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Penguins-Lightning In-Game Blog

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00: And that's the ballgame. The Pens take a 5-1 victory over Tampa Bay with their late onslaught. Pittsburgh heads to Atlanta for a showdown with the Thrashers Saturday night. But the boys will enjoy this one for now.


1:10: Deryk Engelland gets his first career NHL goal. Crosby dished the puck up to Engelland at the right point, who ripped a shot that went past Smith's left side. Penguins 5, Lightning 1







3:16: Dupuis forces a turnover in the neutral zone and slips the puck to Crosby. The captain snapped a shot short side into the goal on Smith. Penguins 4, Lightning 1.

7:48: Talbot gives Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead. He carried the puck down the far side and whipped a wrister into the top far corner of the goal, al la Game 7 against Osgood. Penguins 3, Lightning 1.

11:36: The Pens' PK kills off both penalties and the crowd was thunderous with their approval. But it wasn't without a scare as one shot went off Fleury, off Orpik and glided dangerously through the crease.

13:55: Now Cooke goes to the box. Tampa gets 1:15 worth of a five-on-three. The Lightning take a timeout to plot their offense. The Penguins PK unit has a tall task ahead.

14:30: The wickedly dangerous Stamkos strikes with his pattented one-timer from the near dot. Stamkos blasted his league-leading 15th of the season. Pittsburgh still has one penalty to kill. Penguins 2, Lightning 1.

14:40: Dupuis goes to the sin bin for tripping. It will be 1:03 minutes of a two-man advantage for the Bolts. Another tough test for the Pens.

14:51: Letang is back on the ice. A good sign for the Pens.

16:13: Conner uses his speed to get all alone on Smith. Crosby makes a great backhand pass to him. Conner tries to sneak the puck backhand through Smith, but the goal shuts the door.

16:55: Malone goes knee-to-knee on Letang. Letang skated hunched over without putting weight on the knee to the bench. Malone gets two minutes in the box.

17:37: Orpik gets called for high sticking. The Pens will be shorthanded for four minutes. This is a huge test of the Pens' PK unit. Fleury is going to have to stay strong in net.

20:00: For the second straight game, Pittsburgh has a two-goal lead heading into the third period. The Pens lost to the Bruins in the last go around. They get a chance to avenge themselves tonight. 20 minutes from pay dirt. Let's do this.

THIRD PERIOD

SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Letang has a game-high 17:04 minutes of ice time
- Both teams are 0-for-4 on the power play
- Pens have a 23-16 edge in faceoffs

0:00: The second period comes to a close with the Pens leading 2-0. Pittsburgh is outshooting the Bolts, 12-9.

3:06: Bergenheim took a wood chop into the face of Paul Martin. He was awarded a double-minor. Pittsburgh will get four minutes with the extra attacker.







5:45: Great backcheck by Crosby prevents a Tampa goal. Fleury made a kick save, but the puck drifted into dangerous territory. Sean Bergenheim had an open net to shoot into. However, Crosby stick checked him away from the puck.

11:32: Just 27 seconds later the Penguins strike again. This time Goligoski sneaked into the backdoor undetected. Rupp made a great pass through the slot to find the open defenseman, and Goligoski buried his chance. Penguins 2, Lightning 0.

11:59: A great job of pressure by the Penguins and lengthy zone time leads to the opening goal. Talbot found Letang at the midpoint. Letang snapped off a shot that appeared to be re-directed through Smith. Dupuis was credited for the goal. Penguins 1, Lightning 0.

14:42: TK goes to the box and the Bolts are back on the PP, but without the dangerous Stamkos. Four-on-three time.

15:23: Stamkos gets a hooking penalty and we'll skate four-on-four.

16:23: Letang goes to the box for boarding St. Louis. PK time for Pittsburgh.

19:04: Letang's slap shot from the far point clanks off the post.

19:24: Fleury makes an outstanding save on St. Louis. The speedy thimble got behind the defense for a breakaway. He stickhandled Fleury down, but the netminder got his pad off the ice for the save.

20:00: Annnnnnd go.

SECOND PERIOD





FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- Cooke has a game-high four hits as Pittsburgh is outhitting Tampa, 15-8
- Crosby is 7-4 in the faceoff circle (64 percent)
- Adams leads the Pens with two shots

0:00: The first period comes to an end with the Penguins and Lightning scoreless. Pittsburgh outshot the Bolts, 6-3, in the opening frame.

2:04: Another great chance for Crosby on a quick snap shot from the far dot. Smith uses his pads and covers the puck. Pittsburgh is getting a lot of chances in the last few minutes, but Smith is standing tall.

3:02: Crosby draws a hooking penalty on a great try on top of the crease. Kunitz set up the play and Crosby nearly converted a goal. Pittsburgh takes the man-advantage.

3:34: Pittsburgh successfully kills off the penalty and we're back to even strength.

5:37: Rupp will go to the box and Pittsburgh goes on the GNC Penalty Kill.

7:53: "Come on fans let's hear it. Your Penguins are on the POWER BALL POWER PLAY!!!" - Ryan Miller, PA announcer





10:19: Who said Fleury lacks confidence? He just made a sprawling stick save on St. Louis to deny the Bolt.

11:07: Letang has a chance from a tough angle with Smith out of position. The netminder recovered to make the stop to keep the game scoreless.

13:04: Smith makes a tremendous save on a hard Cooke slap shot. Smith actually gloved the puck over his blocker shoulder. It was quite awkward looking, but effective.

13:33: Looks like Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher is playing the Stamkos line against Crosby's line. An interesting strategy.

14:58: Talbot had a great chance in front but the puck jumped off his stick. Mike Smith was there to stop Adams chance right after the play.

15:15: The linesman did a little repair to the faceoff circle prior to dropping the puck.

17:28: Hall drove hard to the net after Fleury had covered the puck. Flower responded with a glove shot to his former teammate's face.

18:11: Letestu carries the puck in on goal for a two-on-one and sends a shot high and wide over the net.

20:00: Puck dropped.

FIRST PERIOD

7:06: What a classy move by Penguins' fans. Prior to the national anthem, the fans started a "Fleury! Fleury!" chant to give Pens' netminder a boost. Pens fans are always supportive of their team.

7:02: Chris Conner will make his season debut in Pittsburgh. The follow lines will be used at the onset of the game:

Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
Cooke-Malkin-Asham
Conner-Letestu-Kennedy
Rupp-Talbot-Adams

Orpik-Letang
Martin-Michalek
Goligoski-Engelland


7:00: Tonight's matchup features two of the best players in the NHL, and last season's "Rocket" Richard duo of Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. The two currently rank No. 1 and 3 in scoring and goal scoring in the leage - (Stamkos, 26 points; Crosby, 22 points - Stamkos, 14 goals; Crosby 10 goals).

The Lightning will be without Vinny Lecavalier, who broke his hand Thursday night in Washington.

For the Pens, Marc-Andre Fleury is back between the pipes and looking to get his 150th career win - which would make him the seventh youngest goalie in NHL history to do so.

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