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Pens-Bolts Game 2: In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


0:00: Game over. The final score is Penguins 1, Lightning 5

0:42: The players come together as Brooks Orpik is involved in a clash with a Lightning forward. Maxime Talbot and Dominic Moore are given 10 minute penalties and Pascal Dupuis is given two minutes for roughing. Pens on the PK.

1:23: Mike Rupp goes close from a tight angle with a wrist shot.

2:05: Empty net goal for the Lightning. Mattias Ohlund scores from the blue line. Lightning 5, Penguins 1

2:51: Letestu drives to the net and hits a backhander which flashes across the face of the goal. So close.

3:06: Kubina is given 2 minutes for interference

3:27: Pens on the PP!

4:10: Dupuis breaks down the left wing before driving a shot towards the net which is saved.

4:44: Letestu wins the faceoff but the puck runs away to the Lightning.

8:31: Dooper reaches into his arsenal of soccer skills and actually heads the puck toward the net, but Roloson snatches it out of the air with his glove!

9:00: Bolts back to full strength.

11:00: Kovy makes a nifty give-and-go pass to Neal, who dumps it in and the Pens are able to generate some net-front presence. The Lightning take a penalty on the play after Tyrell hauls down Neal in the blue paint. Pens on the PP!





15:33: Brett Clark just took a puck to the face off the stick of Orpik. He goes down and the trainer comes out to attend to him. He's eventually able to skate off the ice on his own and heads down the runway. The battle level for these guys never ceases to amaze me.

15:54: Staal powers to the slot and whips a shot at Roloson, but the Bolts goalie gets a piece of it and deflects it into the corner.

18:15: Lots of back-and-forth play between the two teams to start the period, with neither able to gain the zone.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Third period underway!

THIRD PERIOD



The view of the big screen from the roof of CONSOL Energy Center. Beautiful!


SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Letestu and TK each have four shots
- Kovy and Neal each have three shots
- TK also has four hits, as does Kunitz
- Michalek has logged 18:15 of ice time

0:00: The first 40 minutes are in the books. Tampa Bay holds a 4-1 lead and the Pens are outshooting the Lightning by a 22-16 margin.

0:14: It takes St. Louis just seven seconds to capitalize, as he wires a hard-angled shot from the corner into back of the net off the faceoff. Lightning 4, Penguins 1

0:21: The Pens will end this period on the kill, as Brooksie gets two for cross-checking.

2:57: Staal with some great work on the boards to keep the puck protected from the Lightning defenders and give himself an opportunity to feed Kovalev behind the net. Kovy instantly dishes to Neal in front of the net, but Neal can't get a handle on it!!!







3:54: The Pens are throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the net! They really have the Lightning on their heels right now!

4:26: Stamkos backhands a pass to St. Louis, whose shot is absorbed by Flower.

5:54: Martin tees off a blast that Roloson barely gets a piece of! Huge shift by the Pens right now!

7:58: Letestu backhands a shot that lands right in the blue paint, but the Lightning clear it out before a Penguin can get to it!!! Neal was the closest, but he was just a step too far away to make it in time.





10:05: The crowd is roaring once again! That goal got everybody back in the game!

10:52: Roloson tries to play the puck behind his net but he misplays it! Asham sends it in front and Adams closes in and punches the puck into the back of the net! The crowd is on its feet! Lightning 3, Penguins 1

11:30: Brooksie hustles down and pinches in to lay a huge hit on Adam Hall! Orpik setting the tone for his team once again!

13:10: Lecavalier picks up a loose puck in the slot and passes off to Stamkos, who's wide open on the doorstep! But Flower stacks the pads and makes the save!!!

14:04: Lightning back to full strength.







16:04: Kubina's going to the box after hi-sticking Kunitz. The Pens battled hard on that last shift, throwing pucks to the net and outhustling the Lightning. Hopefully they can gain some momentum on this power play.

16:36: Pens back to full strength.

17:40: Now the Pens are on the penalty kill for 1:05 minutes.

18:24: TK feeds Letestu with a heads-up little pass as Letestu is breaking to the net. Roloson comes up with the save and is able to eventually cover for the whistle. Great play by 48 and 10.

18:36: We're heading to 4-on-4 hockey for 44 seconds, as Tanger gets a pair for interference.

19:52: The Pens will begin the middle frame on the Power Ball Power Play, as Malone hooks Chris Conner!

20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Second period is underway!

SECOND PERIOD



FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- Gagne has two assists
- Michalek leads with 9:46 of ice time
- Neal has three hits
- Kennedy has three of the Pens' eight shots

0:00: The first period ends with the Penguins behind 3-0. Shots are even at 8-8.

2:58: Steve Downie picks up a puck in the neutral zone and finds a lane on the right side of the ice. He wheels down and blasts a shot at Flower, who makes the first save but the rebound jumps to the stick of a crashing Thompson, who stuffs it home for the score. Lightning 3, Penguins 0

6:18: The Pens have Lundin's number tonight! Neal just absolutely rocked him two times on his last shift. Great physical presence by No. 18.

