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Penguins Report: Game Day vs. Phoenix

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins scratched forward Eric Godard and defenseman Martin Skoula for tonight's game. Phoenix scratched former Penguin Paul Bissonnette, winger Francis Lessard and defenseman Kurt Sauer.


The puck drops and we are underway.

19:20: Matt Cooke goes to the penalty box two minutes for interference.

17:20: The Penguins kill Cooke's penalty.

17:13: Cooke is stopped by Ilya Bryzgalov on a breakaway out of the box.

13:42: Bryzgalov makes a save on Pascal Dupuis coming down the left side.

13:27: A highlight film of Gary Roberts is shown on the jumbotron. The crowd roars upon seeing him sitting in a box with Mario Lemieux.

13:27: Evgeni Malkin draws a four-minute penalty for high-sticking as the crowd continues to chant "Gary, Gary."

11:27: The Penguins kill the first penalty to Malkin.

10:53: Ed Jovanovski wrists a shot over the shoulder of Brent Johnson through a screen to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead. Assists went to Shane Doan and Adrian Aucoin. Coyotes 1, Penguins 0.

9:24: Johnson robs Doan with a glove save after a loose puck rolled to Doan wide open to Johnson's left.

9:24: The Penguins honor Iraqi veteran Steve Mitrisin. Mitrisin attended practice with the Penguins on Tuesday.

7:11: The Penguins go on the penalty kill again. Sergei Gonchar gets two minutes for hooking.

5:35: Jay McKee blocks a Doan shot in the high slot after a nice passing sequence by the Coyotes.

5:11: The Penguins kill Gonchar's penalty.

4:58: The crowd reacts negatively after Malkin is hit by Jovanovski in the neutral zone.

4:03: Malkin drives the net and draws a penalty to the Coyotes Vernon Fiddler.

4:03: The Penguins show a highlight film of Ulf Samuelsson's top moments with Pittsburgh. Samuelsson is an assistant coach for Phoenix. Cheers ring out when Samuelsson is shown.

2:03: Phoenix kills Fiddler's penalty.

1:01: The Penguins honor Sidney Crosby for reaching 400 career points Saturday night against the Islanders.

0:00: The first period horn sounds with the Coyotes holding a 1-0 lead. Phoenix also outshot the Penguins, 10-8.


The puck is dropped between Jordan Staal and Matthew Lombardi to begin the second.

15:57: Bryzgalov makes a nifty save on a sneaky shot by Tyler Kennedy flying down the right side.

14:38: Aucoin goes to the box for interferring with Sidney Crosby.

13:10: The Penguins' power play evaporates when Crosby is sent to the box for slashing.

12:38: The Coyotes head to the power play as Aucoin rejoins the action.

11:10: The Penguins kill Crosby's penalty.

10:55: Bryzgalov does a good job to stay with a shot tipped in front by Tyler Kennedy. Mike Rupp started the play by winning the faceoff.

10:00: The Penguins are short for a sixth time as Brooks Orpik is penalized for hooking.

9:13: Phoenix gets another power play goal as Petr Prucha scores from his backside. Assists go to Radim Vrbata and Robert Lang. Coyotes 2, Penguins 0.

9:05: A video clip is shown on the scoreboard of Pittsburgh being named "Best Sports City" this week by Sporting News magazine.

8:29: Doan rings a shot of the post behind the right of Johnson.

5:29: An apparent Penguins' goal by Alex Goligoski is wiped off as Matt Cooke heads to the penalty box for interferring with Bryzgalov.

5:14: The referees even things up as Vrbata is whistled for hooking.

4:09: Crosby and Aucoin receive coincidental minors as Aucoin gets a rough and Crosby a slash. Play stays four-on-four.

3:17: Play again gets chippy after the whistle as two more players are sent off. Cooke and Martin Hanzal get two minutes each for roughing.

0:55: Bryzgalov makes a huge save on Kennedy right after the Penguins nearly score on a tic-tac-toe passing sequence.

0:16: Jovanovski is penalized for roughing Malkin along the boards.

0:00: The second period ends with the Coyotes leading, 2-0. Shots on goal are even at 18-18, as the Penguins outshoot the Coyotes 10-8 in the second.


Play begins with the Penguins still on the power play.

18:16: The Penguins' power play expires.

14:01: Another Coyotes's power play as Chris Kunitz is penalized for tripping.

12:01: The Penguins kill the power play.

11:55: Johnson makes a sprawling stick save as Fiddler gets behind Jay McKee. McKee is penalized for hooking on the play.

11:46: Aucoin negates the Coyotes' power play by taking an interference penalty.

9:46: Both teams are back at full strength.

8:45: The crowd boos as no penalty is called on a trip against Crosby.

7:11: Bryzgalov stops Jordan Staal on one of the Penguins' best scoring chances of the night.

0:53: Vrbata puts the puck into an empty net. Coyotes 3, Penguins 0.

0:00: The Coyotes defeat the Penguins, 3-0.


4:51 PM:
Tonight's contests against the Phoenix Coyotes marked the return of the Penguins "Student Rush" program. As you can see, many die-hard students got to Mellon Arena early to take part in the program, which is sponsored by American Eagle.

Some students brought cards and Froot Loops.

Did I mention American Eagle is the sponsor? Here is the hoodie that was handed out to students.

12:33 PM:
The Penguins made at least one lineup change, and another may follow, at their morning skate Wednesday in preparation for their matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes at Mellon Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Goaltender Brent Johnson will make his Penguins’ debut in net for the club.

“It’s exciting and refreshing,” Johnson said. “I haven’t played in a really long time. It will be nice to get 60 minutes under my belt.”

Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma informed Johnson last week that he would get the nod for Wednesday night’s game.

“This is a chance that he knew was coming,” Bylsma said. “He’s been planning for it. He’s done a great job in practice at being sharp, getting extra work and getting ready. He’s known for a week that he was getting this game. This is his first chance to play for the Penguins and backstop us. I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Johnson has used practices to remain sharp in preparation for tonight’s contest.

“It’s making the practices games. When you go out in practice you won’t stop 100 percent of the shots but you can do your best to try,” Johnson said. “Get your head mentally into what you want to do when you get a chance to play.”

The other possible change will be a game-time decision, and involves playing speedy forward Chris Bourque. Bourque took a few shifts at Pittsburgh’s morning skate.

“There’s a chance he could play,” Bylsma said. “We’ll go game-time but more than any other game, this one is a chance for him to get in.”

Here were morning skate combinations and pairings:


10:18 AM:
Pittsburgh was ranked as the No. 1 sports city in America by the Sporting News.

Sporting News also pulled together a panel of knowledgable hockey minds to compile a list of the top 50 players in the NHL. Sidney Crosby came out as No. 1 with Evgeni Malkin rated No. 3. Marc-Andre Fleury also made the list at No. 24.

Read the rest of the top 50 here
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