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Pens-Wings In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


0:00: Horn sounds. Game over. Wings earn a 4-1 victory over the Pens with a pair of goals from Cleary and one each from Datsyuk and Franzen. Geno with the lone goal for Pittsburgh.

0:05: Cleary manages to get the puck out of his own end and carry down with only Geno between him and the open net. He puts it home for the goal. Wings 4, Pens 1

1:16: Bylsma using his timeout right now to regroup and get the troops back on track. He opts to pull Fleury as his team has an offensive zone faceoff.

2:07: Now Wings get a solid 2-on-1 break but Fleury is able to turn aside the shot.

4:25: Detroit gets a 3-on-1 opportunity, with Conner leading the charge on the right side of the ice. He dishes a perfect pass to Cleary, who banks it home for the score. Wings 3, Pens 1

5:02: Detroit successfully kills off the penalty. Wings are back to full strength.

7:02: Pens get another big PP opportunity here as Hudler trips Geno!

7:30: The Big Mac Attack is over. No dice.

8:55: Geno is really feelin' it coming down that right side of the ice. He just got his third legit scoring opportunity from there.

9:30: Big Mac Attack is underway!!! This drought has gone on way too long. 31 games strong. It ends tonight. (I hope).

9:56: Pens force a turnover behind Detroit's net and a scramble ensues, but Howard's able to hold on.

12:03: Wings back to full strength. Pens can't get anything going on that PP. Flippula actually gets a mini breakaway chance as the penalty expires, but Fleury comes up with a big pad save on the play.

14:03: Hudler to the box for holding. Pens get a PP chance right back!

14:45: Just 24 seconds into the power play, Datsyuk keeps a clearing attempt from leaving the zone and dishes to Franzen. He wrists a shot into a tiny open corner of the net. Fleury was screened on the play by Holmstrom, the best in the business at setting up shop in front of goalies. Wings 2, Pens 1

15:09: Niskanen to the box for holding. Pens to the PK against a strong Detroit PP.

18:51: Geno comes super close to scoring an exact replica of his first goal, but this time Howard gets a piece of it and it hits the red painted metal before bouncing into the corner! Another great pass from Neal on the play. #soclose

20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Let's see if the Pens can break this tie and get the W!

The legendary Bob Grove is on the left. I aspire to be like him...the man knows all things Penguins.

Thank you so much to our fans for doing their part to make sure little boys and girls are going to have wonderful holidays, as they donated 1,028 toys at tonight's toy drive and made $2,704 in cash donations for toys.
Over the last two games, Pens fans have donated 1,767 toys and made $5,514 in cash donations for toys.

- Staal is 6-1 in faceoffs (86 percent)
- Malkin leads with 6 shots on goal
- Martin paces the Pens with 16:51 minutes played

0:00: Buzzer sounds and that'll do it for the first 40 minutes. Pens and Wings are tied 1-1 and Pittsburgh has a 18-13 advantage in shots.

3:59: Datsyuk gobbles up a turnover in the Pens' own zone, takes it to the slot and absolutely rips a far side backhander past Fleury. Pens 1, Wings 1

4:45: Pens have held the Wings to just two shots on goal this period. #impressive

7:09: Good shift just now for the Kunitz, Malkin and Neal line. They get a crack at Howard but the Wings are able to clear.

11:09: Wings starting to sustain some pressure right now, but there's still not much to report. The game is flowing pretty well right now.

16:30: Penalty expires. Lidstrom is freed and Detroit's back to full strength.

18:37: Incredible chance just now for Geno! His quick slot from the slot gets behind Howard and trickles just inside the post. He dives to try and knock it in, but Howard is able to reach back and lay his stick flat to keep it out before the puck is knocked out of danger.

18:58: Lidstrom to the box for hooking. Pens get an early PP to start the period!

20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!

- That was just the second first-period goal Detroit has allowed in 11 games
- Pens are 11-2-3 when scoring first. Wings are 4-4 when surrending the first goal
- Tonight is Craig Adam's 700th NHL game. Congrats Addsy!

0:00: That'll do it for the first! Pens take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to Evgeni Malkin! Wings are outshooting Pens, 8-5.

0:04: Orpik gets down to block a shot and Neal picks up the puck. He sends a perfect bank pass off the boards to a streaking Geno, who carries down and snipes a low, hard shot on the far side of Howard!!! Pens 1, Wings 0

4:24: Pens successfully kill off that penalty. We're back to 5-on-5 hockey!

6:20: Wings now have a power play for 1:53. On the ice: Franzen, Holmstrom, Datysuk, Lidstrom, and White.

6:28: With eight seconds left on the penalty to Franzen, Pens are whistled for too many men. Malkin is serving.

8:20: Franzen slashes Kunitz's stick out of his hands and he's going to be called! Pens to the PP! First unit: Kunitz, Neal, Malkin, Martin and Sullivan.

9:48: A textbook breakout by the Wings has them nearly break behind the Pens D for a good scoring chance, but Pittsburgh is able to counter quickl.y

12:53: There's been a combined three shots through these first seven minutes but both teams are moving the puck. In fact, play has been going on for so long without a whistle that a ton of fans are stuck waiting at the top of the stairs to go to their seats.

15:38: Asham makes a nice play to whack the puck away from a Red Wings defender in the slot, but Howard comes out and plays the rubber disc out of danger.

17:19: These first couple minutes have been pretty wide open. Neither team is able to really establish any offensive zone time here.

20:00: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Puck drops. Game on!

7:00 PM:
Breathe a sigh of relief Pens fans. Staal and Malkin are playing tonight. MacIntyre, Crosby and Bortuzzo are the scratches.

The official lines:



Fleury in goal.


Wings' projected lines:


Howard between the pipes.

6:30 PM:
Good evening everyone! Thanks for tuning in. The Pens are in the midst of warmups at CONSOL Energy Center, preparing to take on playoff rival Detroit for the only meeting of the season between the two teams.

And while Wings coach Mike Babcock has a healthy lineup, the Pens certainly do not. Not only will they be without captain Sidney Crosby, who said Monday that he's experienced concussion-like symptoms the past few days and is waiting until he's back to 100 percent to rejoin the lineup, but centers Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin are both game-time decisions in addition to their other sidelined players (Letang, Michalek, Lovejoy, Bortuzzo, Park, Jeffrey, Strait).

As head coach Dan Bylsma said..."It’s going to be difficult if Malkin and Staal don’t play. Our No. 1 center is Joe Vitale or Pascal Dupuis." Stay tuned to the blog for the official lines.


As I mentioned in today's Penguins Report, I'm a Michigan native and actually spent a year as an intern reporter with the Red Wings before getting this job with the Penguins. Now whenever we play Detroit, I'm reminded of where I started and how absolutely lucky I am to have worked with the people I did back in Motown because I wouldn't be where I am today without them, especially my boss Bill Roose. He's the one that gave me the opportunity to work in the NHL and I can never thank him enough, so I'd like to take this time to at least try.

Back in Detroit, one of the best aspects of game nights was when they'd play Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and the whole crowd would sing along. So in an ode to those days, I've got to start the blog with that tune. Bear with me :)

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