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Pens-Red Wings (Preseason) In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00: Despite a strong final push, Wings hold on for a 3-2 win over Pens.

0:16: Now coach Bylsma decides to use his timeout with an offensive-zone faceoff. Flower is back on the bench.

0:49: The Pens crash the net hard, with TK finding a puck in the blue paint and pushing it over the goal line! Or did he? Franzen had fallen into the net and knocked it off its moorings, making it unclear if the puck crossed the goal line before that happened. There are no goal reviews in preseason play, by the way. Luckily, the refs rule it a good goal! Wings 3, Pens 2

0:56: Wings are using their timeout.

1:04: Pens have pulled Flower again!!!

2:24: Wings back to full strength. The Pens had pulled Flower for a little while there to have a 6-on-4 advantage, but he went back into his goal after Wings eventually cleared down the ice.

4:43: And Pittsburgh will get a late power-play opportunity here with Ehrhardt heading to the box!!!

8:03: Crowd starting to get loud here at the Joe. Play is moving fast as the Pens are pressing hard to tie the game as the clock winds down.

11:51: Wings back to full strength.

13:51: Wings captain Lidstrom gets two for holding. Pens back on the PP!

14:08: Strait dips down low and eventually gets a shot on goal through traffic. Love seeing the Pens defense - no matter where they are development-wise - be aggressive like that.

16:41: Some sick stickhandling in the slot by Valtteri Filppula, as he jukes around some Pens defenders and gets alone in front of Flower. But Fleury makes the save!

19:18: PP expires. Wings back to full strength.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on! Pens begin the final frame with 42 seconds left on a power play.


- Neal and TK now have 3 shots each
- Forgot to note that Martin's goal in the 1st was unassisted
- Michalek and Cooke each have 2 blocked shots
- Niskanen still leads with 14:51 of ice time

0:00: That'll do it for the second. Wings now have a 3-1 lead thanks to a two-goal effort from Nyquist. Shots are pretty even as Pittsburgh has 15, Detroit has 14.

1:18: Pens will end the period with a PP opportunity as Ian White goes for hooking!

2:14: TK just got absolutely smashed into the boards by Logan Pyett. But he springs right back up and hops into the play.

3:57: With 1:31 left on Duper's penalty, Nyquist gets his second of the game when he snipes a shot from the slot past Flower. Wings 3, Pens 1

4:26: Pens a man down again when one of their best PKers - Pascal Dupuis - gets two for tripping.

6:06: Pens back to full strength! Another successful kill.

8:06: Big shot block by Paulie Martin less than a minute into Pitt's PK. He took a puck in the back from Ian White. It looked painful, but he seems to be OK.

8:50: Pens head right back to the PK when Sully gets two for holding...

9:37: Tempers flaring by the Detroit net after a save by Howard, with Neal, Letestu and Sullivan all getting in the scrum. But it gets sorted out and everyone settles down for the faceoff.

10:19: Wings have quite the potent PP, with last season's Norris Trophy winner and ageless wonder Nick Lidstrom manning the center point. But the Pens kill it off successfully!

12:19: After a strong shift by the Pens, Kunitz gets whistled for tripping. Pens on the PK.

13:37: A few seconds after the faceoff, Strait tees off a shot that goes just wide of the net!

14:00: Nice read by Tanger to intercept a Detroit cross-ice pass, which results in a smooth breakout and a shot on goal.

16:22: Asham takes the puck to the net and makes a couple of smooth moves around Wings defenders, but he gets taken out and slides head-first into the corner. Luckily he's able to get up before making contact with the boards. Nice drive by 45.

17:04: Wings came on hard their last shift, giving Flower a lot of work! But he stood tall and protected his crease, culminating with a stop and a faceoff to his left.

18:55: Hudler finds some space and fires a shot at Fleury, who whips his glove out and deftly grabs the puck out of midair. I love seeing stops like that.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on!!!


- Neal and Adams have two shots each
- Vitale leads with 4 hits
- Niskanen has logged a team-leading 8:17 minutes of ice time

0:00: That'll do it for the first. Wings take a 2-1 lead into the middle frame off goals from Nyquist and Franzen, with Paulie Martin getting Pittsburgh's goal. Pitt has a slight advantage in shots, 8-7.

2:21: These period is flying by. Play has definitely started to flow these last few minutes without too many whistles. Always good to see.

4:42: Howard comes pretty far out of his net to play the puck, and the Pens almost make him pay!! But he's able to get back and make the save.

6:05: Wings back to full strength, but Pens still pressing hard.

8:05: Pens are heading to the PP after Cory Emmerton gets two for hooking! First unit out for Pitt: TK, Kunitz and Letestu up top, Letang and Sully on the points

9:17: Wings capitalize on another rebound opportunity. It ended with Johan Franzen grabbing a loose puck in front of Fleury (who had made a few series of saves before that last one) and making a nifty side-step around Flower, who was on his pads. Not much Fleury could do on that one. Wings 2, Pens 1

11:39: Pens seem to be getting to their game now. They've done a good job these last few minutes of keeping play rimmed in the offensive zone and making the Wings chase them with the puck.

