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Pens-Bolts In-Game Blog

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins


0:00: Well, the Pens battled to the final bitter whistle. This game did not go their way.

1:02: Wow. That was one of the most intense and crazy puck battles in front of the crease I've ever seen. Somehow it doesn't go in. Seconds later Niskanen and Stamkos rough it up.

2:24: Pens are back on a power play and pull Fleury.

3:11: GOAL!!! Kennedy scores on a one-timer from above the circles in the high slot that rips past Roloson. Martin with the lay up pass. Bolts 4, Pens 1.

4:13: Well this one is over. Letang loses his footing and Lecavalier steals the puck and has an easy empty-net goal. Bolts 4, Pens 0.

4:24: After a TV timeout Fleury went back in the net. Tampa gets called for delay of game and now Fleury's goes back to the bench.

4:29: The Pens pull Fleury in a desparation move. Let's see if it pays off.

4:46: After a scrum in the slot the refs are going to call a penalty on Neal for knocking over Roloson. Pens still on a PP, but 4-on-3 now.

5:04: Pens call timeout and asst coach Reirden draws up a play on the board.

6:05: Pens are now on the PP as two penalties called on Tampa, including a highs sticking penalty.

7:42: Adams gets a great chance from the slot shorthanded. Skipping CD: Roloson makes the save.

8:17: Letang and Hedman collide and then Letang gets called for cross checking. PK goes to work.

11:10: Boucher calls a timeout for Tampa.

(Just had a debate with my dad, who insisted that Staal's first name is Jason. I assured him that as far as I know it's always been Jordan. Best part is he could have said Eric, Marc or Jared and I would have understood, but he came up with Jason. Precious.)

12:30: Niskanen got caught flat footed off a faceoff and Stamkos had a 2-on-1. His shot was stopped by Fleury. Niskanen recovers to clear away the rebound that went off the crossbar.

14:42: As expected and extensively talked about before this game, Tampa is locking into their 1-3-1 trap and cutting the Pens flow. Watch for the Pens D to get activated and start skating up in the play to create some offense.

(My dad just said, "I like that Doop-us. He works hard." I assume means Dupuis. Adorable.)

17:56: The Lightning strike again with a PP goal. This one for Downie on a breakdown in the slot. Bolts 3, Pens 0.

18:54: Engelland finishes his check and will go to the box. This will be a big HUGE kill for the Pens if they can get it.

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

(Tony G's mustache is lookin' pretty suave. My dad is impressed).

- Malkin leads team with 4 shots & 8-2 in faceoffs (80%)
- Pens outshooting Bolts, 21-11
- Tampa has blocked 15 shots & has 13 giveaways
- Fleury surrendered his first PP goal against this season. He had been perfect on the year

0:00: The period ends with the Pens down by 2 goals. Pittsburgh has already won 2 games this season when trailing after 2 periods. Will they make it 3?

0:50: St. Louis with a great keep in the zone sets up a scoring chance, but Orpik clears the danger.

2:13: Pens get off a shot from the point and Adams tries to bat in the rebound, but Roloson continues to frustrate.

4:22: Sick pass by Sullivan through the paint to Malkin, but Roloson gets a pad on it. After it appeared that Sullivan scored, but the refs blew the play dead.

5:20: Malkin snaps off a hard shot that hits the post. Roloson lost his stick in the process.

6:01: Hedman is called for holding as the Pens were ruthless in the paint. Pittsburgh goes on the power play.

6:25: Bodies are flying everyone on the ice. Two Pens just played "leap frog" at the side of the net. Pittsburgh is attacking the crease.

7:28: Orpik gets slashed in the hand and lot his glove in the process. He was in obvious pain, but no call by the ref.

8:55: This game opens up like the Red Sea with the 4-on-4. Malkin gets a one-timer in the high slot that ended up getting block. Then Tampa had a 3-on-2, but couldn't get the shot on goal.

9:47: Cooke is going to get called for hooking and we'll go 4-on-4.

10:40: Neal works like a horse on two Bolts and draws a penalty. Pens will go on the PP.

