The Penguins head into the Christmas Break with an 8-2 defeat of the Ottawa Senators. The win gives the Penguins 26 wins on the season. Evgeni Malkin
records his fourth career hat trick and Bill Guerin (2G-2A) and Chris Kunitz
(1G-3A) have four-point nights. Pittsburgh is back in action on Sunday at 7 p.m. against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Mellon Arena.
Chris Kelly adds a late goal for the Senators by firing a wrist shot over the glove of Fleury. Penguins 8, Senators 2.
The crowd cheers as Guerin steps onto the ice. It's amazing to see the connection he has established with this crowd in such a short order.
Crosby sends a pass to Guerin on the side of the cage but the puck jumps up over the glass. The crowd keeps their "Let's Go Guerin" chants going.
Malkin continues to do it all for the Penguins. He draws a tripping penalty on Volchenkov.
7:19: Brooks Orpik
almost gets in on the scoring as his shot catches iron behind Elliott.
Our final Christmas Carol of the night, Pittsburgh-native Christina Aguilera singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
Talbot throws a behind-the-back pass to Guerin at the left of the cage but Elliott denies the wingers' attempt at a hat trick.
8:55: Sidney Crosby
's three-point night gives him 443 points, moving him past Martin Straka into 8th place on the team's all-time list.
The fans hammer the referees as Guerin has to go to the penalty box to serve a too many men on the ice penalty.
How great are the fans of Pittsburgh. They are chanting "Billy, Billy, Billy" and "Let's Go Guerin."
The Penguins go on the power play as Donovan takes an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a 10-minute misconduct.
The Penguins would like to extend a warm welcome to Vladislav Tretiak, netminder for the Soviets during their dominating run in the 1970s and '80s.
It's another hat trick at Mellon Arena! Malkin steals the puck from Ryan Shannon at the blue line, fights off the Senator and breaks in two-on-zero against Elliott with Crosby. The two play give-and-go as Malkin one-touches the puck behind Elliott. It's Malkin's fourth career hat trick. Penguins 8, Senators 1.
15:30: Tyler Kennedy
is sent to the penalty box for holding.
Mike Fisher, who we stated earlier became engaged to country singer Carrie Underwood on Sunday, leads the Senators with three assists in three games against the Penguins.
Malkin sends a snap shot just over the top of the cage sprinting down the right side as he looks to finish off his first hat trick of the season.
The Penguins welcome Elliott to the cage the same way they greeted Leclaire - with a goal. This time Staal steals the puck in the near corner and passes to Cooke. From there Cooke walked in front and fed Sergei Gonchar coming down the slot. Penguins 7, Senators 1.
The fisticuffs continue as Matt Carkner drops the gloves with Adams. It was only a matter of time before the Senators came after Adams, who earlier knocked Daniel Alfredsson from the lineup with a big hit.
We barely drop the puck in the final period and Rupp and Neil drop the gloves and square off. Also, the Senators change goalies, throwing Brian Elliott into the fire.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- The Penguins are 3-for-6 on the power play.
- On Malkin's second goal add an assist to Bill Guerin, giving him two goals and two assists.
- Guerin has a team-high seven shots.
The Penguins skate off into the second intermission to much applause with their five-goal outburst in the second period. It's 6-1 Pittsburgh after 40 minutes although the Senators have a 39-24 advantage in shots.
Yet another goal off the stick of the Penguins and once again it's off the pretty variety. Kunitz skates the puck right down the slot and sets up Malkin, standing at the base of the far circle, for his second goal of the contest. Penguins 6, Senators 1.
The Penguins receive an ovation from the fans for trapping the puck in the Ottawa zone for an extended period and creating several chances.
Dupuis comes within inches of giving the Penguins a sixth goal when his shot from just behind the goal line dances along the red paint and lands just wide of the cage.
Since the Penguins are going against Fisher, and because she is one of the most-talented musicians worldwide, we bring you Carrie Underwood's rendition of "Last Christmas."
It's firewagon hockey in Pittsburgh and the Penguins are having some fun. Malkin outlets a pass ahead to Kunitz, who skates into the zone and feeds Crosby coming down the right side. Crosby drops to Guerin, who fires a one-timer home for his second goal of the game. Penguins 5, Senators 1.
Malkin's shot from the slot goes off the post to the right of Leclaire.
Yet another former Penguin, Shean Donovan, who is returning to the lineup tonight early from a lower-body injury sustained early in the season from Matt Cooke
, takes a goaltender interference penalty.
The floodgates have opened at Mellon Arena. Guerin keeps a puck in the zone along the near wall and sends a pass right on the stick of Kunitz, who redirects a shot between the legs of Leclaire for the goal. Penguins 4, Senators 1.
Fleury comes to the top of his crease to stop a Regin shot from the slot.
Pittsburgh kills the minor infraction to McKee.
Jay McKee gets caught tripping Michalek behind the Penguins net.
After he hit Kovalev Staal picked up the puck, skated it up ice and had a give-and-go with Talbot. When the puck came back to Staal he fed Fedotenko for the easy goal. Penguins 3, Senators 1.
The crowd loves watching Staal hammer Kovalev to the ice in the near corner of the Penguins zone.
Enjoy tonight's Nemacolin Woodland's Big 5:
We would like to wish a warm holiday welcome to Ambassador Dan Rooney, who was shown on the Jumbotron during the last stoppage. The majority owner of the Steelers, Mr. Rooney is currently the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.
