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Pens-Kings In-Game Blog (Kansas City Edition)

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

Matt Niskanen wins it for the Pens in the shootout!!!


And we're going to the shootout...

0:26: Pens finish the extra session on the PP.

1:00: Trevor Lewis skates in and finds some space in the slot, but Fleury snakes his pad out and makes the save.

3:42: Engelland sends a bomb to the net that Bernier JUST keeps from slipping underneath him! He gets the pads closed just in time!

4:22: Kunitz just misses the net!!!

5:00: Here we go!!!


0:00: And that'll do it for regulation. We're going to OT here in Kansas City. These folks are gettin' a show!!!

3:55: Both teams pushing hard to get that go-ahead goal...

6:17: With just two measly seconds left on Vitale's penalty, LA blueliner Alec Martinez dips down and beats Fleury stick side to tie the game. Pens 2, Kings 2

8:15: Now it's the Kings' turn to head back onto the PP when Vitale gets ordered to the box. Pens on the PK.

10:53: Once the teams go back to 5-on-5, the Pens score! Malkin goes to Kunitz, who sends a feed to Kunitz, who's crashing the net hard. He goes to the blue paint so hard that he sends Bernier and his helmet flying, but all that matters is the puck crosses the goal line! Pens 2, Kings 1

10:58: Kings back to full strength.

11:57: With 43 seconds left in their 5-on-3 PP opportunity, Bylsma decides to use his timeout to draw up a play.

12:00: Out for the Pens on the two-man advantage: TK, Neal, Malkin, Letestu and Martin.

12:58: Pens have a 5-on-3 PP for almost the two full minutes when the Kings get whistled for too many men!!!

13:15: Trent Hunter makes it 4-on-4 when the refs send him to the sin bin.

Oh, you know. Just an arcade in the room connected to the media workroom. No big deal.

Trib Total Media's Josh Yohe made sure to test everything in the arcade. In the photo on the left, he's taking on the PG's Shelly Anderson in air hockey. Josh would like you all to know that he topped Shelly by a lopsided score of 7-1.

14:57: Kings get their first PP of the night when MacIntyre gets two for hooking. Pitt on the PK.

16:15: Deryk Engelland!!! After getting a pass from D partner Morrow, he finds some space on the side of the ice and sends a scorcher past Bernier! Pens 1, Kings 1

17:31: Another decent chance for Park just now. He got down on one knee to rip a one-timer at Bernier, who made the save.

18:17: Letestu plants himself in front of the goal and gets a great tip-in opportunity!! Then Park puts himself in that same position and causes some trouble for Bernier. The smaller guys on the Pens roster playing big tonight.

19:31: Kings get a decent chance right off the hop when Mike Richards gets a pass in the slot and snaps a shot to the goal. But Fleury's ready and makes the save.

20:00: The final frame is off and running!


I sent a tweet from our website writers' account before the game started (@PensInsideScoop) about how all of the lights went out and the place went black, and we thought for a second the power went out -- but it was really just part of the Kings' mascot's grand entrance.

I got a photo of said mascot doing his thing. For some reason this picture cracks me up. Hopefully it makes you guys laugh too:

0:00: First 40 minutes are in the books. Kings hold onto their 1-0 lead over the Pens. Pittsburgh outshooting LA, 21-19.

0:54: Kings escape that penalty unscathed. They're back to full strength. Pens PP looked good, though.

2:19: First unit: Letestu and Martin on points, N. Johnson, Neal and Malkin up top.

2:54: We just got the first penalty of the game! LA's Jordan Nolan gets two for cross-checking. Pens on the PP!

4:01: Good chance for Staal and Kunitz just now! They got a couple of cracks at the doorstep. You could hear the thump of the puck hitting goalie pads from up here.

4:19: Kings coach Terry Murray elects to use his timeout when his team ices the puck after a long shift. A little rest for the troops and they're back at it.

4:47: Geno dipsy-doodles all around the right side of the Kings D zone, making LA players chase him around fruitlessly. He then sends a sharp cross-ice pass to Morrow, who sends a bomb to the net that's deflected out of danger.

6:05: Park drives to the net and gets a nice feed from N. Johnson. However, his shot is turned away.

7:48: Tangradi-Malkin-Neal line grab control of the puck and break it out of the Pens D zone in a formidable line. The end result is a shot and a save by Bernier.

9:44: Kings controlling play in Pens zone right now, culmulating with a Matt Greene cannon from the point. Fleury snags it and holds on for the whistle.

12:00: Fleury stops Ethan Moreau stone cold on a breakaway!!! Sooo cold! He kicked out the right pad and robbed him blind.

14:37: Pens get lots of traffic to the net, with the Tangradi-Kunitz-Neal line leading the charge. But Bernier is up to the challenge and covers for the faceoff.

20:00: Middle frame is underway!


0:00: That'll do it for the first, which couldn't really get a good flow going thanks to all the whistles. No penalties, though! Kings lead the Pens 1-0 on Jarret Stoll's goal. LA holds a slight advantage in shots, 10-9.

3:41: Dustin Brown finds a seam on the side of the ice and gets a mini breakaway. But Morrow sees him and puts the wheels on, catching up with the Kings captain and knocking him off the puck! Great play by the Pens rookie.

