by Tony on 11/27/09 at 08:09 PM ET
I don’t have the stats in front of me, and frankly I’m too lazy to research it, but if memory serves me correctly the Penguins have not played very well in afternoon games over the past few seasons.
Combine that with a very scrappy performance by the up and coming Islanders, and that was enough for the Isles to squeak out a 3-2 matinee win over the Penguins at Nassau Coliseum.
John Tavares’ tap-in of the rebound of a Freddy Meyer slapper with 6:12 remaining for the game-winner. Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cooke had the Penguins’ goals. Backup Pens’ goalie Brent Johnson stopped 34 of the Isles’ 37 shots on goal.
Rebounds were the theme of the day, as three of the five goals scored were as a result of poor rebound control from both goalies.
The Islanders got on the board midway through the first when Mark Streit fired a slapper that Johnson came out above the crease to stop, but there were three Islanders there for any rebound. That’s exactly what happened, as Josh Bailey poked the rebound into the net to make it 1-0 Isles at 9:05.
Malkin evened it up for the Penguins late in the first period when he simply threw a backhanded on net that somehow found a gap between Isles’ goalie Dwayne Roloson and the post to find its way into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
The Pens took the lead seven minutes into the second period when Jordan Staal fired a wrister from the right slot that Roloson stopped but left a rebound right to the stick of a charging Cooke, who quickly banged it home to give the Pens a 2-1 lead.
It remained that way until early in the third, when Sean Bergenheim launched a hard wirster from the left slot that carromed off the right post and into the net past Johnson to tie the game at 2-2 only 1:24 into the third.
The game-winner was scored at 13:48 when Meyer’s slapper from the left point rebound off Johnson, where Tavares poked the rebound into the net for the 3-2 Isles win.
- Give the Islanders credit. They outworked the Penguins, they deserved the win, bottom line. Key stat - Isles, down one heading into the third, outshot the Pens 18-5 in the final period. Matter of fact, the Pens only had 21 shots on goal for the game.
- Aaah, the powerplay. After getting PP goals in four straight, mostly by luck, the Pens’ PP units have come back down to earth. Overall, the PP went 0-for-5, but that was punctuated midway through the second period, when not only did the Pens have a 5-on-3 powerplay for 55 seconds, but a total of six straight minutes of powerplay time in that stretch. They only had four shots in those five powerplays.
- Staal got himself an instigator plus 10 minute misconduct after coming to the defense of Martin Skoula, who was boarded by Nate Thompson. And he got his ass kicked to boot.
- Five blocked shots for Deryk Engelland.
The Pens now return home for the start of a home-and-home series vs. the Rangers.
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