Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Penguins 4, Lightning 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (14-8) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (9-11-1)

Time: 7:38 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: NBC Sports Network, WXDX-FM 105.9

Here is the official live box score.

Here is TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe are on the scene. Here’s Josh’s online-only recap of the Penguins’ morning skate today.

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. JohnS says:

    Bennett sent to WBS per Penguins Twitter

  2. Iceman says:

    I have no words…does that mean there are only two scratches tonight? (Martin and Bortuzzo)

  3. Bizrow says:

    The FAN reported that as well, thats odd, what with Boykin or whatever his name is being reported to be on waivers?

  4. Jandy says:

    are you kidding me????? WTH?

  5. Wonder if Playoffs has a line for whether the Pens have more goals tonight than the Bucs had hits.

    Shouldn’t be hard.

  6. TJ says:

    I don’t get it. Why waive Boychuk if you were sending Bennett down any way?

    Wait… I can hear it now “Well we felt that it was in the best interest of Boychuk if he went to a team where he had an opportunity to play.”

    So who is next in line Kostopulous?

  7. Bizrow says:

    Fantasy Leagues

    Everyone is welcome
    All Yahoo

    League ID – 25547
    Password – 1203
    ID – 25558
    Password – 1203
    ID – 25576
    Password – 1203
    ID – 25595
    Password – 1203

  8. Bizrow says:

    This just in, the BMTIB now runs the Pens

    Kidding, but maybe Boychuk did not go on waivers?

  9. TJ says:

    If he didn’t then I would put the Pens front office right up there with the White House when it comes to being honest about things.

  10. Eric Bowser says:

    Just got home, I really need to understand this demotion for Bennett. I mean, I know Bylsma’s handling of Bennett hasn’t been all that great but this… come on man!

  11. TJ says:

    I’m starting to get curious about something… Sending Bennett to the minors and waiving Boychuk does more than just clears 2 players off the roster it also clears their salaries off the cap. No matter how small an amount they were making per game its still money thats saved and could be useful a month from now when the trade deadline rolls around.

  12. Eric Bowser says:

    I need to find a reason why this is happening… just got home and instant analysis of the headline is…. WHAT!

  13. Drew71 says:

    I despise the Lightning. And that wormy guy who coaches them.



  14. Eric Bowser says:

    I just read that Malkin being active forces someone off the 23-man active roster, so Boychuk to waivers until Tuesday at Noon doesn’t open up a spot so Bennett to WBS for paperwork reasons.

  15. Bizrow says:

    Good point

    ESPN is reporting, no ties in hockey

  16. Bizrow says:

    That makes sense

  17. Drew71 says:

    Gonzaga pulls down the #1 ranking for the first time ever. And for the presser, they send out ASSISTANT coach Tommy Lloyd. He was subbing for coach Mark Few, who was said to be fly fishing and unavailable for comment.

    Think somebody was sending a message about the value of rankings and the risk of head swelling?

    DK: That’s hilarious.

  18. Eric Bowser says:

    5 game suspension for Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is about where I thought the NHL would go but it isn’t enough.

    Amazing how Cooke sets the standard for repeat offenders, then this decision for a third time offender.

  19. Eric Bowser says:

    having lived in Spokane for a few years and having met Mark Few, that decision doesn’t surprise me in the least. Great guy.

  20. TJ says:

    and everyone said “ahhh”

  21. Jandy says:

    That’s not funny, Biz!!! >:/

  22. TJ says:

    Considering how many times the top ranked team in a particular week has lost this season its a great message to send.

    I don’t know why Jamie Dixon didn’t have one to explain his new method of offense called “just play ball”.

  23. Jandy says:

    There is no understanding something this STUPID!

  24. Jandy says:

    But why cut the salaries now? Wait until later….sheesh!

  25. Jandy says:

    Demonic looking Guy Boucher? hahaha!

  26. Jandy says:

    Just shows you what a two faced azzmunch Shammyhan is!

