Live Blog: Isles vs. Pens 4/11/2010

Hey everyone! Tuning in here live from the Blog Box at section 201 at Nassau Coliseum for the last Islander game of the year. My Internet successfully connected on the first attempt - that means this evening's game is bound to be a good one.

The Blog Box gathered earlier this afternoon for a little get-together for food, drinks and good laughs as this is our last time spent together in the 2009-2010 year. We were treated to chicken, broccoli and cheese, potatoes and some good snacks. We also weren't alone as the Pittsburgh Penguins were just outside of the family room we were in; Fleury, Guerin, Crosby, Malkin, Fedotenko, Kennedy and many others were playing soccer for a little pre-game fun. Guerin was disappointed that there weren't any chips for him to snack on and the Pens were also very nice to the kids that were down to join us in our meal. Again, one of the many reasons why hockey players are such great athletes.

The puck will drop just a little after 5 PM! Be sure to stop by for updates and comments throughout the game!

5:03 PM - As the refs make their way onto the ice, the Islanders have made a nice video montage of all the highlights for the 2009-2010 season, including the many "firsts" that happened this year; hat-tricks, first goals, first fights and comebacks. It makes you realize how much this team has improved since last season. Despite not making the playoffs, this is a good, young hockey team that is on their way to success. Unfortunately, this is the last live blog for me this year; hopefully that will not be the case next year. The Isles have just taken the ice.

5:05 PM - your starting line-up. Roloson between the pipes with Streit and MacDonald on defense with Moulson and Jackman playing on either side of Frans Nielsen. The Islanders are about to present the Islanders Good Guy Award which goes to the Isles athlete who represents the best sportsmanship and respect with the media. The award goes to Martin Biron - hands down deserves it. He without a doubt has represented all these qualities.

1st Period

20:00 - Keep in mind their may be a few fists thrown tonight. Not only are Haley and Gillies playing, but Joel "The Wrecker" Rechlicz has been recalled from Bridgeport since Bergenheim joins Bailey and Comeau in the press box with an upper body injury sustained in the loss to the Devils last night.

19:32 - Crosby gets the first shot of the game; he's chasing Stamkos and Ovechkin for the 50 goal mark.

19:13 - The Flyers have tied the Rangers in a game that determines either one of their playoff hopes. The "Let's Go Flyers" chants have started here at the Coliseum.

17:14 - There are a solid amount of Penguins fans here. The game looks almost to be sold out despite the fact there is not too much behind this game for either team; however, if the Isles lose, they remain in the bottom five of the league, solidifying them for a decent chance at moving up in this year's draft lottery.

16:51 - Evgeni Malkin is left all alone to bury one in front. The Pens now lead 1-0. Shots are 5-2 in favor of the Pens. Assists go to Goligoski and Crosby.

16:30 - Craig Adams skates hard through the Isles crease and trips Roloson. Isles go to the power play.

15:53 - Moulson had goal #30 on his stick and was denied by Brent Johnson.

13:57 - Isles generated only one scoring chance. Pens did a good job of killing the penalty. Back to five-on-five hockey.

13:55 - And we have our first fight of the game. Ladies and gents, welcome Joel Rechlicz back into the line-up. He goes toe-to-toe with Mike Rupp and floors him with one punch. Hands down, big win for Joel.

13:25 - Whatever momentum the Isles might have gathered after that fight, it has been completely erased. The Pens score with a tally from Eric Godard. Yes, Eric Godard. 2-0 Penguins. Crosby and Gonchar with the assists.

11:18 - Saying the Islanders are being out-played and out-worked is an understatement.

11:05 - Penalty to Trevor Gillies for interference. Another 2 mins in the sin-bin for #14.

8:32 - The Isles kill it off successfully and now trade offenses as the Penguins are going to the box. Staal serves the two minutes for hooking.

7:25 - The Isles did not get anything going on this opportunity and then took a penalty of their own. Streit for interference. Four-on-four hockey for 54 seconds.

