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Penguins-Flames In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
0:00: And that'll do it! The Pens are absolutely on fire, extending their unbeaten streak to 8-0-1 with a 4-1 win over the Flames! Pittsburgh outshot Calgary, 43-31.

CROSBY WITH THE HATTIE! Caps are littering the ice as the Pens captain gets a shorthanded empty-netter! He's all smiles on the bench. Penguins 4, Flames 1

Kiprusoff has left the net to give the Flames the extra attacker.

Play has been flowing these last few minutes, with no whistles.

The Flames have been putting some heavy pressure on the Pens these last few shifts, but Johnson has stood tall in net.

Rene Bourque notches his team-leading 11th goal as he dekes Johnson out for the score. Penguins 3, Flames 1

Pittsburgh successfully kills off the Flames' third power play of the night.

Pens are now on the PK, with Malkin in the box.

That was a power-play goal, by the way. This is the third straight game the Pens have tallied with the man-advantage. Crosby has now reclaimed the NHL scoring lead with 39 points.

Martin absolutely rips a shot from the point off a tic-tac-toe play from Malkin and Letang, which Crosby redirects for his second goal of the afternoon and the 200th of his career! Penguins 3, Flames 0

Letestu finds a streaking Goligoski, who has been all over the Flames zone this shift - perhaps looking for a repeat of his power play goal yesterday?

Matt Stajan gets a pair for tripping as he pulls Malkin's feet out from underneath him. Pens on the PP!

Two big saves by Johnson!



The Pens successfully staved off that power play, Calgary's second of the afternoon. Both teams are back to full strength.

One of Pittsburgh's best penalty killers, Dupuis, is heading to the box for tripping. Pens on the PK.

Johnson neatly scoops a shot by Curtis Glencross.

Kennedy finds some time and space to shoot, but Kiprusoff makes the save.

The third and final frame is underway!



- With his goal, Crosby has extended his point streak to 12 games, the third-longest of his career.
- Today marks the first time the Pens captain has faced Flames captain Jarome Iginla since the two were linemates for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in February.
- Kunitz has fired a team-leading seven shots on goal.

The Pens have jumped to a 2-0 lead after a pair of second-period tallies. Pittsburgh has outshot Calgary, 36-17.

Both teams are back to full-strength.

Cooke finds a streaking Malkin, whose shot deflects high and out of play. The Flames are whistled for too many men on the ice, which Jokinen will serve. Pens on the PP!

We have to give credit to Letang, who launched that play. He knocked Jokinen off the puck in the Pens zone and found Kunitz, who carried in for the 3-on-2 opportunity. He earned his 100th career NHL point with that assist.

7:40: Crosby cashes in! Unbelievable play by the Pens. Kunitz deftly sidesteps a Calgary defender, and his shot deflects right to the stick of the Pens captain, who blasts it into the wide-open net for the score. Penguins 2, Flames 0



Kiprusoff's glove snakes out and snatches a puck off the stick of Kunitz, who now has a team-leading five shots today. Big save by the Calgary netminder.

We've got another scrum ensuing. After Regehr nearly knocks Letang over the boards, Orpik takes offense and challenges the Flames alternate captain. No penalties will be called.

Both players got five minutes each for fighting. We're still playing 5-on-5 hockey.

Engelland and Jackman are dropping the gloves! Engelland loses his helmet but has gotten quite a few jabs in, with Jackman deciding to go for the jersey over the head Mighty Ducks style. But Engelland gets the last laugh as he knocks Jackman to the ground.

Asham scores! Letang swoops down and tees off a shot, which dribbles out to a waiting Asham in the circle for the snipe. Penguins 1, Flames 0

Talbot stretches and nearly steals a Flames pass, but can't hold onto it. Engelland just made a fantastic defensive play as he helped out Johnson by getting low and stopping a shot on a good scoring opportunity for Calgary.

Both teams are back to full strength.

As Johnson heads behind the net to play the puck, he ends up falling backward after getting tangled with a Flames forward. Michalek is getting two for tripping, Pens on the PK.

The puck has dropped to start the middle frame.



- Crosby is now 0-for-3 all-time in penalty shots.
- With 24 blasts in the first, the Pens came close to tying their all-time high for shots in a period (27).
- Kris Letang (7:34) and Alex Goligoski (7:18) lead the Pens in minutes-played.

That's it for the first. Neither team has recorded a goal and will head to intermission tied 0-0. The Pens have outshot the Flames, 24-6.

Crosby just got knocked to the ground by Robyn Regher as he tries to jump on a rebound. Nice work by the captain.

Big shift just now for the Pens. Asham had a big hit, Martin fired a shot through traffic.

