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Pens-'Canes In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


0:00: Those were honestly some of the most intense last minutes of a game I have ever experienced. Wow. Pens pull out the 3-2 win.

0:17: Wow. This is absolutely insane. INCREDIBLE penalty killing by everyone just now! Jokinen's shot hits Johnny's skate, deflects off the post, comes back right to the blade of Eric Staal but Johnny flops on his back and covers with his arm (with Orpik diving across the crease for insurance)! Holy moly!!!

0:55: With a little over 30 seconds left on the 5-on-3, Cooke is whistled for tripping. Bylsma using his timeout. 'Canes pull their goalie to give them a 6-on-3 advantage.

2:06: Dupuis whistled for interfence. 'Canes get a two-man advantage for 1:38. Yikes!!!

2:26: Asham serving a too many men penalty. Not the kind of penalty you want to take this late in the game with a one-goal lead. Muller just used his timeout.

3:00: Pens' Staal takes a puck to the face on an errant shot and instantly goes to the ice dripping blood. He has to be helped off. We'll give you an update if we can.

4:27: James Neal seemingly scores on a magnificent diving shot, but Malkin interferes with Boucher on the play and it's ruled no goal. Pens' lead still 3-2.

7:31: Patrick Dwyer drives to the net hard and McBain picks up the garbage with four seconds left on his team's PP. Pens 3, 'Canes 2

8:27: Carolina has one minute left on a 5-on-4 advantage.

9:26: Sully in the box for roughing after a scrum ensues by the 'Canes goal. We're going to 4-on-3 for a bit here.

10:05: Snazzy spin move by Geno to get the puck to cage. It rebounds to Duper, who kicks it to the net before gobbling up his own rebound and stuffing it past Boucher for the score! Pens really lighting it up now! Pens 3, 'Canes 1

10:49: We're going to 4-on-4 hockey now with coincidental penalties awarded to J. Staal and Ruutu.

11:27: Beautiful stretch breakout pass from Martin to Adams, who carries into the zone and dishes a cross-ice pass to liney Asham. Ash winds up and releases an absolute bomb past Boucher! Two-point night for Addsy! Pens 2, 'Canes 1

12:24: Justin Faulk races to grab a puck in his own zone, but despite the head start Sully catches up to him, lifts his stick and manages to direct the puck at a surprised Boucher! What wheels from Sullivan!

12:51: INJURY UPDATE -- Deryk Engelland has a lower-body injury and his return to tonight's game is questionable.

15:32: Loving the hustle from the Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis line so far tonight. They're really wreaking havoc in the O zone tonight.

18:16: Pens just completed a sequence where the Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis line got about four shots to the cage, with Orpik pinching in and helping out as well. They're certainly coming hard at Boucher to start the period.

20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Pens looking to pull ahead for the victory! Game on!

- Adams now has goals in two straight games for the fourth time in his career
- That goal was McBain's first of the season
- Kunitz and Crosby each have four shots
- 'Canes are 16-11 in the face-off dot





0:00: Period ends with the teams tied 1-1. Pens outshooting 'Canes 21-18.

1:19: On a delayed penalty call, Joni Pitkanen feeds Jamie McBain with a cross-ice pass that he absolutely blasts into the cage. Pens 1, 'Canes 1

4:35: Wow!!! Jeff Skinner had an absolutely WIDE OPEN NET with the puck on his blade just outside the blue paint, but Orpik comes across and sweeps the rubber disc the other way and out of danger! Huge play by No. 44!!!

7:24: Duper lays a huge hit on a 'Canes defender behind his goal, sending him flying into the boards! Love the energy of this game!

11:26: Kunitz gets a good chance on a 2-on-1 opportunity, with Bryan Allen making a nice sliding block on his shot. However, Sid swoops in, grabs the puck and heads to the blue line surrounded by three 'Canes, banking the puck to himself before dishing a gorgeous, no-look backhand to Craig Adams' wheelhouse. Addsy one-times it short side past Boucher for the score! Pens 1, 'Canes 0

12:44: Pens already have seven shots this period and are now outshooting Carolina 15-13. They've held the 'Canes to just one shot. The defensive clamps are coming out... 

13:20: Geno drives to the net hard -- parting a sea of Hurricanes players -- gets a good shot and grabs his own rebound, but Boucher comes up with a pair of saves. Nice work by Malkin on that play. 

17:16: Bylsma just used Kunitz on the left wing with Staal and Kennedy. Shaking things up a bit it seems.

18:03: 'Canes back to full strength.

20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Pens actually begin the period with a power play as Patrick Dwyer went off with four seconds left in the first for hooking.

- Engelland has a team-high 10:03 minutes
- Orpik leads the Pens with three hits


0:00: Horn sounds. First period over with the score still 0-0. 'Canes outshooting Pens 12-5.

3:02: 'Canes with seven decent scoring chances already. Johnny's been strong from the start.

6:59: Honestly, this pace is ridiculous. Both clubs playing physical, blue collar hockey right now.

10:25: Huge shift just now by the Sullivan-Malkin-Neal line! They got plenty of looks at Boucher thanks to some hard work in the O zone.

12:45: Scary sequence in front of the Pens net just now as the 'Canes sieged hard, but good awareness by Pitt's fourth line to clear the puck out!

13:34: Both teams off to a fast, up-tempo start. Lots of energy from both sides. Johnny's already had to come up with a few quality stops on the five shots he's faced so far.

15:49: Fun fact: new 'Canes coach Muller was drafted second overall in the 1984 NHL Draft behind Pens owner/legend Mario Lemieux. Crazy, huh?

18:48: After the 'Canes start the game in the Pens' D zone, Neal gives Malkin a pretty pass that gives Pittsburgh their first shot on goal and an O zone faceoff.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on!

7:00 PM:
Vitale, Letang and Michalek are scratched. Here are the official Pens' lines:



Johnson in goal. Brian Boucher gets the nod for the 'Canes.

6:53 PM:
To learn more about the 'Canes before puck drop, click here for my detailed scouting report. Or you can watch the cliffs notes version below:

6:30 PM:
Good evening everyone! Tonight I've taken my blog to the official away game headquarters of the Pittsburgh Penguins -- T.G.I. Friday's at CONSOL Energy Center -- where I've posted up with my co-worker (and fellow Michigan State grad) Nick Schultz. I've eaten many a delicious meal here during my time with the Pens, so if you're around, you should definitely stop by for some tasty food and drinks and say hello!


The Pens are in the midst of warmups at the RBC Center, where they'll be taking on the Carolina Hurricanes in just about a half hour. Tonight the Pens will battle Carolina for the second time this season and the first time under new head coach Kirk Muller, who took over the struggling 'Canes on Monday.

The Penguins will be without defensemen Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek for the second-straight game, as both players are in Pittsburgh being further evaluated by doctors. Head coach Dan Bylsma said he will provide an update on their statuses after the game. (For the rest of today's game day coverage, visit the Penguins Report).

Brent Johnson gets the nod in goal for his seventh start of the season and his 300th career game!!! Congrats to Johnny!

Johnny, who generally performs well against Carolina with a 7-6-2 overall record, was also in net the last time the Pens faced the Hurricanes and will be looking to rebound from that tough loss. During training camp, we asked each of the guys to name their ultimate entrance song...and in Johnny's honor, I'm playing the instrumental version of his choice to kick off the blog.

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