  27. TJ says:

    Every day on the roster a pro-rated portion of their salary goes toward the cap; so by removing them today the money they would have earned from here to the end of the year is essentially freed up. Your not really cutting salaries as much as you are creating cap space by sending Bennett to the minors and waiving Boychuk.

  28. Bizrow says:

    I like Dixon

    He’s still relatively young

    He has time to learn

    Gettin more talented guys every year

    Hope, but expect

    Much more hope with him

  29. That means they’ll lose this week.

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    Penguins lines

    1st: Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
    2nd: Cooke – Malkin – Neal
    3rd: Jeffrey – Sutter – Kennedy
    4th: Glass – Vitale – Adams
    Scratched: Boychuk (on waivers)

    DP1: Orpik – Niskanen
    DP2: Eaton – Letang
    DP3: Despres – Engelland

    Starter: Fleury
    Backup: Vokoun

    Tampa Bay lines

    1st: Conacher – Stamkos – Purcell
    2nd: Killorn – Lecavalier – St. Louis
    3rd: Palat – Thompson – Pyatt
    4th: Crombeen – Hall – Panik

    DP1: Hedman – Carle
    DP2: Aulie – Brewer
    DP3: Lee – Bergeron

    Starter: Lindback
    Backup: Garon

  31. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Stan Savran said the Bennett RA just a paper formality. Very wise to sit him for a game. Maybe it’s just a precursor to RA’ing Despres to Wheeling and naming Vokoun the #1 starter. At least Tyler Kennedy wasn’t scratched. He’s sooooooo much better than Boychuck.

    Sorry TJ. Goalkoun.

  32. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    It’s part of “our game”. Which is ironically starting to sound like “the plan”.

  33. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    They are expecting Boychuck to clear waivers. I really see that happening.

  34. Eric Bowser says:

    I guess Bylsma didn’t think four goals was bad, he’s got Orpik and Letang as the top defensive pairing.

  35. Eric Bowser says:

    Garon starting.. not Lindback

    Orpik-Letang is top pairing (yikes)

  36. Thundercrack says:

    So, who do you think the first cuts in Pirates’ camp will be?

  37. Thundercrack says:

    Strange things going on in Texas with Nolan Ryan. It seems he is being pushed aside and may leave.

  38. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    So was the one hitter today sort of like jmac’s homer party where he was just focused on throwing fastballs or whatever it was? Maybe they were just trying to clearly identify the strike zone?

  39. Jandy says:

    1-0 after one period of play.

  40. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Good to see Engelland muscling up on the gateway to the west. Now if one of our other D get physical on a guy tall enough to ride the thunderbolt I’ll be really Impressed.

  41. Drew71 says:

    1-0 after first. Chippy. Even St. Louis got into it. Twice.

    Just thought I’d give an update to you baseball-soccer-Gonzaga fans.

  42. Drew71 says:

    Please. Make it 0-for-spring Hawpe. Please.

    And then there’s this new, unknown, fill-in beat writer who can’t help them win a game unless i’m in the house.

  43. Drew71 says:

    NBC announcer just, um, announced that Kunitz’s goal at 4 minutes in was the Pens’ 12th goal this season within the first 5 minutes of a game, by far leading the NHL.

    Conversely, the Pens (he announced) have only given up 1 goal in the first 5 minutes of a game.

    And just, um, announced that today would have been the 82 birthday of Badger Bob. With a nice tribute.

    Though you are all probably watching the same thing.

  44. Drew71 says:

    TB amazing tending in that power play. Now the goalie is hurt.

  45. kr70 says:

    I thought you were the fill-in beat writer.

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    They don’t allow us to hear the NBC broadcast. We’re forced to listen to the locals. Or mute them & sync up the radio as I’ve been doing for years.

  47. Drew71 says:

    Is anybody watching?

    don’t MAKE me get naked again.

    (though it did bring a victory, didn’t it?)