Dupuis' shot deflects wide. That's Pittsburgh's 20th blast this period, tying their season-high for shots in a period.

4:22: Goligoski's blast from the point re-directs off Conner's skate into a waiting Kiprusoff. Nice chance there for the Pens.

Malkin tries to slide a nice heads-up pass from Kennedy past Kiprusoff to no avail.

Two big stops by Kiprusoff. First he makes a pad save on Malkin, then snags the resulting rebound.

Anton Babchuck's stick snaps in half as he attempts to blast a shot from the point, and Kennedy jumps on the loose puck. Babchuck proceeds to pull TK down on the play, and the Flames defenseman will go to the box for holding.

Mark Giordano blocks a one-timer from the stick of Evgeni Malkin. One word: ouch.



An Orpik blast nearly finds its way through traffic, but Kiprusoff finds it and makes the stop.

Nice breakout play from Kennedy to Letestu, who gives it right back to TK to carry it in the Calgary zone. The Flames break it right back out, with Johnson making a big save.

Kunitz gets a shot off that goes just wide, with linemates Crosby and Dupuis crashing the net hard for the rebound to no avail.

The Pens have been keeping the pressure on Calgary, firing six shots on goal so far this period.



Orpik bounces a pass to Asham, whose blast is turned aside.

The crowd is roaring after Crosby gets a penalty shot after he gets pulled down on a breakaway! He tries to backhand it past Kiprusoff, who comes up with the save.

Kennedy, Letestu and Conner are sustaining some nice pressure down low, cycling behind the Flames net.

Crosby's pass off the wall finds Dupuis, who can't get a shot past Kiprusoff.

20:00: And they're off here at CONSOL Energy Center!


1:02 PM:
The Pens are rocking their blue jerseys for the fourth time this season. They are 3-0 this year when wearing them, improving the team's record to 15-7-3 since first debuting the jerseys at the 2008 Winter Classic in Buffalo.

1:00 PM:

Here are the lines the Pens will use this afternoon:



12:42 PM:

Brent Johnson is starting in net today for the Penguins. He has a 6-2-1 record with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage so far this season.

11:43 AM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma spoke with the media prior to Saturday afternoon's game versus the Calgary Flames.

On the team in general:

Well, I think we seem to have had some ups and downs this season, but as of late we’re playing better in a lot of areas. Special teams, goaltending has been very good, and our team is starting to get the kind of results we like to see. We had a good run the last six, seven, eight games the way we played, and that’s something we want to keep building on.

On the starting goaltender:
'Flower' (Marc-Andre Fleury is) not going (Saturday), Brent Johnson’s going. Flower’s got a lot of work lately, he’s been playing very well. But Brent did some good things early on this season for us, and he’s going to get a chance tonight.

On the penalty kill:
We’ve been together as a group now for two and a half years, and we want to be a pressure team. We want to limit the chances the other teams get, but when they do get chances we want them to be from certain areas of the ice, and our guys have been very good at forcing teams into certain areas and giving our goaltenders chances from low-risk areas. When that happens, your goaltender can be very good, and our guys have done a great job of that so far this year.

On what he thought after watching replays of Friday’s game:
The second time through, I felt like there was a lot less shots than the number was up on the board. We knew Ottawa was going to come out and try to get a lot of shots and try to throw things to the cage, and they did. They got shots from outside the blue, they got shots from the boards, they whipped shots from all different angles, and I think that was an indication of why we saw 44 shots against. The scoring chances weren’t as high as they had been the previous two games from the teams we played. So there was some action for Flower, he did make some big saves, but I also think that after the game, if you watched it again, there wasn’t as much of an onslaught as 44 shots would suggest.

On Flower’s big save:
Fortunately, ESPN put it on as a highlight of the day, so I got to see it a few more times. But as Flower said, that’s one you want to remember for a little bit, that was an outstanding save.

On if he could comment on Comrie’s status:
Not right now. He’s still going to be injured for (Saturday).

On Jordan Staal:
Jordan is a little over three weeks into a broken hand, which he had surgery on, and a broken bone takes up to five weeks to heal. In his situation, a six-week, seven-week time frame is probably about where he’s going to be at, which would be mid-December for Jordan. He’s skating now every day, he’s in a full workout mode and he’s chomping at the bit to get the equipment back on so he can get out there.

On Sidney Crosby:
I don’t know if he’s elevated his game other than the consistency at which he’s playing. Every night he’s the target of the other team, they understand how dangerous he is and what he’s doing. Some nights are more close checking than others for him, but his focus and playing the right way and continuing to work has been outstanding through this stretch, and I think that’s why you see the numbers. They’re fantastic. You see the great palys, he’s always had the ability to do that, but I think the consistency at which he’s playing right now is a credit, and you see that in numbers.

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