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Aftermath: Penguins 4, Islanders 3 SO

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

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The Penguins overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the New York Islanders, 4-3, in a shootout that included a lengthy replay review. New York trailed 1-0 in the shootout and Trent Hunter was the last Islanders shooter. He needed a goal to extend the shootout. Hunter's shot disappeared into the body of Pittsburgh netminder Dany Sabourin, who slid partially into the net. The referees reviewed the play to see if the puck crossed the line. They ruled it no goal, Pittsburgh victory.

Pittsburgh, which has blown a few third-period leads this season, turned the tables on the Islanders. The team trailed, 3-2, late in the third period when Tyler Kennedy re-directed an Alex Goligoski slap shot into the New York net to tie the game with 3:15 left in regulation. Kennedy also scored the team's first goal of the game at 2:16 of the second period for his second two-goal night of the season. Jordan Staal added his second goal in three games. The Islanders got goals from Doug Weight, Tim Jackman and Andy Hilbert. Petr Sykora was the only player to score in the shootout.

Dany Sabourin makes a save on a shorthanded opportunity for the N.Y. Islanders (photo by Getty)

What Worked: Puck Possession
Pittsburgh has had trouble with keeping the pressure on its opponents. However, the Penguins cycled well and spent the majority of the game in the Islanders zone. They outshot New York in the game, 32-22. They showed urgency in the third period, outshooting the Islanders 18-1, and forced the Islanders to exert all their efforts in the defensive zone. Pittsburgh converted the late, tying goal after holding possession in the New York zone for a little over a minute with one brief reprieve.

What Didn't Work: Power Play
The Penguins finished the evening with an 0-for-4 mark with the man-advantage. New York created a lot of turnovers, particularly on Pittsburgh's blue line-to-blue line passes. The Penguins registered six shots on the power play, but the best opportunities were for the Islanders. Richard Park, Sean Bergenheim and Frans Nielsen nearly converted shorthanded opportunities but couldn't beat Sabourin.
Tyler Kennedy doesn't usually get a lot of attention for all the little things he does. But his contributions don't go unnoticed by his teammates and coaches. Kennedy recorded his second two-goal game of the season (first against Ottawa, Oct. 4, at Stockholm, Sweden), including the game-tying goal to force the overtime and shootout session. He's a player that likes to play down low along the boards, cycle the puck and out-hustle his opponents. He scored Pittsburgh's first goal on a great give-and-go play with Mike Zigomanis. Kennedy dished the puck to Zigomanis and went to side of the net. Zigomanis gave the puck back to Kennedy with Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald caught out of position. Kenned settled the puck down and then sent a tough-angled backhand shot into the net. Kennedy tied the game, 3-3, with only 3:15 left in regulation to force overtime. Kennedy was in the left circle when Alex Goligoski sent a slap shot towards the net. Kennedy re-directed the puck into the top of the net. 
Sidney Crosby played in the game despite an undisclosed injury that kept him out of the practice the day before. Evgeni Malkin had an early scare when he absorbed a shot off of his hand in the first period. He returned to action in that period. He had an extended first intermission but eventually rejoined his temmates in the second period and finished the game.

The Penguins had a role reversal against the Islanders, who blew a 3-1 lead in the eventual loss. New York played cautious in the third period, guarding a 3-2 lead, and played on its heels in the last period. The Islanders were outshot in the third frame, 18-1, and spent nearly the entire time in their own zone. Pittsburgh played with urgency and were rewarded with a victory.

Head coach Michel Therrien did some more line experimentation. Ruslan Fedotenko and Maxime Talbot rotated on the top line with Crosby and Miroslav Satan. Malkin and Jordan Staal were reunited. Though in this game Staal remained at center with Malkin and Petr Sykora on the wings. Mike Zigomanis centered a spot between Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke. Talbot and Fedotenko took turns with Pascal Dupuis and Eric Godard. Therrien also put Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski together in the third period to generate some offense from the blue line.

Speaking of the line combos, the Kennedy-Zigomanis-Cooke line were the most impressive unit in the game. Kennedy scored the Penguins’ first goal on a give-and-go with Zigomanis. Then Kennedy tied the game, 3-3, when he deflected Goligoski's slap shot into the net with 3:15 left in regulation. The trio dominated the series that led to the tying goal, holding the puck in the Islanders zone for 1:08 with only a brief reprieve. Cooke nearly got the tying goal earlier in the third period when he hit the crossbar with a shot.The line combined for two goals, eight shots and four hits.

Sykora scored the only shootout goal with a top-shelf backhander. Satan was stopped going low, blocker side. Penguins goaltender Dany Sabourin stopped all three Islanders shooters: Doug Weight, Bill Guerin and Hunter. Hunter's shot got caught in Sabourin's left knee pad. Sabourin doesn't scrape his crease before the shootout so the ice remains slick. As a consequence, Sabourin slid backwards into the net after stopping Hunter. He tried to keep his pads from crossing the goal line. The referee signaled no goal and then conducted a video review. Following the review, the referee said the no-goal call would stand.

