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Pens-Devils In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


0:00: That'll do it. Devils win 5-2 and climb within one point of the Pens in the Eastern Conference standings.

0:46: David Clarkson scores an empty netter (assisted by Brodeur) to put the nail in the Pens' coffin. DEVILS 5, PENS 2

1:50: Pens pull Johnny for the extra attacker...

2:21: Kennedy is taken down by a Devils defender as he goes to the net hard and he crashes into the boards. He struggles to get up on the play and skates very gingerly to the bench, not putting weight on one leg, and goes straight down the runway to the locker room.

3:11: Unfortunately, the momentum has slowed since Geno's goal. Devils really clamping down defensively.

     "8 mins + @malkin71_ and @jneal_18 WE CAN DO THIS #IBelieveInMyPens @PensInsideScoop forget the Superbowl we want a pens win :)"

8:17: And the Pens capitalize! After barraging Brodeur with a flurry of shots (that he makes a flurry of saves on), Malkin gets the puck at the point and fakes a shot before curling and dragging around Andy Greene and snapping one past Brodeur. DEVILS 4, PENS 2

9:36: Volchenkov is called for high sticking Malkin and the Pens get a huge PP opportunity here!

12:51: Another great chance for the Pens, this time by the three Irishmen! Sully drops to O'Reilly who dishes over to Kennedy...but it's a little too far out of reach for TK, who was at a sharp angle!

13:36: Some tic-tac-toe passing by Niskanen with Geno's line results in a one-time blast from Neal at the circle that Brodeur stacks the pads to stop.

16:20: Vitale and Park get a 2-on-1 opportunity but can't quite corral the bouncing puck to get a shot on goal. Solid overall shift by their line.

     "The #pens have been in this position before and came back to win the game #keepcalmandbelieve @PensInsideScoop @pghpenguins"

20:00: Puck drops to start the third...put your rally caps on! Game on! (NOTE: After being down 6-0 entering the third period of yesterday's game, Philly outshot New Jersey 24-1 in the final frame and scored four goals...just sayin'...)

(Getty Images)

- O'Reilly's assist was his first point as a Penguin
- Niskanen's goal was his first since Dec. 15 at Ottawa and 3rd of the season
- Pens are now 11-for-42 on the power play in their last 13 road games (26 percent).

0:00: First 40 minutes in the books. Devils hold a 4-1 lead and a 21-19 shots advantage.

0:17: After handing his stick off to Letang so that the defenseman had something to finish his shift with, Kunitz drills Greene on the boards in front of the Devils bench...and the D-man reaches over and knocks Kuni's helmet off! A small tizzy erupts, but nothing serious.

4:05: Letang steps up on Boulton near the boards in the neutral zone and absolutely levels him, sending him flying! There's a glimpse of that physicality that was so dominant yesterday.

     "hopefully the #Pens are gunna pull another win like they did against the leafs."

6:20: They successfully thwart the Devils on the man-advantage. Vitale's out of the box and we're back to full strength.

8:27: Vitale gets his second penalty of the afternoon as he accidentally high sticks Brad Mills. Pens to the PK.

8:38: Parise fiercely battles his way out of the corner and jams a puck through a tiny opening at the side of the net. DEVILS 4, PENS 1

10:01: Pens couldn't get anything going on that PP as the Devils are back at full strength.

12:50: Pens heading to the PP as Volchenkov interferes with O'Reilly in the corner during a battle for the puck.

     "Niskanen!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome to Pittsburgh O'Reilly #pens"


16:58: From the corner, Cal O'Reilly wires a perfect pass to Matt Niskanen in the slot...who blasts a shot into the cage before Brodeur can slide over with 7 seconds left on the PP! First point for O'Reilly as a Penguin and great response by the Pens! DEVILS 3, PENS 1

17:32: Kovalchuk hounds Martin all the way down the ice and is able to get around him to sweep a shot to the goal. Zubrus finds the rebound and stuffs it home with 42 seconds left on the power play. And with that, Brent Johnson replaces Fleury between the pipes. DEVILS 3, PENS 0

18:51: Great start to the period by the Pens. And just over a minute in, Sullivan produces a solid individual effort to keep the puck in the O zone before passing over to Malkin (who'd just changed onto the ice). He displays some deft stick work and draws a penalty on Foster, who's trying to stop him! Pens to the PP...

     "2 more periods guys let's go. #Pens"


20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!

(Getty Images)

- Kovalchuk already has a goal and an assist
- That gives him nine points in his last 4 games
- Orpik leads the Pens with 8:35 of ice time

0:00: That'll do it for the first. Devils hold a 2-0 lead on goals from Kovalchuk and Volchenkov. New Jersey has an 11-10 edge in shots.

0:32: Malkin carries around the net before turning and firing a shot at the goal that Brodeur doesn't see, but it hits his shoulder and bounces out of danger.

5:40: Matt Cooke gets a decent chance at the side of the net, but Brodeur slides and denies with his right pad. Shots are even at 10 so far.

7:42: Bylsma has to use his timeout as his team ices the puck at the end of a long shift.

     "Still a lot of hockey to be played. Plus the #Pens are one of the best 3rd period teams in the NHL. #LetsGo"


8:09: Vitale's out of the box and the Pens are back to full strength.

10:21: And now the Devils will get a power play with Vitale off for slashing. This is huge for the Pens in terms of stemming their momentum...

10:27: What a play by New Jersey to get a two-goal lead. D-man Anton Volchenkov gets a pass in the slot that he dishes to Kovalchuk on the side of the net. The Russian winger snaps it right back for Volchenkov to tap into an open net (as Fleury committed to Kovalchuk and was out of position). DEVILS 2, PENS 0

     "Vitale might be my new favorite player. He is always at full speed and making good defensive plays as a winger #Pens"


14:52: Vitale does a great job of defending his mark, Eric Boulton, on the backcheck. Vitale covers him so well that a pass to Boulton slides harmlessly into the corner...but the two go down and slide hard into the goal, knocking it off its moorings. Luckily they're OK!

17:39: And the Devils' top line strikes on the first shot of the game. Fleury goes to play a puck behind the net, but is sandwiched by Parise and Elias. 'Flower' is able to get back the cage in time, but Elias sends a quick pass to Kovalchuk that he's able to tap in. DEVILS 1, PENS 0

20:00: Puck drops to start the first in Jersey. Game on!

(Getty Images)

1:00 PM:
Pens go with the same lines as yesterday...



Fleury in goal. Brodeur in net for New Jersey.

12:19 PM:
As I mentioned in my first post, the Devils seem to have benefitted greatly from the All-Star break as they've won all three of their games since and trail the Pens by just three points in the standings. In addition, their high-end talents (Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias and Zach Parise) have been on a roll. I have more on New Jersey in my "What to Watch For," or you can watch the condensed version below...

12:00 PM:
The Penguins pulled out a huge 2-1 win over the defending Stanley Cup champs on Saturday in Boston, but they couldn't enjoy the euphoria of that victory for long as it's time to get right back to business this afternoon. The Pens will take on the Devils for a 1 p.m. faceoff at the Prudential Center for another big matchup with a team that's been rolling since play resumed following the All-Star break, winning all three of their games since.

Head coach Dan Bylsma addressed the media before the game and said the Pens are using the same lineup as they did against the Bruins. That means Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal and Ben Lovejoy, Colin McDonald and Arron Asham will all be scratched. The Devils already said that Martin Brodeur will be between the pipes.

For the rest of what Coach had to say, watch below...

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