We took these pictures a little bit before 6 p.m. and look at how packed the lawn is some two and a half hours prior to the game:
Check out this version of the Stanley Cup someone has:
A few jerseys we've spotted:
(It never ceases to baffle us how often we see Luc Robitaille jerseys. Don't get us wrong, the guy was an all-time great. He was the most prolific scoring left winger in NHL history. He just didn't have much of a history here in Pittsburgh. He didn't even play a full season really with the Penguins. His only season here was the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season. He played 46 regular season games and 12 playoff games in that campaign. Not exactly the most distinguished tour of duty in black and gold. Why do you see his jersey so much more than say Larry Murphy's? Murphy spent parts of five seasons here, including two that ended up in Stanley Cup wins. And you could argue he was the Penguins' most complete defenseman ever.)
-A couple of Capitals fans are here:
We asked them what they are doing here. The told us they were here just to watch hockey. Regardless of their colors, you have to appreciate that as a hockey fan.
-Vladmir Konstantinov jersey:
-Rick Tocchet jersey:
-Ian Moran jersey:
-Bryan Trottier jersey:
(You don't see those every day.)
-EN reader Andrew Santelli sent us a picture of what his sister plans on wearing to tonight's game:
It's made out of the towels the Penguins have been giving away at Mellon Arena during the playoffs.
-At 7:37 p.m., without any players on the ice or any prompting of any kind, a "Let's Go Pens!" chant starts up.
-The teams come out to warm up. We can not spot Tomas Holmstom on the ice at all.
-If you're reading along, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll try to answer our e-mails as quickly as possible.
-Former Penguins forward Colby Armstrong is up here in the auxillary press box taking in the game.
-Tomas Holmstrom was announced as a scratch.
-The Penguins' scratches are Jeff Taffe, Kris Beech, Kris Letang, Dany Sabourin and Georges Laraque.
-The rest of Red Wings' scratches can be found here.
-The pregame video is projected onto the ice:
-The teams take to the ice. We can't recall a louder "LET'S GO PENS!" chant in our lives.
-A moment of silence is held in honor of Canucks defenseman Luc Bourdon.
-Jimerson dominates with the National Anthem. NBC again can't be bothered to broadcast it. The CBC does.
-A Red Wings fan throws an octopus onto the ice.
20:00: The game starst with a "LET'S GO PENS!" chant.
18:40: Tyler Kennedy smashes a Red Wing into the boards.
17:49: Dallas Drake drops Ryan Whitney behind the net with a check in the back. Evgeni Malkin tries to go after Drake after an official raises his hand. Two teammates and an official hold him back. Drake is sent off for roughing. Rob Scuderi leaves the bench with an apparent injury.
17:09: The Penguins get a shot on net. Marian Hossa is able to collect the rebound and sneak it in the narrowest of holes by Chris Osgood' left skate. The puck clinks off the far post and goes in. Big first goal on the Red Wings. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
16:04: "Ossss-Goooooodddd.... Ossss-Gooooooodddd..."
15:46: Hossa comes down the right side and rings a shot off the far post with a backhander.
14:56: Pascal Dupuis is sent off for cross checking behind the Penguins' net.
12:54: Just as Dupuis' penalty expires, the Red Wings strike. Nicklas Lidstrom controls the puck at the point, windes up and blasts a slapper by Marc-Andre Fleury on the stick side. Penguins 1, Red Wings 1.
12:08: Brett Lebda and Gary Roberts skate into the crease and knock over Osgood and dislodge the net. The play is stopped. Lebda skates over to Roberts do "defend" Osgood, but doesn't look too interested in getting physically involved with him.
11:14: Pavel Datsyuk skates down the left side and fires a wrister. Sergei Gonchar deflects it a bit with his stick. Fleury is able to eat up the puck.
10:57: Adam Hall tries to wheel his way through the Detroit defense. Brian Rafalski tries to stiff arm him in the face instead of actually playing defense. Rafalski is sent off for roughing.
10:09: Gonchar blasts a slapper at the top of the slot. Osgood is able to glove it.