  48. kr70 says:

    so we don’t know where Stamkos is?

  49. Jandy says:

    Friggin Stamkos

  50. Jandy says:

    Go for it, Drew!

  51. They don’t have to cut Hawpe, Drew. He can opt out at the end of March or thereabouts if he doesn’t make the ML roster.

    Other teams will be ringing his phone off the hook by then. Right?

  52. Jandy says:

    I wanna see the replay

  53. Drew71 says:

    goal waved off. right call.

  54. Jandy says:

    nah not even close

  55. Jandy says:

    hmmm we must be watching the same game

  56. Drew71 says:

    second clank shot. Letang earlier.

  57. Drew71 says:

    i think both were letang. he’s gonna get p***ed off if that keeps up.

  58. Drew71 says:

    yes. but you probably have your clothes on.

  59. Jandy says:

    shhh! They’ll tell us to get a room again!

  60. Jandy says:

    EYE am getting p***ed off Grrrr!

  61. Jandy says:

    steigy drives me nuts

  62. Drew71 says:

    “It wasn’t necessarily about the money. It was, at that point, about earning that respect and feeling like I was respected around here,” Flacco said Monday just minutes after signing the contract that includes $52 million in guaranteed money.

    That’s sickening enough to make me put my clothes back on.

  63. Didn’t know Drew was such a Puckhead.

  64. Drew71 says:

    There’s another naked joke in there.

  65. Drew71 says:

    at least he didn’t say pucker

  66. Drew71 says:

    i shouldn’t have gone there

  67. sjb says:

    Wouldn’t be a Pens game without Orpik writing welfare checks all night long.

  68. Drew71 says:

    i like that

  69. Jandy says:

    ROFL! Drew, whatever you’re drinking, share :)

  70. Jandy says:

    Pens getting defensively sloppy again…Fleury keeping them in the game

  71. Jandy says:

    LOL Spunky, keep him going ;)

  72. Jandy says:


  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    Can’t imagine you living anywhere else, Eric. You, Milo and 21 are quintessentially Pittsburgh to me! (I mean that as the highest compliment).

  74. Drew71 says:

    i didn’t like that. i need to put on my rally poodle. even if i have to shower again.

  75. Jandy says:

    Do something, Drew!!!!

  76. Drew71 says:

    Cigar City Brewing, Jai Alai India Pale Ale.

    Holy Crap. Brewed in Tampa. MY fault

  77. Iceman says:

    Thanks for clarification. This makes some sense now.

  78. Drew71 says:

    i’m changing my beer choice. (see above)

  79. sjb says:

    Pens with a chance to tie it up on the PP…sounds like a recipe for failure, no?

  80. Jandy says:

    we need to score on this PP

  81. Jandy says:

    Dayum, Lindback looking good

  82. Drew71 says:

    Great. Goalie #2 is now starting to get it together.

    We need another groin pull.

    Too bad Dejan is in Bradenton.

  83. Jandy says:

    rally poodle is a beer?

  84. sjb says:

    I guess the Pens objective on the PP is to shoot lots of pucks into defenders legs so they’ll be bruised up enough to weaken as the game goes on.

  85. Eric Bowser says:

    What is it with the second period?

  86. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Tyler Kennedy can’t even dump the puck effectively.

    Liked Cutch’s new commercial.

  87. sjb says:

    The Pens could make Stephen Hawking look good.

  88. Jandy says:


  89. Jandy says:

    yeah I know, Eric!

  90. Drew71 says:

    That last goal deflected off a NOSE. Gave him a bloody nose.

    He’s a bloody hockey player.

  91. sjb says:

    Time to cancel the cocktails and shooters they hand out after the first.

  92. Jandy says:

    they’re killing me

  93. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Fleury has been feistier than Orpik tonight.

  94. Drew71 says:

    see FURTHER above for beer choice.

  95. Jandy says:

    yeah well, if the Lightning win by a nose I’m gonna be p^^^ed!

