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Pens-Hawks Prospect Game Blog

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins put forth a valiant effort with two third-period goals, but Chicago skates away with a 9-5 victory to close out the rookie tournament. Pittsburgh finishes the tournament with an impressive 2-1 record following a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators and a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier in the week. Final shots were 34-29 in favor of the Blackhawks. We'll see you on Friday when the Penguins open main camp at CONSOL Energy Center.

Barring a Chicago goal, this game will end with the Blackhawks on the power play as Kuehnhackl is sent off again, this time on a hooking penalty.

Wow, Chicago is getting a penalty here. It's Philippe Parardis getting the call for slashing.

Tom Kuehnhackl gets one of those penalties you can live with. He was given a goaltender interference penalty after crashing into Simpson as he drove the net going after a Despres rebound. Again, it was a great job by Despres of lugging the puck into the zone.

Simon Despres' puck skill, which we talked about in an article yesterday, pay off again. Despres held the puck in along the left boards, skated past a Hawk down the left seam and hit Casey Pierro-Zabotel for his second tally of the game. Joey Haddad had the second assist. Blackhawks 9, Penguins 5.


Cancel that Gordie Howe talk as both Tangradi and Danis-Pepin also received minor penalties as well.

Eric Tangradi now just needs an assist in the final couple minutes of the game to pick up the Gordie Howe hat trick. Tangradi just dropped the gloves for the second time in as many games with the Blackhawks Simon Danis-Pepin. Tangradi has been very active today for the Penguins.

Taylor Peters picks up a hooking penalty for the Penguins. Chicago is currently three-for-four on the man-advantage today.


The fans are going to like to hear this - Eric Tangradi is on the board for the Penguins. Tangradi just ripped a shot from the left circle under the arm of Simpson. Zach Sill had the assist. Blackhawks 9, Penguins 4.

It's another power-play goal for the Penguins as Jeremy Morin puts home his second goal of the contest on the rebound of Nick Leddy shot. Connelly also picked up a helper. Blackhawks 9, Penguins 3.

Eric Tangradi picks up a slashing penalty is a works on the forecheck in the Chicago zone.

Only one period remains in the Penguins rookie tournament in London, Ontario. Although this game might be out of reach, Pittsburgh is going to skate away from here with a healthy 2-1 record.


The London Knights have long been one of the stronger OHL teams. Among their current alumni toiling in the NHL are John Tavares, Sam Gagner and Nazem Kadri. On more of a historical note, Rob Ramage, Brad Marsh, Darryl Sittler and Brendan Shanahan are among the greats to play in London. Those four join Dino Ciccarelli in having their numbers retired atop the John Labat Centre rafters.

A second period the Penguins would rather forget comes to a close with the Blackhawks owning an 8-3 lead over the Penguins. Shots are 27-17 in favor of Chicago as well. On a brighter note, Casey Pierro-Zabotel has a goal and an assist for the Penguins for Pittsburgh today and Patrick Killeen has stopped 8 of 9 shots since replacing Mattias Modig.

Pittsburgh isn't going down without a fight here at the John Labatt Centre. Casey Pierro-Zabotel just tossed a loose puck behind Simpson. The play began with Joey Haddad firing a shot from the high slot which deflected off of Kuehnhackl, who was providing traffic in front of the crease. Blackhawks 8, Penguins 3.


Kyle Beach makes the Blackhawks 2-for-3 on the man-advantage as he takes a DiDomenico pass from behind the net and slams a shot past Killeen for his second goal of the game. Brian Connelly gets the second assist. Blackhawks 8, Penguins 2.

Not long after the Penguins were able to kill off the too many men minor, Tom Kuehnhackl was sent to the box for hooking.

Chicago is on their second power play as the Penguins are whistled for too many men on the ice. Alex Smigelski is serving the penalty.

Patrick Killeen (left) replaced Mattias Modig (right) in goal.

Patrick Killeen has replaced Modig between the pipes for the Penguins.

I'm thinking Igor Makarov has caught the eye of Blackhawks management. The Russian forward took advantage of a Pittsburgh giveaway to record his hat trick by beating Modig with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. Assists were credited to Connelly and Ryan Stanton. Blackhawks 7, Penguins 2.

Chicago gets that goal right back as Brian Connelly fires a one-timer off a Chris DiDomenico feed behind Modig from the right faceoff dot. Kyle Beach nets the second assist. Blackhawks 6, Penguins 2.

