Penguins

Live at Mellon Arena – Penguins v Flyers

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The Penguins and Flyers are just about to finish up their warm-up and there are some roster questions that have been answered.

First off, the Penguins will indeed be without Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar. Neither participated in the skate… looks a like it will be the same line-up from Wednesday night in Washington.

As reported yesterday by multiple outlets, we will witness Johan Backlund make his NHL debut in goal for the Flyers. I realize that it isn’t for folks in Pittsburgh to feel sorry for the boys from across the state, but they have been absolutely decimated by injuries over the past few weeks. Especially in goal where they have lost Ray Emery and Michael Leighton for large stretches of time.

The Flyers are also scratching Matt Carle this afternoon…

Though neither team is at full strength, a game against Philadelphia is always entertaining. It isn’t often that you have two teams that share such mutual animosity! Which typically results in more than a few scuffles. I set the over/under on fights for this one at 3.5. What do you guys think??

I am live at Mellon Arena and will be bringing you the action throughout. Look for your “Around the Net” later this afternoon…

* * * * *

Aaaaand they’re off!

Guerin, Kunitz and Staal hit the ice to start the game for the Penguins…

* * * * *

Arron Asham quickly removes any drama surrounding Fleury’s second shut out of the season, as he floats a bouncer towards the net that got through Fleury. Not a good goal, but the Flyers have a 1-0 lead…

* * * * *

Chris Kunitz is flying today… actually, he has had an extra zip to his game since the league returned from the Olympic break. Great to see… he is really looking like the player that the team needs him to be heading into the playoffs.

* * * * *

Crosby, Ponikarovsky and Dupuis just had their best shift of the game. They were working the puck around low in the Flyers zone…Brook Orpik made three nice plays along the right wing boards to keep the puck in the zone. They created a few scoring chances in front of the goal, but were not able to get a puck behind Backlund.

* * * * *

Interesting seating arrangement here today… Rachel Nichols, who typically covers Football for the Worldwide Leader was supposed to be sitting next to EmptyNetters and I, unfortunately she was a no show… BOO!

* * * * *

Max Talbot just took a shot in the back of the head from Arron Asham in front of the Flyers goal. Max did bump Asham on the way in… which tends to justify a cross-check to the back of the head…

* * * * *

Sidney Crosby, who’s goal scoring touch has seemingly abandoned him since the Olympics just made a great play to set himself up for a shot from the high slot. He tried to feed Pascal Dupuis, who lost the pass. Sidney took two power strides, gathered in the puck and cut across the slot letting a shot fly. Backlund gobbled it up…

* * * * *

This team would be dangerous with finishers! Crosby just set up Dupuis, Ponikarovsky, and Brooks Orpik…all but Orpik muffed their shots. Orpik got a second shot that was tipped to the goal by Ponikarovsky…unfortunately it got the post. Nice shift again… but not much to show for it.

* * * * *

Claude Giroux was just whistled for holding and the Penguins are headed to the Power Ball Power Play…

* * * * *

The Flyers got the kill, but were quickly issued another penalty. James Van Riemsdyk guilty of hooking…

* * * * *

A blocked Crosby shot just pinballed around in the slot… several Penguins got twigs on it, but Backlund was able to smother it…

* * * * *

Chris Kunitz gets the Penguins even up with a tremendous individual play. Marc Andre Fleury started the play off by getting the puck up to Jordan Leopold. Leopold got a shot towards the net and it popped loose to the right of the Backlund. Kunitz kicked the puck to his blade and fired it past the Flyers goaltender.

1-1…

* * * * *

Through one period, the Penguins and Flyers are even in almost every possible way. They each have seven shots on goal. They are tied 1-1 on the scoreboard and the Flyers are 3 ahead in the hits department: 15-12…

* * * * *

The second is underway and the Penguins are going back to work on the power play. James Van Riemsdyk takes his second penalty of the day… this time for goaltender interference…

* * * * *

Blair Betts just had himself a 50 foot short handed breakaway. He beat Fleury with his shot, but caught the right post… the puck came all the way back out to Sidney Crosby who walked about two Flyers before cutting to the front of the net for a good opportunity of his own.

* * * * *

Strange turn of events… the Flyers apparently scored a goal that was disallowed via video replay. The Flyers Ville Leino made contact with Marc Andre Fleury, knocking him down. The puck came loose to Simon Gagne, who put the puck into the net. The referees got together and decided that the goal should be disallowed, but did not issue a penalty for goaltender interference. You would think that a penalty would have gone hand in hand with the goal being overturned… otherwise why overturn it? Weird…

* * * * *

The Penguins answered shortly thereafter with a goal of their own… Alexei Ponikarovsky made a slick between the legs pass to Sidney Crosby who was headed up ice with a head of steam. Crosby and Pascal Dupuis worked into the zone, Crosby put a shot on goal, Dupuis buried the rebound.

