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Penguins vs. Islanders

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Penguins vs Islanders - 2013 SCP Conference Quarterfinals

Penguins' special teams on a roll

John Kreiser - Columnist

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The Pittsburgh Penguins' special teams have been just that so far in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders.

Through the first three games of the best-of-7 series, the Penguins' power play has looked every bit like the dynamic unit that finished second in the NHL during the regular season. Pittsburgh's man advantage unit has produced six goals in 13 tries, including three in five attempts in 5-4 overtime victory at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday. Two came in a 19-second span of the first period and got the Penguins even after the Islanders grabbed a quick 2-0 lead; the third one, off the stick of Chris Kunitz, won the game in overtime.

The Islanders will have to cool off the Penguins' power play if they hope to even the series by winning Game 4 on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TDS, RDS).

Despite OT loss in Game 3, Isles still finding positives

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- In overtime of Game 3 of a deadlocked Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against a star-studded Pittsburgh Penguins team was the last place many expected to find the New York Islanders on Sunday, especially after absorbing a 5-0 defeat four nights earlier to open the series.

But the players in the Islanders locker room believed.

And despite a heart-breaking 5-4 overtime loss Sunday at Nassau Coliseum that left them trailing Pittsburgh 2-1 in the series, the Islanders found plenty of positives in a game that -- like the series as a whole, so far -- has had plenty of ups and downs.

"I'm sure they're down right now, but we'll bounce back," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of his players moments after Chris Kunitz scored 8:44 into overtime to end Game 3. "I know the resiliency of these guys. I know our guys will work hard."

Venerable Nassau Coliseum will rock for Game 3

John Kreiser - Columnist

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is in its final days.

It's old. It's small. It lacks the amenities that NHL fans in other cities take for granted. The New York Islanders will leave the only building they've ever called home by the fall of 2015 -- unless they can find a way to move to the ultramodern Barclays Center in Brooklyn before that.

But for all its faults, the Coliseum does have one thing going for it at playoff time.

It's loud. Really, really loud.

Penguins sure they can respond after Game 2 loss

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- When Sidney Crosby scored for the second time in a roughly four-minute span early on in his latest comeback Friday night, the 280th consecutive Consol Energy Center sellout crowd roared at a fever pitch.

Crosby answered a goal by the New York Islanders' Matt Moulson 18 seconds later, restoring the Pittsburgh Penguins' two-goal lead. All seemed well for the No. 1 seed Penguins, who appeared poised to cruise and take a commanding 2-0 lead in this best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

But as the fans roared, Dan Bylsma nervously stewed. After the game, the Penguins coach said he saw what happened next coming.

Crosby scores twice but Penguins lose to Islanders

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

Sidney Crosby
Center - PIT
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 2
SOG: 8 | +/-: -1
PITTSBURGH -- So much for any fears of rust in the game of Sidney Crosby.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain made his much-anticipated return from a fractured jaw Friday night in Game 2 of his team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders.

Crosby scored two goals in the first eight minutes of the game as the Penguins stormed to a 3-1 lead after one period.

But his attempt to author another comeback for the record books was thwarted by a spirited response from the Islanders, who scored three unanswered goals to earn a 4-3 victory that squared the best-of-7 series 1-1.

Neal, Orpik sit for Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins had Sidney Crosby back in the lineup Friday night for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders. But two other Pittsburgh regulars were out of the lineup with injuries.

Forward James Neal, who left Game 1 with a lower-body injury, did not practice Thursday and was a scratch for Game 2. He joins defenseman Brooks Orpik, who missed Game 1 with a lower-body injury.

Sutter has filled important two-way role for Penguins

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Brandon Sutter was a first-round NHL draft talent who grew up watching a father who would score almost 400 regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff goals.

Sutter has the pedigree to be a prima donna, to demand first-line ice time, to strive to be the centerpiece of a team's offense, to tend to focus primarily on offensive production.

Not Sutter. He embraces a two-way role that suits his skill set marvelously.

Brandon Sutter
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 19
SOG: 82 | +/-: 3
"Absolutely," the Pittsburgh Penguins center said. "I'm used to it too. I've been playing it for a few years now, and it's a role I like."

The Penguins like the way he performs it too.

Despite not registering a point, Sutter showed his worth in Pittsburgh's 5-0 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

While rookie Beau Bennett stole the show with a goal on his first shift in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Sutter was the Penguins' other forward making his postseason debut. He made a similarly significant impact.

Crosby more active at practice, status still unknown

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- Despite an expanded profile during practice Thursday, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby said he is no closer to returning to action.

The Penguins play Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

Crosby made some line rushes with regular linemates Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz on Thursday, and slotted in on one of the power-play units in place of Jussi Jokinen during a 50-minute practice at Consol Energy Center. Crosby did neither of those activities while skating with the team during practice Tuesday or at the morning skate Wednesday.

"It was nice to get in a couple of reps," Crosby said.

Bennett shines in postseason debut for Penguins

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The picturesque May morning in Pittsburgh on Wednesday seemed that much sunnier for the rookie they call "Sunshine" when he received word he would make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut later that evening.

A clear, 78-degree afternoon must have felt like home for Southern California native Beau Bennett. Even at dusk, though, the sun was still shining on "Sunshine."

Twenty-five seconds into his first career postseason shift, the 21-year-old Bennett scored his first career postseason goal. Bennett, a surprise addition to the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup for their playoff opener, wasn't told he'd be playing against the New York Islanders for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series until Wednesday morning.

His goal opened the floodgates of what turned out to be a 5-0 Pittsburgh victory.

Bylsma: No update on injured forward Neal

Chris Adamski - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal left Game 1 of his team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders on Wednesday after taking two second-period shifts. He did not return.

Neal was spotted limping after absorbing a hit during a Pittsburgh power play during the opening minute of the second. He took one shift after a Kris Letang goal 1:19 into the period.

Coach Dan Bylsma did not provide an update on Neal in his postgame remarks.

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