11:13: Some great skating/puck handling by Malkin to get away from a defender and get off a backhander on net.

15:52: Connolly re-directs a shot on that trickles through Fleury for a power-play goal. Bolts 2, Pens 0.

17:31: After Roloson covers a puck, Kennedy and Moore get into each other's faces following the play. TK will go to the box for high sticking.

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

- Malkin is 3-1 in faceoffs (75%)
- Pens have the edge in shots, 7-5
- Martin (8:35) and Letang (8:24) leaders in ice time

0:00: Letang loses an edge and falls to the ice. The period ends with the Bolts leading 1-0.

0:54: Malkin had a 2-on-1 with Sullivan, but his attempted pass was ruined by Purcell.

2:50: Cooke gets a great chance at the side of the cage, but Roloson makes the save. The Pens have spent most of this period in Tampa's zone, but it's the Bolts with a 1-0 lead.

5:50: The power play expires. Great read by Hall to intercept a pass from Sullivan that would have been an easy one-timer for a score.

6:56: There was a loose, bouncing puck in the crease, but the Pens can't find a way to get it into the net.

7:38: Pens now on the power play as Adams comes out of the box.

7:58: The Bolts power play is negated as Shannon goes to the box for goalie interference. 4-on-4 action.

9:35: Pens penalty killers go to work as Adams goes to the box for interference.

11:22: The Lightning get on the board as Lecavalier took a turned over puck, gets to the goal and slides it through Fleury. Bolts 1, Pens 0.

11:50: The Lightning successfully kill off the penalty. We're back to even strength aside.

13:50: The Pens will go on the power play as the Lightning get whistled. Steven Stamkos will go to the box for tripping.

18:50: You wanna beat the 1-3-1, Pens just showed how to do it. Carry until you get cut off in the neutral zone, chip it into the zone and then win the offensive zone puck battle. Neal executed that to perfection and it led to a few scoring chances.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on. First period underway.

Dads' Trip Photo

7:30 PM:
Pens lineup...



Fleury starting on net.

(My dad asked me "When is Cosby coming back?" I assume he means Bill. I think his acting/pudding commercial days are over. 7 years and my dad still doesn't realize there is an "R" in Crosby. I absolutely love him.)

6:50 PM:
On the hockey side of business, Meesh has all the info on tonight's game in her Pens Report. Fleury will get the start in net, and it looks like the team will have the same lines from Tuesday's game vs. Colorado, although coach Bylsma said the final lineup will be a game-time decision.

If you're a hockey strategy wonk you should read Bylsma's comments on how the Pens will counter Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 here. Cliff notes, it's the complete opposite of Philadelphia's approach.

Below is Meesh's Game Day Report from sunny Florida.

6:40 PM:
As I said, tonight marks the first of 2 games on the Dads' Trip. Meesh had a little fun with a dads guessing game. Test your luck below.

6:30 PM:
It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh. Tonight the Pens are in Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning in a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup playoffs opening round series.

But before we get to game-intense stuff, we have to note that the Pens are holding their 6th annual Dads' Trip over the next 2 games in Florida (finishing up against the Panthers on Saturday).


I had the honor and privilege of taking my father, Sam Sr., on the Dads' Trip the past two seasons (by the way, my dad is 4-0 in Dads' Trips). It is an amazing gesture by the organization and I feel truly blessed to have had that experience with my father. It's something I will forever cherish an never forget. But this year Michelle Crechiolo, though not with her father, is down in Florida covering this season's Dads' Trip.

But that doesn't mean I'm not celebrating the Dads' Trip without my dad. I'm going to be blogging tonight's game from Big Sam's house. And in honor of my father, I'm going to open the night's blog with a song of his choosing: Steely Dan "Deacon Blues."

The song is the ring tone for his phone. I'm just surprised he knew how to set up a ring tone considering any time I would text him he would complain, "Sam doesn't call anymore, all he does is send me faxes." Dads are so precious.

Anyways, here is Steely Dan "Deacon Blues" for the Old Man. Enjoy.

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