0:00: Good night. Game over. Drive home safely! The Penguins finish off a 3-0 home preseason record in their first season at CONSOL Energy Center by downing the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1. Evgeni Malkin
, Dustin Jeffrey
, Nick Johnson and Mark Letestu score for the Penguins, while Brent Johnson
improves to 2-0 in goal. The Penguins conclude preseason action by facing the Blackhawks in Chicago at the United Center at 8:30 p.m. on Friday and the Detroit Red Wings at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
I'm glad the Penguins are up 4-1 because that will keep me in a better mood after I had a coffee spilled on me as I made my way down to the Penguins executive offices. Why would somebody leave their coffee right on the ledge where it could be easily knocked over? And it would be the suit I just got dry cleaned.
Toivonen just absolutely robbed Jeffrey from picking up his second goal of the game by closing his legs to deny a one-timer from six feet away.
You can't stop Mark Letestu - you can only hope to contain him! Letestu just picked up his first goal of the preseason as he tossed the rebound of a Chris Kunitz
shot off Brent Seabrook - I guess technically he has scored the Penguins' last two goals - and past Toivonen to break the game open for Pittsburgh. Assists to Kunitz and Paul Martin
(second of the game). Penguins 4, Blackhawks 1.
I'll say this, the Penguins are sure getting the home-ice bounces here at CONSOL. Maxime Talbot just threw a pass from the near corner off the skate of Nick Johnson of the Penguins and then Brent Seabrook of Chicago before it skidding past a startled Toivonen. Penguins 3, Blackhawks 1.
12:25: Brent Johnson
hasn't seen a ton of quality scoring chances over the course of this one, but when he has he has been on top of his game. Viktor Stalberg just sent a sneaky shot Johnson's way and the Penguins netminder knocked that away with a shoulder.
With relative ease the Penguins are able to kill off the Michalek penalty.
Chicago heads to the man-advantage early in the final period as Zbynek Michalek
is whistled for holding in the far corner of the Pittsburgh zone.
Chicago has made a switch between the pipes to Hannu Toivonen.
Pittsburgh is aiming to cap off a perfect 3-0 home preseason record at CONSOL Energy Center if they can hold off the Blackhawks in the third period.THIRD PERIOD
Penguins' 2009 first-round draft pick Simon Despres
earned a second preseason game tonight with a solid game against Columbus on Saturday night.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Mark Letestu and Evgeni Malkin
lead the way for the Penguins with three shots on goal apiece.
- Pittsburgh has posted an impressive 20-12 mark on faceoffs through two periods, led by Mike Comrie (6-3; 67 percent) and Maxime Talbot (6-4; 60 percent).
- Ben Lovejoy
continues to sacrifice his body for the better of the team, stepping in front of four Chicago shots.
The Penguins are 20 minutes away from posting a perfect 3-0 postseason record at CONSOL Energy Center during the first period. They lead the Blackhawks by a 2-1 score after two periods. Shots on goal still favor the Penguins, 20-14.
With Sidney Crosby
and Brooks Orpik
scratched tonight, Craig Adams
and Chris Kunitz
are filling in as alternate captains for the Penguins alongside Malkin.
Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland
is back on the ice after leaving briefly following his fight with Jake Dowell earlier this period. Good to see Engelland back in action.
Congratulations Penguins fans! Another 18,087 fans filled CONSOL Energy Center, allowing the Penguins to sell out their third straight preseason contest. Thank you fans!
Pittsburgh falls to 0-for-2 on the man-advantage as Bolland steps back out onto the ice.
The Penguins are on the .... Pooooowerball Power Play! Veteran Dave Bolland picks up an interference minor. Paul Martin
(left) is making his home debut in a Penguins uniform while Mark Letestu (right) has continued to impress here tonight.
Chicago steals a page from the Penguins' playbook to get on the board - the pass off pads. Bryan Bickell fires a shot from the far boards off the left pad of Brent Johnson
, where the puck skips right to the blade of Kyle Beach. The former first-round pick quickly snapped a shot into an empty cage behind Johnson. Penguins 2, Blackhawks 1
I can't say enough how impressed I have been with Zbynek Michalek
through his first three games he has played. I don't think he has lost a puck battle along the boards yet and he is unreal at getting down and blocking shots.
15:22: Deryk Engelland
talked to me in the locker room on Monday and said he needed to get into a fight tonight because that's a part of his bread and butter. He just got his wish squaring off with the Blackhawks Jake Dowell. Let's just say Engelland rang up a TKO as Dowell is currently bleeding a bit in the penalty box.
The Penguins get a bounce on a deflection off the stick of Dustin Jeffrey
and it's now 2-0 in favor of Pittsburgh. Craig Adams
' one-timer from the high slot deflected off the skate and then the stick of Jeffrey skating through the circles and rolled along the ice past the glove of Richards. Penguins 2, Blackhawks 0.
