The Penguins talked about making a push over the final three games prior to the Olympic break, and they begin that quest with a 3-1 victory over the Islanders. Chris Kunitz
scores twice in his second game since missing 15 games with an abdominal tear. Evgeni Malkin
runs his scoring streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist. The Penguins will be back in action on Friday when they host the New York Rangers at Mellon Arena.
New York would be running away with this game if they were playing posts. This time it's Comeau hitting the red post.
Welcome back Chris Kunitz
!!!!! He takes a lead pass from Guerin, skates in all alone and beats Roloson through the five-hole for a two-goal game. Penguins 3, Islanders 1.
Don Farr Moving and Storage Moves of the Game:
Don't you ever just wonder what these guys are saying when they talk during warmups?
Roloson stands tall in his crease to make a save with his shoulder as Kunitz streaked down the left side.
I don't know what Marc-Andre Fleury
is going to have to do to get a shutout? Frans Nielsen was just left wide open at the top of his crease following a faceoff win and Bruno Gervais set him up for a backhand goal to cut the Penguins' lead in half. Penguins 2, Islanders 1.
Kunitz delivers one of his patented big hits behind the New York net on Dustin Kohn.
Tonight's Defy Ordinary moment in Penguins history zeroes in on the Penguins' four 100-point scorers during the 1992-93 season:
Roloson looks behind him but he is able to corral a one-timer off the stick of Gonchar in the near circle following a perfect cross-ice feed from Crosby.
Fans are showing their Olympic spirit tonight at Mellon Arena.
Both teams are playing a tight-checking period as each team has just one shot thus far.
Play is stopped after Islanders captain Doug Weight takes a puck in the face after it goes off the stick of McKee.
Here's a stat for you - New York is 1-23-4 on the season when they trail after two periods.THIRD PERIOD
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Pittsburgh has a 22-17 edge on faceoffs.
- Seven Penguins have mutliple hits.
- Jordan Staal
is 8-3 on faceoffs.
A great second period by the Penguins sees them skate to the locker room with a 2-0 lead on the Islanders. New York still leads in shots, 24-21. Both teams register 12 shots in the middle frame.
Tavares hits his second post of the night as he hits the iron to the left of Fleury on a one-timer from seven feet away.
Malkin loses the draw but New York pushes the biscuit to Mark Eaton at the left point. He quickly passes over to Sergei Gonchar at the right point, and his one-timer is deflected into the net by Malkin, who was standing all along outside the crease. Penguins 2, Islanders 0.
Rupp and Roloson do receive post-whistle roughing penalties and we have four-on-four action once again.
More rough stuff after the whistle as Roloson tries to take a run at Rupp, who was standing on his doorstep.
Despite a couple of good chances from Guerin and Crosby the Penguins fail on their first power play.
Guerin has to wonder what he needs to do to score against his former team. Roloson came across his crease to rob Geurin on another two-on-one with Crosby.
Malkin and Meyer mix it up in the slot of the New York zone and both players receive coincidental roughing penalties for their actions.
Meyer receives an extra two minutes for roughing to give the Penguins their first power play.
Pittsburgh uses their timeout following an icing call as Orpik and Letang have been on the ice for an extended shift.
Malkin's assist ran his season-high scoring streak to 11 games.
Fleury throws his left hand into the air and snarls a wrist shot from Kyle Okposo, the Islanders' leading scorer.
There has been a couple of "get-togethers" tonight between these two division rivals.
Here are tonight's Shearer's Crunches of the Game:
It takes the Penguins only 10 seconds to score off the momentum generated from the penalty kill. Chris Kunitz
takes a drop pass from Malkin in the near circle and surprises Roloson with a shot past his blocker. One of the Islanders deflected Malkin's pass a bit, allowing Kunitz to catch the netminder off his angle. Penguins 1, Islanders 0.
And now Staal is back and the Penguins kill off the two-man advantage.
Pittsburgh kills off the Orpik penalty.
The crowd is upset once again as a cross-checking penalty to Staal gives the Islanders a 48-second two-man advantage.
Orpik is penalized for high-sticking, the second time the Islanders have gone on the man-advantage.
The game is really starting to open up as Letang just kept the puck in gorgeously with his skate and fired a shot off the glove of Roloson.
Freddy Meyers just tried standing Rupp up at the Islanders blue line - but he clearly took the worst of that one.
