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Penguins-Panthers In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
0:00: That's game! The Penguins defeat the Panthers, 3-2! Chris Conner scores the game-winning goal, while Crosby gets one goal and one assist to extend his point streak to nine games. Pittsburgh's special teams came to play tonight as the Pens scored twice with the man advantage and killed off all five Florida power play attempts. The team continues its 5-0-1 unbeaten streak, and will play again Wednesday at Buffalo.

Crosby just misses an empty net!

The Panthers have pulled Vokoun for the extra attacker.

The Penguins' PK is going into overdrive. They're blocking shots and clearing bodies like it's nobody's business.

Kennedy is whistled for boarding, and the Pens will embark on their fifth PK of the evening. Weiss just teed up a shot that deflected weirdly off of Fleury, but the Pens goalie recovered and covered his rebound.

5:46: Kunitz finds some space in front of the Panthers' net, but Vokoun comes up with the save. He's now got 23 stops on the night.

7:04: Mark Lestestu hooks a pass to Chris Conner, who cocks and shoots for the score shortside past Vokoun! Penguins 3, Panthers 2

Fleury with a big kicksave! The Pens immediately head back up the ice with a three-on-one attempt, but the Panthers' defense stalls their attempt.

A Radek Dvorak pass from the corner slides across the crease to Higgins, but Fleury comes up with a big save.

Vokoun smothers a Pens shot, and we finally get a whistle. These last few minutes have been full of back-and-forth, fast-paced play between the two squads.

Higgins hits the crossbar! His shot clanged off the top right post.

16:40: Malkin almost nets Letang's rebound, but Vokoun covers.

Talbot bats a knucklepuck out of the air, which slides through the crease but play is whistled dead after Michal Repik is called for a penalty.

The third period is underway at the BankAtlantic Center.





- The Panthers outshot the Pens in the second, 12 shots to 6
- Despite serving a penalty, Orpik leads the Pens in minutes played tonight with 15:28
- Fleury has made 20 saves, including some big stops at the end of the period

That's it for the second. The Pens and Panthers are tied 2-2, with Florida holding a 22-20 advantage in shots.

Cooke hits the post on a shorthanded two-on-one with Talbot! Talbot dished a perfect pass across to Cooke, who whipped it at the net and nailed the crossbar.

Wideman loses a glove at the Pens' blueline, and grimaces his way to the bench.

Stephen Weiss finds a clear path to the net, but Fleury turns his shot away. However, Kunitz will now head to the box for roughing.

The Pens have definitely been putting the pressure on hard these last few minutes.

Kennedy's shot squirts behind Vokoun, but Dmitry Kulikov comes to his goalie's rescue and clears the puck out of danger.

Letang lays a bone-crushing hit on Chris Higgins at the blue line so hard his helmet almost goes off. So far, that gets our vote for hit of the game.

The Panthers are whistled for off-sides in what has proved to been a fast-paced game thus far. Face-off coming.

Two more spectular saves by Fleury! The Pens proceed to have a fantastic scoring chance of their own as Kunitz is stopped just inches from the post. He picked up a Crosby rebound just laying in the crease, but couldn't get it in the air past a sprawling Vokoun.

7:34: What a save! Fleury dives and covers a puck through traffic.


Letestu, Kennedy and Conner cycle the puck down low, but aren't able to get a shot off.

And the Pens have now killed off all three Panthers power-play attempts.

Orpik goes to the box for delay of game. Pens on the PK just over a minute after the Panthers tie the game at 2-2.

13:13: Fleury almost caught Bryan McCabe's wrister with his glove, but it bounced behind him and into the net. Penguins 2, Panthers 2



Michalek's shot bounces off Vokoun and deflects over to Malkin, who can't find the back of the net.

A wide-open Kunitz rips a shot from the slot, but Vokoun deflects it away.

After Fleury makes a big kick-save, Bylsma calls a time-out for the Pens.

Chris Conner nearly outpaces a Panther to the puck, but icing is called on the Pens.

Max Talbot managed to step up and intercept a couple of Panthers' clearing attempts, but Florida eventually dumps it in.

And the second period is underway!



- Zbynek Michalek has fired a team-leading three shots on goal
- He also leads the team in minutes played, logging 7:40 of ice time
- The Pens hold a 10-8 edge in faceoffs

That's it for the first.

The Pens are leading the Panthers 2-1, and shots on goal are 14-10 in favor of Pittsburgh.

After Jason Garrison's shot deflects off Fleury, Stillman stuffs home the rebound out of midair. The play is now under review to see if the puck went off his stick or his glove, and the refs have just determined that the goal is good. Penguins 2, Panthers 1

1:06: Both teams have each won eight faceoffs this period.

Asham nearly gets the puck past Vokoun, who couldn't find it right away in traffic.

2:28: Crosby now leads the league with 35 points, and is tied for second in goals (15) and assists (20).



Fleury holds a blast from the point, faceoff coming. Lots of back-and-forth play this period despite the four penalties called (two for each team).

The Penguins have successfully killed off the penalty.

Craig Adams got the call - he got two minutes for hooking.


The Pens are heading to the box.

That goal was Crosby's eighth multiple-point game of his last 11. It was also the Penguins' first period with two power-play goals since Oct. 18.

Kennedy finds Crosby, who smoothly dekes Vokoun and slips the puck into a wide-open net. Penguins 2, Panthers 0

Marty Reasoner will go to the box for hooking. Pens are now on their second PP of the night!

11:08: Malkin tries to redirect Crosby's shot from the high slot, but Vokoun smothers it. Shots on goal are 7-5 in favor of the Pens.


The Panthers just managed to fend off a great 3-on-2 opportunity by the Penguins.

12:25: The Pens have now killed 54 of their opponents' past 58 power play opportunities.

We've got another goaltender interference penalty, this time on Eric Godard. The Penguins will be on the penalty kill for the next two minutes.

Crosby's assist on Letang's goal gives him a season-high nine-game point streak. Paul Martin earned the other helper.

15:53: That didn't take long! Kris Letang's one-time shot from the point blasted by Tomas Vokoun as Chris Kunitz screened him. Penguins 1, Panthers 0

As Cory Stillman wristed a shot at Fleury, Weiss crashed into the net and will go to the box for goaltender interference.

Marc-Andre Fleury swatted away a shot by Shawn Matthias!

Defenseman Ben Lovejoy's blast goes just wide.

Evgeni Malkin is centering the second line.

20:00: And the game has begun.


7:30 PM:
Welcome everyone! Although the team is enjoying some warm Florida weather, we can't complain because today was unusually nice here in Pittsburgh. We'll be live-blogging tonight's matchup against the Panthers from the one and only Jason Seidling's living room.

The Pens will use these lines tonight:



Fleury will get the start in net.

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