0:00: Despite holding leads of 1-0 and 2-1 the Penguins suffer a 4-3 setback to the Minnesota Wild to drop their record to 1-1 on this five-game road swing. The Penguins will be back in action on Wednesday night when they take on the Calgary Flames at 9:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh will look to get the puck deep into the Wild zone and get Fleury to the bench in favor of a sixth attacker.
The crowd continues to boo Gonchar each time he touches the puck after his hit earlier this period on Cal Clutterbuck.
Once again the Penguins are unable to take advantage of having the extra skater and Minnesota kills the Hnidy penalty.
Save of the game thus far by Backstrom. Malkin stepped into a setup from Letang and earmarked a shot for the top-left corner but Backstrom had other ideas with a glove save.
You had to figure this was coming - Minnesota is penalized for a sixth time with Shane Hnidy going to the box for hooking. The Penguins are 0-for-5 on the power play thus far but that won't matter with a huge goal here.
Gonchar is back on the ice and the Penguins do not allow a goal during the five-minute power play. Now the Penguins will work to once again tie the game.
After giving the Wild several shots early in this major the Penguins have kept them away from the net as they look to come away unscathed.
Fleury makes the first of what will ahe to be several big saves by Fleury as the Penguins look to kill off this major penalty. He flashes the right pad to stop Koivu.
A Penguins comeback will have to wait until after they kill off a five-minute interference penalty to Gonchar for drilling Clutterbuck. The Penguins will either use this to build momentum for a late comeback or the Wild will put the Penguins away. Yet another key moment in this game.
The Penguins really have to find a way here to stop Guillaume Latendresse. He takes a pass from Kyle Brodziak to the left of Fleury and tips a shot over Fleury. Wild 4, Penguins 3.
We talked about the great comeback the Wild had on Saturday against the Blackhawks. Watch the thrilling highlights below:
Kennedy almost banks a shot off Backstrom from behind the net as it is all Penguins since the Eaton goal.
Crosby almost picks up his second goal of the night when his backhander glances off the post.
I'm glad I wrote that because I think i jinxed the Wild! Crosby took the puck out of the far corner and hit Eaton at the left point. Eaton's wrist shot beat Backstrom along the ice. Dupuis picked up the second assist. Penguins 3, Wild 3.
Pittsburgh is going to have their work cut out for them during the final frame as the Wild are 10-0-1 when they lead after 40 minutes.
The Penguins will have to mount a third-period comeback if they hope to improve to 2-0 on this five-game road swing.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Tyler Kennedy
and Sidney Crosby
each have six shots on goal for the Penguins.
- Alex Goligoski leads the Penguins with three blocked shots.
- Crosby, Bill Guerin and Pascal Dupuis
are all plus-2.
Clutterbuck and Talbot mix it up after the second-period horn sounds but after 40 minutes of play it is the Wild who own a 3-2 lead. Pittsburgh owns a 28-16 advantage in shots.
Remember this save - Fleury robs Havlat on a rush into the zone with a right-pad save.
Now it's the Wild's turn to go on the power play with Jay McKee in the box for hooking.
The Penguins are slowly taking the momentum back from the Wild as they have established a good presence behind the net in the Wild zone. They look close to tying this game up once again.
Backstrom keeps his team ahead by one goal with a right-skate save on McKee's shot from the left point.
The Wild kill off a power play and then Latendresse's turning shot from the corner deflects off Cal Clutterbuck standing just outside the crease to give the Wild their first lead of the game. Wild 3, Penguins 2.
Minnesota kills off another penalty and the Penguins are now 0-for-5 on the power play.
Minnesota keeps trying to let the Penguins take the lead back for a third time. They get called for having too-many-men. Latendresse serves the penalty.
Backstrom is turning into a brick wall. He makes two saves Crosby from close range and then corrals a point shot from Gonchar to get a whistle.
And now the Wild have killed off both minor penalties and the Penguins are 0-for-4 on the power play.
Minnesota kills off the first penalty to Boogaard.
The Penguins are moving the puck and taking shots but Backstrom is doing a great job of making saves on this two-man advantage.
