0:00: Woooo whooo! Game 1 is in the books here at CONSOL Energy Center and the Penguins skate away 5-1 victors over their rival Detroit Red Wings. Pittsburgh received two goals from Ryan Craig
and one each from Mike Comrie, Sidney Crosby
and Brett Sterling.
The Penguins return to action on Friday with a 7 p.m. contest at Columbus.
Other than Crosby's hip flexor, this was as solid an opening performance as the Penguins could have hoped for. They have dominated the offensive zone, played well defensively and received quality netminding.
Thiessen slides across his crease to deny a two-on-one chance from Patrick Eaves. Save of the game right there.
The Penguins will have 23 seconds to work with on a two-man advantage with Stuart penalized for boarding.
With Crosby out, Mark Letestu takes his role on the top power-play unit.
A strong drive to the net by the Penguins leads to a Detroit penalty as Valtteri Filppula is given a minor penalty for hauling a Pittsburgh forward to the ice.
Kennedy and Stuart return to the ice and we are at full strength.
11:04: Tyler Kennedy
and Brad Stuart each receive matching coincidental minors for unsportsmanlike conduct, and we will skate four-on-four for the next two minutes.
The crafty Sterling continues to make plays in space despite his small size. He just won another battle in the corner and created his own shot down low, although McCollum made the stop.
Penguins forward Sidney Crosby
won't return due to a sore hip flexor.
The Penguins kill off the Comrie minor and both teams are five-on-five.
Both teams have made goaltending changes. Brad Thiessen
is in the nets for Pittsburgh and Thomas McCollum is manning Detroit's crease.
The Penguins look to finish off a "Sterling" debut performance at CONSOL Energy Center.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Pittsburgh is outhitting Detroit, 23-18.
- Zbynek Michalek
has six blocked shots.
- Defenseman Corey Potter has played a team-high 16:09 minutes.
Two periods are now in the books here at CONSOL Energy Center and the score is now 5-1 in favor of the Penguins. Shots on goal also favor the Penguins, 27-21. Detroit begins the third period on a 50-second power play.
The Penguins are on the GNC Penalty Kill again as Mike Comrie is caught for slashing. This feels like about the one millionth Detroit power play.
Tonight's official attendance: 18,087 - A SELLOUT!!! Another great first here at CONSOL Energy Center. Thank you fans!
Located in a display along the PNC Legends Level is the text message Penguins owner Mario Lemieux sent to the team prior to Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. I think you know the ending from that story.
Another odd-man rush for the Penguins and another goal on the scoreboard. Tyler Kennedy
's shot from the right dot went off the right pad of Osgood. Craig went hard to the net, beating Mike Modano to the loose puck, and shot into the empty cage. The second assist went to Letestu. Penguins 5, Red Wings 1.
See, we get back to five-on-five and the Penguins score again, leading to an "Osgood" chant. Dupuis fends off a Wing in the low slot and slides a pass through his legs to Crosby standing to the left ofthe crease. Everyone expected a Crosby shot, but instead he feed a pass right to the stick of Sterling to his right for the tap-in tally. Penguins 4, Red Wings 1.
The Penguins kill off another minor.
It's ashame the Penguins keep taking penalties because they were really dominating the Wings in the first period. This time it's Boulerice picking up the minor. At least GNC is happy, because they are the sponsor's of the PK this year.
Two seconds after Malkin stepped onto the ice Detroit's Ruslan Salei ripped a slap shot from the center point past the glove of Fleury to get the Wings on the board. Mattias Ritola and Valtteri Filppula pick up the helpers. Penguins 3, Red Wings 1.
The fans disagreed, but Malkin has been sent to the penalty box for boarding Detroit's Darren Helm.
Another player standing out and impressing me here tonight is Sterling. Not only is he showing he has the hands and creative instincts to play on a top line, he is winning puck battles along the boards and in the corners, something head coach Dan Bylsma said he would have to do during his media conference earlier today.
A worker hangs a Marc-Andre Fleury
picture, which looks great when it is all up.
Pittsburgh kills off the penalties and both teams are back at full strength.
Penguins fans you guys are going to love Michalek. On his last shift he blocked a Kindl shot from the center point and later won a puck battle in the near corner, took the puck and cleared it the length of the ice.
