Track all the action from Pittsburgh's showdown with the Minnesota Wild with our live in-game blog. Check back for stat updates, injury reports and other information.
The Penguins swarm the net the entire final minute but Minnesota holds on to record a 2-1 victory.
Minnesota ices the puck giving the Penguins a facoff in the Wild end against tired players.
Adams steals a puck, makes a move to the middle of the ice and barely sends a shot wide to the left of Backstrom.
Staal and Dupuis streak in and each throw shots a Backstrom.
Guerin has a quality chance against Backstrom, exciting the crowd.
Everybody, including Letang himself, thinks the Penguins have tied the score when the Penguins defender fires a one-timer across his body on a pass from Fedotenko.
Guerin and Rupp mix it up with Clutterbuck following an icing call against Minnesota. Rupp and John Scott receive coincidental minors. We are back to four-on-four.
Backstrom denies an Orpik backhander off a nifty setup from Crosby.
Kunitz absolutely demolishes James Sheppard in the corner.
Both teams will skate four-on-four the next two minutes. Sykora receives two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, Letang two for high-sticking.
Letang turns the puck over in his own end to Koivu, but the Penguins recover and the Wild center is left to shoot a long-range shot into Fleury's chest.
Staal sends Koivu to the ice in the far corner of the Wild end.
Pittsburgh is unable to take advantage of the power play. They are now 0-for-3.
Fans are not happy as Crosby's stick is broken with a slash and no penalty is called.
Minnesota gets caught with too-many-men on the ice. Petr Sykora serves the penalty.
Rupp crushes Shane Hnidy in the Minnesota zone beind the net.
Minnesota recovers nicely as Conner leads a three-on-two rush with Orpik, who streaked down the left side and tried a return pass to Conner.
Five seconds after the Minnesota penalty expired, Staal is stoned yet again in the slot by Backstrom.
The Penguins have 30 seconds to work with on the power play to start the final frame.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Jordan Staal
leads all Penguins in ice time (16:36) after two periods.
- The Penguins hold an 18-17 advantage on the dots as Craig Adams
- Brooks Orpik
has registered six hits.
- The Penguins have blocked 15 shots while the Wild have gotten only nine shots through on Marc-Andre Fleury
A couple more photos of the costumes worn by fans in celebration of Halloween.
This fan dresses up as a gorilla, left, while at right is the viewpoint of the action from the press box.
Same score, 2-1 in favor of Minnesota, after 40 minutes. Shots are now 26-9 in favor of Pittsburgh. The Penguins will have 30 seconds of power-play time to work with at the beginning of the third period.
A slashing penalty to Nick Schultz puts the Penguins on their second power play.
If the crowd wasn't into the game before, they are now. Crosby drops the gloves in front of the Minnesota net and gets the better of Marek Zidlicky. Chants of "Crosby, Crosby, Crosby" reign down from the stands. They react positively again when the replay is shown, then give love for a person dressed as the Pope in Section F.
Crosby and Zidlicky receive two minutes for cross-checking and five for fighting each.
Fans think the Penguins have a goal when Staal stares at an open net following the rebound of a Skoula shot. Unfortunately his chance just goes wide.
Crosby is back on the ice.
The Penguins head to the box for the first time as Crosby gets called for slashing.
Fans at Mellon Arena dress for the Halloween holiday. I thought Troy Polamalu was sitting in a box?
Fans of all ages join in celebrating the holiday.
Bourque and Rupp get cracks at loose pucks from on top the Minnesota crease, but the Wild netminder continues to stymie the Penguins.
Crosby tries the Mario Lemieux bank a shot of the back of the goaltender from behind the net, but Backstrom was able to find a way to keep the puck out.
Dupuis nearly sneaks through the Minnesota defense for a breakaway, as it took multiple defenders to negate the speed he generated.
Constant pressure on Minnesota allows McKee to walk into a slap shot from the left point. The Penguins are dominatinig, 22-5, in shots. The Wild cannot contain Crosby, Guerin and Kunitz.
A cross-ice pass from Crosby to Guerin requires Backstrom to recover quickly from left to right to make a blocker save. Conner creates space for the pass by driving hard to the net.
A bouncing puck comes right to the backhand of Bourque in the slot. Backstrom robs him with a glove save. During the timeout Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is shown wearing a Penguins' jersey in a box, much to the delight of the crowd.
Guerin walks in front from behind the net and fires a backhander off the crossbar.
Minnesota head coach Todd Richards and Dan Bylsma spent time coaching together with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Check out what Bylsma had to say early today about facing a good friend:
On Minnesota's second goal they have taken the second assist away from Owen Nolan and credited it to Greg Zanon.
