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Penguins-Hurricanes In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


0:00: That's game. The 'Canes avoid a series sweep as they top the Penguins by a score of 4-1.

0:15: Pens back to full strength.

1:03: The 'Canes are now on the PP for 46 seconds.

2:15: With 1:13 left on the Pens' PP, Kovalev is going to the box for holding. It'll be four-on-four hockey for just over a minute here.

 

3:03: Matt Cooke draws a slashing penalty on Jay Harrison. Pens on the PP!

5:07: After a Carolina player buries Letang into the boards (and proceeds to lay on top of him), the 'Canes embark on a 3-on-1 rush. The trailer Jussi Jokinen receives a pass and buries it past Johnson. Hurricanes 4, Penguins 1

6:32: Staal just used his powerful frame to separate a Hurricane from the puck in the corner.

8:32: Niskanen is having a great game. He just teed off a shot so quickly you almost couldn't see it. It was a solid one-timer by No. 2.

9:27: The Pens are whistled for offsides after a valiant effort to get the puck down low. Faceoff coming outside the Canes zone.

12:55: After some back-and-forth action, Conner is able to get the puck deep in the 'Canes zone and Joe Vitale tries to stuff the puck in on a wraparound attempt.

 

16:04: Craig Adams, shot blocker extraordinaire, just made one of his signature sliding blocks to thwrat a 'Canes blast from the point.

18:15: The line of Cooke-Talbot-Kennedy just cycled the puck well and controlled play down low.

20:00: The final frame has commenced! It's just been announced that Eric Staal will not return to the game because of an upper-body injury.

THIRD PERIOD



SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Dupuis now has four goals in four games against the Canes this season
- His tally ended a goalless drought that had stretched to 13 games entering tonight
- Kennedy has four shots on goal

0:00: The first 40 minutes are in the books. Carolina has a 3-1 lead and the Pens are now outshooting the 'Canes, 22-15.

1:10: Two huge saves by Johnny!!! He makes the first save on a McBain blast, then Johnny immediately recovers to come out and challenge the rebound opportunity by Eric Staal!

2:07: Another great defensive play by Engelland, as he reaches out and breaks up a cross-ice pass in the slot with his stick.

 

3:08: Beautiful defensive play by Engelland to break up a two-on-one rush.

4:28: A big juicy rebound off a Mike Rupp shot from the corner goes right to Pascal Dupuis, who slams it home! Right before that play, he had used his speed to pick Cam Ward's pocket and keep the puck alive in the 'Canes zone. Hurricanes 3, Penguins 1

5:18: Niskanen's rocket from the point breaks Talbot's stick. He goes right to the bench and grabs a new one.

7:17: Neal, Staal and Kovalev just embarked on a three-on-one opportunity. Neal dropped a pass back to Staal, whose blast missed the net.

 

8:53: Brent Johnson has relieved 'Flower' in goal.

9:01: Staal rifles a pass from the corner to the crease, which a streaking Erik Cole stuffs into the net. Hurricanes 3, Penguins 0

10:27: Carolina ices the puck, which makes 'Canes coach Paul Maurice decide to use his timeout to give his players a quick rest.

11:08: Neal just went wild on the forecheck. He laid a huge hit on a Hurricane in the corner before Carolina cleared, then proceeded to throw another big check right after. Great tenacious play by No. 18.

 

11:27: Adams dips back to cover the point and keep the puck in the 'Canes zone.

13:44: 'Canes back to full strength.

14:41: Great chance for the Pens! Kovalev carried the puck down the left side of the ice and dropped a pretty no-look pass to Kennedy from behind the goal line. TK's shot barely missed the net!

15:11: The first PP unit of Neal-Staal-Kennedy and Kovalev-Letang is back out for Pittsburgh.

15:45: Conner draws an interference call on McBain. Pens head right back to the PP.

