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The Skinny: Islanders 4, Penguins 3

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Game 2

Isles 4, Pittsburgh 3 [Series tied 1-1]

Kyle Okposo’s game-winning goal was actually a shot that went a couple of feet wide. However, it caromed in off Marc-Andre Fleury after coming off the end boards with 7:37 to play in regulation time as the Isles evened their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins before a sellout crowd of 18,624 at CONSOL Energy Center. The series now moves to Long Island, where Game 3 will be played in front of a national television audience at 12:00 p.m. Sunday.

The Scoring:

1st Period

00:43PITE. Malkin (1) Backhand - ASST: J. Iginla (3) 1 - 0 PIT

03:19PITPPG - S. Crosby (1) Wrist - ASST: J. Iginla (4) AND E. Malkin (3) 2 - 0 PIT

07:04NYIPPG - M. Moulson (1) Wrist - ASST: J. Tavares (1) AND M. Streit (1) 2 - 1 PIT

07:22PITS. Crosby (2) Wrist - ASST: P. Dupuis (1) AND M. Eaton (2) 3 - 1 PIT

2nd Period

05:12NYIC. McDonald (1) Backhand - ASST: K. Aucoin (1) AND D. Ullstrom (1) 3 - 2 PIT

10:37NYIM. Martin (1) Wrist - ASST: J. Bailey (1) AND F. Nielsen (1) 3 - 3 TIE

3rd Period

12:23NYIK. Okposo (1) Snap - ASST: M. Moulson (1) AND M. Streit (2) 4 - 3 NYI

The Series:

•GAME 1: Pittsburgh 5, Islanders 0

•GAME 2: Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3

•GAME 3: at NYI Sun May 5, 12:00 PM ET

•GAME 4: at NYI Tue May 7, 7:00 PM ET

•GAME 5: at PIT Thu May 9, 7:00 PM ET

•GAME 6: at NYI Sat May 11, TBD, if necessary

•GAME 7: at PIT Sun May 12, TBD, if necessary

The Skinny:

The Islanders have now won Game 2 in each of their last three playoff series … Sidney Crosby returned for the first time since being injured in a game against the Islanders on March 30; he scored twice in the first 7:22 to give him 35 goals in 69 career playoff games … The Islanders comeback started after Kyle Okposo was involved in the first fight of his NHL career; 14 seconds later Colin McDonald cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 3-2 … Crosby and Malkin scored in the same playoff game for the 10th time; the Penguins had won the previous nine …The Penguins have now sold out 280 consecutive regular season/playoff games … This was the latest in May the Islanders have played a game since they were eliminated by Montreal on May 24, 1993 … Jarome Iginla had two assists for the second straight game … The 18 skaters used by Jack Capuano had combined for six playoff goals entering Friday (three by Brad Boyes)… Mark Streit had two assists; the last Islander with a multi-assist game in the playoffs was Tom Poti on April 14, 2007 at Buffalo.

The Series:

•#1 Pittsburgh - #8 Islanders Tied 1-1

•#2 Montreal - #7 Ottawa Tied 1-1

•#3 Washington leads #6 NY Rangers 1-0

•#4 Boston leads #5 Toronto 1-0

•#1 Chicago leads #8 Minnesota 2-0

•#2 Anaheim - #7 Detroit Tied 1-1

•#6 San Jose leads #3 Vancouver 2-0

•#4 St. Louis leads #5 Los Angeles 2-0

Ghost of David Volek

The Islanders stopped a 14-game losing streak in playoff games in which they allowed three goals or more. It’s the first time since April 28, 2002 (5-3 win over Toronto) that the Isles won a playoff game allowing three or more goals.

It’s the first time that they Isles allowed three goals in a road playoff win since May 14, 1993, when David Volek eliminated the Penguins at 5:16 of overtime in Game 7. The Isles had lost 15 straight road playoff games when allowing three goals.

A Rare 4-3 Playoff Win in Regulation

This was the 10th time in Islander history that they won a playoff game by a 4-3 score. However, six of the nine previous wins (including the last five) came in overtime. The last time the Isles won a game 4-3 in regulation was on April 17, 1977 at Buffalo. This was the 206th Islanders playoff game since that 1977 win.

The Shots:

Isles 20-14-8=42

Penguins 12-13-8=33

The 42 shots were the most that the Isles had in a playoff game since they had 44 against Toronto on April 23, 2002 and was the most against the Penguins in a playoff game since April 22, 2010, when Ottawa had 43.

Home and Road

The Islanders are 135-107 in 242 all-time playoff games. They are 77-38 at home and 58-69 on the road.

The Penguins are 153-132 in 285 all-time playoff games. They are 83-61 at home and 70-71 on the road.

In the Nets

After allowing three goals on the first nine Penguin shots, Evgeni Nabokov stopped the final 24 Pittsburgh shots to improve his career playoff record to 41-39. Nabokov, who played his 82nd career postseason game, has played in more contests than any goalie participating in this year’s playoffs; among active goalies only Martin Brodeur has played in more games (205).

Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves for Pittsburgh as his playoff record falls to 44-33. Only Tom Barrasso (56) has more playoff wins as a Penguin. Fleury has more wins than any goalie participating in this year’s playoffs; among active goalies only Martin Brodeur has more wins (113).

Power Plays

The Islanders were 1-for-4 while the Penguins were also 1-for-4. For the series the Isles are 1-for8 while Pittsburgh is 3-for-8. During the five games of the regular season against each other, the Islanders were 2-for-18 while the Penguins were 3-for-14.

Pittsburgh won all seven face-offs on their power play.

Playoff Experience

Jack Capuano is only the sixth coach to lead the Islanders into the playoffs.

Most playoff wins by Islander coaches:

1.Al Arbour 123

2.Terry Simpson 9

3.Peter Laviolette 4

4.Jack Capuano 1

5.Ted Nolan 1

6.Steve Stirling 1

Most playoff games coached (Islanders):

1.Al Arbour 209

2.Terry Simpson 20

3.Peter Laviolette 12

4.Steve Stirling 5

5.Ted Nolan 5

6.Jack Capuano 2

Of the six, only Peter Laviolette (0-2) was not 1-1 after two playoff games as an Islander coach.

They Said It

Kyle Okposo: "We came out and we didn't let the first period frustrate us...We just kept coming at 'em and coming at 'em and we didn't give up all night."

They Tweeted It

@StapeNewsday #Isles won 5 games on road this regular season when they trailed by 2 goals... This is 6 in 26 games away from home.

The Coach

“We had our legs going. After the first period, we had 20 shots on net. You could tell we were playing our game. Our guys are relentless. It only takes a couple shots to get back in the game. I knew if we continued to play the way we did in the first period, we would get on the score board and have some kind of success throughout the game.”

Leading Ice Men

Andrew MacDonald played 24:52 to lead the Isles for the second straight game. Kris Letang led Pittsburgh with 29:07; he has played a series-high 54:27.

In the Circle

The Islanders won 23-of-69 draws and have won 55-of-131 draws in the series. John Tavares won 15 of 24 Friday, and has won 25-of-41 in the series. Jussi Jokinen won 7-of-8 (14-of-20 in series) for Pittsburgh.

Heavy Hitters

The Islanders out-hit the Penguins 31-28. Travis Hamonic lead the Isles with six hits; David Ullstrom added five. Before being credited with the winning goal, Kyle Okposo fought Matt Niskanen in the first fight of the series.

Giving Up the Body

The Isles were credited with 13 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald led the way with four blocks for the second straight game.

Missing Men

With Bridgeport’s season over, the Isles have 35 players on the roster.

Matt Carkner and David Ullstrom replaced Thomas Hickey and Marty Reasoner. Jesse Joensuu, Radek Martinek, Eric Boulton, Anders Lee, and Joe Finley were also scratched as were “black aces” Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom, Brock Nelson, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness, John Persson and Anders Nilsson.

All-time Playoff Series

•1975: Islanders won the series 4 games to 3.

•1982: Islanders won the series 3 games to 2.

•1993: Islanders won the series 4 games to 3.

•2013: Series tied 1 game to 1.

Looking back to 1993

This series marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 series between the teams. The Isles won Game 1 (3-2) on May 2 before the Penguins evened the series on a Tom Barrasso shutout on May 4.

Happy Anniversary

30 years ago tonight (5-3-83): Mike Bossy scored the first of two hat trickss in the Conference finals against Pete Peeters and the Boston Bruins as the Isles pounded Boston 8-3.

Also: (1977) Billy Harris scored 3:58 into overtime to give the Isles a 4-3 win at the Forum in Montreal to cut Montreal’s lead to three games to two; (1979) “JD gambled, but he lost” was Bob Lawrence’s radio call as Bobby Nystrom scored at 3:40 of overtime to even the series with the Rangers at two games each.

May 3 has been a very good day in Islander history. All-time, the Isles are 7-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date.

Up Next


[NBC (Channel 4), WRHU (88.7FM]

The Islanders will look to grab the lead in the series as they play Game 3 of the series at the Coliseum before a national television audience.

For the first 30 years, the Coliseum was “Fort Neverlose” in the playoffs as the Islanders went 77-32 on home ice. However, the Isles have not won a playoff game at the Coliseum since winning all three of their home games against the Maple Leafs in 2002. Since then, the Isles have played three playoff series but are 0-6 in their home games.

This will be the first Islander game to be televised nationally over the air since May 16, 1993 at Montreal and the first time that NBC will nationally televise an Islander game (over the air) since May 11, 1975 vs. Philadelphia. The Isles have appeared numerous times in regional games, but not in a full national broadcast in the interim.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in “The Skinny” has been gathered from various sources. Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.

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