The New York Islanders gave up a pair of leads in a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum. The Isles led the game 2-0 and 3-2 before giving up four unanswered goals to the Penguins.
Pascal Dupuis netted the game winner, putting the puck off of the post and behind Al Montoya
at 15:58 of the second period. Matt Cooke essentially sealed the deal 1:04 into the third, before Paul Martin put it out of reach at the 10:10 mark.
“We were up 2-0 and then we just thought it was going to be an easy game,” captain Mark Streit
said following the loss. “Those guys were missing some key players and they completely outworked us.”
The turning point in the game came when Travis Hamonic
was issued a five minute major and game misconduct for elbowing Brooks Orpik at 7:35 in the second period. Orpik appeared to hit himself in the face with his own stick, but Hamonic was ejected.
“I made minimal contact with the opposing player. He hits himself in the forehead with his own stick, he goes down, he’s bleeding and next thing you know five minute major and you’re kicked out of the game,” Hamonic said. “Tough call to make in those circumstances I guess.”
James Neal’s second goal tied the game on the ensuing five-on-three, converting a scramble in front of the net. David Ullstrom
opened the scoring with his second goal of the season just over four minutes into the game, putting a wrist shot off of the connector. Eight minutes later, Milan Jurcina
scored his second goal in three games, a half slap-shot that screamed by Marc-Andre Fleury’s short side. The Islanders lead wouldn’t make it out of the first period, as Steve Sullivan and James Neal each scored, tying the game with 29 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
The Islanders looked to have figured out Fleury, as Kyle Okposo
, who also had an assist, Jurcina and Ullstrom all scored on the Penguins netminder high glove side. Fleury rebounded making 24 saves on the night.
The loss marks the first time in seven games the Islanders failed to record a point. The team had gone 4-0-2 in their previous six.
The Islanders powerplay went 1-7 during the game, with the Penguins finishing 1-3. The attendance was 15,638.
The Isles’ next game is Tuesday in Montreal, at 7:30 p.m.