  96. Drew71 says:

    nice check by Letang

  97. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Is there an all you can eat shrimp cocktail bar in the locker room after the first?

  98. Drew71 says:

    not me. i moved. no longer my problem.

  99. Jandy says:


  100. Jandy says:

    I’ll have one of each

  101. Pucknutz says:

    But don’t like that I don’t know why.
    How does a guy go from one of the hardest hitting/working/etc D men to a lost soul looking like.he is waiting on a PAT bus??
    Sumpin wrong here.

  102. sjb says:

    You mean waving your stick at the puck carrier isn’t feisty enough for you? I will say this, no one can keep a consistent gap like Orpik…always exactly 15 feet of ice between him and the forward…that’s got to be worth something, right?

  103. Milo Hamilton says:

    Dan Frawley scored one like that once.

  104. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    That goal looked more painful than Armstrong’s tummy tally from way back when.

  105. Jandy says:

    which century was that in, Milo?

  106. Jandy says:

    These guys couldn’t score if presented with an open net :/

  107. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Was that Craig MacTavish out there?

  108. TJ says:

    For all the complaining Brooks Orpik did during the lockout I’d say he should be giving some of his salary back. I can’t remember a “shut down” defensemen consistently giving up goals right in front of his own net. Its absolutely ridiculous the way he’s played lately.

  109. sjb says:

    Watch everyone how a PP is supposed to work.

  110. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Paul Martin last year.

  111. Jandy says:

    I just watched Engelland make 3- 4 good plays in the last few minutes. Imagine that!

  112. Jandy says:


  113. sjb says:

    Yeaaay Geno!

  114. Eric Bowser says:

    what a goal by Malkin

  115. Jandy says:

    Brooksie is p^^^ed

  116. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Holy freakin geno!

  117. Jandy says:

    Anyone see what happened behind the Pens net?

  118. sjb says:

    What’s Orpik bitching about?

  119. TJ says:

    Back to the tic tac toe cross ice passes on the PP again. Even Steigerwald mentioned the amount of times the Pens passed the puck across the ice through the seam of the Lightning defense. And all those cross ice passes accounted for ZERO goals. The plan is obviously working.

  120. Jandy says:

    Just before Geno took off with the puck, someone hit him behind the net

  121. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    He has never had a problem taking himself out of the play to complain.

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    Did I miss a vehicular homicide ?

  123. Jandy says:

    Amen, eric…did you happen to see what happened behind the net?

  124. TJ says:

    Wow; hello Sidney

  125. Jandy says:


  126. sjb says:

    Nice setup for that goal.

  127. Jandy says:

    No I caught just a glance…before it was out of sight of the camera

  128. TJ says:

    WTF is Malkin doing with a drop pass at center ice. DRIVES ME NUTS.

  129. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    He got hit clean by Lecalvier.

  130. sjb says:

    Maybe he’ll wake up now.

  131. TJ says:

    Did everyone see that…. Kennedy actually shot the puck while in front of the net. I think thats his first shot on net this season that wasn’t from behind the goal line

  132. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    It is. Buccos managed to avoid a no hitter this time.

  133. Eric Bowser says:

    actually that was a terrible shot… went high.. should have been a low shot with Sutter in front of net.

  134. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    It still would have been high right if it wasn’t gloved.

  135. TJ says:

    Its amazing; Brooks can find an official but he can’t find the guy he’s supposed to be keeping away from the net.

  136. TJ says:

    Agreed; terrible; but it was from the correct side of the goal line. C’mon Rome wasn’t built in a day

  137. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Lol guess so.

  138. cosmo says:

    would prefer Lange on the TV side.

  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    Guy Boucher’s scar is very upset.

  140. Jandy says:


  141. Jandy says:


  142. Jandy says:

    hey, where is Sarah?

  143. sjb says:

    I’ll be happy if they can hold onto a one goal lead for a change…oh, and have someone kick St. Louis in the vag.

