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Pens-Leafs In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


0:00: Pens manage to hold on for the 3-2 comeback victory! Dupuis scored twice and added an assist while Jordan Staal added the other Pens' goal.

4:55: Pens keep the Leafs off the board. Thiessen was by far the Pens' best Pker on that one.

5:59: Unreal sliding pad save by Thiessen on Kessel, who seemed like he had a slam dunk goal on the backdoor. Bozak gets the rebound, but the Pens are able to get in the lanes and deflect it out.

6:55: Neal is called for holding the stick and the Pens will go to the PK. This is a critical kill for the Pens here.

     "@PensInsideScoop I think Staal is one of the most complete players in the game. 40 goal/season pace, 2 way play, power forward play, scoring"

10:24: I couldn't agree more with @RushLedger's tweet. The Sullivan-Staal-Dupuis line has just dominated tonight, and they've actually been consistently good for a while now. Staal has points in six straight games, Sullivan has gotten on the scoresheet in eight of his last nine and Dupuis brings that irrepressible energy to the ice every night.

     "Wow that Sullivan Staal Dupuis line is killing it tonight!!! #Pens"

13:40: And now Staal gets a completely wide-open lane on the side of the ice that he takes full advantage on (with Sullivan joining him to make a 2-on-1 rush). Staal rips a scorcher that Gustavsson saves.

So pumped I get to use this twice tonight!!!

15:50: From the blue line, Sullivan feathers a pass through a pair of Leafs players that somehow makes its way onto the blade of Dupuis. He corrals it and snaps a quick backhander at the cage that sneaks through the pads of Gustavsson! Second goal of the night for Super Duper! His line is having an unbelievable night. PENS 3, LEAFS 2

18:26: Re-directs are not Gustavsson's friend tonight. Staal tips Orpik's shot from the point into the top right corner of the net to tie the game at 2-2! Dupuis gets the secondary assist on the play. PENS 2, LEAFS 2

20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Game on!

The offense certainly picked up in the second period after a scoreless first. After both teams got out of some penalty trouble, the Leafs had all of the momentum on their side when they got two quick goals from Phil Kessel and Carl Gunnarsson. But Pascal Dupuis led the Pens' resurgence, as he re-directed a Matt Niskanen shot past Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson to cut Toronto's lead to one just under halfway through the frame.

- Dupuis' goal was his 16th of the season and his 12th point (5G-7A) over the last 20 games
- His 38 points are the second-highest total of his career
- The Pens are currently 13-1-1 when Dupuis scores a goal

0:00: First 40 minutes are in the books. Leafs have a 2-1 lead while the Pens have a 21-13 edge in shots.

1:19: Neal absolutely crushes Gunnarsson behind the Leafs net. Big hit by No. 18.

     "What a beautiful redirect from duper. cant do anything but appreciate his constant effort n productivity. #pens"

5:52: Pens really gained some momentum after that last goal. The Malkin line just produced a big shift and now Staal's line is putting up an aah-inducing performance.

10:28: Matt Niskanen gets the puck on the point and Dupuis hustles to the front of the net to screen Gustavsson. The move pays dividends, as Dupuis perfectly re-directs Niskanen's shot past the Leafs goalie for the score! LEAFS 2, PENS 1

12:24: Grabovski rips a shot from the slot that re-directs off Gunnarsson and ricochets into the net past Thiessen. LEAFS 2, PENS 0

16:00: Pens can't solve Gustavsson with the man-advantage. Liles is released and Toronto goes back to full strength.

     "#pens pp is beautiful to watch, lots of quick passes, and a ton of shots..."

17:32: Pens have 1:32 left of power-play time on the double minor assessed to Liles.

19:00: And after Tyler Kozak barrels into Thiessen after he makes a save, Kessel gets a pass at the backdoor with Thiessen down and knocks it into the open net. Somehow there's no goalie interference called on the play. LEAFS 1, PENS 0

19:48: I spoke too soon. Leafs are on a 4-on-3 PP for the next 44 seconds as Staal is called for tripping.

