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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Penguins 6, Capitals 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (5-3) vs. Washington Capitals (2-5-1)

Time: 12:38 p.m.

Site: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

TV, radio: NBC, TSN2 (Canada), WXDX-FM 105.9

Here is the official live summary.

Here is the the Trib’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi is on the scene.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Dave G says:

    Great game yesterday. Hope these guys continue their rejuvenation with a “W” this afternoon against the Caps.

    Let’s Go Pens!

  2. JAL says:

    JAL’s Scene From an Italian Restaurant Morning Links

    Washington Times

    Penguins could ‘bring out best’ in Capitals


    I love it when a good plan comes together

    Washington Post

    Capitals-Penguins preview: After slow start, Washington not lacking for motivation in rivalry matchup

  3. JAL says:

    Scene From an Italian Restaurant Billy Joel 1977 Restaurant in the song is Fontana di Trevi

  4. Drew71 says:

    Ah. The Big Game.

  5. Drew71 says:

    i USED to think that i despised all Billy Joel songs. then i heard some other people cover some and thought, not bad. not my thing, but i got it.

    so it’s not the songs that bothered me. it’s HIM.

  6. Eric Bowser says:

    Penguins (5-3-0)

    1st: Kunitz – Crosoby – Dupuis
    2nd: Boychuk – Malkin – Neal
    3rd: Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy
    4th: Glass – Vitale – Adams
    Scratches: Jeffrey – Tangradi

    1st: Orpik – Martin
    2nd: Despres – Letang
    3rd: Engelland – Bortuzzo
    Scratches: Lovejoy

    Starter: Vokoun
    Backup: Fleury

    Injury List:
    Niskanen (ankle)

    Capitals (2-5-1)

    1st: 17 Wojtek Wolski – 9 Mike Ribeiro – 8 Alex Ovechkin
    2nd: 90 Marcus Johansson – 19 Nicklas Backstrom – 20 Troy Brouwer
    3rd: 25 Jason Chimera – 83 Jay Beagle – 42 Joel Ward
    4th: 26 Matt Hendricks – 15 Joey Crabb – 16 Eric Fehr
    Scratches: 85 Mathieu Perreault

    1st: 27 Karl Alzner – 52 Mike Green
    2nd: Tom Poti – 74 John Carlson
    3rd: 55 Jeff Schultz – 36 Tomas Kundratek
    Scratches: 44 Roman Hamrlik

    Starter: Braden Holtby (first career start vs Pens)
    Backup: Michal Neuvirth

    Injury List:
    Brooks Laich (groin)
    Jack Hillen (upper body)

    John Erskine (3-game suspension due to Friday’s elbow to the face of Wayne Simmonds)

    Stats – Capitals
    WSH PK startetd 11-for-18 (61%), now have killed 20 of the last 23 (87%)
    Goals – 2.25
    Goals against – 3.38
    PP% – 15.2%
    PK% – 75.6%
    FO% – 48.0%

  7. bpn8pitt says:

    Time to put together a winning streak.

  8. Bizrow says:

    If you don’t see your current residence below, please sign in with a reply to this post.

    Dejan, are we going to have a Superbowl thread tonight?

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Austrailia – Mackay
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka
    China – Beijing
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    Delaware – Newark
    Denmark – Greenland – Thule*
    District of Columbia
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann), Niceville (Red Neck Rivera), St Petersburg, Pembroke Pines, Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens
    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Acworth
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline, Mountain Home AFB*
    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake, Algonquin
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington
    Louisiana – Slidell
    Maine – Bangor
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf, Hagerstown, Chevy Chase, Hampstead
    Massachusetts – Boston
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor
    Mississippi – Biloxi
    Missouri – St Peters***
    Nebraska – Omaha
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park, Berkeley Heights, Somerville, Hammock, Barrington, Delran, Pennsville
    New Mexico – Mike
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan, Long Island, Nyack
    Nevada, Las Vegas
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Charleston, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, High Point
    North Dakota
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale

    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, DuBois, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilks-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, Erie, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Lebanon, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls
    The Philipines
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander

    305 locations represented in the blog,
    Honorary members
    Lemonaid Guy
    The Gunner
    Mr Roberto Clemente
    Mike Lange
    13 countries
    43 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 7 states, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Hawaii, Alabama, Kansas and Oklahoma
    Two planets, at least confirmed
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    2/3/2013 10:28 AM


    DK: Yes, that thread is ready to go. Will be posted after Penguins game.

  9. cherokee23 says:

    Some thoughts on Despres… he better suited for the role he is playing the last couple of games alongside Letang. He seems much more confident, aggressive and efficient. Is he asked to play differently in this role versus the role he played early on beside Engelland? Are his talents better suited for ths or is he simply playing better?

  10. Eric Bowser says:

    I’m a big fan of Despres, thought he should have started in the top six… same with Bortuzzo. The more minutes you play, the more you get into the action and the more you get to feel confident in your decisions. Despres wasn’t going to get that feel by playing 10 minutes per game or being paired with a liability like Engelland.