17:26: Brent Johnson
continues to play solid between the pipes. He just calmly gloved a Brent Seabrook slap shot from the near point.
The Pens and the Hawks return to the ice as we get set for the middle frame at CONSOL Energy Center.SECOND PERIOD
The Penguins Ice Crew (right) listens to Sarah Marince sing tonight's national anthem. Sarah is currently making a name for herself in Nashville as a budding country sensation
. Click here
to visit Sarah's official website and download her hit tunes. I was lucky enough to give Sarah and her family a tour of CONSOL Energy Center this afternoon. What a great girl and nice faimly!
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Mark Letestu led the Penguins with three shots on goal.
- Pittsburgh outhit Chicago, 13-12, led by Maxime Talbot with three.
- Ben Lovejoy
skated a team-high 7:57 minutes.
At the end of the first period it's the Penguins holding a 1-0 lead over the Chicago Blackhawks on an Evgeni Malkin
tally, his second of the preseason. Pittsburgh is outshooting the Blackhawks, 9-5.
Brent Johson said after Friday night's game in Columbus that he wanted to be even better his next time out. So far he's doing that, just denying Jack Skille's power move to the net with a right-pad save.
He didn't make the trip tonight, but we have to send out props to former Penguin Marian Hossa, who finally raised the Stanley Cup last spring with Chicago following tries the previous two seasons with the Penguins and Red Wings.
What a save Brent Johnson
just made on Chicago's Patrick Kane! The Hawks superstar stole an Engelland breakout pass between the circles, walked in on Johnson, made a deke to the backhand and appeared to have himself the equalizing tally. But in the words of Lee Corso ... NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! Johnson reaches back and makes an amazing glove save.
Chicago kills off the Scott infraction and both team are at equal strength.
Mark Letestu is working with the Penguins' top power-play unit tonight with Sidney Crosby
sitting this game out.
5:38: Arron Asham
does what he does best - sucker the opposition into a penalty. John Scott gets called for roughing after throwing a punch Asham's way just before the last media timeout.
Penguins Tribune-Review beat writer Rob Rossi likes to stretch out in the media level just prior to faceoff. He has to get himself ready to give you top-notch coverage in his award-winning Chipped Ice blog
7:59: Evgeni Malkin
is in midseason form! He just won a puck battle behind the net, split through Niklas Hjalmarrson and Troy Brouwer - two of the Hawks better defensive performers - to come from behind the goal line to the middle of the slot and then put the biscuit in the basket by tossing a wrist shot through an Eric Tangradi
screen from the high slot. Assists went to Tangradi and Comrie. Penguins 1, Blackhawks 0.
12:59: Deryk Engelland said he wanted to be more physical tonight
. He just practiced what he preached by drilling Jake Dowell to the ice in the near corner of the Penguins zone. Good start for Engelland.
FSN's Dan Potash interviews Mark Letestu during pre-game warmups earlier tonight.
Richards is getting tested early by the Penguins. He just made his second 10-bell stop of the first five minutes by going into the butterfly to deny a one-timer in the slot from Mike Rupp.
Brett Sterling continues to find those quality scoring chances. He was just stoned by Richards on a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle. Pretty setup by Mark Letestu, who continues to shine.
The Penguins begin the game with Brent Johnson
in goal, Ben Lovejoy
and Alex Goligoski on defense and Mike Rupp-Dustin Jeffrey-Craig Adams up front.
As a reminder, while you are reading this blog and listening to Mike Lange and Phil Bourque on WXDX 105.9 make sure to watch Pedro Alvarez and the Pirates battle the St. Louis Cardinals on FSN. Then, keep watching FSN because following Pirates Postgame tonight's Penguins-Blackhawks game will be shown on tape delay.
Watch Pedro Alvarez (left) at 8:15 on FSN and stay tuned for Evgeni Malkin
and the Penguins after! Credit - Alvarez (Gene J. Puskar/AP); Malkin (Getty Images).
A pretty decent starting lineup tonight for the Chicago Blackhawks as Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brian Campbell get the starting nod on defense with Troy Brouwer, Dave Bolland and Jeremy Morin up front. Alec Richards gets the nod in goal for the Hawks. Don't know much about him other than he spent most of last season with Toledo of the East Coast Hockey League.
The Penguins close out the home portion of the 2010 exhibition slate tonight by hosting the Chicago Blackhawks in a battle between the past two Stanley Cup champions. Pittsburgh brings a perfect 3-0 preseason record into the contest, including a 2-0 mark at CONSOL Energy Center. Chicago enters tonight with a 1-2 mark. These two teams will meet again on Friday night at the United Center in Chicago.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby
and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury
will not be in the lineup tonight, but Evgeni Malkin
, Paul Martin
, Chris Kunitz
and Mike Comrie are among those making who will be on the ice.
For Chicago, the big guns to make the trip are superstar forward Patrick Kane and defensemen Brian Campbell, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson.