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Penguins-Leafs In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

Alex Kovalev blasts a shot past Reimer to win the game for the Penguins by a score of 6-5!!!


0:00: We're going to a shootout!

0:33: Letestu breaks past the Leafs D after a beautiful pass from Kovalev, but his blast is turned aside.

1:35: Cooke gets on one knee to rip a shot at Reimer after Jeffrey drops him a pass, but the Leafs goalie makes the save.

2:43: Two huge chances for James Neal!!! But he just can't solve Reimer!

4:30: Letang snaps a shot that's smothered by Reimer.

5:00: Here we go!


0:00: That'll do it for regulation! We're going to OT!

1:05: Pens back to full strength.

2:41: Pens on the PK.

3:05: With 14 seconds left in the four-on-four, Michalek is now heading to the box for slashing.

3:10: Michalek with a beautiful sliding block!

4:51: Kovalev and Armstrong are getting coincidentals. We're going to four-on-four hockey for the next two minutes.

5:40: Letang gets his stick in the way of a Colby Armstrong shot. The puck deflects up and out of play. Faceoff coming.

6:14: Each team has gotten a few solid chances but the goalies are coming up big!



9:43: Rosehill is denied by Fleury!

10:52: As he's falling to the ice, Rupp snaps a shot to the net that floats over Reimer! This is a heck of a hockey game! Penguins 5, Maple Leafs 5

12:33: Phaneuf doesn't allow his shot to be blocked this time. He unleashes a cannon from the top of the circle that flies into the net. Maple Leafs 5, Penguins 4

13:26: Talbot blocks a shot from Phaneuf and he's off to the races! He crosses over to the right side and uses his backhand to tuck the puck inside the post!!! Shorthanded goal for Max!!! Penguins 4, Maple Leafs 4


13:48: The Pens are whistled for too many men. Pittsburgh is on the PK.

16:33: The Leafs then get a three-on-one opportunity off a blocked shot. Lupul, on the left side, carries the puck all the way down and proceeds to shoot for the score. Maple Leafs 4, Penguins 3

17:08: MacArthur heads to the net and receives a pass that he slides underneath Fleury for the score. Penguins 3, Maple Leafs 3

18:20: Letestu, trailing the play, steals a Toronto clearing attempt and rips a shot from the top of the slot that goes high and wide.



20:00: Here we go!


- Letang has now skated for 19:18 minutes
- Letestu now has three goals in his last two games against Toronto
- He leads the Pens with four shots

0:00: The first 40 minutes are in the books. The Pens have a 3-2 lead and have the advantage in shots, 23-19.

0:16: From the boards, Cooke sends a puck to the front of the net that lands in the blue paint for Jeffrey to stuff home! Welcome back to Dustin as well! Penguins 3, Maple Leafs 2

3:13: Let me tell you about the beauty of that play. Staal had come out of the corner and calmly fed a pass to Letang on the point despite having some pressure. Letang waited and found Letestu, who was facing him. He turned and simply fired the puck into the top right corner past Reimer, who was screened by Staal – as he had immediately gone to the front of the net after his pass to Tanger.

4:01: WELCOME BACK MARK!!! Letestu absolutely rifles a wrister from the top of the slot that flies into the net! Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 2

4:28: Tyler Bozak is in the sin bin for slashing. Pens on the PP!

4:32: Phaneuf crushes Kovalev behind the Leafs net so hard his helmet falls off.



6:25: Pens back to full strength.

7:04: Fleury with a beauty of a pad save on another Leafs two-on-one opportunity!

8:26: Vitale is getting a pair for hooking Kessel on the play. Pens on the PK.

8:26: The Leafs get a two-on-one rush and Phil Kessel sends a puck to the net that seems destined to go in, but somehow Fleury reaches out while his body is going in the other direction and gloves it!

9:29: Mike Brown backhands a pass from behind the net to a waiting Colby Armstrong, who tucks it inside the far-side post for the score. Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 1

Some awesome pics of the Pens locker room brought to you courtesy of Sam Kasan:


11:02: Dupuis is out of the box.

