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Pens-Leafs Prospect Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00: That'll do it. The Pens prospects are now 0-2 in the tournament as they fall to the Leafs prospects by a score of 5-1.

1:18: Pens will finish the game on a power play.

2:34: Tyler Brenner gives his team a 5-1 lead just over 2 1/2 minutes left to play. Leafs 5, Pens 1

4:06: Astles is back on the ice, so he's good to go.

7:59: Uh oh -- after Brian Gibbons takes a stinger in the Pens' D zone and skates gingerly to the bench, Astles goes down in the neutral zone after taking a puck to the face and is slow to get up.

8:46: After a solid shift by the Pens, Greg McKegg finds some time and space to bear down on Lagace and beat him backhand. Coach Hynes decides to use his timeout to steady the troops. Leafs 4, Pens 1

12:43: Pens back to full strength.

13:52: Thompson, Sill, Grant and Despres are out penalty killing for now.

14:43: Leafs just got a great opportunity, as one of their shots from the circle slid right through the blue paint. Samuelsson gets a penalty for slashing on the play.

15:52: Street just robbed a Toronto blueliner of the puck in the neutral zone and got it into the Leafs' zone. The Pens get a shot on goal, and Sparks has to freeze for the faceoff.

17:52: Despres just dangled around a couple of Leafs forwards hounding him at the blue line and managed to make a clearing pass to a teammate.

20:00: And they're off!


NOTE: I didn't have time to mention this earlier, but before the game began, there was a moment of silence in honor of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 -- and the entire arena broke out in applause after the U.S. national anthem. All of the Penguins coaches here in Oshawa are wearing remembrance ribbons on their lapels. Here's Billy Guerin with his.

0:00: The period ends with Zach Sill and a Leafs player mixing it up behind the Toronto net. Leafs take a 3-1 lead into the final frame.

0:47: Leafs back to full strength.

2:47: Pens get a PP late in the period, with Toronto's Jamie Devane going to the box. Pens have Gibbons, Thompson and Veilleux up front and Despres and Kuhnhackl on the point.

5:20: DeFazio just went down on both knees to block a shot; the Toronto defender got it back and tried again, but DeFazio took one for the team on that one as well. DeFazio's looking great out there tonight.

6:39: Nice work just now by Samuelsson to skirt a Leafs defender and keep the puck in Toronto's zone.

10:00: Pens are back to full strength!

12:00: Despres gets a pair for delay of game. That means the Pens have four D right now with Bortuzzo out. Pens on the PK.

12:42: Awesome shift by the Uher-Sill-DeFazio line. Great cycling and going to the net HARD. I really like what I'm seeing from that trio.

14:23: Unreal bout between Pens' Astles and Leafs' Carrick. Both of them were getting hard, fast punches in and you could sense the intensity from all the way up in the press box. I was on the edge of my seat watching.

14:45: Great shift just now by Paul Thompson. He displayed some speed through the neutral zone to get the puck past the Leafs defenders, then he got a couple of his own rebounds to test Sparks hard.

17:53: Toronto's Sam Carrick finds the back of the net after the Leafs get back to full strength to put his team up. Leafs 3, Pens 1

20:00: The Pens begin the period with 1:45 of power-play time left on David Broll's penalty taken in the first frame. There's another Leaf in there serving a misconduct penalty, and our own Keven Veilleux is in the sin bin for a roughing penalty and a 10-minute misconduct.


NOTE: Robert Bortuzzo has an undisclosed injury and will not return to the game. He will be re-evaluated Monday.

0:00: That'll do it for the first. The period ends with some tempers flaring, as guys are getting mixed up by the benches. The refs are trying to clear it up, but aren't having too much luck. Shots: Pens 12, Leafs 9

0:20: HUGE diving save by Lagace with seconds left! He had gotten out of his crease and the puck had found its way into the paint, but he smothered it in time!

1:31: Pens really controlling play as the period winds down. They do not want that puck to leave Toronto's zone.

5:51: And Toronto's Mitchell Heard rips one past Lagace to give the Leafs the edge. Leafs 2, Pens 1

6:12: Our own Brian Gibbons just got sent to the box. We're now 4-on-3 in Toronto's favor.

6:30: Veilleux and Toronto's Brad Ross each get unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. We're going to 4-on-4 hockey.

8:01: After Pittsburgh's Ian Watters is hauled down by two Leafs, Stefan Fournier takes exception and drops the mitts with Neuber. I'd call it a draw.

10:13: Pens back to full strength.

11:18: Pens go down a man after Jessey Astles gets a pair for boarding. Thompson, Sill, Harrington and Samuelsson are the first set of killers for Pittsburgh.

12:13: After some fantastic work by the Pens to keep play rimmed in Toronto's end, the Leafs finally break the puck out of their zone for a 2-on-1 with Philip Samuelsson. He breaks that one up, but Toronto battles, gets the puck back and Josh Nichols is the one to send it past Lagace. Pens 1, Leafs 1

13:59: Leafs back to full strength.

14:30: The second unit has Morrow and Harrington on D, with Tarasov, Street and Thompson up top.

15:06: Coach Hynes had Veilleux, Sill and Gibbons up top on that first PP unit. Kuhnhackl went down and played the left point with Despres manning the right point.

16:20: Pens forward Brian Gibbons is absolutely crushed from behind by Toronto's Kyle Neuber as he tries to carry the puck up ice. The ref immediately blows the whistle and sends Neuber to the box for boarding. Pens on the PP!

16:41: Leafs have a good shift down in the Pens zone, but their shot to the net is easily gloved by Lagace.

19:47: Brandon DeFazio wastes no time in getting the Pens on the board! Off the opening faceoff, Pittsburgh's top line immediately went to the paint hard and pushed the puck past Toronto goalie Garret Sparks! Pens 1, Leafs 0

20:00: And we're off!


6:45 PM:
Here's the lineup for tonight's game, with the numbers each player is wearing in front of their names. The scratches are Eric Tangradi, Brian Strait, Carl Sneep and Nick Petersen.


14 Kuhnhackl - 17 Gibbons - 24 Veilleux
19 Tarasov - 10 Street - 16 Thompson
26 Uher - 11 Sill - 18 DeFazio
27 Astles - 28 Watters -  22 Fournier
6 Morrow - 15 Bortuzzo
2 Despres - 9 Grant
5 Samuelsson - 8 Harrington
31 Lagace

6:40 PM:
Since we're just 45 minutes from Toronto, there is a healthy crowd in the stands here at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa, Ontario, ready to watch the Penguins prospects take on the Maple Leafs prospects.

This is Game 2 for the Penguins, as they fell 4-0 to the Ottawa Senators prospects on Saturday afternoon. While the Pens' 2011 draft picks -- Joseph Morrow, Scott Harrington and Dominik Uher -- all impressed yesterday, Pittsburgh has a lot to work on heading into tonight's tilt. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes took some time before the game to discuss what improvements his team needs to make -- read all about it here.

Tonight, Robert Bortuzzo and Zach Sill will be wearing A's for the Penguins -- we actually discussed yesterday how the Penguins are expecting leadership from those players (along with Tangradi and Strait, who wore A's last night), and they're expecting it of themselves.
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