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Penguins Report: Game Day vs. NY Rangers

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
Game day final thoughts…

  • Lots and lots of stuff on Lemieux’s scrimmage game, blog, pics, video, etc. (12:59 PM to 2:21 PM).
  • Pens had the morning off (11:36 AM), lineup is below.
  • Simon Despres was named to Team Canada (4:11 PM).
  • Great stuff from Tony on the NHL-record 17-game streak (4:12 PM).
  • Pens wives/gfs are hosting Pens and Pins (4:14 PM).
  • The Rangers skated (12:00 PM).
  • “You were standing on the hood of the car singing out loud when the sun came up…” (11:31 AM).

Head coach Dan Bylsma updated the lineup for tonight's game. Chris Kunitz is out for the second straight game. Brent Johnson will get the start in goal. Ben Lovejoy will play in place of Deryk Engelland. The team will use the same lines from the Philly game:



4:14 PM:
Pens and Pins is back for a third installment this seaosn.

4:12 PM:
Tony Jovenitti took a trip down memory lane for the Pens' NHL record 17-game winning streak.

4:11 PM:
Pens defensive prospect Simon Despres was selected by Team Canada to play in the WJC.

2:21 PM:
And that will do it. The vice president of video relations Jim Britt scores in OT to give Team Black a 5-4 victory. Lemieux's unofficial stat line reads: 3 goals, 1 assist, 1 post, 1 legend.

2:09 PM:
Coach Pierre has been short shifting Lemieux and the strategy is paying off. The game is opening up as the guys are getting tired. But Lemieux is fresh and he's taking advantage. Team Black has had several great scoring chances thanks to 66.

2:05 PM:
Lemieux hovers around the red line and breaks the puck in for a 3-on-1 with Reirden and Bourque. Lemieux dishes to Reirden, who gives it back to him. Lemieux roofs the shot. Goalie never had a chance.

2:02 PM:
Lemieux with a pretty set-up play. He carried the puck toward the back of net. As he dropped below the goal line he made a blind drop pass to the side of the cage. The goalie followed Lemieux around the net and the puck was easily shot into the open cage.

1:59 PM:

Bryan Trottier is in mid-retirement form (left); coaches Bylsma and Granato fight for a loose puck

1:45 PM:
HEEEEEEEE SHOOTS AND SCORES!!! MARIO LEMIUX!!! Buy me a drink and get my dog one too!

Lemieux found the puck in the neutral zone. He carried it in on three men. He stick handled around the website's own Jason Seidling before roofing a shot into the top corner. He still has the hands!

(To Jason's credit though, he did stop Lemieux in a 1-on-1. No. 66 tried to go through Jason's legs, but was denied).

1:35 PM: 
Here's video of Mario's first goal at CONSOL Energy Center:

1:27 PM:
Here are some more pics of Lemieux's skate. He's being joined by fellow Hall of Famer Brian Trottier.

Former teammates Phil Bourque and Bryan Trottier (left); Dan Bylsma (right)

Pierre Larouche coaching Team Black

12:59 PM:
Everyone knows by now that Pens Hall of Fame player/co-owner/hockey god Mario Lemieux will be taking part in the Winter Classic alumni game on Dec. 31st. But Lemieux got in some pre-skate action Wednesday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center.

No. 66 hit the ice for the Pens re-occuring staff game. The Pens coaches and staff participate in a scrimmage on home game days for some friendly competition.

12:00 PM:
Visual evidence of the Rangers morning skate:

11:36 AM:
With the team playing in back-to-back contests, head coach Dan Bylsma has cancelled the Pens Wednesday morning skate. Pittsburgh is playing its sixth back-to-back series of the season. The Pens are 8-3 on the season with a 3-3 mark of the first game and a perfect 5-0 in the backend.

The Pens host the Rangers tonight, the last team to beat Pittsburgh before the 12-game winning streak. It should be a spirited affair.

11:31 AM:
The Pens' 12-game winning streak came to an end on Tuesday. But it was still a remarkable run. Just consider that it was the eighth best run in NHL history. That's the entire history of the league!

To honor the streak, which doesn't happen often, we're kicking off the day with Better Than Ezra's "A Lifetime."

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