   

16:36: 'Canes back to full strength. Kovalev looked very impressive on that PP, controlling the puck and displaying immense patience. He seems to be a calming presence out there for the guys.

17:45: Kovalev's working the left point with Tanger on the right.

18:39: Great play by Neal. He forechecked hard and managed to separate Jamie McBain from the puck. As Neal began to skate away with the rubber, he got tripped up by Ruutu, who's going to the box. Pens on the PP!

19:16: Pens back to full strength!

20:00: And they're off! There are 43 seconds remaining on Kovalev's penalty.

SECOND PERIOD



FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- Lovejoy has three hits
- Michalek has 2:50 shorthanded minutes
- Staal leads Pens forward wirh 7:08 of ice time

0:00: That'll do it for the first. Hurricanes lead 2-0 and have a 9-6 shots-on-goal advantage.

0:09: Beautiful diving pokecheck play by Michalek to thwart Eric Staal's attempt to corral the puck.

1:17: Kovalev's getting a pair for interference after battling with McBain in front of the net. Pens back to the PK.

 

3:17: And just 10 seconds into their power play, the 'Canes convert. His blast from the point soars into the net past Fleury. Hurricanes 2, Penguins 0

3:27: Matt Cooke is taking a trip to the sin bin for cross-checking. Pens on the PK.

4:58: Kovalev just displayed some of his puck wizardry on the boards in Carolina's zone. It's certainly a nice sight to see.

6:47: Dupuis drives to the net but Ward gives him nothing. Nice shift by No. 9, as he had forechecked hard and laid a solid hit just seconds before getting a shot off.

 

9:15: Kovalev unleashes a slapper from the half wall that deflects off Tuomo Ruutu's stick and behind the net.

11:03: Gleason tees off a shot that takes a weird bounce off the back boards and lands in the crease, but Fleury turns and pounces on the puck before any Hurricanes get close.

12:42: Cooke beats Jamie McBain in a foot race to a puck dumped into the 'Canes zone by Dupuis. Carolina had been controlling play in Pittsburgh's zone for the last few minutes prior to that.

 

15:10: Staal changes direction after carrying into the Hurricanes zone and sends a pass to Niskanen, who gets a decent shot off but it's turned aside.

15:46: And that'll do it. Pens back to full strength.

16:07: Nice teamwork by Letang (Cinco Ocho) and Michalek to clear the puck out.

17:46: And now the Pens are heading to the PK, as Mike Rupp is getting a pair for roughing after checking Jeff Skinner into the boards.

18:16: Jay Harrison receives a pass in the left circle as he's trailing the play and snaps a wrister into the top right corner of the net. Hurricanes 1, Penguins 0

19:08: Kovalev's on the ice! He just had a great shift out there with Staalsy and Neal. They controlled the puck down low and looked pretty comfortable out there.

20:00: Here we go!!!

FIRST PERIOD



7:03 PM: Brett Sterling, Eric Godard and Paul Martin are the Pens' scratches. Here are the Pens' lines:

Neal-Staal-Kovalev
Cooke-Jeffrey-Kennedy
Rupp-Talbot-Conner
Dupuis-Vitale-Adams

Letang-Michalek
Niskanen-Lovejoy
Strait-Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod between the pipes. Cam Ward is in the cage for the 'Canes.

7:00 PM: Also, some great news came out of Raleigh, N.C. this morning following the Penguins' practice – Dustin Jeffrey will be playing tonight after missing the past six games with a lower-body injury. For the Pens' lines they used this morning with Jeffrey and Kovalev inserted into the mix, click here.

6:45 PM: With all of the moves Penguins general manager Ray Shero is making this week, I'm going to start tonight's in-game blog like I've started the past two – with a summary of www.PittsburghPenguins.com's coverage of the team's most recent acquisition, Alex Kovalev. I'm not going to lie, I'm extremely excited to see the Russian sniper back in the black and gold on the ice tonight. It's going to be awesome.
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