8:46: Petr Sykora tips a pass into the slot just over the net.
7:21: Darren Helm fires a quick wrister on net from the left side. Fleury holds it out.
6:26: Mikael Samuelsson fires a quick shot form the left faceoff circle. Fleury kicks it out.
5:58: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
5:32: Kris Draper is sent off for holding Jordan Staal.
5:26: Sidney Crosby tries to fire a one-timer from the slot but his stick snaps in two.
3:36: Sykora pushes a shot on net. Osgood kicks it out.
3:01: Osgood makes a save. Maxime Talbot and Jarkko Ruutu each get thrown to the ice. Somehow Brett Lebda is sent off for cross checking and Talbot gets called for diving. That seems fair.
2:05: As Fleury covers a loose puck, Franzen and Orpik wrestle with each other. They're both sent off.
2:33: Henrik Zetterberg fires a wrister. Fleury makes a save.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Red Wings 1.
-Detroit has a 14-9 edge in shots.
-The Penguins have an 11-8 advantage in faceoffs.
-Rafalski has three shots already.
-Gonchar led all skaters with ice time at 8:50.
-This isn't a great photo, but check out Don Cherry's suit:
-The text messages sent to the Jumbotron were lame again.
18:37: Staal throws a puck on net from the left side. Osgood scoops it up.
16:36: Dupuis forces his way into the crease with the puck and throws it on net. Crosby gets a piece of it and tips it on net. Osgood is able to hold his ground and prevent a goal.
16:16: Jordan Staal is sent off for interference.
15:54: Rafalski fires a quick shot on net from the point. Fleury kicks it out. A Red Wing tries to bank it off him from behind the net. Fleury holds it out.
11:27: This period has been pretty slow so far. Orpik and Franzen get tangled up along the boards. Orpik holds onto Franzen's stick and lays on it for abou 10 seconds Franzen tries to pull it out from underneath him.
10:22: Dupuis fires a one-timer from the slot. Osgood makes the save. Dupuis tries to swat in rebound. Osgood again denies him.
9:09: Talbot gets smashed from behind into the boards. It's an ugly- looking hit, but it's legal.
8:12: Ryan Malone steals the puck and tries a wraparound. It slide through the crease and away from the net.
7:55: The attendance is announced as 17,132, a complete standing room only sellout. It's the 66th consecutive sellout for the Penguins.
7:10: Roberts destroys Darren McCarty in the corner. "Garrr-Eeeeee! Garrrr-Eeee!"
6:32: Crosby darts through the defense and gets a backhander on net. Osgood mades the save.
5:30: Jarkko Ruutu tries to hit his fellow countryman Valtteri Filppula. Filppula has other plans and drops Ruutu.
4:46: Fleury makes a save. A scrum ensues. Officials break it up. Fans chant "Garrr-EEEEE! Garrr-EEEE!" Someone holds up a sign that proclaims "Welcome to the real Hockeytown."
4:24: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
3:56: Rafalski is sent off for holding Hall. It's the second time Rafalski has tried to stymie the offensive dynamo that is Adam Hall and gotten caught. It's be nice for the Penguins if they got a goal here.
2:06: Pavel Datsyuk clears the puck and essentially kills the penalty. The Penguins failed to record a shot on that power play.
0:04: Hossa brings the puck up ice on a late rush. He dishes the puck to Crosby at the blue line and the Penguins are called off sides. On the ensuing faceoff, Kirk Maltby and Roberts tangle a bit.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Red Wings 1.
-That was a pretty slow period. Neither team was really willing to take too many chances and risk giving the other any opportunities.
-It might be time to take Pascal Dupuis off a line with Crosby and Hossa. He just looks a step slower than those two.
-The Red Wings have a 21-17 edge in shots.
-The Penguins lead in faceoffs, 18-16.
-Ryan Whitney and Gonchar lead the Penguins in blocked shots with three. He had quite a few in Game 3 also. He is the new Mark Eaton.
-Lidstrom leads all skaters in ice time with 17:46.
-Dupuis and Hossa lead the Penguins with three shots.