WOW!!! I don't think my words can accurately describe the shorthanded goal Simon Despres just tallied. Despres picked up the puck along the far wall in the neutral zone, dangled around three Blackhawks to gain entry into the zone, gave a pass to Zach Sill and then when Sill gave him a return pass, Depres turned the puck to his backhand and beat Simpson. Blackhawks 5, Penguins 2.

Pittsburgh is on the kill for the first time as Robert Bortuzzo is off for holding.

Just like that the Hawks increase their advantage again. Paradis gets the puck to the front of the net, where Makarov dangles, gets Modig down and puts the rubber into an empty cage. Blackhawks 5, Penguins 1.

The Blackhawks pick up a garbage goal in the crease as Brandon Pirri slides Philippe Paradis' rebound over the goal line. Igor Makarov had the second assist. Blackhawks 4, Penguins 1.

Pittsburgh needs to begin this second period by chipping away at Chicago's two-goal advantage.


Although the Penguins find themselves down, 3-1, this is a pretty good Hawks team they are trailing - probably the best team Pittsburgh has played yet. Igor Makarov has spent the past two seasons playing professionally in the KHL, Jeremy Morin was one of the centerpieces of this summer's Dustin Byfuglien trade with Atlanta and Kyle Beach is one of the Hawks' top prospects and was the 11th overall selection in the '08 NHL Entry Draft.

Chicago leads the Penguins on the scoreboard, 3-1, and in the shots department, 12-8, after 20 minutes. This is the first time here in London the Penguins have trailed by more than a goal.

Modig just made a great save with his chest protector to keep the Penguins within two. David Gilbert caught up to a loose puck behind the Pittsburgh D but  Modig was there to bail his teammates out.

Pittsburgh finds itself facing its first adversity of this rookie tournament as the Hawks have just taken a 3-1 lead. Jeremy Morin threw a weak shot from the right-wing boards to the front of the net and the puck hopped off the stick of Kyle Beach and found its way into the net. Blackhawks 3, Penguins 1.

Eric Tangradi continues to be a beast for the Penguins down low in the offensive zone. His ability to win puck battles has resulted in the Penguins getting a few open looks from their D at the point, which is something the team worked on in practice Monday.

Carl Sneep (left) and Reid McNeill are two of the six defensemen Alain Nasreddine is working with here at camp.

Another fight ensues as this time it's the Penguins Walker and Chicago's Rob Flick going toe-to-toe. Advantage looked to go to Walker.

Chicago jumps back in front of the Penguins as Igor Makarov throws a twister-wrister over the glove of Modig into the top shelf. David Gilbert and Shawn Lalonde pick up the helpers. Blawkhawks 2, Penguins 1.

A little more Old Time Hockey here at the John Labatt Centre as the Penguins Ryan Schnell and Chicago's Brandon Bollig square off in the Pittsburgh zone.

Pittsburgh answer's Smith's tally as Geoff Walker picks up his second goal in as many games by tapping Casey Pierro-Zabotel's rebound behind Simpson. Pierro-Zabotel started the play by firing a harmless-looking shot from the top of the right circle, but Simpson had trouble with the wrist shot. Tom Kuehnhackl picked up the second assist. Penguins 1, Blackhawks 1.

Chicago scores first as the Penguins give up the first goal for the third straight game. Brian Connelly's shot from the point was deflected, but the loose puck came right to the stick of Ben Smith in front and he tossed a backhander over Modig. Blackhawks 1, Penguins 0.

Brian Strait (left) and Robert Bortuzzo (right) are three of the Penguins captains today.

Eric Tangradi, Joey Haddad and Keven Veilleux get the start up front. Simon Despres and Carl Sneep begin on defense.

The remainder of the Penguins lineup:

Tom Kuehnhackl-Casey Pierro-Zabotel-Geoff Walker
Tyler Brown-Alex Smigelski-Nick Peterson
Ryan Schnell-Zach Sill-Taylor Peters

Brian Strait-Joe Rogalski
Reid McNeill-Robert Bortuzzo


2:00 PM:
The Penguins conclude the 2010 rookie tournament here in London, Ontario this afternoon by facing the Chicago Blackhawks at the John Labatt Centre. The Penguins are looking to improve on their 2-0 record.

Here are a couple of game notes heading into the game:

> The scratches for today's game include Dustin Jeffrey, Alex Grant and Brad Thiessen. Jeffrey and Thiessen have been the Penguins top performers thus far.

> Mattias Modig, acquired from Anaheim over the summer, makes his Pittsburgh debut in goal. He will be backed up by Patrick Killeen.

> The captains for today's game include Eric Tangradi, Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Strait.

> Chicago is starting Kent Simpson between the pipes.
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