15:50: Matt Cooke
draws a high-sticking penalty against Johnsson and the Penguins will have 1:10 to work on a five-on-three power play. This could be a key moment in this game.
Derek Boogaard is off to the penalty box for high-sticking. He got the stick up into the helmet of Goligoski.
It doesn't take Minnesota long to knot the game once again. Martin Havlat finishes off a two-on-one give-and-go with Guillaume Latendresse by depositing the puck just under the glove of Fleury from the side of the cage. Penguins 2, Wild 2.
A missed Minnesota shot allows the Penguins to regain the lead. Guerin caught up to the missed shot at the Wild blue line, waited and found Dupuis wide open in the slot. Dupuis' one-timer beat Backstrom to the top shelf. Penguins 2, Wild 1.
The Penguins and Wild have returned to the ice at the Xcel Energy Center.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Jordan Staal
is a perfect 4-0 on faceoffs while Evgeni Malkin
- Tyler Kennedy
led the Penguins with four shots.
- Malkin led all skaters with 9:04 of ice time.
After one period of play the score is tied, 1-1. The Penguins hold the advantage in shots, 12-8.
Malkin just has the puck go off the heel of his stick as he and Crosby broke in two-on-one.
Our parade to the penalty box continues as Antti Miettinen trips Craig Adams
right off of a faceoff.
Ebbett steps onto the ice and the Wild have about a minute and a half to work on a man-advantage.
Staal draw the Ebbett penalty but he joins him in the sin bin when he holds the stick of Kim Johnsson.
The Penguins receive the first power play of the night as Andrew Ebbett trips Jordan Staal
in the neutral zone.
Fleury makes a pad save on Mikko Koivu and Owen Nolan fires the rebound off the goal post as the Penguins dodge a bullet.
Eric Belanger now has two goals in two games this season against the Penguins. He skates the puck over the blue line and throws a bouncing puck towards the net. The puck hits off the ice and jumps over Fleury to knot the score. Penguins 1, Wild 1.
Heads up play by Evgeni Malkin
to pick his head up at just the right time because Nick Schultz had him lined up at the top of the Penguins zone.
The Penguins secured a 4-2 victory at the Xcel Energy Center in their last visit here on Oct. 30, 2007 - coincidently also a Versus broadcast:
Here are the defensive pairings head coach Dan Bylsma is using thus far: Alex Goligoski-Kris Letang; Ben Lovejoy
-Jay McKee; Sergei Gonchar-Mark Eaton.
16:16: Sidney Crosby
continues his hot streak for the Penguins seconds after Backstrom made a save on him. Mark Eaton's shot from the left point was deflect on the way through by Pascal Dupuis
and Crosby knocks the puck into the net for his 28th goal of the season. Penguins 1, Wild 0.
To refresh peole's memories, Ben Lovejoy
is wearing No. 6 tonight with the Penguins. He just touched the puck on an icing call.
Fleury makes stops the first shot of the night with his pads on a slap shot off the stick of Marek Zidlicky at the right point.
The Penguins look to make it 2-0 on this season-long five-game road swing.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
In their most recent game Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Wild stormed back from a 5-1 third-period deficit to record a 6-5 shootout victory, the largest comeback in the Wild's history.
Scratches for the Penguins tonight include Johnson, Orpik, Martin Skoula and Eric Godard. Among Minnesota's three scratches are former Penguins winger Petr Sykora, who has only three points (2G-1A) in 13 games. The Wild have also scratched defenseman Clayton Stoner and forward James Sheppard.
To replace Orpik and Johnson the Penguins have recalled defenseman Ben Lovejoy
and goaltender John Curry from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Lovejoy spent eight games with the Penguins earlier this season while Curry made his NHL debut and played three games with Pittsburgh last season. Click here
to read more on Lovejoy and here for more on Curry
The Penguins conclude a two-game series with the Minnesota Wild tonight at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota came away with a 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh on Oct. 31. If the Penguins are to even this series and improve to 2-0, they will have to do so without the services of Brooks Orpik
and Brent Johnson
. Both players are day-to-day with undisclosed injuries.
Author: Jason Seidling