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Penguins-Oilers In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00: Game over! The Pens have topped the Oilers by a score of 5-1.

2:42: Lovejoy ripped a wrister from the right circle, but Dubnyk absorbed the puck.

3:49: Goal! Chris Kunitz gets his 20th goal of the year! Neal slid the puck across the slot, and Kunitz smacked it past a sprawling Dubnyk. Penguins 5, Oilers 1

The Penguins are back to five skaters and will have a power play!

Gilbert Brule just completely leveled Kris Letang who was playing the puck right beside the net. He'll go to the box for a charge. We'll have four-on-four hockey for 18 seconds.

Shawn Horcoff just took a slap shot in the leg from a teammate from point-blank rage. He limped off the ice.

The Pens are whistled for delay of game as they clear the puck over the glass. Mike Rupp is serving the penalty. Pens on the PK.



9:19: Neal makes a couple of nifty moves to bring the puck to the front of the net before dishing to Letestu, but Letestu's shot is turned aside.

12:08: Michalek blasts a shot that beats Dubnyk far side!!! It's Z's second goal in three games after being held goalless through his previous 91 contests! Penguins 4, Sabres 1

13:12: The Oilers are back to full strength.

15:12: Jeff Petry is heading to the box for tripping. Pens on the PP! (Note: Petry is the Oilers' resident Cinco Ocho, as he wears No. 58 as well).



18:49: Ryan Jones digs away at a puck that was underneath Flower and shovels it into the back of the net. Penguins 3, Oilers 1

20:00: The final frame has commenced!


- Letestu is now 9-of-12 on faceoffs for a 75-percent success rate
- Staal has two points already tonight
- Letang has now logged 18:06 minutes

Also, just found out the Michigan State girls won the national championship!!! They held on for a 4-3 victory over Northeastern! Congratulations Spartans!

0:00: The first 40 minutes are in the books. The Pens lead 3-0 and are outshooting the Oilers by a 23-13 margin.

1:04: Tyler Kennedy sends a shot to the net that sneaks underneath Dubnyk and lays waiting in the crease. Staal sees it and jumps forward to poke it over the red line! Penguins 3, Oilers 0

1:16: The Pens are back to full strength.

1:32: Cooke nearly gets a point-blank scoring opportunity just outside the crease, but Dubnyk slides over and absorbs his shot.



3:16: Jason Strudwick is in the box for interference. Pens are heading back to the PK!

3:45: Both teams are struggling to establish offensive zone time right now.

6:14: The Oilers are back to full strength.

8:14: Jim Vandermeer's in the sin bin for cross-checking. Pens on the PP!


9:51: The Pens are back to full strength.

11:51: Kunitz is getting a pair for slashing. Pens on the PK.

12:12: After Letang's stick gets caught in an Oiler's jersey, he has to follow the play back into the Pittsburgh zone without it. Tyler Kennedy gamely sacrifices his stick for Tanger, except TK is a righty while Tanger is a lefty. It doesn't seem to be a problem for Tanger, who clears the puck out of the zone.


13:33: Lovejoy chips a puck off the boards to Dupuis, who quickly feeds a speeding Talbot. He breaks behind the Oilers D and dekes to his backhand before juking the puck back over to his forehand and tucking it neatly inside the cage!!! Penguins 2, Oilers 0

14:30: Lovejoy takes a shot from the post, but Dubnyk slides into the post and knocks the net off its moorings while making the save. The Pens quickly shovel the puck in the net, but it's not quite fast enough as the refs determine it's no goal.



Conner rings a shot off the red painted metal off the faceoff!

17:35: Jean-Francois Jacques sends a scorching wrister at Fleury, who smothers it for the faceoff.

18:38: The Oilers have started the second period hard. They just fired two shots on goal to get the ball rolling.

20:00: And they're off!


Geno's parents!

- Letestu is 6-of-8 on faceoffs for a 75-percent success rate
- That was Kunitz's 19th goal of the season
- Letang has logged 8:27 minutes while Michalek has logged 8:25 minutes

0:00: That'll do it for the first. The Pens hold a 1-0 lead and are outshooting the Oilers by a 13-1 margin.

0:34: Kunitz receives a pass from Tyler Kennedy while in front of the net, and he deftly backhands the puck underneath Dubnyk! Penguins 1, Oilers 0

1:09: Now Martin is as well! Absolutely phenomenal kill by the Pens just now - they didn't allow the Oilers a shot on goal during that two-man advantage.

1:23: Kovy is out of the box!

3:09: Now the Pens will have to kill off a 5-on-3 Oilers power play for 1:46, as Martin just got a pair for cross-checking. Adams, Cooke and Michalek are on the ice for the Pens.

3:18: Kovalev is in the box for holding the stick. Pens on the PK.

4:00: The Oilers are whistled for a hand pass, and as the players gather for a faceoff, Evgeni Malkin's parents are shown on the Jumbotron! The crowd loved it.