Roloson keeps his left pad against the post to prevent Ruslan Fedotenko from jamming a shot into the cage.
The puck has been dropped and the two teams are going back at it in this heavy-hitting division matchup.SECOND PERIOD
Doesn't the arena just look so good with snow on top?!
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Pittsburgh outhit New York, 9-4.
- Mark Letestu and Pascal Dupuis
led the Penguins with two shots apiece.
- Mark Eaton blocked two shots in the opening period.
An exciting first period at Mellon Arena ends with no score between the Penguins and Islanders. New York finishes with the better of the shots, 12-9.
Pittsburgh kills off the penalty to Orpik.
Tavares just rung a shot off the post to the left of Fleury from the far circle as the Penguins catch another break.
Orpik is in the penalty box for interference.
Guerin sees the puck just roll of his blade as he took a cross-ice pass from Crosby on a two-on-one.
Great defensive play by Alex Goligoski to knock a rebound away from Trent Hunter before the Penguins killer could throw the biscuit behind Fleury.
Malkin is playing with Cooke and Staal while Kennedy serves his five-minute penalty for fighting.
Here is tonight's Big Five presented by Nemacolin Woodlands:
Jay McKee just flattened Blake Comeau against the near boards in the Penguins end, much to the delight of the crowd.
Orpik wants that first goal of the season. He just hit the post to the right of Roloson from the middle of the far circle as the Penguins buzz around the Islanders zone.
Roloson was sharp to stop a deflection from just outside the crease off the blade of Brooks Orpik
. Malkin threaded the needle to get the puck to Orpik.
Somehow John Tavares slashed Letang's hand at the conclusion of that sequence and both players are in the penalty box. Tavares gets a slashing penalty and Letang a delay-of-game call.
It was another snowy day in Pittsburgh as Round 2 of the "Snowmageddon" hit the area.
9:28: Kris Letang
totally just made one of the saves of the season for the Penguins. He dove from right to left in front of the crease to use his stick to stop a backhander from the Islanders Matt Moulson.
And we have our first altercation of the evening as Tyler Kennedy
and Matt Martin square off despite Kennedy giving up several inches. Both players get some good shots in as the crowd goes crazy.
The referees went upstairs to make sure Joensuu's shot didn't cross the line and replay confirmed the call on the ice - NO GOAL!
Pittsburgh dodges a bullet as Jesse Joensuu's shot trickles along the goal line and is cleared away before it can cross the line by the glove of Fleury.
Fleury dives across his crease to make a pad save on Sean Bergenheim's one-timer from the bottom of the right circle.
The Penguins have had quite a few performances against the Islanders this season which "Defy Ordinary":
The crowd boos as Andy Sutton, who drilled Dupuis from behind towards the end of the last matchup between the two teams, declined an invitation to square off with Mike Rupp.
Pittsburgh does pick up their first shot when Mark Letestu deflects a Craig Adams
shot on Roloson.
15:00: Pascal Dupuis
just missed getting his blade on a centering pass from Evgeni Malkin
as the Penguins continue to look for their first shot of the game.
18:10: Marc-Andre Fleury
holds on with his catching glove as Trent Hunter records the first shot of the hockey game from the top of the right circle.
Pittsburgh officially begins their three-game pre-Olympic homestand.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
In 28 career games against the Islanders, Sidney Crosby
has picked up 52 career points (15G-37A).
This is the Islanders second trip this season to Mellon Arena. Pittsburgh skated away with a 6-4 victory on Jan. 19. Sidney Crosby
tied his career high with six points (2G-4A) while Evgeni Malkin
tallied a hat trick in that contest.
Nothing breaking to report in terms of tonight's lineup for either team. Marc-Andre Fleury
gets the call once again for the Penguins and Dwayne Roloson will be between the pipes for the Islanders. Pittsburgh's scratches include Maxime Talbot, Eric Godard and Martin Skoula. New York will play without Martin Biron, who picked up the win yesterday against Nashville, Jeff Tambellini and Jon Sim.
The Penguins kick off a three-game homestand prior to the Olympic break by hosting the New York Islanders at Mellon Arena. These two teams have squared off three times already this season, with the Penguins winning two of the three games. New York will be playing for the second consecutive night after a 4-3 shootout victory over the Nashville Predators at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night.
Author: Jason Seidling