12:47: Joffrey Lupul kicks a puck into the net with his skate and the Leafs think they've scored, but the ref stationed behind the net emphatically waves it off. The play is now under review. And it's no goal!!!

13:04: Dupuis is getting a pair for hooking. Pens on the PK.

14:25: Ben Lovejoy activates and joins the rush after a breakout pass from Kovalev. Staal backhands a pass to Lovejoy, who tries to deflect the feed between his legs at Reimer but the Leafs goalie covers the puck for the whistle.


16:32: Rupp and Rosehill are dropping the gloves at center ice! Rupp ends by throwing Rosehill to the ground and the refs step in. We'll give the decision to Rupp.

17:18: Talbot dashes down the left side of the ice and tries to hit the top right corner of the net, but it just misses! Impressiv speed by No. 25 on that play.

18:00: Kessel tries to zig-zag his way around Strait, but the Pens D doesn't bite and stands tall.

19:18: Great play by Letang to glove a Toronto clearing attempt and keep play going in their zone.

20:00: The middle frame has commenced!


- That was Kovalev's 15th goal of the season
- Vitale has two shots
- Letang leads all Pens by a wide margin with 9:47 of ice time

0:00: That'll do it for the first! The two teams are tied 1-1 and the shots are even at 11.

0:46: KOVALEV SCORES!!! His first goal back in the Penguins uniform!!! Lovejoy made a fantastic play to keep the puck in the zone and immediately found Kovalev at the top of the slot. Staal was creating a screen in front so Kovalev moved in, took his time and picked his spot! He just made that look so easy. Penguins 1, Maple Leafs 1


3:17: Kessel dishes to Dion Phaneuf, whose blast is turned aside by Fleury but Joffrey Lupul is hovering on the doorstep to bang home the rebound. Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 0

3:58: Now Neal's getting whistled for hooking. Pens on the PK.

4:31: Kovalev races off the bench and nearly keeps a Toronto clearing attempt in their zone, but it's whistled offsides.


6:33: Leafs back to full strength.

8:22: A Staal rebound bounces right over the stick of Neal, who was ready to bang it home!

8:45: Jay Rosehill's heading to the box for slashing. Pens on the PP!

9:17: Fredrik Sjostrom hops off the bench and has a clear path to the net, but Fleury challenges and absorbs his blast.

10:10: Pens back to full strength.

10:14: Fleury stones Carl Gunnarsson after Brett Lebda misses the cage on a point-blank scoring opportunity.

12:10: Kovalev's getting a pair for hi-sticking. Pens on the PK.

12:55: Tyler Kennedy has a lower-body injury.


15:48: Huge series of saves by "Flower" on Mikhail Grabovski! He stopped Grabovski's intial shot, denied the rebound opportunity then swept the puck out of danger with his stick while flat on his stomach!

16:32: Neal nearly got his first goal as a Penguin with a couple of cracks on the doorstep, but his second shot rolls off Reimer and into the corner!

16:58: Great backchecking by first Staal and then Adams, but the Leafs are somehow able to regain possession and get a shot on Fleury, who makes the save.

18:44: Reimer stops Jeffrey's shot and immediately pounces on the loose puck. Nice shift by the Cooke-Jeffrey-Dupuis line to keep play going in the Leafs zone.

20:00: And they're off!


7:00 PM: Tyler Kennedy, Eric Godard and Paul Martin are the Pens' scratches. Here are the lines:


Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod between the pipes.

6:50 PM: The Maple Leafs have been surging lately, playing their way back into postseason talks with their recent 8-2-2 surge. They've been led by red-hot rookie goalie James Reimer and the play of forward Phil Kessel. Read the game preview here.

6:45 PM: Head coach Dan Bylsma had plenty to say when he met with reporters prior to tonight's game against Toronto – most notably that center Mark Letestu will be back in the lineup! Great news for the Pens, especially since Letestu had his first two-goal NHL game to lead Pittsburgh to a 5-2 victory over Toronto in the two teams' last meeting on Dec. 8.

Watch the rest of what coach had to say:

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