So fitting that I just posted that photo, as Chris Conner stuffs a spectacular lead pass from linemate Letestu past Climie! Penguins 6, Coyotes 1
Here's the best photo of the night:7:47:
Fleury comes up with the save after a lot of back-and-forth hockey between the two teams over these past few minutes. 11:53:
I guess we can say the "S" word now. Fleury's bid for a shutout is ruined in the oddest way, as a Coyotes shot from the point deflects off Wolski's knee and banks off Flower's head into the back of the net. I didn't believe it either at first. Penguins 5, Coyotes 112:32:
Upshall's out of the box. Both teams are back to full strength. 14:35:
Big save by Flower! The Pens jump to the aid of their goalie as the Coyotes forwards keep jabbing at the puck. A small scrum ensues, and Scottie Upshall is getting two for slashing. Pens on the PP.15:43:
Pens back to full strength.16:52:
The Pens just had a power play off that scenario, with Vernon Fiddler getting called for roughing. Nine seconds remain on the Pens PP.18:21:
Engelland and Pyatt are going at it! After the two exchanged a few punches, Engelland KO's him and tackles the Coyote down to the ground! Needless to say, Engelland gets the decision.20:00:
The third period is off and running!THIRD PERIOD
The Pens just honored their high school players for the month of November on the ice
. Congratulations to the honorees!
SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- The Pens PK = awesomeness.
- Malkin has five points through two periods!
- Letang leads the team with four hits.
That'll do it for a crazy middle frame. The Pens hold a 5-0 lead over the 'Yotes, holding a 29-15 advantage in shots.2:33:
Unbelievable. The Pens just killed off that insane string of penalties. We're back to full strength!!!
The crowd is going wild!
Two down, one to go! Cooke is out!4:55
: Rupp's out of the box! Cooke is next to be released.5:22:
And the ref has his arm up again. Brooks Orpik
just got sent to the box for hooking. It's getting awfully crowded in the sin bin... We've got a 5-on-3 for 47 seconds.6:14:
After a huge shot block by Max Talbot, Cooke's getting a penalty for roughing after he drills Keith Yandle into the boards on the resulting play. We're going to be playing some 5-on-3 hockey.6:35:
Mike Rupp just got two minutes for hooking. Pens on the PK. 7:20:
The crowd has just started a "Geno! Geno!" chant!8:04:
After some gorgeous cycling by the third line, Conner sends a pass to Geno in the slot, who had just hopped onto the ice for Mark Letestu. He nearly gets the goal, but Climie stymies his hat trick attempt!8:59:
The 'Yotes are whistled for icing and the faceoff will get sent to their zone.12:39: Matt Cooke
picks up a loose puck off the faceoff and sends a quick scorcher into the cage! Matt Climie will relieve LaBarbera as the Penguins take a five-goal lead. Penguins 5, Coyotes 0 14:17:
Sid just speeds between two 'Yotes defenders and tees off a shot at LaBarbera, who has trouble handling the puck but is able to deflect it aside. Impressive display of hustle by the captain.17:22:
I'm almost at a loss for words. Malkin picks up a puck in the corner as Crosby recognizes the forming play and beelines to the net. Geno feeds Sid, who whips a wrister top shelf over LaBarbera. PP goal for Crosby! Penguins 4, Coyotes 018:06:
Special teams has been the name of this game. Wojtek Wolski is getting sent to the box for holding.19:09:
Crosby picks up a turnover behind the Phoenix net and dishes it to Malkin, who's camped out in the slot. He whips it past LaBarbera for his second of the night. Geno is grinning ear-to-ear as he skates down the Pens bench for some high-fives. Penguins 3, Coyotes 0
Here we go! We're starting off 4-on 4, as Goligoski has 40 seconds remaining in his penalty while Doan has 1:24 remaining on his.SECOND PERIOD
Work began last night on the Pens second outdoor rink
, which will be known as the “Winter Classic Community Rink at Stage AE.” Over 1,700 tons of sand were used to level the parking lot, and crews are working around the clock to have the rink operational by Friday afternoon! FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- Sid has extended his point streak to 21 games!!!
- Malkin already has two points, as he assisted on Letang's goal.
- The Pens are 4-for-4 on the PK.0:00:
What a solid period by Pittsburgh. They killed off a myriad of penalties and are taking a 2-0 lead into the second. The 'Yotes outshot the Pens, 16-14. 0:34:
Crosby wins the faceoff FORWARD and sends a quick pass over to Geno, who one-times it past LaBarbera! What a way to end the period! Penguins 2, Coyotes 00:36:
'Yotes captain Shane Doan is going to shake things up and make this 4-on-4 hockey for 1:16 as he's whistled for interference.2:09:
I feel like a broken record. The Pens are heading to the box for the fourth time this period. Goligoski got a pair for tripping.2:24:
The Pens are back to full strength.4:27:
The Pens are getting their third penalty of the night. Letang's getting two for delay of game.
All of downtown Pittsburgh is preparing for the upcoming Winter Classic!
After laying a hard hit on a Phoenix player behind Fleury, Crosby proceeds to block a shot and take it down the ice for a breakaway! Unfortunately he's caught by a backchecking Coyote, and his shot is saved by LaBarbera.7:30:
Kunitz is out of the box.9:45:
And now they're right back to the PP. Kunitz is in the box for hi-sticking.10:08:
The Pens are back to full strength.
I had to add the classic scene from Zoolander in honor of those CONSOL Energy Center replica models. "It needs to be at least three times bigger than this!"
Two replica models of CONSOL Energy Center that are displayed in the lobby of the bulding.12:15:
Fleury's getting whistled for playing the puck outside of the designated goalie area. The refs are calling it delay of game. Malkin will serve the penalty. Pens on the PK.13:04: Tyler Kennedy
has always said he and his linemates try to be pests in opposing team's zones, and No. 48 made good on that vow just now. The 5-foot-10 TK just set up a screen on LaBarbera that distracted the 'Yotes goalie enough to let Kris Letang
's shot through! Penguins 1, Coyotes 014:06:
Nolan Yonkman is headed to the box for tripping. Pens on the PP.14:45:
Letestu just niftily whacks a puck out of midair to keep it in the 'Yotes zone. Nice hand-eye coordination by the Pens center.
Letang waits for the Phoenix forwards to bite before sidestepping around them en route to the net, but can't get a shot off.17:37:
Kyle Turris hits the post! He scored the shootout winner for the 'Yotes on Dec. 18 versus the Islanders.19:03:
Malkin sends the puck over to a pinching Goligoski, but his shot is turned aside by Jason LaBarbera.20:00:
And the Pens are off against the wily Coyotes! FIRST PERIOD6:55 PM:
Looks like Geno was right. Kunitz is back on the top line after missing the previous two games with an undisclosed injury. Here's what the Pens lines will look like tonight:
Fleury gets the nod between the pipes.6:50 PM:
At today's morning skate, head coach Dan Bylsma provided an update on the status of Mike Comrie
, who's been out since Nov. 26 with a lower-body injury.
The Pens return to CONSOL Energy Center after a four-day break. Feels like it's been forever.
They've had plenty of time to rest up for their 7 p.m. tilt tonight against the 'Yotes. Here's the preview
to peruse while you wait for the action to start.
Also, Tony Jovenitti caught up with Twitter celebrity and former Pen Paul Bissonnette
, aka "@BizNasty2point0," following Phoenix's practice on Sunday. We love the wily Coyote's Twitter bio: “Was Evgeni Malkin
and Sidney Crosby
's linemate for 8 seconds once. I didn't touch the puck. Weird.”