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Pens-Hawks Game Blog

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00: Despite a couple of late goals the Penguins are bested for the first time this preseason, 5-2, at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Penguins receive goals in the third period from Alex Goligoski and Craig Adams, but they are not enough to overcome a pair of tallies by former Penguin Marian Hossa. The Penguins return to action again on Sunday when they conclude preseason play by visiting the Detroit Red Wings at 5 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.

Former Penguin Hossa just answered right back with his second goal of the period. Hossa split the Penguins defense, taking a lead pass from a defenseman. Hossa then went backhand to forehand before tucking a shot shortside on Johnson. Blackhawks 5, Penguins 2.

The Penguins are making things interesting down the stretch here. Craig Adams takes a pass from Pascal Dupuis at the top of the right point of the Chicago D-zone, skates down the wing and fires a shot past Crawford. Blackhawks 4, Penguins 2.

It speaks high to the character of Eric Tangradi that he was just willing to go down and block a shot late in a 4-1 preseason hockey game. The kid looks like a gamer who should pay great dividends to the Penguins in the near future.

Despres is back and the Penguins are able to kill off the Chicago power play.

7:46: Simon Despres is in the penalty box for trippinga Chicago forward in front of the net.

Loved this bobblehead doll of the Bulls Luol Deng wearing a Blackhawks beanie.

The Penguins are on the board! Corey Crawford denied Andrew Hutchinson's initial shot from the left point with his pad, but the rebound shot off a Blackhawks defender and landed on the blade of Alex Goligoski in the right circle. Goligoski took care of business from there, burying a shot for his first tally of the preseason. Blackhawks 4, Penguins 1.

The Penguins are going to have a great chance to at least get on the board here tonight as Dave Bolland was sent off for hooking.

On the ensuing power play, a loose puck jumps off a couple bodies in front of the net and rolls to the stick of Kane at the bottom of the left circle. He knew what to do with it from there, tossing a shot into the top of the cage. Sharp and Duncan Keith receive the assists. Blackhawks 4, Penguins 0.

I think everyone remembers seeing the "Madhouse on Madison" sign during the Hawks' championship run last spring. To the right is a replica of the locker room at Wrigley Field for the 2009 Winter Classic.

The Hawks return to the power play as Eric Tangradi was given an interference penalty in the offensive zone.

Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell will not return tonight with an undisclosed injury.

Former Penguin Marian Hossa rudely welcomed Johnson to the net. Hossa caught up to a loose puck in the Penguins zone, fended off a Pittsburgh defender and beat Johnson with a wrist shot to the far side. Blackhawks 3, Penguins 0.

The Penguins have made a switch between the pipes as Brent Johnson replaces Marc-Andre Fleury.


I've always been intrigued by this picture, so whenever I passed it in the United Center suite level I just had to snap a picture.

- Despite giving up two goals, the Penguins did outshoot the Hawks, 15-10, in the middle frame.
- Both teams have 18 hits apiece, with Eric Godard pacing the Penguins with four.
- Craig Adams leads the Penguins with three shots and is still perfect (4-0) on draws.

Through two periods it's the Chicago Blackhawks holding a 2-0 lead over the Penguins on goals in the second period by Pisani and Sharp. The Penguins still maintain a 23-16 advantage in shots.

Pisani just had a glorious chance to net the Hawks a third goal this period but his re-direction to the right of Fleury just bounced wide.

They just showed Bobby Hull on the scoreboard here at United Center and I don't think I have to tell you that the place erupted. Fittingly, the game night crew here played "There Goes My Hero."


Chicago makes Rupp pay for his penalty as the puck rolls out to the blade of Patrick Sharp at the right point. He winds up and blows a slap shot past Fleury with the aid of a screen in front. Blackhawks 2, Penguins 0.

Mike Rupp has been sent off for roughing one of the Hawks in front of the penalty box.

Both teams just dodged major bullets. At one end Chicago's Kopecky drilled a shot off the post to the left of Fleury, while the Penguins Eric Godard chipped a Letestu rebound off the crossbar at the opposite end.

Penguins forward Arron Asham will miss the remainder of the contest with an upper-body injury. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.