5:23: Omark just powered his way through a sea of black and ripped a shot at Flower that rang off the post!

6:29: The Oilers are back to full strength.

8:29: And the Pens are heading right back to the man-advantage, as Ryan Jones is whistled for hooking Martin.

10:46: After the Pens get a couple of cracks at the net, a rebound jumps out to Engelland on the point. He unleashes a cannon that Dubnyk comes out and challenges. Linus Omark is getting a pair for hooking on the play. Pens on the PP!

12:38: Fleury absorbs the Oilers' first shot of the game.


13:35: Another pair of great looks! After Martin made a smooth pokecheck to send Letestu's line up the ice, Kovalev's shot from the circle was turned aside by Dubnyk. Then the Pens send a knucklepuck shot from the point and Dubnyk barely gets a pad on it, with the rebound popping into the crease. But Dubnyk pounces on it before anyone in a black and gold sweater can get to it.

14:21: Letestu's line crashes the net off a set faceoff play, but no dice. The Pens have gotten some good looks at the net early.

14:34: Cooke nearly puts a puck past Dubnyk while stationed just outside the blue paint, but it misses the net!


16:31: Dupuis wheels down the ice and blasts a slapper at Devan Dubnyk, who turns aside the shot.

18:15: Conner carries the puck behind the Oilers net before turning and firing a shot, but the Edmonton D clears the rebound.

20:00: The puck has dropped. Game on!


3:00 PM: Just to reiterate a few points from Bylsma's chat with the media, the Pens will be playing with five defensemen for today's game as Matt Niskanen has the flu. Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod between the pipes. Here are the Pens' lines:



1:35 PM: Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...

On the Oilers:
This is a tough preparation game from the player’s standpoint. We have not seen the Oilers. We played last night, and we have an afternoon game today, so we don’t even have the luxury of a morning skate to prepare. So it’s a little bit of a unique situation, but I’ve had the fortunate chance to watch the Oilers play their last two games leading up to this weekend. It was probably one of the better efforts they’ve had against Detroit. They played really well as a five-man unit. Dubnyk played extremely well, maybe the best game I’ve seen him play. I think we’re going to get to see him tonight again. So we’re planning for that big goalie and that big body. Their defense played really strong, they were really committed to defense in the last game. They played a 1-3-1 there in the neutral zone, so we’ll see if they come back with that. And they have a group of forwards that – while depleted – still have some skill and some speed that can do some damage and looks to do some damage at times. So the guys will get their dose of the Edmonton Oilers here in the next 30 minutes or so with some meetings. I think in terms of our standpoint, after our performance last night, we’re going to be focused pretty solely on how we play this game.

On any lineup changes:
Marc-Andre Fleury will be starting in net, and Matt Niskanen got the flu this morning. He will not be in our lineup and we’ll be going with five defenseman.

On what happened with Jordan Staal at the end of Saturday’s game:

On if he likes playing 24 hours after a game like Saturday’s game:
I don’t see what happened yesterday as a teaching thing to show them where they went wrong. They know what we didn’t do well. We don’t need to necessarily show them. From a player’s standpoint, getting back out and playing is a good thing. From a coach’s standpoint, it is an opportunity to get back to playing what makes us a good team. We need to take that opportunity. It’s an opportunity that we get to get right back on the horse, and you need to take it and make sure we pay attention to some of the things that we weren’t very good at yesterday and some of the details that we didn’t have in our game that didn’t give us a very good chance to have success. Execution-wise, frankly, we just weren’t very good. We need to get back on that horse to where we were at, the work ethic level, so that we can play the type of game we need to have success tonight.

On the challenge of playing with five defensemen, and if any forward could play defense if necessary:
The answer to if there is someone who can go back and play is not a very good option. Could we put someone back there? Possibly. They’d be more apt to do it in special teams situations, on power play opportunities we can use a forward back there, and we will utilize that. Depending on who went down, there are forwards that play penalty kill in practice that could be comfortable in that situation going and playing back there. But in a regular five-on-five situation it’s not a scenario you want to put too many forwards in. We don’t have the Sergei Federov possibility that they had with Sergei in Washington and Detroit when we saw that happen. So we’re going to make sure Deryk Engelland understands that he’s focused on playing the game tonight and not getting tied up with a guy like (Steve) MacIntyre or anybody else for that matter.

Mad props: Tony Jovenitti

1:30 PM: Welcome everyone! Hope you all had a fun (and safe) St. Patrick's Day celebration. The Pens are back at CONSOL Energy Center for their second game in just over a 24-hour span, as they're preparing to face the Edmonton Oilers at 3 p.m.

I have to start the blog off by giving a much-deserved shout out to my former team, as the Michigan State University women's ice hockey varsity club team defeated Lindenwood University in the ACHA D1 national semifinals Saturday night. What makes that victory even sweeter is the fact that Lindenwood was the team that beat us in the national championship game last season. So the Spartans will be playing Northeastern University this afternoon for the chance to return to East Lansing with a national title. I couldn't be more proud!
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