14:13: And just like that, the score is tied! After Matt Cooke forechecks hard and gets tangled with a Detroit defender behind the net, the puck squirts out to the front of the net. Paulie Martin pinches in and tees it off past Howard! Pens 1, Wings 1

15:13: Neal slaps a pass over to Letestu as they enter the zone, which he carries behind the net, waits, then gives right back to Neal. He quickly gets a shot on Howard, who smothers for the whistle.

18:57: Wings take an early lead when Gustav Nyquist drives to the net and puts a rebound past Fleury. Assists to Bertuzzi and Franzen. Wings 1, Pens 0

20:00: Puck drops. Game on!


5:05 PM:
Pens starting lineup is Kunitz, Adams and Vitale up front with Martin and Michalek on the backend. Fleury is in goal for Pittsburgh, as Bylsma mentioned in his pregame talk. Jimmy Howard is between the pipes for Detroit.

3:25 PM:
Pregame coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On Joe Morrow not being in today’s lineup an indication that he’s made up his mind about him:
It’s not an indication. He earned some more games and more opportunities, but game 6 was definitely planned out before today, before the weekend started, before these games started. So no.

On if what he’s seen from his players so far is going to make it a hard decision for him in terms of roster cuts:
Probably not. We’ve had some discussions. A lot of that has played out. The one scenario that is still there is just the health of our players. That would lead to maybe having to wait on some of the decisions until we know how the health of our players are to get to the right 23.

On if that is to give some of his players a little more time:
That could possibly be the case, yeah.

On which goalie will play today:
(Marc-Andre Fleury) will play the whole game. This will be Flower’s second whole game.

On Brad Thiessen:
I don’t think you plan for a scenario where there’s an opportunity to, but I definitely think that we’d like to see Brad Thiessen play some games at some point in time. It’s got to happen at some point in time. He’s right there. So it could be a situation where we might have to manufacture a game at some point in time for Brad.

On what the hardest thing is to get the guys to do at this point of the year:
I think right now, it feels like there’s more parts to our game. There’s not as much flow to our game as we’d like to see happen. We play at a pace and a tempo and we get to the offensive zone a lot. You see some good things. You see parts of the system. You see parts of things going on the ice, but it doesn’t fit together like a puzzle just quite yet. I think in the players’ minds, you see pieces, you don’t see the whole thing yet in terms of grasping it and getting it. That’s the hardest thing right now, is conceptually they see parts and pieces but they might not see or feel or understand what it totally is like. That’s kind of the hardest thing to get going. So we’ll keep talking about those things over the next 10 games, even the way it is at the end of the regular season, the way they’ll see it isn’t necessarily there right now.

On if that’s a byproduct of the fact that there’s different players every game or because it’s early:
Both. But it would be that way even if we had all of the same players.

On if the dressing room still feels the same as it did when they celebrated the 2009 Stanley Cup:
There’s always a bit of reminiscing when you walk in there and it kind of washes over you. For that reason, it’s always a special spot whether it’s a preseason game or I walk in here in the middle of the summer. It still has that feeling about it.

On if he’s a big Tigers fan:
I am. Yes.

On how far away his actual home is from Detroit:
About a half hour.

2:15 PM:
Pens head coach Dan Bylsma will be addressing the media at 3 p.m. We'll have a transcript and video posted in the blog shortly after, so stay tuned!

2:00 PM:
The end of the preseason is now here! Once today's 5 p.m. game vs. the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena (televised live on PCNC for those of you back home) is over, training camp will be basically done and the team will be looking forward to their three-game road swing to Western Canada, starting with their season opener on Thursday vs. Vancouver at 10 p.m. ET. It's time to get the 2011-12 campaign going!!!

The Pens have a chance today finish the preseason with a perfect 6-0 record for the first time in team history – and a chance to finish unbeaten for just the second time in club history (2008-09, 4-0-1). That year, the Penguins went on to capture the team’s third Stanley Cup championship. Talk about good omens.

Pittsburgh is the only team left in the NHL with an unblemished record. Every other club has at least one regulation loss.

Here are this afternoon's lineups:


9 Pascal Dupuis
10 Mark Letestu
11 Jordan Staal
12 Richard Park
14 Chris Kunitz
18 James Neal
24 Matt Cooke
26 Steve Sullivan
27 Craig Adams
45 Arron Asham
46 Joe Vitale
48 Tyler Kennedy

2 Matt Niskanen
4 Zbynek Michalek
6 Ben Lovejoy
7 Paul Martin
37 Brian Strait
58 Kris Letang

29 Marc-Andre Fleury
1 Brent Johnson


14 Gustav Nyquist
15 Fabian Brunnstrom
17 Patrick Eaves
20 Drew Miller
21 Tomas Tatar
26 Jiri Hudler
42 Ryan Johnson
44 Todd Bertuzzi
47 Brent Raedeke
48 Cory Emmerton
51 Valtteri Filppula
93 Johan Franzen

4 Jakub Kindl
5 Nicklas Lidstrom
18 Ian White
27 Travis Ehrhardt
32 Logan Pyett
52 Jonathan Ericsson

29 Ty Conklin
35 Jimmy Howard
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