Monday, March 24, 2008

Islanders 4, Penguins 1

This was a poor road game for the Pens. After the first period, the effort just didn't seem to be there. It needs to get there before tomorrow night against Jersey. Tomorrow is a critical game.

Here's the recap:


It's a Versus game. That's usually not good news...

If the Pens win and the Habs lose to the Senators, the Pens will take back first place in the East.

Conk is in goal, setting up Fleury for a rematch tomorrow night in New Jersey.

First period:

Malkin nearly put the Pens up just 45 seconds into the game when his wrister went just wide.

Taffe is back up on the second line, playing with Staal and Hossa. This is because Dupuis is out while his wife has their third child, a daughter named Zoey.

The Pens got the early power play. Whitney went in deep and no one rotated back to the left point. Okposo sprung Park down the right side, and he blasted the puck past Conklin. 1-0 Islanders.

Therrien did something a bit unusual and immediately put the second power play unit on the ice. I think the thought process for Michel went something like this: "I told Whitney to be more aggressive. He stepped up and none of those other dummies covered the point. I'm not #!@#ing around with these guys tonight."

It paid big dividends when Sykora picked the top corner from a sharp angle. Van Massenhoven immediately waved off the goal and was owned by the replay booth. 1-1 tie.

The Pens get right back on the power play when Aaron Johnson slashes Laraque on the hands / wrist. Nothing happened on the power play, however.

Talbot flattened Comeau to let everyone know that the Pens were in this games. If you want to know how to pronounce "Comeau", just take "homo" and put a C on the front instead of the H.

Staal had a great chance in front of Dublwoeriucaskldfcz, but couldn't beat the goalie.

Chris Minard sighting! Take a drink!

Gonchar went in deep on the 5 on 5, and again no one rotated back. The Pens allowed a three on one break, and the only reason the Isles didn't score is that they knocked the net off of it's moorings.

The Isles go on the power play when Johnson takes a stick to the face. The first 1:46 of the power play takes place entirely in the Penguins' zone. Those guys (Malone, Talbot, Gonchar and Orpik) were out there for almost the entire time and did a great job keeping the Isles off the scoreboard.

Everyone was having so much fun on special teams that they figured it was the Pens' turn again. They weren't able to score, but they made it look pretty a few times. Dubielewicz (see? I can spell it) had made some great saves to this point.

The Isles go back on the power play once more for the last two minutes of the period (just about). Nothing doing for the Isles.

Does Versus have any replays? I think they showed a replay of one penalty all period...

Second period:

The second period started more slowly. Each team had a few chances, but there wasn't the perpetual parade to the penalty box (say that fast five times).

Guerin didn't just hit the crossbar, he blasted it. Sounded cool - no goal.

The Isles applied some sustained pressure. The Pens had a few chances to get the puck out and couldn't get the breakout pass into the neutral zone to connect. The Isles just kept coming and Guerin went up top again. He didn't miss this time. 2-1 Isles.

The Guerin goal seemed to ignite the desire in the Pens again. They started to get the puck in deep and forecheck aggressively. Unfortunately, they took the first penalty of the second period.

The Isles made the Pens pay by scoring on the power play. The horn the Isles use is a new candidate for World's Most Annoying Hockey Horn. 3-1 Isles.

The Isles took a penalty (interference) and put the Pens back on the power play. It didn't matter, as the Pens weren't able to mount any kind of serious threat. They need to focus on getting pucks on net.

Third period:

Staal took a penalty. This time, Versus showed the penalty but the announcers talked right over it. Great job guys.

On the Islanders power play, Scuderi (welcome back Scuds) stops a chance at a wide open net. That was the save of the game to that point.

After the power play expired without incident, Letang made a great read to intercept an Islanders' clearing pass, drawing a penalty in the process.

The Pens finally managed to put some real heat on the Isles on this power play. Dubielewicz made several huge saves to keep the score stuck at 3-1.

The top line applied some more good pressure with Malone missing on a shot from the slot. They tired themselves out, however, and the Isles made them pay with Hunter putting a rebound in. Hunter was wide open because none of the forwards were able to get back in defensive coverage. 4-1 Islanders.

The Isles decided they didn't really want an easy win and put the Pens right back on the power play.

There wasn't anything doing for the Pens. Tonight wasn't their night.

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