Both teams are back in action as the Penguins look to come back for the second-straight night.SECOND PERIODFIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- A physical period saw the Penguins outhit the Wild, 13-12.
- Craig Adams
led Pittsburgh with three shots. Brooks Orpik
is plenty popular with multiple signs on this night.
Bill Guerin takes the ice for warmups while the Dave Molinari sign makes its way to the press box.0:00:
After 20 minutes the score is 2-1 in favor of Minnesota despite the Penguins dominating attack time, outshooting the Wild 16-4.
Minnesota strikes late in the period as Martin Havlat taks a pass from Owen Nolan in the far corner and finds Eric Belanger in the right circle. Belanger's wrist shot beats Fleury. Wild 2, Penguins 1. (Second assist later changed from Nolan to Greg Zanon)
Conner's centering pass for Kris Letang
, who was up deep on the play, deflects off the skate of a Wild defender in front and nearly sneaks past Backstrom.
Conner uses his speed again coming down the left side, barely missing the net down low to the left of Backstrom.
3:50: Brooks Orpik
flattens Belanger in the far corner behind the Pittsburgh net.
Adams wins a faceoff back to Martin Skoula at the left point. He feeds Pascal Dupuis
open in the slot, and his one-timer beats Backstrom along the ice. Penguins 1, Wild 1.
Guerin lays the body into Marek Zidlicky behind the Minnesota net.
A great forecheck by the line of Crosby-Guerin-Kunitz leads to an open shot from the left point by Jay McKee, which is held onto by Backstrom.
Fleury can't handle a point shot from Chuck Kobasew as it glances off his blocker. Kyle Brodziak standing to the left of the Penguins' net scores on the rebound. Wild 1, Penguins 0.
Conner takes his second shift the period with Crosby, and the speed of that duo creates two scoring chances.
Taking a pass from Mike Rupp at the blue line, Pascal Dupuis
cuts around the Minnesota defense and forces Backstrom to make a sprawling saw on him to keep the Penguins from taking the lead.
Belanger is out of the box as the Penguins are 0-for-1 on the power play.
taal is having success with that power move from the corner, nearly scoring on the same move he made earlier.
Belanger is forced to pull Bourque down as he stared at a glorious scoring chance in the slot, Penguins to the power play.
Alyonka, who sang tonight's national anthem, has a new edition of the "Penguins Show" available on Penguins TV. Here is a sampling of what you will see:
12:16: Jordan Staal
emerges from the near corner and sets up a Chris Bourque scoring chance. The Penguins are outshooting the Wild, 5-1.
Pressure on the puck in the neutral zone by Chris Conner leads to a break down the left side by Crosby. Backstrom is sharp to stop the Penguins' captain.
Cal Clutterbuck is stirring the pot for Minnesota as usual, taking a run at Adams along the near boards in the neutral zone, the second Penguin he has gone after in the first five-plus minutes.
Fleury stops Koivu's snap shot from the slot, Minnesota's first shot of the night.
17:54: Craig Adams
registers the first quality shot of the night for either team with his long-range shot from the near boards. Backstrom makes the save.
Ruslan Fedotenko hits Minnesota's Mikko Koivu not once but twice behind the Wild net.
20:00: Sidney Crosby
and Eric Belanger take the opening faceoff.
, right, and the rest of the Penguins welcome former teammate Petr Sykora back to Mellon Arena.
Before the game the Penguins honored long-time Post-Gazette
beat writer Dave Molinari, while Alyonka sings the national anthem.
The opening faceoff between Crosby and Eric Belanger, left. At right, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
writer Rob Rossi shows his admiration for Molinari.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
Minnesota is 0-8 on the road in 2009-10.
Penguins TV host Alyonka sings tonight's national anthem.
Penguins President David Morehouse recognizes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's
Dave Molinari for his upcoming induction into the hockey Hall of Fame.
The Penguins take the ice on this Halloween Night at Mellon Arena. They will be wearing their home blacks one night after improving to 2-0 in '09-10 in the blue jerseys. Pittsburgh will be without Evgeni Malkin
and Tyler Kennedy
. Minnesota's scratches include Benoit Pouiot and Josh Harding.
The Penguins look to stretch their winning streak to three in a row as they play host to the Minnesota Wild. Pittsburgh came back in dramatic fashion to post a 4-3 shootout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. Marc-Andre Fleury
gets the call for the Penguins, Niklas Backstrom is in the nets for the Wild.