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by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 4

Penguins 3, Islanders 2 (OT)

Alex Goligoski scored on a 4-on-3 1:51 into overtime as the Penguins defeated the Islanders 3-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 18,195 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.  Goligoski’s goal spoiled an otherwise perfect night on the penalty kill for the Islanders, who had killed the first seven Penguin power play attempts, including 6:00 in a 6:26 stretch in the first period and a 1:12 of 3-on-5 time in the second period.  It was the Penguins’ first victory, after three defeats in their sparkling new home.

Pens Strike First
Following a scoreless first period, the Penguins grabbed the lead with two goals in a 2:50 span early in the second period.  Mike Rupp, who was once a first round draft pick of the Isles (but didn’t sign) converted a rebound of a Paul Martin shot to give the Pens the lead at 4:07.  Eric Tangradi doubled the advantage at 6:57, recording his first NHL goal as his shot deflected in off Milan Jurcina.

Letang Ejection Changes Momentum
Less than a minute after Tangradi’s goal, Chris Letang was ejected for an illegal shot to the head (although television replays appeared to indicate that the contact with Blake Comeau was to his shoulder.  The Isles ended up with a three minute power play (Josh Bailey took a minor penalty on the play) and they capitalized when Bailey converted Comeau’s pass for his second goal of the season.  Just seconds after the major power play expired, Radek Martinek tied the game with his first goal of the season, and the 19th goal of his career.  Comeau also assisted on that goal and now leads the team in scoring with six points (3-3-6).

Scoreless Third
For the second time in three nights, the Isles had the better of the play in the third period, on the road against an elite team.  However, neither team was able to score; the Penguins even killed an Islander power play in the final 2:17.  The Isles have outscored their opponents 5-3 in the third period through the first four games.

Goligoski Wins It

Milan Jurcina was given a hooking penalty in overtime and Goligoski’s shot was deflected off the stick of Frans Nielsen and by Rick DiPietro to give the Pens the victory.  Goligoski’s goal extended his point streak to five games (3-2-5) to start the season. Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin earned assists on the winner; their only points of the night.  DiPietro finished with 26 saves, while Brent Johnson had 22 for Pittsburgh.  3-2 Final.

Gillies v Godard
Trevor Gillies recorded his second fight of the season, battling former-Islander Eric Godard.  It was Gillies second fight, and the third in as many games for the Islanders.

Who’s the Backup?
Brent Johnson has won both of starts for Pittsburgh, while Marc-Andre Fleury is 0-3-0.

Every Point Counts
The Isles have earned a point in each of Rick DiPietro’s three starts (1-0-2).

Working Extra
The Isles are now 0-2 in extra time (0-1 in overtime and 0-1 in shootouts).  All four of the Isles’ games have been settled by an empty-net goal or less.

Too Few Men   
The Isles played shorthanded for 13:43, including twice when they were penalized for having too many men on the ice.  They have allowed at least one power play goal in each of the first four games, killing 18-23 overall (78.3%). The Isles finished 1-6 on the power play, including 1-2 on a three-minute major power play.

In the Circle
Zenon Konopka had another strong game on draws, winning 14 of 23 (61%).  The Isles won 33 of 63 overall.

Eaton Returns to Pittsburgh
Mark Eaton played 19:55 in his return to Pittsburgh, including 6:31 while shorthanded. Eaton, the only NHL player born in Delaware, played 18 regular season and 42 playoff games for the Penguins over the past four seasons, and was a member of the Stanley Cup Champion team in 2009.

Weight Moving Up the Lists
Doug Weight earned an assist on Bailey’s goal.  It was his 1,029th career point -- passing Brian Leetch for 66th place in NHL history.

The Long Road Ahead
This is the second game in a 15 game stretch that will find the Islanders playing 12 on the road and only three at home.  They are now 0-1-1 in the first two games. Their three home games in that stretch are on October 16, October 29 and November 6.

Missing Men
The Isles, already without Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo and Rob Schremp for extended periods, played for the third straight game without John Tavares.  James Wisniewski missed the second of two games due to a league suspension from his gesture towards the Rangers’ Sean Avery.  Jack Hillen replaced Wisniewski in the lineup.

Season Series Stats   
This was the first of six meetings on the season and the Penguins now lead the series 1 game to none (and two points to 1.  The teams won’t meet again until after Christmas (December 29th at the Coliseum).

A Point in Pitt
The Isles earned a point in Pittsburgh for the first time since December 21, 2007. That night, the Isles won 4-2; Blake Comeau’s first NHL goal was the winner. The Penguins had won the last eight games between the teams in Pittsburgh—all in regulation.

Containing the Kid…and Malkin, Too
The Isles held Crosby and Malkin to single assists; unfortunately they both came on the winning goal.  Crosby is 18-44-62 in 32 games against the Isles, while Malkin is 17-23-40 in 29 games.  Crosby and Malkin each have only one goal in the Pens’ first five games this season; they’ve combined for one fewer goal than Goligoski (3).

This Date in Isles History: October 15
The Isles are now 7-3-2 on this date, including a 6-0 shutout win in Philadelphia in 1987 for Kelly Hrudey.

Up Next
Saturday, October 16- Colorado Avalanche @ Islanders 7:00
[MSG+2 (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), WRHU 88.7FM]

The season’s first set of back-to-back concludes on Saturday, with the only visit of the season from the Colorado Avalanche.

The Isles have had Colorado’s number in recent seasons – the Isles have earned points in their last 7 games with the Av’s (5 wins, 1 tie and 1 overtime loss) since being blanked by Patrick Roy in November 2001.

The Isles won the only meeting last season, earning a 3-2 win on a late goal by Kyle Okposo last January in Denver.  That game featured the first career match-up between Matt Duchesne and John Tavares.  Neither rookie figured in the scoring that night.

The Avs defeated New Jersey 3-2 at the Rock on Friday night behind 41 saves from Craig Anderson.  It’s a lengthy stay in the metro area for Colorado, who will play at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

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

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