Great inside out move by Mike Fisher, only to be denied by Fleury. We are pleased to congratulate Fisher on his engagement earlier this week to country music sensation Carrie Underwood.
Chris Neil had given the Penguins a power play by taking a charging penalty but Rupp is given a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing Neil after the play.
Leclaire prevents Crosby from batting a rebound from Letang's shot behind him while on the seat of his pants.
It doesn't take long for the Penguins to cash in on the Cheechoo penalty. Kunitz works the puck down low to Guerin along the goal line and the veteran winger walks to the net, throwing home his own rebound. Penguins 2, Senators 1.
We just got word Alfredsson will not return with a shoulder injury.
Cheechoo comes onto the ice but proceeds to high-stick Malkin in the face, sending him right back in the sin bin for two more minutes.
When Ruslan Fedotenko's penalty expires in two seconds the Penguins will have 39 seconds to work with a power play.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Evgeni Malkin
and Bill Guerin each recorded three shots for the Penguins.
- Somehow the Senators did record 24 shots in the opening period, led by five for Alex Kovalev.
- Brooks Orpik
led the Penguins with four hits.
Not sure if this is correct or not but they say Ottawa outshoots the Penguins, 24-9, in the first period. Each team scored once.
Malkin seems to be shooting the puck more in this opening period. His chance from the slot almost gets through the legs of Leclaire but drifts wide of the cage.
Jonathan Cheechoo keeps the parade to the penalty box going by boarding Letang.
Fedotenko slashes Phillips' stick out of his hands, drawing a minor penalty, and erasing another highlight-reel goal between Crosby and Malkin in which Sid fed Geno for a tap-in. The crowd naturally disagrees with the call.
Fedotenko steps on the ice and the Penguins enjoy a brief power play.
Crosby springs Malkin and Goligoski two-on-one but Malkin's feed jumps right over the stick of Goligoski. At the other end of the ice Fleury corrals a shot from former Penguin Alex Kovalev.
I doubt this power play is going to hold up for the Senators as Milan Michalek jumps Craig Adams
after the Penguins center nails Daniel Alfredsson to the ice, dislodging his helmet. Alfredsson went directly to the Ottawa locker room. Michalek does get the penalty, two minutes for roughing.
During this stoppage in play please enjoy Taylor Swift's rendition of "Silent Night":
As Ottawa dominates the Penguins in their own zone for about a minute and a half Ruslan Fedotenko takes an roughing penalty.
Regin fins a faceoff back onto the stick of Volchenkov and he blasts a slap shot over the shoulder of Fleury to tie the score. Penguins 1, Senators 1.
Enjoy a holiday greeting from the Penguins!
Despite several quality chances the Penguins cannot get the puck behind Leclaire as Volchenkov returns.
Guerin is stoned one more time by Leclaire's pad.
Anton Volchenkov trips Crosby and the Penguins go back on the power play.
To get us all in the holiday mood Penguins TV host Alyonka and her sister, Diana, share their Christmas video:
Malkin's centering pass to Letang is kept out of the cage somehow by a sprawled-out Leclaire as the fans behind the net thought the Penguins had a second goal.
Rupp's penalty is over and the Penguins are back at full strength.
Crosby's assist ties him with Jean Pronovost for 8th place in team history with 287.
The referees catch Mike Rupp hooking near the Senators bench to put Ottawa on the man-advantage.
The dynamic duo would not be denied a third time. Crosby's cross-ice pass is one-timed along the ice past Leclaire by Malkin. Penguins 1, Senators 0.
Big Ben strikes two as Crosby's snap shot from the near circle clangs off the right post.
Guerin rebound chance goes off the post to the left of Leclaire.
The referees miss a tripping call by Chris Phillips on Chris Kunitz
but seconds later they do call Phillips for holding.
Fleury shows he is sharp to rob Peter Regin with his glove hand as the Senators get their first quality scoring chance.
We said at the outset to watch out for the Staal line and while they don't get credit for a shot on goal, their hard work behind the net nearly results in a scoring chance.
Rupp registers the first shot of the game when he throws a shot off the pad of Pascal Leclaire streaking down the right wing.
Will the Penguins gift to the fans be a victory over the Senators? We will find out!
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
Look for a big game from the Jordan Staal
line. The unit has combined for six points (Staal, 2G; Kennedy, 2G; Cooke, 2A) in the two games versus the Senators.
The Penguins have changed their lines up a bit tonight against the Senators. Sidney Crosby
will play between Pascal Dupuis
and Ruslan Fedotenko while Evgeni Malkin
will center Chris Kunitz
and Bill Guerin.
Mark Eaton and Eric Godard are out for the Penguins tonight while Chris Campoli is the lone scratch for the Senators. Former Penguin Jarkko Ruutu gets the call in the starting lineup while the Penguins will counter with Sidney Crosby
at center with Maxime Talbot and Mike Rupp on his wings. Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang
will be on defense and Marc-Andre Fleury
gets the call between the pipes.
The Penguins take on the Ottawa Senators in a rare 7 p.m. start time at Mellon Arena. Each team has won once in the season series. Pittsburgh defeated the Ottawa, 4-1, on Oct. 12 while the Senators came back to post a 6-1 victory over the Penguins on Nov. 19.
Author: Jason Seidling