    I’ll be interested to see what the Pens do when Niskanen returns from the ankle injury and both Despres and Bortuzzo continue to play well. Will they finally put Engelland into the 7th defenseman role he justly deserves. All about skill at this point, not fists.

  11. TJ says:

    With Shero’s history of going after veterans at the deadline (Roberts,Kovalev,Hossa) I noticed today that Iginla is a guy that might be moved at the deadline. He seems to be like a guy that Shero could target for the Crosby line. The further into the season we get the less the contract becomes an issue. I could see Despres being part of a deal.

  12. Eric Bowser says:

    I could see a situation in which Iginla is willing to be traded to Pittsburgh to play the final few years here on a line with Crosby. The question is, what would the Flames want for him and do the Penguins have the assets/depth to move a young player or two and possibly a conditional number one pick.

  13. Eric Bowser says:

    Some hits early in this one with Neal hip check on Ovechkin and Ovechkin cross-check into Orpik.

  14. Eric Bowser says:

    as predicted… Ovechkin finishes checks on Despres and Crosby.

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    1-0 Pens
    Crosby wins faceoff, moves back to Martin and a well-placed wrist shot deflects off the Dman and into the net.

  16. Eric Bowser says:

    Letang destroys Mike Green, slow to get up and lucky to be left all alone for one-timer. Poor coverage in the defensive zone and a bad change.

  17. Eric Bowser says:

    2-1 Pens, missed it…

  18. Eric Bowser says:

    Cooke from Engelland & Bortuzzo

  19. LuckyNKentucky says:

    So when does the new Sunday column start?

  20. Eric Bowser says:

    What a pass by Malkin (on the PP no less) to Kunitz to LW side of net for quick one-timer tip shot.

    5-2 Pens

  21. sarah says:

    Cripes what’s with Holtby’ s glove???

  22. Eric Bowser says:

    I don’t know, he’s better than this but so far, he’s had some real bad games.

  23. sarah says:

    Yah. Not much support but those 2 were brutal….takes the wind out of your guys…

  24. JohninOshkosh says:

    Upon every year he returns to television my wife will comment that, if he had the mustache, Mike Milbury would look exactly like Hitler.

  25. Bizrow says:

    Well, a bit dicey but that should have put this one in the hopper

  26. bpn8pitt says:

    Fire Bylsma…said no one ever…

  27. sarah says:

    Hat trick 14!!

  28. Eric Bowser says:

    I’ll stick to Shero giving him the 48-game season and the playoffs. If they don’t get out of the first round, he should be canned.

  29. Eric Bowser says:

    crazy, he should have already had the hat trick… should be 4 goals now.

  30. TJ says:

    Not exactly sure what this means but the Pens haven’t had a problem winning games during the regular season. If the Pens have another first round collapse Bylsma could still be in trouble.

  31. bpn8pitt says:

    I just laughed at the complete overraction the other night with the Islanders, 6 games in. They got a long way to go. We’re gonna see good, bad and ugly. Shero’s gonna make a deal or two. This team will look different come playoff time. Provided the defense and goaltending can get consistent, and i know thats a big if, I like their chances.

  32. Eric Bowser says:

    Once again, another tough one to pick..

    my 3 stars…

    #3 – Letang
    #2 – Crosby
    #1 – Kunitz

  33. sarah says:

    Coaching the season far different than 7 game series vs the same team. The latter requires adjustments which Bylsma has been unwilling or unable to make.
    I’m with Eric – another first rd exit will be unacceptable.
    I actually thought last yr v Phl was unacceptable but I don’t call the shots lol!

  34. bpn8pitt says:

    I think it all comes down to how you are playing entering the playoffs, your health and how you match up against different opponents.

    Changing coaches can make a difference, BUT not always positive. Sometimes it can have the opposite effect.

  35. sarah says:

    That’s fair. Also think Martn-Orpik
    improving every game. Maybe we’ll get some of what we paid for in Paul Martin…

  36. sarah says:

    Totally agree that coming in hot can be huge – LAK showed that. I do not think that is all it comes down to. You must have a system that can adjust over a long series no matter how hot u are coming in. IMO that has been Bylsmas’ s issue last 3 years. I believe this year is his last chance to correct t that.

  37. Vette60 says:

    Nice win by the Pens!

    Had to bail right when the Pens went up 5-2 to go coach my son’s basketball game. One of the opposing coaches was like minded and decked out in a Pens hat, so that was all right with me.

    Looking forward to the Pens continuing to build on the positives of this game and nice to see Kunitz get the HT.

    Take care all and enjoy the Superbowl.

    Randy in RVA

  38. TJ says:

    I think the 3 biggest losses in terms of players that are most noticeable in the playoffs are Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi, and Max Talbot.

    Gill and Scuderi just seemed to block anything and everything in sight and Talbot just had the ability to make the most impact with the smallest of talent.

  39. Jandy says:

    You just said soooo much here, TJ…and nailed it.

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