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Pens-Hawks (Preseason) In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00: That'll do it! Pens now a perfect 5-0 in the preseason with their 4-2 win over Chicago!

0:41: And Geno gives the Pens some breathing room with an empty-net goal!!! Pens 4, Hawks 2

1:23: Pirri takes out Michalek behind the Pens zone and he's getting called for interference. Pitt will end the game on the PP!

1:29: Chicago using their timeout to draw up some last-minute plays. And they've pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. This is an awesome game. Nerve-racking!

2:34: Hawks still pressing hard. Johnny's continuing his great play!

5:29: Pens back to full strength!

6:29: Pirri gets a point-blank opportunity in front of the net, but Johnny says no! Brandon Saad grabs the rebound opportunity but Johnny robs him too!

6:55: Michalek jumps up into the play to give the Pens a 3-on-2 shorthanded opportunity, and his shot clangs off the post!

7:36: Morrow gets sent to the box for holding and Pens find themselves back on the PK.

9:49: Pirri finds himself alone in front of the Pens net. He's facing away from Johnny, but settles the puck down and sends a backhand shortside into the back of the cage. Pens coach Bylsma elects to use his timeout to steady the troops. Pens 3, Hawks 2

10:43: After some big chances for the Hawks, play has slowed down a bit, which Johnny is probably a bit happy about.

13:26: Hawks absolutely barraging Johnny right now!! He stops every opportunity as Chicago keeps attacking and attacking hard. No. 1 is playing huge right now for the Pens.

14:25: Two big saves by Johnny! While sprawled on his back he gets a pad on a Hawks scoring chance, then stretches out to keep his crease guarded with his stick!

15:07: Hawks back to full strength.

17:51: And now it's Pittsburgh's turn to go on the power play as Michael Frolik gets a pair for hooking.

18:41: Tanger's out of the box. Pens back to full strength!

20:00: Puck drops. Game on!!!


- Letang has two assists tonight
- Geno is 7-of-9 on faceoffs for a 78-percent success rate
- Michalek and Engelland each have 3 hits
- Martin leads with 16:15 of ice time

0:00: First 40 minutes are in the books. Hawks will have 1:18 left on their PP entering the third. Pitt leads 3-1 on goals from Sullivan, Cooke and Vitale. Shots: Hawks 18, Pens 13

0:42: Brandon Pirri tallies on the man-advantage when he drives to the net and stuffs the puck home. Letang gets whistled for interfence on the same play, meaning Pitt remains on the PK. Pens 3, Hawks 1

2:37: James Neal gets a pair for hi-sticking. Pens heading to the PK...

4:57: Hawks get a shot right away after a TV timeout, but Johnny gets the pad out and makes the save.

8:06: Joe Vitale's net-front presence pays off! Talk about right place, right time. He hangs out by the side of the cage long enough to see a puck squirt loose. He sends it home from an odd angle for the score! Pens 3, Hawks 0

10:29: Forgot to note that Pens were back to full strength. Sorry!

12:41: Unbelievable! Emery goes to play a puck up to one of his teammates, but the Cookie Monster gobbles it up by the red line! He slams it back into the Hawks zone...and it flies into the open net with Emery out of position! Pens 2, Hawks 0

And it's the Pens who start out with the best chances on Chicago's PP! Staal and Adams had a 2-on-1 opportunity that Addsy barely missed, before Emery had to make a gorgeous glove save on Staalsy!

13:36: One of the Pens' best PK-ers, Michalek, gets two for delay-of-game when his pass attempt sails into the crowd.

15:31: Not much going on these last few minutes. Both teams playing strong defensively, not allowing the other to gain the zone. A lot of neutral zone traffic.

17:21: Toews tries to juke Strait, but the Pens D-man isn't fooled and takes the body, shoving the Hawks captain out of the way.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on!


- This is Sullivan's first goal of the preseason, as it's his first game in a Pens sweater
- Letestu is 5-of-8 on faceoffs for a 63-percent success rate
- Martin and Michalek each have exactly 2:40 shorthanded minutes
- And they both have exactly 8:17 minutes of overall ice time. Crazy!

0:00: That'll do it for the first. Pens take a 1-0 lead on a beautiful Sullivan one-timer. Blackhawks have an 8-7 advantage in shots.