20:00: Puck drops to start the second here at CONSOL Energy Center. We will skate 4-on-4 for the next 56 seconds until Geno is released, then the Pens will have about 3 minutes left on the double minor assessed to Liles. Game on!

- Malkin is one point away from 500 for his career
- When Malkin hits 500, he will tie Syl Apps for eighth place on the team's all-time point list
- Pens are outhitting Leafs 10-7

     "What a play by Cooke there; hustle out the final seconds of the period and end up drawing a penalty. #pens #leafs"

0:00: Liles catches Cooke with a high stick as the two round around the Leafs net, and the Pens will have a lengthy power play once Malkin gets out of the box as the D-man was given a double minor. We are scoreless through 20 minutes and the Pens have an 11-3 edge in shots.

1:24: Malkin catches Phanuef with a high stick and he gets caught by the nearby linesman. Geno will head to the box for a pair.

2:41: And the Pens kill off what remains on the penalty to Neal. Pittsburgh goes back to full strength!

3:29: Leafs have a little bit of a power play here as Rosehill is released.

4:45: We're going to go 4-on-4 for the next 54 seconds, as Neal gets called for slashing.

5:51: Rosehill back in the box, this time for charging. Pens back to the PP!

6:24: Both teams have been playing at a pretty spirited clip these last few minutes, but the Pens do have a slight 10-1 advantage in shots. Toronto does have four attempts blocked and five missed shots.

11:00: Leafs kill it off and go back to full strength.

12:27: The Leafs force a turnover while shorthanded and go down on an odd-man rush. Connolly drops a pass to Kulemin, whose blast rings off the post and out of danger!

13:21: And off the resulting D-zone faceoff, Jay Rosehill catches Michalek in the face with a high stick as they race for the puck and the Pens will go on the power play.

13:27: The Leafs get their first shot of the game that Thiessen calmly gobbles up with his glove.

16:51: Fittingly enough, Arron Asham pulls off a Lemieux-esque move to power around D-man Cody Franson and get a lane to the net, but he and his linemates can't convert the opportunity. Good chance for No. 45.

20:00: After a goosebump-inducting tribute to owner/legend Mario Lemieux on the video board that got a standing ovation from the crowd, it's time to drop the puck! Game on. Here we go!

7:30 PM:
Pens scratch Tangradi, Jeffrey, Letang, Engelland and Johnson. Pens' lines for tonight:



Thiessen in goal.

Leafs scratch Luke Schenn, Colby Armstrong, Matthew Lombardi and Joffrey Lupul. Gustavsson gets the nod for Toronto.

7:26 PM:
The Maple Leafs did not have a morning skate this a.m. as they hosted Boston last night and fell to the defending Stanley Cup champs, 5-4. The Leafs are in a free fall, as they've won just 2 of their last 12 games and are watching their playoff hopes fade away fast. To make matters worse, the team announced today that they had lost All-Star and second-leading scorer Joffrey Lupul for 3-4 weeks with a shoulder injury he suffered in the second period of last night's game.

For the full scoop on tonight's opponent, click here.

7:00 PM:
What a day it's been here at CONSOL Energy Center. Today the Penguins unveiled "Le Manifique," a spectacular statue honoring the career and achievements of owner, hockey icon and legend Mario Lemieux in a public ceremony outside the arena. The hockey gods cleared the skies and warmed the weather to a fitting 66 degrees for the historic day, and we have all the coverage of the event honoring Lemieux right here at

Here is what is already posted on our website (stories, photos and videos galore):

It was a fitting tribute to No. 66, the greatest player of all time, and a day we'll remember forever. And although the awesomeness of it hasn't quite worn off, it's now it's time for us to turn our attention to tonight's game between the Penguins and the visiting Maple Leafs.

Brad Thiessen will get the start between the pipes for Pittsburgh, who is looking to extend its win streak to seven games -- the longest active stretch in the NHL. It will be Thiessen's second-ever NHL game, as he stopped 22 of 24 shots to win his NHL debut vs. Columbus Feb. 26. For the rest of the game day coverage, visit today's Penguins Report or you can watch the abbreviated version below:

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