Mark Eaton got pinned in the neutral zone and was taken out of the play that led to the Islanders second goal. The Islanders went the other way with a 2-on-1 with Doug Weight and Tim Jackman. Kris Letang, the lone defenseman back, dove on the ice to take away the pass. Weight coolly held onto the puck until Letang slid out of the play and then took a shot. Sabourin made the initial save, but the rebound came out to Jackman, who had the entire cage to shoot at. Kennedy and Eaton desperately tried to get back into the play but couldn't reach Jackman before he scored.

Former teammates Weight and Sykora had an inadvertent collision in the neutral zone. Weight was skating with his head down and never saw Sykora coming. Sykora turned his head at the last minute to see Weight coming right at him. Without enough time to get out of the way, Sykora braced himself and the hit left both players down on the ice.

Former Penguin Andy Hilbert gave New York a 3-1 lead in the second period. He was covered by Goligoski in the crease when Kyle Osposo got the puck down low uncovered. Goligoski first took away the pass and then tried to pressure Okposo. The Islanders rookie sent a pass to Hilbert, who was all alone with Sabourin in the crease. He drilled a backhander into the net against a defenseless Sabourin.

Staal stole some of the Islanders momentum with a great individual effort late in the second period. Malkin sent a puck into the Islanders zone off the boards. Staal beat Bruno Gervais to the puck at the New York blue line. He used his body to shield Gervais and had a breakaway. Andy MacDonald dropped down and Staal went to the backhand, sliding the puck under MacDonald’s pads. It is Staal's second goal in the last three games.

Malkin’s defense on the power play has gotten progressively better as he’s seen more action at the point. Richard Park collected a turnover in the neutral zone. Instead of jumping on Park, Malkin skated into his own zone to gain a position advantage. He then cut off Park’s angle and forced him wide. Park lost control of the puck: crisis averted. On another power-play turnover, he raced back into the play and gave a few shots to Frans Nielsen, who fell in the Penguins crease.

Pittsburgh nearly ended up with no points. Sabourin had to make one final key save in the final minute of regulation when Guerin had a clear breakaway. Sabourin was aggressive on the play and poke checked the puck off of Guerin's stick before he could get off a shot. The save got them one point by forcing the overtime. Sabourin got the Penguins the second point by shutting down the Islanders in the shootout.
> Pittsburgh improved to 8-4-2 on the year, with a 4-2-1 mark on the road.

> Doug Weight opened the scoring with a goal at 16:23 of the first period for a 1-0 Islanders lead. Tyler Kennedy tied the game, 1-1, with a goal 2:16 into the second period. New York scored the next two goals to take a 3-1 lead. Tim Jackman knocked in a rebound for the first goal. Andy Hilbert scored the second while standing inside the Penguins goal crease at 14:30 of the second period. Jordan Staal made it a one-goal game on a breakaway backhander with 3:59 left in the second frame. Kennedy scored his second goal of the game with 3:15 left in regulation. The Penguins shootout players were: Petr Sykora and Miroslav Satan. The Islanders shootout players were: Weight, Bill Guerin and Trent Hunter. Sykora was the only scorer. Penguins goalie Dany Sabourin stopped all three New York shooters.

> Pittsburgh outshot the Islanders, 32-22. The Penguins held an 18-1 advantage in the third period. Its the third straight game in which Pittsburgh outshot its opponent.

> The Penguins finished with 32 shots on goal. Pittsburgh actually sent 61 pucks at the net. However, the Islanders blocked 29 shots in the game, with Andy Sutton leading the way with eight.

> Evgeni Malkin recorded one assist against the Islanders. He’s registered at least one point in 13 of Pittsburgh’s 14 games this season and currently has a 10-game scoring streak. During that streak he’s compiled 19 points (3G-16A).

> Malkin is the NHL’s leading scorer. Following his one-point night at New York, he now has 22 points on the season, with four goals and 18 assists. His 18 assists are also a league best.

> Tyler Kennedy scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season against the Islanders. It marks his second two-goal game of the season. His five goals are the second most on the team.

> Jordan Staal scored his second goal in three games. Staal had previously gone 19 regular season games without a goal until notching his first of the season on Nov. 1 at St. Louis.
1. Tyler Kennedy, PIT
2. Petr Sykora, PIT
3. Andy Hilbert, NYI
"It was under my pads, where my knee was. I kept sliding and sliding.
I was kind of hoping I'd keep my left knee outside the red line."
- Dany Sabourin on the reviewed shootout save


Author: Sam Kasan

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