The Penguin finish off one of their finest performances of the season, an 8-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Sidney Crosby
records the hat trick and adds two assists in the win. Pittsburgh now has an NHL-best 18 victories heading into Saturday's late games.
Reason No. one-zillion why Penguins fans are the best: They chant "Happy Birthday" to Fleury.
Staal is denied on a backhand attempt on a breakaway.
The crowd begins the "Go Home, Rangers" chant.
Avery and Fedotenko wrestle after the whistle. Avery gets two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct. The Penguins are on a power play for the rest of the game.
A scoring change on the last Pittsburgh goal, credit it to Tyler Kennedy
on a deflection in front.
Cooke drops the gloves and gets the better of the Rangers Ryan Callahan in a scrap. Both get fighting majors and 10-minute misconducts.
Welcome back to the lineup Kris Letang
and welcome back a lethal Penguins power play. The blueliner's slapshot eludes Valiquette for an eighth Pittsburgh goal and their second with the man-advantage. Penguins 8, Rangers 3.
(Goal later changed to Tyler Kennedy
It's hat night at Mellon Arena and the hats are flying onto the ice courtesy of team captain Sidney Crosby
. He registers his second three-goal performance of the season with a blistering wrist shot into the upper corner. Penguins 7, Rangers 3.
Donald Brashear fires punches at Cooke after the whistle. He receives a double-minor for roughing as a result of his actions.
Pittsburgh kills of the Rangers man-advantage as Cooke skates onto the ice.
The Penguins offense is taking center stage on this night, but the play of the birthday boy, Marc-Andre Fleury
, is a huge reason why the Penguins are on their way to an NHL-leading 18th victory tonight:
Cooke puts the Rangers back on the power play with an interference penalty.
Dupuis has been one of the Penguins best players in the month of November and he keeps it up with a long-range slapshot which deflects off the glove of Valiquette and lands in the net for his seventh goal of the season. Gonchar and Orpik get the assists. Penguins 6, Rangers 3.
The rubber takes a weird bounce off the boards and lands right on the stick of Crosby in the slot. His slap shot is denied by Valiquette.
Dupuis and Malkin paly give-and-go to set Malkin up for a one-time shot in the slot but Valiquette slides across his crease to make the save.
Malkin steals the puck behind the net from Valiquette but his wraparound shot squirts off the pad of Valiquette...right onto the stick of Crosby for his second goal of the night. Penguins 5, Rangers 3.
Malkin, Fedotenko and Rupp give the Penguins a good shift to help stop the Rangers momentum following the Rozsival tally.
The Eaton goal looms large now as Avery feeds former Penguin Michal Rozsival for the slap-shot goal just 33 seconds into the final period. Penguins 4, Rangers 3.
Pittsburgh looks to build off the 22-2-1 all-time record they have under head coach Dan Bylsma when leading after two periods.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Evgeni Malkin
leads the Penguins with four shots.
- Tyler Kennedy
has three shots and one hit in his return.
- Alex Goligoski has played 14:03 of ice time and Kris Letang
12:15 through two periods as they return to the lineup.
Carroll, the Penguins honorary Trib Reporter of the Game, stopped by our booth during the second period.
Pittsburgh takes a 4-2 lead into the second intermission. They also have a 23-19 advantage in shots.
For the second time in '09-10 the Penguins score with less than a second remaining on the clock as Mark Eaton's wrist shot from the near boards sails over the shoulder of Valiquette with 0.3 ticks on the clock. Assists go to Adams and Orpik. Penguins 4, Rangers 2.
The Penguins fall to 0-for-3 on the power play.
Pittsburgh will get their third power play as the rookie Del Zotto goes off for slashing Gonchar.
Valiquette maintains his post to prevent Fedotenko from jamming a puck behind him as the Penguins winger crashes into the Rangers netminder.
Prospal works the puck from behind the Penguins net out to Matt Gilroy at the right point. The rookie defenseman sneaks a shot past Fleury. Penguins 3, Rangers 2.
One of the crowd's favorite parts of the game - the McDonald's "Big Mac Attack" is underway for the next two minutes. If the Penguins score, everyone in attendance receives a free Big Mac with their ticket stub.
Valiquette is sharp to stay with a Goligoski shot from the right point deflected on the way through by Craig Adams
Fedotenko is tripped up in the Rangers zone but no penalty is called on the play.
Prospal is back on the ice and the Penguins are 0-for-2 on the power play.
Crosby rifles a shot off the post to the left behind Valiquette.