So coming to Chicago for the first time, I just had to stop outside the United Center and see the Michael Jordan statue before the game. It's one of the more impressive statues I've seen at a sports stadium. It met my expectations.

I'm thinking Fleury can't wait for the regular season to begin. He added to his impressive night by denying Kopecky from five feet away for the second time. He has stopped 13 of 14 shots thus far.

They just announced tonight's attendance and it was 19,913. That's pretty impressive for preseason. Hockey is alive and well in Chicago just like Pittsburgh.

Fleury could only stand on his head for so long before the Blackhawks had to capitalize. That time came as Fernando Pisani finished off a three-on-two into the Penguins zone by one-timing a snap shot off the glove of Fleury and into the cage. Assists went to Bolland and Bickell. Blackhawks 1, Penguins 0.

Fleury has been the Penguins best player thus far again tonight. Toews just skated the puck down the left seam shorthanded, but his shot was easily knocked aside by the Penguins netminder, who went down into the butterfly.


Patrick Kane carried the puck down the right wing two-on-one with Dave Bolland. Kane elected to shoot the puck, but his chance was denied by the stick and blocker of Fleury.

We'll play four-on-four for the first 1:03 and then the Penguins will have a 38-second man-advantage.


- Craig Adams (3-0) and Maxime Talbot (4-1) were beasts on faceoffs.
- Talbot also led the Penguins with two hits.
- Kris Letang paced the Penguins in ice time with 8:12 minutes of action.

No score after 20 minutes here at the United Center. A whistle-free opening frame expires with the Penguins holding an 8-6 advantage in shots.

The second period will begin with both teams having four skaters aside as Patrick Sharp was given an interference call to negate the Blackhawks power play.

Martin gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar as he is whistled for hooking Tomas Kopecky. This is the first power play of the night for either.

These last two exhibition games are going to be huge for the guys on the bubble, and one player who is standing out again tonight by making all the smart plays, headmanning the puck up ice with precision and playing tough in his own zone is Simon Despres.

With Malkin and Crosby scratched, the Penguins are going with Chris Kunitz, Matt Cooke and Paul Martin as the co-alternate captains against the Hawks.


Another big stop by Fleury, who has been nothing short of magnificent during the preseason. Fleury was down prone in a snow angel position as he reached up with his catching glove to get a piece of Jonathan Toews show from three feet away.

The Penguins dodged a major bullet as Viktor Stalberg got behind the defense all alone on Fleury. Luckily, the Penguins netminder made a pad save on his initial shot and then Stalberg fired the rebound off the post to Fleury's left as the game remains scoreless.

I couldn't type about the Penguins activating their D fast enough because as I was doing that Paul Martin pinched down from the right point and stole a breakout pass. His shot was knocked away by Crawford, and Mark Letestu barely missed capitalizing on the rebound, throwing the puck throw the blue pain wide.

The Penguins defense has been really good activating itself into the play throughout the preseason and we are seeing that early again tonight. Using the defense in the breakout is really going to help the Penguins better get out of their own zone.

Quick start by the Penguins as Dustin Jeffrey sneaks in behind the defense and gets a couple cracks at Crawford, who was up to the challenge with a pair of pad saves.

After a thrilling national anthem here in Chicago we are finally ready to drop the puck as Maxime Talbot steps in against Dave Bolland.



8:34 PM:
The starting lineups:




Bryan Bickell-Dave Bolland-Fernando Pisani

John Scott-Brian Campbell

Corey Crawford

8:32 PM:
Sidney Crosby isn't the only high-profile Penguins forward to sit out tonight, as Evgeni Malkin and Mike Comrie are also scratched. Here is the lineup the Penguins will be using:



Marc-Andre Fleury gets the call in goal with Brent Johnson expected to see time at some point.

8:30 PM:
The Penguins hit the road for their final two preseason contests beginning with tonight's tilt with the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in Chicago. Both teams are dressing most of their regulars tonight, although one major omission on the Penguins' side is captain Sidney Crosby, who will sit out with a sore hip flexor, which our own Sam Kasan was the first to report following the morning skate earlier today.
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