Detroit will only be up by one player because Daniel Cleary picked up a tripping call behind the Penguins net when he hauled Michalek to the ice.
One note, Brooks Orpik
was given a game misconduct to go along with his kneeing penalty while Todd Bertuzzi of the Red Wings received a 10-minute misconduct.
The Penguins will be down by two men as Joe Vitale
is penalized for hooking.
Hopefully this period is as good as Period 1!SECOND PERIOD
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Sidney Crosby
and Mike Comrie led the Penguins with five shots apiece.
- Crosby went 8-2 on faceoffs.
- Robert Bortuzzo
and Zbynek Michalek
were each plus-2.
The Penguins head to the locker room after 20 minutes thoroughly dominating the Red Wings. The score is 3-0 in favor of the Penguins and shots on goal are 20-7 Pittsburgh.
Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik
accidently got his knee into Johan Franzen, dropping him to the ice, which drew a penalty. Orpik then had to drop the gloves with Detroit power forward Todd Bertuzzi. Orpik received a five-minute major penalty for his knee, while Bertuzzi was given a minor penalty for instigating.
Osgood keeps dodging bullets and is lucky to only be trailing 3-0. Brett Sterling, who is playing on a line with Crosby
, just rang a shot off the post to Osgood's right, the second time the Penguins have hit metal.
The Penguins take the ice for the first time at CONSOL!
With a 3-0 Pittsburgh lead it only figures that we would have our first fight. The Penguins Jess Boulerice is dropping absolute haymakers on the Red Wings Aaron Downey. Give a unanimous decision to Boulerice! I think the building was crazy following that exchange than the Penguins' goals.
The goals are coming at a fast and furious pace now. Mark Letestu leads a three-on-two into the Detroit zone. Letestu slid a pass to Ryan Craig
skating down the left wing. Craig ripped a snap shot over Osgood for the goal. Brooks Orpik
picked up the second assist. Penguins 3, Red Wings 0.
I can't even describe what Evgeni Malkin
just pulled off, even though the puck didn't go into the net. Malkin took a feed from Comrie just outside Osgood's crease, put the puck between hig legs and fired a shot from between his legs off the post. Unbelievable skill set! You have to see that replay!
12:31: Sidney Crosby
is on the board at CONSOL Energy Center. Crosby took a breakout pass from Kris Letang
, got behind the defense streaking down the left seam and fired a shot towards the glove of Osgood, who made the orginal save. The puck bounced out of Osgood's catcher's mitt and Crosby whacked it into the cage. Penguins 2, Red Wings 0.
Osgood slides from his right to his left to rob Sidney Crosby
with a right-pad save just seconds after the Kindl penalty expires.
14:44: Mark Letestu, who has been one of the stars at camp thus far
, rips a shot off the post behind Osgood as big ben strikes one.
And now we have the first penalty at CONSOL Energy Center. Jakub Kindl gets the call for tripping Eric Tangradi
. Earlier today we wrote about some of the changes the Penguins power play was working on today
Tim Wallace establishes his presence, stepping up on the forecheck and nailing Derek Meech to the ice eight feet inside the Detroit blue line.
Welcome to Pittsburgh Mike Comrie! It doesn't take long for the Penguins to christen the new home. Comrie's first shot from the top of the right circle was stopped by Detroit's Chris Osgood. Comrie stayed with the rebound, batted it out of the air to himself and swatted a shot past Osgood. Assists went to Brett Sterling and Zbynek Michalek
. Penguins 1, Red Wings 0.
The first hit at CONSOL - naturally its thrown by Brooks Orpik
. A fitting start in that regard.
The CONSOL Energy Center era is underway! Crosby won the opening faceoff from Valtteri Filppula.
The Penguins starting lineup tonight: Marc-Andre Fleury
in goal; Brooks Orpik
and Kris Letang
on defense; Pascal Dupuis
, Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
One lineup change for the Penguins. Defenseman Brian Strait
is a late scratch from this morning and Robert Bortuzzo
is now in the lineup.
The Penguins have just taken the ice for the first time! The crowd is going absolutely bonkers. They are announcing the starting lineup and everyone is really into it. And just think this is just a preseason contest!!!
"Destiny Has A New Home!" The Penguins are minutes from taking the ice and officially opening CONSOL Energy Center. We will be providing you with all the action and pictures from tonight's exhibition opener between the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.