2-1 Penguins…

* * * * *

The Penguins are getting some chances against Backlund now, but are missing the net with some nice opportunities. On two occasions they missed the net with shots and Backlund didn’t seem to know where the puck was…

* * * * *

BTW… Nichols is in the house…

* * * * *

I am really liking Poni in front of the goal for the Penguins. He has a huge frame and just seems to find a way to stay in that slot area… he is almost sneaky about it. Seemingly avoiding defenders as he slides in and out of traffic… his stick is always free for tips and rebounds as well…

* * * * *

17,132 in the house to take this one in this afternoon… the Penguins 154th sell out in a row…

* * * * *

Marc Andre Fleury came close to being castrated by a couple of sticks digging at a loose puck in front of him… he was able to keep the puck out of the net, however Mike Rupp was called for roughing …

Flyers on the PP…

* * * * *

Two periods in the books… Penguins are leading 2-1…

The Flyers have changed goaltenders and Brian Boucher is now in the game.

* * * * *

Jay McKee on the way to the box for holding… Flyers get the PP…

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Chris Pronger to the box for high sticking Max Talbot… even up…

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Kris Letang is leading this game with 19:52 of ice time through the 5:36 mark of the third period…

* * * * *

A broken play around the net leads to a Penguins goal. Sidney Crosby got the puck behind the Flyers net, went to his right and then quickly back to his left… 87 fed Matt Cook in front, but he sort of fanned on the shot. Cooke swooped around the net as Ruslan Fedotenko picked up the loose puck and shuffled it back to Cooke for an easy tap in on the opposite side of the crease…

3-1 Penguins…

* * * * *

Pascal Dupuis was just whistled for tripping… Flyers back on the PP. They need a goal here…

* * * * *

Van Riemsdyk looks to have been injured… he trouble getting back to the bench on his last shift…

* * * * *

Brooks Orpik took exception to being pushed through his goaltender by Scott Hartnell and a scrum broke out. Multiple bodies involved, but Orpik and Hartnell are the only two that ended up in the box.

* * * * *

Another odd situation…Scott Hartnell was just whistled for roughing Sidney Crosby. Crosby hit him and he sort of came down with a knee to Crosby’s chest. Didn’t seem to be very malicious, but a rough was called… strange day officiating wise…

* * * * *

Ruslan Fedotenko just took a pass from Crosby in front of the net… chipped it on goal, got his own rebound and buried it. 4-1 Penguins…

That could be a goal that gets Fedotenko rolling a bit… he went to the net, got the shot off and was strong in getting his own rebound.

* * * * *

On the ensuing face-off, Mike Rupp was called for cross-checking, putting the Flyers back on the power play…

* * * * *

I am headed down to the rooms for post game reactions from the players and coaches… stay tuned for more post game. The Penguins currently lead 4-1… 3:21 remaining…

Comments

About Brian Metzer

Profile photo of Brian Metzer

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brian Metzer has been covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and National Hockey League since 2004. He is the host of Penguins Live Weekly, a show that airs Saturday mornings on 105.9 the X and iHeart Radio. He serves as the Pittsburgh Penguins correspondent for NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM, and is the NHL and Penguins correspondent for the Beaver County Times. Metzer is also a contributing writer for NHL.com and is the primary contributor for this site www.fromthepoint.com.

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8 Comments

  1. Ralph P.

    March 27, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Fleury is starting today? I heard Johnson was sick.

  2. Profile photo of Brian Metzer

    Brian Metzer

    March 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Johnson was sick… but he is dressed as today’s back-up… MAF is in goal…

  3. tangent_man

    March 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Hopefully the Flyers show up today…good luck, Metz.

  4. Profile photo of Brian Metzer

    Brian Metzer

    March 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    They got a nice gift goal early, which is helping their cause thus far. Not sure how Fleury allowed that first one…

    Sort of an evenly played game since… Backlund may end up being a diamond in the rough. Looks pretty good thus far…

  5. Staal11fan

    March 27, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Pens look OK, but need more than 1 player in on the goalie on a rush. They seem to hold back and not get a second chance on a play. Now the Dups goal is what Im talking about.

  6. Eric

    March 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    God Guerin is a cadaver !!!!

  7. walshy66

    March 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    These 1pm games are hell…

    I cant get up at 4am to listen to these…

    just glad we won and Fleury didnt go AWOL after that first gimme…

  8. Eric

    March 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    hahahahahaha walshy