Islanders Even Up Series with Penguins At Nassau Coliseum

The NY Islanders evened up their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night at the old barn, our affectionate name for Nassau Coliseum. The Isles played as well as they did on friday night, however this time ended on the right side of the scoreboard.

The Pens had Brooks Orpik and James Neal back from their respective injuries, and the Isles stayed with the line up from friday. The Isles played great on friday and lost in OT on a questionable call on Brian Straight.

The Isles came out fast and strong, generating tons of chances, and finally hit the back of the net at 14:05 of the first on a goal by Brian Straight from Visnovsky and Casey Cizikas.

The Pens answered back 45 seconds later with a goal from Evgeni Malkin. Pens Matt Cooke took a penalty a 19:34, which carried over into the second period. Also, of note Sid Crosby appeared to be hit in the neck with the puck, which was bothering him throughout the game. Like with his broken jaw, his own teammate did the damage.

In the second, the Pens killed the carry over penalty. Brian Straight took a high sticking penalty about 3 minutes in, and Isles were able to kill it.

Matt Cooke took a goalie interference penalty at 5:48 and Isles were able to capitalize on the PP. Goal by Mark Striet from Hamonic andd Boyes at 6:19. Score 2-1 Isles.

The Penguins Malkin scored on an Islander breakdown 56 sconds later making it 2-2., when Frans Nielsen decided he needed a line change, instead of backing up his defenseman. This led to Carkner getting creamed by Matt Cooke and Brandon Sutter scored the go ahead goal at 11:03. 3-2 Pens

Andrew MacDonald took a penalty which was served by Aucoin as AMac appeared to be injured on the play. Isles were able to kill it off and wer fighting valiantly for the equalizer as the second period was winding down. Photos:Robert Kowal/flickr

All of the Isles hard work payed off at 18:36 of the second with a goal to even things up. Okposo, who by the way is playing the best I have even seen him play, evened the tying goal on assist from Hamonic and Streit. End 2nd 3-3

A bit of a scrum at the end of the second, but refs quickly difused the situation and off to the locker room they went to get ready for the third.

Andrew MacDonald did not return for the third period, and early reports indicated that he suffered a broken hand. That will be a tough loss for the Isles, as no one sacrifices their body more than AMac.

The third period was end to end action with both goalies getting plenty of pucks to them. Pascal Dupuis scored for the Pens just 41 seconds into the third and the Pens took their first lead of the night.

Mark Sreit scored at 4:30 to tie it at 4  all. Then, who other than John Tavares makes a great play, holding onto the puck, refusing to give it up until he scored. That he did at 10:11 from Boyes. 5-4 Isles

IIn the meantime Matt Martin was being manhandled by Matt Cooke to the point where Martin ended up in the Pittsburgh players bench. Kudos to Martin, who held his cool, keeping the end result in mind.

The game was wide open now,end to end action. The fans were absolutely deafening in the coliseum. Casey Cizikas scored at 18:46 to put the final touch on a great victory for the Islanders.

Isles win 6-4 and Tie quartfinal series at 2 game each.

Observations and game notes:

If this is the real Kyle Okposo, I take back all the times I wanted him used as trade bait.

Keep your eyes on Casey Cizikas, He is going to be great.

Mark Streit played the best I remember him playing in a long long time.

Our Matty Martin has matured beautifully, keeping his cool when necessary, and fighting when he needs to. The kid has great timing.

This is not the same old Isles, there's a consistency and maturity level that has finally revealed itself. No matter what the turnout of the series, these boys have improved by leaps and bounds.

Game stats:

SOG 31-24 Pens

PP: Pens 2 for 4 ; Isles 0 for`1

FO Won: 29-25 Isles

Hits 33-26 Isles

Blocked shots: even at 16

Stars of the game: John Tavares, Mark Streit and Evgeni Malkin

-Jane Fisher

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Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

Hey Jane, I believe Crosby took a puck to the throat when he went to cut down the angle on a point shot from Brian Straight.

Jane Fisher's picture

def could be, I thought it was deflected. Either way, this poor kid has no luck lately