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3 Impressions: Pens 5, Isles 0

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Sam Kasan gives his 3 impressions from the "press box" of the Penguins' 5-0 win over the New York Islanders.
1. Swedish Connection
The Pens jumped out to a 2-0 lead, both on goals from Swedes, and both on special teams. Oskar Sundqvist got the ball rolling with his first career NHL goal. In the first period, a miscommunication between Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube and Nick Leddy gave Sundqvist the puck all alone in the high circles. He beat Berube for the tally. In the second frame, it was Patric Hornqvist re-directing a shot from the point through Berube for his 20th of the season.
2. Between the Pipes
The Pens learned some bad news when they found out that No. 1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will be out indefinitely with a concussion. In the meantime, the Pens turn to rookie tender Matt Murray to carry the load for the foreseeable future. Murray’s first test proved to be a huge success. He stopped 23 shots against the Islanders to record his 1st career NHL shutout. Murray will need to have similar performances down the stretch for the Pens. For all intents and purposes, he could be the team’s starting netminder from here on out.
3. Print Those Playoff Tickets
It’s official. The Pens will be making an appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 10th straight season. It’s been a rocky season for the Pens at times. Their struggles at the onset of the year are well documented – the team dropped as far as 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings. But the turnaround is complete. The Pens finished off a month of March for the record books – leading the league with 12 wins and 24 points – and are 11-1 in their last 12 games. They are getting hot at just the right time. Pittsburgh climbed a high mountain and now have a shot at home-ice advantage in the opening round. Remarkable.

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