Jordan Leopold's first goal as a Penguin is the game-winner in overtime!!! Leopold throws a bad-angle shot from the right corner towards Hedberg and the shot somehow sneaks through the Moose's legs. Crosby picks up his third assist of the game. Final Score: Penguins 4, Thrashers 3.
Fleury keeps the Penguins in the game by stopping Peverley's chance as the Thrashers came down the ice two-on-one.
Pittsburgh is 12-7 in overtime while the Thrashers are just 6-12 when the game heads to an extra session.
Sergei Gonchar's late tally sends the game into overtime with the score tied, 3-3.
The Penguins tie the game again! Malkin takes the puck from end-to-end before dishing off from the left boards to Gonchar at the top of the far circle. Gonchar's one-timer beats Hedberg to the glove side. Goligoski picks up the second assist. Penguins 3, Thrashers 3.
The Penguins have a golden chance to send this game into overtime as Slater takes an holding penalty.
We are back to five-on-five action as Fedotenko and Bogosian watch their penalties expire.
Again, the Penguins hae Crosby and Malkin out together on the four-on-four.
Looks like a pair of coincidental minors will be assessed following the whistle as the Penguins Fedotenko and Atlanta's Bogosian are ushered off. Fedotenko is penalized for high sticking while Bogosian is off for interference.
It's a positive sign the Penguins keep getting quality looks. Hedberg was just forced to close the pads together to make a save on Guerin's drive from the high slot.
The Penguins have Crosby and Malkin together in an attempt to get more offense going.
OK, that lead didn't last as long as the Penguins would have liked. Persistence pays off for the Thrashers as Rich Peverley tosses the rebound of Clarke MacArthur's shot over Fleury to put Atlanta back out in front. Thrashers 3, Penguins 2.
What did I say?! Here comes the comeback that helps the Penguins solidify the Atlantic Division crown! Tyler Kennedy
... Kennedy ... throws the rebound of Gonchar's shot behind Hedberg to knot the score once again. Crosby picks up the second assist. Penguins 2, Thrashers 2.
Penguins winger Chris Kunitz
will not return with an undisclosed injury.
Let the comeback begin!!
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Craig Adams
is 3-0 on faceoffs.
- Pittsburgh has six takeaways compared to zero for the Thrashers.
- The Penguins have attempted 48 shots through 40 minutes.
Despite another strong effort in the second period by the Penguins they watch the Atlanta Thrashers take a 2-1 lead into the final period. Pittsburgh holds a 21-17 advantage in shots.
Just when it looked like the Penguins were going to be able to kill off the Cooke infraction Johnny Oduya fires a slap shot from the right point which is deflected by Tim Stapleton over Fleury to allow Atlanta to re-take the lead. Thrashers 2, Penguins 1.
Another penalty assessed to the Penguins. This time Cooke goes to the box for tripping. Atlanta has a one-second two-man advantage.
Atlanta will have a 1:09 power play to work with.
The speed of Slater erases the final 51 seconds of the Penguins power play as Fleury takes a tripping call to prevent Slater from wrapping the puck into an empty cage. Good penalty there by Fleury. We have four-on-four action.
It's right back to the power play for Pittsburgh as Tobias Enstrom is penalized for holding the stick.
That's how you work a power play!! Welcome back Geno Malkin. Crosby takes a pass from Gonchar at the top of the right circle and sends a cross-ice pass to Goligoski, who quickly move the puck to Malkin at the bottom of the right circle. Malkin buries a one-timer to tie the score. Penguins 1, Thrashers 1.
Pittsburgh heads on their third power play of the afternoon with Thorburn in the box for interference.
Three great plays in a row by Hedberg as he comes diving face-first out of his net to poke the puck off the blade of Malkin, who was all along below the circles. What a homecoming thus far for Hedberg.
Ponikarovsky has another good look on a rebound in the slot but Hedberg dives to the ice as if heading into second base to make another huge stop.
Superman was at it again. Crosby found Alexei Ponikarovsky in the slot with a no-look backhand pass but there was Hedberg once again.
"Fleury! Fleury! Fleury!" Pittsburgh's netminder comes up huge again, this time stepping in front of Rich Peverley's rebound attempt. Fleury had four saves on that penalty kill as Leopold returns to the ice.
Every save is important at this point in the season and Fleury just made a great one as he slid to his left to catch Afinogenov's shot between his pads.
Jordan Leopold makes a good play in front of the net to prevent Atlanta from jamming home a rebound but takes a hooking penalty in the process.