Jay McKee (finger infection) and Chris Kunitz
(lower body) are the lone Penguins still on the shelf. McKee said this morning he is potentially aiming to return Monday at Madison Square Garden:
Pittsburgh will take a second crack with the man-advantage as Vinny Prospal goes to the box for high-sticking.
Fleury gives himself a birthday present by first denying a shot tipped by Chris Drury on the way in, and then the follow-up from Christopher Higgins.
Staal unleaches a powerful slap shot from the high slot just over the net on a three-on-two rush into the Rangers zone.
Another standing-room sellout at Mellon Arena as 17,122 fill the seats for the 131st-consecutive sellout.
As Guerin comes out of the box Pascal Dupuis
fires a shot over top the net on a breakaway following a great setup from Malkin.
Guerin is penalized for hooking 17 seconds into the middle frame.
The Penguins and Rangers return to action at Mellon Arena.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Sidney Crosby
was a plus-3.
- Brooks Orpik
led the Penguins with three hits.
- The Penguins won 14 of the 21 faceoffs.
A highly entertaining first period comes to a halt with the Penguins leading the Rangers by a score of 3-1. Mike Rupp and Avery get into a shoving match after the whistle. Pittsburgh holds a 16-13 advantage in shots.
Mellon Arena is abuzz after Max Talbot scores his first goal of the season on a gorgeous setup from Crosby. Eric Godard's drive to the net opens the lane for Talbot. Letang picks up the second assist. Penguins 3, Rangers 1.
New York pokes the puck from a streaking Alex Goligoski at the blue line but Crosby picks up the loose puck, walks to the slot and fires a wrist shot over the blocker of Valiquette for his 13th goal. Penguins 2, Rangers 1.
Valiquette blockers a high slap shot from Martin Skoula to the corner.
Cooke rocks Del Zotto in the near corner of the Rangers zone.
4:25: Kris Letang
returned to the lineup tonight after missing the previous nine games with an undisclosed injury. This morning he talked about rejoining the lineup:
Hard work allows the Penguins to tie the score. Guerin pokes the puck away from Michael Del Zotta behind the Rangers net. Crosby takes over from there, centering a pass in front to Malkin for the goal. Penguins 1, Rangers 1.
Godard's shot rings off the outside of the net from the near circle.
Valiquette struggles with Letang's wrist shot from the right point, but recovers in time to stick the shot to the corner. The puck might have been deflected on the way in.
Today is the 25th birthday for Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury
. Earlier this morning Fleury spoke
to our Tom Mast about his career to this point.
Marc Staal, older brother of the Penguins Jordan, jumps into the attack and takes a pass from Chris Drury before depositing a shot over Fleury. Ales Kotalik gets the second assist. Rangers 1, Penguins 0.
Kennedy continues to make his presence felt, passing cross-ice to a wide-open Matt Cooke
. Once again, Valiquette is there as the last line of defense.
The Penguins defeated the Rangers, 3-2 on opening night at Mellon Arena as the Penguins raised their championship banner.
Avery hits the ice and both teams are at five attackers apiece.
Valiquette doesn't look like a backup so far, stopping Kennedy's rebound from right on the doorstep. Letang had the initial shot from the left point.
Valiquette gets over to the far post to keep the puck out of the cage on Malkin's wraparound attempt.
Pittsburgh gets their first crack at the league's fourth ranked penalty kill with Avery sent to the box for goaltender interference.
Marian Gaborik jumps on a loose puck that bounced over the stick of Goligoski and moved in alone on Marc-Andre Fleury
, only to watch his backhander denied by Fleury's pad.
Eaton returns to the ice and the Penguins kill the first Rangers power play.
The crowd loves watching Sergei Gonchar dump Sean Avery along the near boards. Seconds later Orpik takes a good run at the Rangers forward.
Mark Eaton is penalized two minutes for holding the stick.
Guerin fires a shot just wide of Steve Valiquette on a two-on-one with Crosby.
Crosby starts at center between Bill Guerin and Malkin.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
The Penguins are 11-0 in '09-10 when Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
each record a point in the same game.
General Manager Ray Shero presented trainer Chris Stewart with an engraved plaque in recognition of Stewart's 1,000th professioal game Friday against the New York Islanders. Read about Stewart's journey here
7:32 PM: Tyler Kennedy
is in the Penguins lineup for tonight's game. Winger Chris Bourque is the lone Pittsburgh scratch. Wade Redden and Brian Boyle are out for New York.
Tonight marks the first half of a home-and-home series between the Penguins and the New York Rangers. Reinforcements are on the way for the Penguins as defenseman Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang
will be in the lineup against New York, and they could be joined by winger Tyler Kennedy
, who took part in the warmup and is a game-time decision.
Author: Jason Seidling