The Pens win 3-0 over the NY Islanders. Dupuis, Park and Staal are your goal scorers. Fleury with a 33-save shutout.
Game over. 2:00: GOAL!!!
With an empty-net, Staal makes no mistake to seal this game. He gained the red line and guides the puck over the goal line. Pens 3, Islanders 0.6:34:
Mike Lange is away at a family celebration tonight. In his place, Steve Mears has taken up the play-by-play action. Here are Phil Bourque and Mears calling the game. 7:34:
Fleury way up atop his crease makes a save! Some confident and aggressive positioning by the Pens netminder.
(By the way, Jesus - my cousin if you're joining us late - fell asleep on the little couch during the intermission. But he woke up. I knew he would rise again, although it usually takes three days). 9:35:
Pens kill the penalty. Islanders get nothing going. Lot of good stick work by the PKers. 11:42:
Orpik is going to sit in the box for flipping the puck over the glass - delay of game. 12:30:
Penalty is over. 13:10:
A lot of action as the Penguins getting a lot of great chances, but can't solve Nabokov. There were a couple good point shots through screens and rebound opportunities. Somehow Pittsburgh just couldn't score. 16:33:
Pens will get a power play (4 minutes) opportunity as Reasoner goes to the sin bin for cheating/hi-sticking. 19:37:
Moulson gets a couple cracks at the goal, but Fleury somehow makes a split-pad save to make the stop. 20:00:
Puck drops. Game on. Third period underway. 20 minutes to paydirt.
- Islanders with a 23-15 advantage in shots
- Niskanen, Engelland & Letang combined for 10 blocked shots
- Martin has team-best 17:35 minutes, Orpik coming in at 16:59
- Just ate some pizza. A nice little supper with Jimmy B and Jesus (hopefully not our last).
Horn sounds. Second period over with the Pens leading 2-0 on goals from Dupuis and Park. :20:
The Pens used a few passes to setup a chance, but Sullivan's extra pass to Neal was broken up. 6:21:
Niskanen with another block. This time preventing Baily from getting off a shot right in the slot. 7:33:
The Pens kill the penalty (shocker) and Lovejoy carried the puck on net and got a good shot off, but couldn't beat Nabokov. 10:04:
Lovejoy is going to get called for a penalty. The PK unit goes to work. 11:00:
Malkin is stealing pucks like he's D.B. Cooper. (Google it). 12:17:
Kunitz rings a puck off the crossbar. You can hear the clink echo throughout the arena. 15:05:
Another amazing setup play by Malkin, getting the Isles to back off and dropping a pass to Kunitz. He gets two shots off.
(By the way, the bathroom light at Jesus' place isn't working. If I were him I'd ask my dad to say, "Let there be light." Problem solved). 16:01:
Pens using Staal and Neal up front with the 4-on-4. They are the team's leading goal scorers. 17:03:
Streit and Cooke are both going to get called for penalties. We'll skate 4-on-4. 17:55:
The Pens crash the net, but can't hammer it in. Vitale gave it a couple whacks. Nabokov stays strong on the pipe. 19:39: GOAL!!! Richard Park
scores on his second try to get a tally against his old team. Good patience by the veteran to pull an Islander to the ice, swooped around him and snapped a shot into the goal. Pens 2, Islanders 0. 20:00:
Puck drops. Game over. Second period underway.
- Islanders with a 13-7 edge in shots
- Park & Staal combined to go 7-of-9 in faceoffs
- Niskanen has game-high 3 blocked shots
- "Fleury Cam" graphic on ROOT SPORTS is hilarious
Horn sounds. Period over. Pens up 1-0 on Dupuis' breakaway goal. :42:
Fleury with a beautiful save on Tavares: first with the pad; then with the glove. 1:00:
Observation: on turnovers, Dupuis has been quick to get up ice this season and his speed is leading to breakaways. Keep an eye on him to be aggressive.
(Comment from Jesus, "Dupuis sprinted up ice like he parted the Red Sea." OK he really didn't say that, but how awesome would it be if he did?!)2:54: GOAL!!!
Dupuis gets a breakout pass from Orpik and goes in on goal for a breakaway. He goes high over the blocker. Good read by both men. Pens 1, Islanders 0.3:58:
It's amazing just what Malkin's presence does for the Penguins. The Islanders are backing off big time, creating some much open ice in the offensive zone. Hopefully, the Pens can take advantage. 7:20:
Great work between Malkin and Neal, some nifty passing thru defenders gets Malkin a chance right on the doorstep. 8:35:
Kunitz with a good stick now to cut off a shot by Moulson after a turnover in the Isles zone that nearly became a 2-on-0. 9:54:
Nice stick work from Martin to steal the puck and eliminate a shot from Okposo.
(Btw - there is a black dot on the TV and Jesus keeps getting confused thinking it's the puck. You would think someone who is omniscient would know better). 11:02:
After a feverish start, play has slowed with a lot of whistles. 12:22:
Fleury with another save on Okposo. The Islanders had pretty good possession time that led to that chance. 13:17:
Great save by Fleury on a deflected shot by Nielsen. 17:00:
Good pace early as each team traded quality scoring chances. None better than an opportunity for Neal on a pass from Malkin. He just missed the net. 20:00:
Puck drops. Game on. First period underway.
BREAKING NEWS: Center Evgeni Malkin will be in the lineup tonight for Pittsburgh!!!
Fleury in net for Pens.
By the way, tonight is Dan Bylsma's 200th game behind the bench
- a fitting place considering his 1st game behind the bench was in Long Island on Feb. 16, 2009.
PensTV professional Steve Mears is on the road in Long Island and will be calling the play-by-play action for tonight's game in place of Mike Lange, who is attending a family celebration (Don't worry, the Hall of Famer will be back next game and for the rest of the season).
In Mearsy's absence it was amateur hour with me trying to fill his shoes on the Verizon Game Day Report. Note how uncomfortable I look behind that desk. Next time I'm gonna put my hands behind my head and my feet up on the desk. That looks professional, right?
An alert reader (@strangerdangers
) pointed out that I looked a lot like Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock in the segment below. #EpicObservation
Good evening!!! Tonight's blog is comin' at you LIVE from the couch of my best bud Jimmy B and cousin Jesus' apartment (yes that is what he's called and yes it has provided many years of comedic fodder).
The Pens are on Long Island tonight where they'll take on the Islanders at 7 p.m. on ROOT SPORTS. Michelle Crechiolo is in NY and she has all the scoop from the morning skate at the Pens Report
Before we kick start this blog, here's a look at the war room...
Front row seat (notice the Pens license plate and Crosby figure on the TV).
Jimmy B and Jesus - sans robe and sandals (left); Me unleashing a fierce blog (right)