-Rafalski leads all skaters with four shots.
-According to EN readers Kate and Norb Klebanski, NBC's Pierre McGuire reported Roberts told Maltby if he wants to "go," he should take off his visor.
-It seems as if the ice is a bit of a problem tonight. The puck has been bouncing like it's on a trampoline.
18:53: During a stoppage, Mike Yeo gets some facetime on the CBC's coverage. Just another reason to dislike NBC.
17:34: Hudler collects a bouncing puck and whips it on net with a backhander. The puck beats Fleury on the glove side. A collection of Red Wings fans cheer. Penguins fans respond with "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!" Red Wings 2-1.
15:52: Draper drives a slapper on net. Fleury makes the save and swats the puck out of play. That's a delay of game penalty. Hossa will serve the penalty. Big two minutes for the Penguins here.
13:53: Brett Lebda fires a slapper from the point. Fleury kicks it out.
13:28: Malkin comes up the left wing, tries to skate by a defender, gets interfered with and falls into the net dislodging it. No call. Remember the "new" NHL? We don't either. "Right Now" by Van Halen is played:
10:24: Gary Roberts gets run over from behind by Andrea Lilja. That's payback from Game 3. Maltby is sent off for hooking offensive dynamo Adam Hall. The Penguins need a goal here bad.
9:50: Crosby and Lilja race for a puck in the corner. Well Lilja just tries to get in Crosby's way. That's interference. Welcome back "new" NHL. The Penguins have to score here. There's no excuse to not score with a two-man advantage.
8:48: The Pengins call a time out to get organized. If they don't at least even the score here, they deserve to lose this series.
8:11: Malkin fires a shot from the slot. Osgood fights it off.
7:50: Lilja's penalty expires. Give the Red Wings credit for holding the Penguins off but that's a complete failure on the Penguins' end not to score there.
6:33: Whitney throws a puck on net from the left boards. Osgood eats it up.
6:03: Hall fires a puck on net. Osgood has a little trouble with it but covers it up. No wonder they're holding Hall.
5:56: Orpik throws a puck on net from the point. Malkin gets a piece of it but can't get a clean shot off.
5:32: A few Red Wings fans can be heard chanting "Let's-Go Red-Wings!"
4:53: Dallas Drake brings the puck to the Penguins' blue line and simply dumps it in. The Red Wings are going to simply choke the life out of this game.
4:18: Datsyuk has a chanced on the side of the cage but Fleury is able to kick out his shot.
3:16: The Red Wings ice the puck. Mike Babcock calls a time out. A few "fans" leave. Weak. Michel Therrien puts Crosby, Malkin and Hossa out there.
2:20: The Red Wings ice the puck again. They're content to take all these icing call.
2:19: Off a faceoff win. Whitney throws a puck on net. Osgood appears to kick it out.
1:32: Franzen fires a slapper on net. Fleury fights it off.
0:58: Fleury leaves the ice for an extra attacker. Roberts comes onto the ice.
0:00: The Penguins direct a few shots on net that nervously go near the net. The Wings hold them off. The puck goes into the corner. End of game. Red Wings 2, Penguins 1.
Crosby is held off by officials from going after Zetterberg.
-Henrik Zetterberg is the greatest player in the world at this moment. Forget that Sidney Crosby is the defending Hart Trophy winner. Forget that Evgeni Malkin is a finalist for that trophy this season. When the Red Wings were up against the wall in the form of a five-on-three power play for the Penguins, Mike Babcock put Zetterberg on the ice (along with Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall). That trio shut down one of the more potent power plays in the league and virtually won this game and probably this series.
-According to a reporter at one of the press conference, Evgeni Malkin had his head in his hands in the locker room. This has been a tough series for him and his line.
-According to Mike Babcock, Tomas Holmstrom did not even come to the game whatsoever.
-Lidstrom led all skaters with 28:23 of ice time.
-The Penguins blocked 21 shots.
-Despite that, Detroit still outshot the Penguins 30-23.
-The Penguins had a 32-22 edge in faceoffs.