3:35: That was quick! Malkin wins the draw back to Letang, who sends it over to Sullivan. He tees up and absolutely blasts one past Emery! Pens 1, Hawks 0

3:40: Now it's the Pens' turn to head to the PP, as Brandon Pirri gets two for delay of game.

4:44: Pens back to full strength!

5:39: HUGE SAVE by Johnny!! Toews made a slick drop pass to Kane, who immediately one-times a pass over to an open Brunette on the back door! But Johnny slides over in time to get a piece of the shot with his glove!

5:54: Cookie and Staal starting up top on this kill. Martin and Michalek manning the backend.

6:44: Engelland and Hawks' Bryan Bickell just absolutely crushing each other this last shift. Each one with a big hit on the other...but unfortunately Engo is going to the box for interference. Pens back on the PK.

7:45: Somehow Staal and TK find themselves with a 2-on-1 opportunity! It goes Staal to TK to Staal back to TK, who has the wide-open net but the puck is in his feet and he can't get it to his stick in time!

9:05: Johnson robs Hossa on the doorstep! The line of Brunette, Kane and Hossa doing some serious work in the Pens zone right now.

10:03: Big shot block by Engelland as Hawks try to gain the zone. That had to hurt.

11:38: Pens back to full strength!

12:56: A couple of huge chances for the Hawks off rebound opportunities! But the Pens managed to clear! First PKers were Dupuis, Vitale, Martin and Michalek.

13:49: MacIntyre clips Carcillo with a high stick, taking offense to a hit the former Pen laid on Joe Morrow in the corner. He's going to the box. Pens on the PK.

14:49: Toews catches a nice feed as he's breaking up the middle of the ice and takes it in for a mini-breakaway, but Johnny makes the save. Toews had to kick the puck up to his stick with his feet since it was a little behind him.

15:24: Hawks coming on hard this last shift. They threw about three or four shots Johnny's way in the space of a few seconds, but he was up to the task on all of them before the puck deflected up and out of play.

16:58: There's been a few good hits already these first couple of minutes. First Cooke got leveled by Steve Montador, then Dupuis put the body on Brandon Pirri down in the other end.

18:43: Malkin with a nice poke check to steal the puck off a Hawk's stick and send it up to Sullivan. They charge the net but can't get anything going.

20:00: Alright, let's see why this is called the Madhouse on Madison. Time for some hockey! NOTE: Richard Park is in the lineup in Arron Asham's place.



The starting lineups for both teams:

Johnson in goal.

Ray Emery in goal.

Hello from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois! The Pens are currently preparing to take on the Blackhawks at 7:30 p.m. Central time (8:30 p.m. Eastern time) in the building known as the “Madhouse on Madison,” which is a pretty cool venue.

It’s my first time here, so I’m excited to see what the atmosphere will be like in what’s either a sell-out or pretty darn close to one (after wandering the empty building for about two hours prior to gametime). Big thanks to writer extraordinare and awesome all-around guy Brian Hedger, who helped me maneuver this old barn. It should be a great contest, as both teams will be putting plenty of star power on the ice tonight.

Don't forget that it was announced earlier today that tonight's game is going to be broadcast on NHL Network!!! Click here for full details.

Here are the full rosters for both teams:


9 Pascal Dupuis
10 Mark Letestu
11 Jordan Staal
18 James Neal
24 Matt Cooke
26 Steve Sullivan
27 Craig Adams
33 Steve MacIntyre
45 Arron Asham
46 Joe Vitale
48 Tyler Kennedy
71 Evgeni Malkin

4 Zbynek Michalek
5 Deryk Engelland
7 Paul Martin
37 Brian Strait
58 Kris Letang
70 Joseph Morrow

1 Brent Johnson
29 Marc-Andre Fleury


13 Daniel Carcillo
15 Andrew Brunette
16 Marcus Kruger
19 Jonathan Toews
22 Jamal Mayers
29 Bryan Bickell
37 Brandon Pirri
43 Brandon Saad
67 Michael Frolik
81 Marian Hossa
85 Rostislav Olesz
88 Patrick Kane

2 Duncan Keith
4 Niklas Hjalmarsson
5 Steve Montador
6 Sean O'Donnell
7 Brent Seabrook
8 Nick Leddy

30 Ray Emery
53 Alexander Salak

And don’t be mad at me for starting my blog with this song, but I figured it was only fitting since we are in the United Center…

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