  144. Jandy says:

    don’t be putting down women like that :P

  145. sjb says:

    Notice how Eaton actually makes the effort to skate the puck out aggressively instead of taking the limp-wristed apprehensive approach of making a pass from 20′ inside his own end like a certain no. 44 likes to do…and like a certain player who’s name rhymes with Jay Britney used to do as well.

  146. sjb says:

    Sorry meant rhymes with “Brian Britney”…got my Britney’s mixed up. lol

  147. Eric Bowser says:

    Loving the compete level by Despres

  148. sjb says:

    Eaton as well. Seems like at least he remembers what it takes.

  149. Milo Hamilton says:

    I both hate that term & agree with you 100%. :)

  150. Iceman says:

    Pens actually looking like they know how to play with a lead in a close game. Love the two amazing goals, but this development means even more for the future.

    P.S. I’ve been impressed with Eaton tonight.

  151. Jandy says:

    that seals it

  152. Eric Bowser says:

    Malkin gets loose puck, finds Neal and he buries it into the empty net.

  153. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love Guy Boucher. He’s completely insane.

  154. TJ says:

    If Drew can take credit for Pirate wins I’m claiming credit for the Pens win tonight. Did not turn the game on till right after the Malkin goal.

  155. TJ says:

    The blade of that stick was above the goal post

  156. Milo Hamilton says:

    The stick is above the crossbar.

  157. TJ says:

    Anyone but Stamkos and thats not a goal. That review was wayyyyyy to quick for something that looked pretty freaking close to me.

  158. Pucknutz says:

    Maybe it was, but are you allowed to hit Fleury in the face w/the stick???

  159. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens have now given up 3 goals or more in 14 of 23 games.

  160. sjb says:

    Tampa Bay has allowed 3 or more in 15 of 22

  161. sjb says:

    I guess if it’s a goalie it’s not considered high-sticking?

  162. TJ says:

    I just read a great article on ESPN. Dusty Baker must be the most immature manager in all of sports. He might be the only guy I know that would start an arguement with the opposing manager when they met at home plate to exchange lineups.

  163. TJ says:

    Unless its Matt Cooke and then it would be intentional and they would ask he be tossed from the league

  164. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Mark Eaton + 100. Brooks Orpik and Tyler Kennedy + -100.

  165. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Engelland was pretty good too.

  166. Pucknutz says:

    Right you are TJ !
    Granted, Stamkos was playing the puck, Fleury was not standing upright, on his knees I think, but the stick was well above Stamkos waist.
    What IS the high stick rule, goalie or not?

  167. Pucknutz says:

    Got er done he did!

  168. Pucknutz says:

    Every time I see the clips of the Pens passing out pizza to the kids standing in line for the Student Rush tickets I just say to myself “how cool is that”! (and I am a really cynical old fart that always figures there is a sinister motive to stuff like that)

    The Pens “really do” enjoy doing it. The smiles on their faces are real.
    Great org from top down!
    GO PENS !

  169. DK: Monsieur Boucher was very upset, as well. Hence, this magnificent quote after the game: “We gave Malkin the puck at our blue line. … Might as well just put the gun to our heads. Might as well just shoot yourself.”

  170. Jandy says:

    Yes he was and I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed. :)

  171. hockeymonster says:

    @DK: You think its time to start asking shero about Martin’s no trade clause? Defense looks more playoff ready with martin out and despres is looking legit. If you think back to letang at his age and its pretty clear despres has a chance to be a top 4 guy for many years if he keeps his head right. Also threw up a lil bit when i read rossi’s post about despres for johnson…

    DK: Tried to figure out what you were asking. Read this a couple times. Sorry.

  172. Jag7 says:

    Love the Orpik criticism, I thought I was the only one noticing. No one screens the goalie better than Orpik. This went on pretty much all of last year too.

    DK: A net-front defenseman has to be in front of the net, right?

  173. Jag7 says:

    I can’t

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News