agent on July 1, spent 393 games with the Coyotes before joining Pittsburgh.

9:00 PM:
The Penguins conclude their four-game road swing tonight by taking on the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena. Pittsburgh is looking to salvage a .500 road trip following a win at Carolina (3-0; Oct. 30) and losses to Dallas (5-2; Nov. 3) and Anaheim (3-2; Nov. 5). The big news is that Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in goal tonight, his second straight start.
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