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Penguins vs. Islanders

(Page 2 of 5)
Penguins vs Islanders - 2013 SCP Conference Quarterfinals

Crosby downplays highlight-reel goal

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- Don't go erecting a statue to celebrate the brilliance of Sidney Crosby just yet.

Sidney Crosby
Center - PIT
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 8
SOG: 17 | +/-: -2

That was the message from the Pittsburgh Penguins' captain in the wake of his latest highlight-reel goal on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center.

Crosby's breakaway goal, which made the score 3-0, was so breathtaking that some immediately compared it to the most legendary goal in Penguins' history -- Mario Lemieux's split-the-defense-and-deke-the-goalie tally against the Minnesota North Stars in Game 2 of the 1991 Stanley Cup Final.

That goal, in part, earned Lemieux a statue outside Consol Energy Center.

"His was much nicer than mine," Crosby said when told of the similarities between the two after Pittsburgh's 4-0 victory. "He went through guys and stickhandled through them and stickhandled around the goalie, too.

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Spotlight now on Vokoun after Penguins' switch

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- Tomas Vokoun of the Pittsburgh Penguins has Marc-Andre Fleury in his corner heading into a series-defining Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Thursday against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

"I'm sure he will be great tonight," Fleury said.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma named Vokoun the Game 5 starter Wednesday. He felt it was the necessary move after Fleury struggled in the three games following a series-opening shutout.

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Vokoun to start Game 5 for Penguins

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma announced Wednesday that Tomas Vokoun would start in goal for Game 5 of his team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the New York Islanders, which resumes Thursday at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

"Tomas is capable of being a great goalie for us," Bylsma said.

Vokoun last started a playoff game in 2006-07 as a member of the Nashville Predators. He is 3-8-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 11 playoff appearances. In his first season with the Penguins, the 36-year-old goalie went 13-4-0 with a 2.45 GAA and .919 save percentage in 20 games this season.

Vokoun will replace Marc-Andre Fleury, who is 2-2 with a 3.40 GAA and .891 save percentage. He allowed six goals on 24 shots in Game 4.

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Islanders put their trust in Nabokov

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y.Evgeni Nabokov will be the first to tell you his numbers through four appearances in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs aren't the greatest.

His goals-against average is 4.55. His save percentage is .846.

Those statistics would lead you to believe Nabokov and the New York Islanders were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

Not so fast.

In yet another up-and-down affair Tuesday night, Nabokov's 27 saves were enough to help the Islanders even the series at two wins apiece with a 6-4 victory at a raucous Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN). Of course, Nabokov would like to sweeten his stats. But considering the firepower the Penguins possess, it's more about simply playing well enough to come away with a win.

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Bylsma refuses to name Game 5 starter

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Marc-Andre Fleury
Goalie - PIT
RECORD: 2-2
GAA: 3.40 | SVP: 0.891
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Following a 6-4, Game 4 loss to the New York Islanders in which goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury allowed six goals on 24 shots, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma refused to name either Fleury or backup goaltender Tomas Vokoun as the starter for Game 5 Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

"One of the reasons we brought in Tomas Vokoun was to play hockey games and win hockey games for us," Bylsma said after New York evened the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal at two games apiece. "Marc-Andre Fleury is our starting goaltender and started this series and won us some games and made some saves for us. But we're not going to talk about our starting goaltender for Game 5 right now."

Fleury appeared shaky on at least two of the Islanders' goals, particularly Kyle Okposo's tying marker with 1:24 remaining in the second period. Okposo attempted to make a centering pass from behind the Pittsburgh net, and the puck went off Fleury's pad and in. The awkward goal tied the game 3-3 and sent the Nassau Coliseum crowd into a frenzy.
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Islanders' MacDonald leaves with injury

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald headed off to the dressing room with about seven minutes remaining in the second period of Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal on Tuesday night with what appeared to be an upper-body injury.

MacDonald, a top-four blueliner for New York, was on the receiving end of a slap shot by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Douglas Murray. MacDonald was also given a holding penalty during the sequence; Keith Aucoin served the two minutes.

The Islanders are trailing 3-2 in the second period.

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Slowing Penguins' power play a goal for Islanders

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- For the past two games of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series, the New York Islanders have played awfully well against the Pittsburgh Penguins when the teams are at even strength.

It's the Penguins' power play that has been the difference. It's why Pittsburgh enters Game 4 of the teams' Stanley Cup Playoff series Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN) at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with a 2-1 series lead.

The Penguins went 3-for-5 with the man advantage in their 5-4 overtime victory in Game 3. Overall, they've converted on six of 13 power-play opportunities through the first three games of the series.

Indeed, the Islanders know they need to be more disciplined in Game 4 if they plan on turning this into a best-of-3 series.

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Suggestions abound to get Fleury back on his game

Ken Baker - NHL.com Goalie Insider

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury opened the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a feel-good shutout victory against the New York Islanders in Game 1 of the teams' Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series. But now, as the Penguins prepare for Game 4 of the series Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN), Fleury is back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

His past two outings -- eight goals allowed and an .897 save percentage -- have inspired flashbacks to Fleury's lackluster performance in the 2012 playoffs, where he posted a 4.63 goals-against average and .834 save percentage in a six-game loss the Philadelphia Flyers.

Time will tell if Fleury's leaky past two outings are a fluke or if he is finding the bright lights of the postseason troublesome once again.

Either way, there are some adjustments the gifted Fleury, 28, can make so his game blooms once again. Here are four tweaks Fleury should consider incorporating into his game, according to NHL.com goalie expert Ken Baker and a panel of goalie consultants:

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Iginla glad to be just another Penguin

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The smile on Jarome Iginla's face as he surveys his new teammates says more than words ever could about how happy he is just to be one of the guys on a team with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

Jarome Iginla
Right Wing - PIT
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 5
SOG: 5 | +/-: -1

For more than a decade, Iginla was the face of the Calgary Flames. He became captain in 2003, topped the NHL in points once and goals twice, led the Flames within a goal of the Stanley Cup in 2004, set franchise records for career goals and point, and was everything a team could ask of a player – on and off the ice.

But with the Flames on their way to a fourth consecutive non-playoff season and Iginla's contract due to expire this summer, both sides decided it was time for No. 12 to move on. He nearly wound up with the Boston Bruins before landing with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where instead of being the leader of a team going nowhere he's just another star in a galaxy of talent.

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Okposo steps up for Islanders

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- It's not surprising that the New York Islanders' best player thus far in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins is one of their first-round picks in a past NHL Draft. The surprise is which one.

While John Tavares, the first player chosen in 2009, is the focal point of the Islanders, 2006 first-rounder Kyle Okposo has been playing the best hockey of his career and given New York the kind of two-way production the team has been looking for since making him the seventh player chosen seven years ago.

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Quote of the Day

I feel that responsibility, I've felt it for the last two years. We core guys get a lot of minutes, we get a lot of opportunity out there. Our teammates, the organization and fans look to us to be the guys to put the puck in the net and to create momentum out there.

— Jordan Eberle on taking his game and the Edmonton Oilers to the next level