Keep refreshing for live analysis from PPG Paints Arena, all night. We’ll break down the high spots, low lights. And we’ll keep an eye on Vancouver #5, Derrick Pouliot.
In 18 games, Pouliot has six assists, six penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating.
–It’s been a nice experiement–the live blog–but honestly I’m not able to focus on the game as well. Not that the game is too complex yet. We’ll resume this experiment another time. Comment below if it’s something you’d like more or less of….
–18:20 Sheary from his knees got a good whack at a rebound in front of Nilsson. Penguins still aren’t stringing chances together, but that was a solid effort.
–16:49. Pens finally getting into the game. They’ve been gobbled up so far. The Canucks have carved them up through the neutral zone. I’ll stop now.
13:50– Pens Power-Play has yielded two shorthanded scoring chances. Brandon Sutter skated past Letang for a semi-breakaway and Ericksson skated Maatta. Yikes
–Another solid shift by Archibald and the third line. Solid hit in the D-zone by 45 sprung the Pens. Sheahan even earned a scoring chance.
–8:33. Ghastly giveaway by Phil Kessel. Skated into a broken stick. Lost the puck…. Louis Ericksson converted. 2-1.
–6:28. 1-1. Guentzel skates past Gudbrandson at the blueline. Mini-breakaway. Nilsson stopped the blocker side shot, Guentzel (7) finished his own rebound. A power play goal. From 81 and 58.
–5:51. Crosby draws the tripping call from Edler. The crowd reacts with all of the enthusiasm of hearing the morning announcements in school
–3:52 Sloppiness at center ice. Dumoulin gets beat into the zone. Brock Boeser converts an uncontested scoring chance, alone against Murray… 1-0.
–3 turnovers/takeaways for Pens to start. Letang in the offensive zone. Then Guentzel and Maatta in the defensive zone.
–18:50. Slow start. Murray has steered a couple pucks away from the cage. Canucks sending pucks off the back wall looking for a good bounce.
–I wish the crowd cheered a good PK or check like they cheer Jeff Jimmerson
Archie draws in! No Rowney.
–Without Malkin, Patric Hornqvist will wear the “A” on his sweater. It will be gold not, Scarlett.
–Derrick Pouliot will skate with Alex Edler on Vancouver’s top pairing. A far cry from top row seating in Pittsburgh, eh?
–Ian Cole the last Penguins off the ice. Sam Gagner who is struggling after signing a lucrative $3.1 million deal in the offseason (seven points in 21 games) skated well past the expiration of warmups.
Evgeni Malkin is out with an upper-body injury (if only the Penguins would adopt the Dallas Stars open injury reporting policy). So, the Penguins will ice Jake Guentzel as their second line center. Guentzel was a natural center but has been a winger for the entirety of his professional career.
In 62 career games, Guentzel has 22 goals, 22 assists mostly playing beside Sidney Crosby. He has struggled this season, with just 11 points (6g, 5a) in 22 games.
The Penguins got a good look at the Canucks next generation a couple weeks ago, in Vancouver. Brock Boesser has 19 points (9g, 10a) in 19 games.
Bo Horvat who’s growth curve has more closely resembled the slow boat to China, has continued his solid play which began midway through last season. Horvat, a strong center, has 16 points (8g, 8a) in 21 games.
Fight Night–Reaves vs. Dorsett?
A pair of heavyweights, who play regular minutes will could square off. Ryan Reaves has struggled in his fourth line minutes, three points (1g, 2a) and -4 rating. Dorsett has been more effective with nine points (2g, 7a) and 74 penalty minutes.