Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
Preseason Game B vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
September 25, 2008
Sabourin in net.
Kaberle (A) - Schenn
Pogge in net.
PIT Goal (Pens led 1-0) Sykora (Satan, Malkin) PP - Only saw replays as we arrived at the 13 minute mark of period 1. Thanks Penndot. Now I know that apparently 90 minutes isn't enough time to make 25-30 mile drive to the Arena. It looked like Petr Sykora attempted a centering pass that caught a Maple Leaf and got by Justin Pogge.
PIT Goal (Pens led 2-0) Fedotenko (unassisted) PP - Another attempted centering pass, another bounce off a Maple Leaf defender, and another Penguin goal. I'm not sure why it was recorded as unassisted; Darryl Sydor moved the puck to Max Talbot, who passed to Fedotenko. If they awarded assists on Sykora's despite the bounce off of a Toronto player, I'd think they would have done the same thing here.
Michel Therrien used Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Brooks Orpik, and Kris Letang on the penalty kill and followed up with Tyler Kennedy, Matt Cooke, Hall Gill and Sydor. Miroslav Satan, Evgeni Malkin, Mark Eaton, and Alex Goligoski finished off the penalty.
The period ended with the Pens firing 9 shots to Toronto's 5.
Orpik drilled Jason Blake deep in the Pens end, sending him flying through the air.
PIT Goal (Pens led 3-0) Malkin (Staal) SH - Malkin took a shot off his hand in the Pens' end while down a man, but attacked the puck carrier and chased him back into Toronto's end. The puck was moved to Anton Stralman, and Malkin forechecked him. Stralman lost an edge and Malkin retrieved it easily, and basically had a 2 on none with Jordan Staal as the rest of the Toronto power play had gone up ice. Malkin went to Staal, who one-timed the pass back to Malkin, who buried it into an empty net.
Talbot and Dupuis generated a 2 on 1 later in the same kill. The lone Leaf defender went down to take the passing lane away but Talbot managed to the the puck under him. It handcuffed Dupuis a little and he wasn't able to steer the puck on goal.
During a TV timeout, Paul Bissonette got run up for a 10 minute misconduct penalty. The box score list it as an "aggressor" penalty. I guess Bissonette was trying a little to hard to get someone to dance with him. He already had a fairly uneventful fight with Jamal Mayers in the first period.
Malkin made a ridiculous pass to Satan right in front of Pogge, but he couldn't convert.
The Pens launched 9 shots at Pogge (18 total through 2) while Toronto managed 7 (total of 12).
Malkin was dancing with the puck. He picked it up in his end and made a behind-the-back pass to himself to get around one guy, slid through the neutral zone, then went between his legs to get around another. He drew another penalty in the process.
TOR Goal (Pend led 3-1) Ponikarovski (Boumedienne, Van Ryn) PP - Ponikarovski deflected a point shot pas Sabourin. Not much he could do about it.
The fourth line got penned in their own end late and iced the puck. Therrien used his timeout to give them a rest. Bissonette had a pretty good look at a clear, but wasn't able to. Toronto has a long period of sustained pressure, but eventually the puck went back out to neutral ice and some of the forwards were able to change.
TOR Goal (Pens led 3-2) Grabovski (Kulemin, Blake) - Eaton kept backing in and Grabovski walked in a put a shot on goal, Sabourin got some of it, but not enough to keep it from trickling in.
The Pens had 3 shots for a total of 21 and Toronto had 17 for a total of 29.
I know it's only preseason, and I know the Pens haven't decided on the second "A" yet, but I thought it was odd that no Penguins had a letter on the front of their sweaters tonight. I don't think that happened last year at all.
Letang was on top of his game tonight. Very solid in all aspects.
Goligoski was better than Saturday. He wasn't trying to skate the puck out of trouble as much, opting for a safe pass or chip off the boards.
Upon hearing Sidney Crosby would sit out tonight, I wondered who would get plugged in between Satan and Dupuis. Jeff Taffe did get a few shifts there, but Kennedy seemed to be out there more often than not. I know he was a center in junior, but I would have thought if they were considering him a a center job this year, he'd have been doing so since camp opened. I thought Kris Beech's demotion pretty much meant Taffe had won the last center job, but in comparing his ice time with Kennedy's and seeing all the extra special teams work Kennedy got (both PK and PP), not I'm not so sure. Taffe might be looking at 4th line left wing, or he might be looking at being the guy that rotates in and out with Eric Godard.
Despite 2 goals against, Dany Sabourin was very sharp in the third period. While it seemed the game to that point had put most of the Pens to sleep, Sabourin picked up the slack. He made an excellent save going from his right to left to make a pad stop on a shorthanded chance, and also stopped the follow-up attempt. There were a few other occasions where he had to make 2 or more saves in rapid succession.
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