by Tony on 11/09/08 at 12:49 AM ET
Someone keeps forgetting to tell the Penguins that they’re supposed to be playing better against the lesser teams in the league.
Nine days after the Penguins looked horrendous on their recent road trip at Phoenix, it looked like it would be a similar result tonight on Long Island against the Islanders.
However, Tyler Kennedy’s tip of an Alex Goligoski slapper from the right point sailed past Isles’ goalie Joey Macdonald for the tying goal late in the third period, and the Penguins eventually prevailed in the shootout over the Islanders, 4-3.
Penguins’ goalie Dany Sabourin stopped all three Isles’ shots in the shootout, including the third shot which turned out to be quite controversial. Trent Hunter skated in on Sabourin and fired a wrister that Sabourin stopped as he glided towards the goalline. However, the puck ended up being lodged between his left leg pad and his leg, which perilously stayed barely on the line. Reviews determined that the no-goal call stood, and the Penguins had the two points and the win that they didn’t look like was going to come for most of the game.
It was quite a sloppy game for both teams, mainly due to terrible ice conditions. Pucks were bouncing all over the place, which resulted in scoring opportunities for both teams.
The Islanders certainly didn’t dominate any portion of the game, but they were the ones who held the lead for the majority of the game. Doug Weight opened the scoring for the Isles late in the first period when he fired a wrister that deflected off the stick of Petr Sykora and knuckled past Sabourin to make it 1-0 Isles.
The Penguins tied it up a couple of minutes into the second period when Kennedy and Mike Zigomanis teamed up for a nice give-and-go. Kennedy skated in the Isles’ zone, held the puck until the trailer Zigomanis got into the zone, then got the puck right back from Zigomanis for a nice backhanded poke into the open net to make it 1-1.
The Isles retook the lead midway through the second period after Sabourin stopped a Weight slapper, but Tim Jackman was right there for the rebound to easily poke it home to make it 2-1 Isles.
They made it 3-1 with about 5 minutes remaining in the second period after a serious defensive lapse. After the Pens were unable to get the puck out of their zone, Kyle Okposo fired a centering pass to a wide open Andy Hilbert in front of the net. Hilbert fired a backhander past Sabourin and into the net.
That was pretty much the last of the offense for the Islanders. The Penguins outshot the Isles 18-1 in the third period, keeping the puck for long periods of time in the Isles’ zone. However, even with the complete domination by the Penguins until that point in the period, Joey Macdonald was keeping his team in the lead with some great saves. That changed with the aforementioned Kennedy tip with 3:15 to go to tie the game at three.
After a uneventful overtime, Weight started the shootout with a wrister that Sabourin saved. Sykora then made a nice shoulder fake to backhand it to the top shelf for the first Pens’ goal. Bill Guerin then tried again with a wrister, but Sabourin stopped it again. After Miro Satan couldn’t score against Macdonald, that set up the theatrics with Hunter’s shot in Sabourin’s pads to give the Pens the win.
- There were 43 blocked shots tonight, including 29 by the Islanders and 8 by Andy Sutton.
- The Penguins continued to slide down the chart on the powerplay, going 0 for 4.
- Evgeni Malkin took a slapper off his left hand early in the first period, but only missed a short period of time.
- Um, when did Petr Sykora start getting called “Peter Gunn” ?? I heard Steigy try to be funny again with that one, but I hadn’t heard that one before.
- Mark Eaton got burned big time on the Hilbert goal. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back out of the lineup next game.
- Kris Letang led all skaters in ice time with 29:49.
Next up for the Penguins are the Red Wings in Detroit on Tuesday. I’m sure no one will have any opinions on the game, none at all.
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Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
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