5:03: Geno carries the puck into the Kings D zone and does a nifty little spin-o-rama pass to the front of the net, but no one's there to gobble it up.

7:59: Kings had been controlling play most of the first half, but Pens starting to make a push now.

Fleury's crease gets ravaged by Kings players, but he stays strong and keeps the puck out of the net while sprawled on his back. Kings have a 5-3 advantage in shots so far.

11:51: Both No. 28s collide at center ice, as Stoll gives N. Johnson a good shove and sends him flying. Both teams pretty physical so far.

13:54: Flower goes to the side of his net to play a puck and sends a cross-ice pass to Engelland through his empty crease. Nice play by Fleury to keep play moving, but it did draw some oohs from the crowd.

15:29: Jarret Stoll goes hard to the net and punches a rebound past Fleury. Kings 1, Pens 0

16:06: Both teams seem to have a "shoot first" mentality tonight. Get pucks to the cage and battle for them once they're in the dirty areas. But the goalies are covering, which means lots of whistles so far.

17:11: Alec Martinez unleashes a blast from the point, but Fleury squares up and smothers the puck. Pens ice the puck right after.

18:10: Kings get a decent chance when Trevor Lewis whips a shot to the cage, but Fleury is up to the challenge. That came after the Pens got two quick cracks at Bernier down at the other end.

20:00: After an amazing rendition of the national anthem and a ceremonial faceoff drop, it's a hockey night in...Kansas City!!! They're off! Mike Richards wins the draw over Malkin.


8:00 PM:
Here are the Pens' line combos for tonight. Brian Strait is tonight's scratch.

Park-Letestu-N. Johnson


Fleury gets the nod between the pipes. Jonathan Bernier is in net for LA.

7:30 PM:
As Sam also noted earlier today, there's going to be some elite talent on the ice tonight. Here are the full lineups for Tuesday evening's contest:


10 Mark Letestu
11 Jordan Staal
12 Richard Park
14 Chris Kunitz
18 James Neal
25 Eric Tangradi
27 Craig Adams
28 Nick Johnson
33 Steve MacIntyre
46 Joe Vitale
48 Tyler Kennedy
71 Evgeni Malkin

2 Matt Niskanen
5 Deryk Engelland
6 Ben Lovejoy
7 Paul Martin
37 Brian Strait
70 Joseph Morrow
78 Scott Harrington

29 Marc-Andre Fleury
39 Brad Thiessen

Los Angeles Kings

10 Mike Richards
13 Kyle Clifford
14 Justin Williams
17 Ethan Moreau
22 Trevor Lewis
23 Dustin Brown
25 Dustin Penner
28 Jarret Stoll
47 Trent Hunter
48 Andrei Loktionov
71 Jordan Nolan
74 Dwight King

2 Matt Greene
3 Jack Johnson
7 Rob Scuderi
27 Alec Martinez
44 Davis Drewiske
76 Slava Voynov

32 Jonathan Quick
45 Jonathan Bernier

7:15 PM:
Another note: this game is not being shown on TV. But it will be broadcast on radio – on flagship station 105.9 The X, on Penguins HD radio and on
Steve Mears and two-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Bourque will have the call for tonight's contest, so make sure you tune in!!! You can catch all the action here (while following along to the blog, of course).

I mean, look at them. How could you not want to listen?!

7:00 PM:
Hello everyone! I'm currently blogging from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, where the Penguins are set to take on the Los Angeles Kings at 8 p.m. EST in a neutral-site exhibition match.

Although Sam Kasan already discussed this in today's Pens Report, let’s backtrack again for a moment to discuss why this trip is so significant.

Back in 2007, the Penguins’ future was in doubt as the team negotiated with the city for financing on their new rink. Their future in Pittsburgh looked bleak after the Isle of Capri – which promised to finance the new arena if awarded a casino license – lost its bid for a gambling venue. And it was Kansas City that began wooing the Penguins after completing its own brand-new ice arena – the Sprint Center – that same year.

We all know how that story ended – after a lot of tough negotiations and ups and downs, Mario Lemieux and his team were able to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, striking a financing deal with the city that resulted in the beautiful CONSOL Energy Center and a commitment to keeping the franchise in the Steel City for decades to come.

But Kansas City and the Sprint Center were definitely in serious talks as a possible relocation site for the team during those rocky times, and that’s something that Pens GM Ray Shero will never forget.

“I think it’s rather ironic that on Tuesday at 3 o’clock, we’re taking off to play in Kansas City,” Shero said while giving the state of the franchise address to season ticket holders at the Town Hall Meeting on Sunday.

It will certainly be interesting to finally play a game at the very arena in the very city that tried so hard to win the Penguins and NHL hockey, and see what it all has to offer.

But while it should be a solid all-around experience, Shero said it best:

“I am happy to report that we’ll be coming home Tuesday night to Pittsburgh, where we belong. Thank you for your support.”

NOTE: In an odd coincidence, the most recent concert the Sprint Center hosted was the Foo Fighters – which was also the last show to play at CONSOL Energy Center. The Foo Fighters have come up a lot recently in regards to the team, as Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal all went to the Sep. 23 concert together (with Geno tweeting up a storm from their suite during the show). His favorite song is “My Hero,” so in his honor, here it is.

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