6:54: Pens back to full strength!

8:00: HUGE play by Craig Adams just now. A juicy rebound popped out into the slot with Lecavalier waiting to pounce...but Adsy came out of nowhere, poked the puck into the corner and proceeded to clear it out of the zone.

8:54: The Pens are heading to box again, as Alex Kovalev just got whistled for hi-sticking. The Lightning are employing the same personnel they used on the last power play.

9:33: Pens just had a good shift in the offensive zone. A couple of big hits and lots of cycling.





13:07: With 28 seconds on the power play, Lecavalier bangs home a feed from Gagne, who slid a backhand pass across the crease to the Bolts captain. Lightning 2, Penguins 0

14:21: The Lightning are now on the power play for 1:42 minutes. They're using Gagne, St. Louis and Lecavalier up top and Brewer and Stamkos on the points.

14:39: After Staal makes a fantastic play to kick the puck back to Niskanen on the faceoff so the Pens can gain the zone, he gets a penalty for boarding after crunching Ohlund into the boards. It's 4-on-4 for 16 seconds.

15:51: Out for the Pens right now are TK, Letestu and Kunitz up top and Michalek and Letang manning the points.

16:21: I spoke too soon. The Pens are heading to the power play, as the Lightning are whistled for too many men! Steve Downie is serving the infraction for Tampa Bay.

16:39: Both teams are back to five skaters, as everyone has been released from their respective penalty boxes.







17:58: The Lightning strikes first, as Nate Thompson and Eric Brewer head down the ice on a 2-on-1 rush on Orpik. Brewer carries down and decides to shoot, sniping a shot top shelf on Fleury. Lightning 1, Penguins 0.

18:23: Then just 16 seconds later, St. Louis gets called for hooking after he hauls Michalek down as they race for a loose puck off the faceoff in the Pens zone. We're going to 4-on-4 hockey for 1:44!

18:39: But on the ensuing faceoff, Max is whistled for slashing. Pens on the PK.

18:43: Talbot lays a bit of body on Mike Lundin, who's off-kilter as he gets rid of the puck and ends up crashing into the boards hard. Lundin heads to the dressing room after he's tended to on the ice by the trainer.

18:58: Pens start the game by establishing offensive zone pressure. They've kept the puck contained in the Tampa Bay zone since the opening faceoff.

20:00: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh!!!

FIRST PERIOD



7:05 PM: Are you pumped up enough yet?! Is the adrenaline flowing?! If not, check out the Game 2 in-arena video opener!





7:00 PM: The Pens' lines are the same as they were for Game 1:

Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy
Neal-Letestu-Kovalev
Dupuis-Talbot-Conner
Rupp-Adams-Asham

Orpik-Letang
Martin-Michalek
Niskanen-Lovejoy

Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod between the pipes. Let's revisit one of his beautiful saves from Game 1, shall we...(photo courtesy of Getty Images)





6:30 PM: Also, don't forget to check out Playoff Central for an archive of every bit of our coverage thus far!

If you're coming to tonight's game or checking out the big screen presented by Trib Total Media, make sure you're Wearing Your White! Because I mean, honestly – how awesome is this? (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)



Also, if you want to see what the turnout looks like at the big screen, PensTV is featuring a live stream. Thanks to today's gorgeous weather, there's already a phenomenal turnout!





6:25 PM: The guys had lots of great things to say during their post-morning skate interviews (which you can find in today's Penguins Report). But like I did on Wednesday, I chose one to highlight for you guys – this one being from Chris Kunitz. Kunie's been around the block for a while – he's won two Stanley Cups – and he knows from experience that the Lightning are going to come out tonight with everything they've got. This is the playoffs, after all.




6:15 PM: Welcome everyone! Today turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day in Pittsburgh – the sun is shining, the breeze is warm and you know what that means – it's a great day for playoff hockey!

We're getting close to puck drop here at CONSOL Energy for Game 2 of the first-round matchup between the Penguins and the Lightning, where the Pens are looking to grab a 2-0 series lead before heading to Tampa Bay for Games 3 and 4.

The Penguins played a physical yet disciplined game against the Lightning in Game 1 on Wednesday, taking just one penalty to Tampa Bay's six, and they're ready to do more of the same tonight.

But the young Lightning are sure to come out firing on all cylinders after getting the first game under their belt, and the Penguins are prepared for that. They plan to bring that same measure of intensity to the ice and outbattle the Lightning in every aspect.

I figured we'd kick off the blog with Game 1's highlights if you want to get reacquainted on what went down in this absolutely electric building on Wednesday. Here they are:



And okay, I have to add the requisite pump-up song again for tonight's game. This song came on my iPod while I was at the gym yesterday (for the first time in a long time) and I had forgotten how good it is. It's pretty much the Pens' mindset tonight – they're going to have to come out harder, better, faster and stronger than the Lightning.


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