The Penguins are getting some great looks off the rush. Hedberg just stuck his glove into the air to to swat away a Guerin shot.
: The Penguins have really come to play here in the second period. They are flying around the offensive zone. It looks like just a matter of time before they get on the board.
We have a brief stoppage as Bryan Little has to be helped to the Thrashers dressing room after landing awkwardly into the boards. We will give you an update as soon as we hear anything.
Save of the game thus far by Hedberg as he gets his right pad across the paint to stone Goligoski's re-direct following a perfect cross-ice pass from Crosby.
We are back underway here at the third-to-last regular-season game in Mellon Arena history.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Evgeni Malkin
led the Penguins with three shots.
- Jordan Staal
had two blocked shots.
- Sidney Crosby
led the Penguins with 7:36 minutes of ice time.
Pittsburgh outshoots the Thrashers, 12-6, and outplay them, but it's Atlanta holding a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Not much Fleury could do about that one as Maxim Afinogenov sneaks in behind a Penguins defenseman and taps home a pass from Niclas Bergors into an open cage to give the Thrashers the lead following a two-on-two rush. Thrashers 1, Penguins 0.
Billy Guerin still has it at age 39. He just absolutely beat the snot out of Jim Slater in the fight. I think Slater is still taking rights from Geurin. Let's say the crowd is plenty awake now! Both receive five minutes for fighting.
: WOW! Malkin just stole the puck in the neutral zone and completely undressed Mark Popovic and Zach Bogosian but his wrist shot from the left circle was corraled by Hedberg. Malkin's flying out here today.
The Malkin-Guerin-Ponikarovsky unit is helping to generate some momentum for the Penguins with some strong play down low.
The crowd perks up here wtih a "Let's Go Pens" chant as they try to spur the Penguins on.
A little post-whistle get-together here as Matt Cooke
and Nik Antropov renew acquaintances. Nothing comes of it.
Kane's double-minor is over and the Penguins are 0-for-2 on the power play.
Guerin's penalty expires and the Penguins head back on the man-advantage.
The first minor is wiped away as Bill Geurin takes a seat for high-sticking.
Highway robbery at its finest. Hedberg robs Malkin's one-timer with his glove as the "Moose" lays in a snow angel position.
The turkey will be on the table for the Penguins as rookie Evander Kane takes a four-minute double-minor for high-sticking.
And Fleury is in the game as he stops a wraparound attempt by former Penguins forward Chris Thorburn.
Here is the lineup being used this afternoon by head coach Dan Bylsma:
Today's goaltending matchup features two of the most popular figures in Penguins netmining history. It's Marc-Andre Fleury
for the Penguins and Johan Hedberg for the Thrashers.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
The Penguins have to look out for Niclas Bergfors. The talented rookie had eight points (4G-4A) in four games against Pittsburgh this season while playing for New Jersey.
Atlanta's scratches today include the suspended Colby Armstrong, forwards Todd White, Vyacheslav Kozlov and Evgeny Artyukhin and blueliners Christoph Schubert and Pavel Kubina. Those are some big names out of action for Atlanta.
The Penguins are holding their team award right now.
Winning the "Good Guy" Award are Sidney Crosby
and Marc-Andre Fleury
Forward Bill Guerin is the Penguins 2010 Masterton Award winner. He gets a great ovation from the crowd.
The Player's Player Award is one voted on by the Penguins themselves. This year's winner ... Jordan Staal
Who better to win the defensive Player of the Year Award than Brooks Orpik
, who has been phenomenal both with the Penguins and with Team USA at the Olympics.
The Edward J. DeBartolo Award is presented to the player who does the most work with local charities. Taking home this honor is none other than Sidney Crosby
And Sidney Crosby
takes home another award as he is presented with the Booster Club Award, which is presented to the player who earns the most three-star points.
Finally ... not much of a surprise here, but Sidney Crosby
takes home the Team MVP. Is this just the beginning of MVP awards for him?
With Malkin and Gonchar returning to the lineup, a couple players had to come out. Sitting out this afternoon are forwards Mike Rupp and Eric Godard, along with defenseman Jay McKee. This is the first game Rupp has missed this season.
As the Penguins continue to march through the final six-game regular-season homestand at Mellon Arena, a couple familiar faces will return to the lineup as Pittsburgh hosts the Atlanta Thrashers. Forward Evgeni Malkin
, who has missed seven of the last eight games with a foot injury, and blueliner Sergei Gonchar, who has missed four straight due to illness, will each suit up this afternoon.
Author: Jason Seidling