Saturday, October 03, 2009

Penguins 4, Islanders 3 (OT - SO - 2-0)

This one played out like the Pens were on the second game of a back-to-back and the Isles were jumping for their home opener.

Sid put the Pens in front with a nice breakaway goal midway through the first period. Things were looking pretty good, until...

The Pens put themselves in a hole on the penalty kill. The Isles scored on the two-man advantage (which is the first time I really missed Rob Scuderi) and then John Tavares got his first NHL goal on the power play in the second.

The score was 2-1 going into the third, and that's when the Pens really cut loose. They worked their butts off and managed to tie the game at 2-2. The Isles, just 17 seconds later, scored on their first shot of the period when Trent Hunter put the puck past Fleury from just inside the right faceoff circle. Flower was partially screen by Sid.

Right there, the Pens could have quit, shrugged and figured that tonight wasn't their night. That didn't happen. The penalty kill, which let them down earlier, came up huge twice in the second half of the third period, and Fedotenko scored a crazy goal that banked off of Bruno Gervais after Roloson was down and out.

OT didn't see many chances for either team, and we went to a shootout. Both Tambellini and Tavares tried to go high on the glove side with a wrister and failed. Both Letang and Sid beat Roloson between the pads.

Overall, the Pens out shot the Islanders 22 - 6 for the third period and the OT. That was especially significant because the Pens weren't able to roll the lines quite as well tonight, mainly because they were playing catch-up.

Fleury made several key saves when he needed to, including a stop on Moulson and stoning Tavares on a breakaway. He's playing really well early this season.

Great effort and great will to win from the Pens.

Next up: A team with 16 back-to-backs in a season should not have 4 days off, but the Pens don't play until Wednesday night against Phoenix.

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