6:56 - Hunter just hit the far-side post, probably for the umpteenth time this year. Johnson came up with a big follow-up save with his stick on Park on the rebound.

6:18 - Roloson seems to be flopping around in his crease a bit too much tonight, but he continues to keep Crosby away from the 50-goal mark...for now. By the way, the Rangers and Flyers are going to overtime.

5:39 - Guerin goes to the box for interference as he prevented Gervais from getting the puck in the corner. Plenty of interference going on in this game, apparently.

2:57 - And as the Hansen brothers, er, Gillies, Rechlicz and Hayley take the ice...Crosby buries his 50th goal of the year with a one-timer from Malkin, who then retrieved the puck for Sid as he celebrated with Dupuis.

1:42 - Staal goes to the box for cross-checking. Streit is being awarded the Islander of the Year Award, an award that is voted on by all the Islander players. Oh, and the Rags and Flyers are in the shootout.

1:06 - Letang goes to the box for a delay of game as he cleared the puck out of his zone into the crowd. 5-on-3 for the Isles.

:43.9 - As Briere scores as the first shooter in the shoot out, Tavares roofs one over Johnson to make the game 3-1. Christensen was just denied by Boucher. 1-0 Flyers after the first round.

0:00 - Period ends with the Isles down 3-1, being outshot 12-10. Parenteau scores for the Rangers in the shootout. Now tied at 1.

Giroux scores. 2-1 for the Flyers. Jokinen gets stopped by Boucher and the Rangers will NOT be making the playoffs. WOOOOOO!!! Time to pee...

2nd Period

19:05 - 50? How about 51? Just as the Isles power play expires, Crosby skates in alone on a breakaway after Streit shanked a shot from the point and roofs one glove side past Roly to make it a 4-1 game. Assist went to Talbot.

18:43 - Classless. Jack Hillen throws a clean hip check that causes two Pens to come over and knock him around like a rag doll. Malkin and Jackman pull each other out of the scruffle. Jackman was so infuriated, that he started to rip off his cage that is protecting the healing orbital bone that was broken back in January, but the refs stopped the fight.

18:05 - The Isles emerged with a power play and Matt Moulson connects with his team-leading 30th goal of the year. The game is now 4-2. Streit and Nielsen get the assists.

16:43 - The Wrecker loves to make his presence felt. He just went for his second fight of the game, this time with Eric Godard. It was more of a tussle back and forth than a fight of haymakers. But you got to give the kid credit. However, now he is tossed from the game. Before the puck is dropped, Jackman and Malkin decide to exchange a few words, shoves and pleasantries. So they both go to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct. Four-on-four hockey again.

14:08 - Jackman and Malkin's jarring and jousting has continued it's way to the sin bin. Although they are both in the box, the Isles have gained a four minute power play. Malkin got two for interference and two for unsportsmanlike and Jackman got a 10-minute misconduct. Jackman, although serving time, is doing his job well.

12:08 - The first two minutes are over. So far, not too much to say besides a few close chances but Johnson is holding down his crease very well. Plenty of traffic in front.

10:20 - The Islanders continue to fire pucks at the net and keep play in the Pens zone despite their clearing attempts. I gotta say, Johnson is playing one hell of a game right now. Shots are 21-14 in favor of the orange and blue.

9:28 - Some guy just asked a girl to prom via the megatron. What a huge waste of money...

9:18 - Haley goes to the box for interference. Do the refs know how to call anything else tonight?

8:51 - Malkin fires a one-timer home from guess who? Sidney Crosby. Talk about the game he's having right now. Always a constant Islander-killer. Goligoski has the other assist. 5-2 Pens.

6:52 - Did a little discussion of our own here in the blog box as the refs work on a little divit in the ice...why didn't Tortorella put Gaborik in the shoot out with their entire season on the line? Unreal...

4:24 - Trent Hunter displaying that he has lateral movement? Where did that come from?! A nice little move he pulled, (his signature toe-drag that reminds us all of Mike Comrie), opened up the ice for him and created a decent scoring chance.

3:03 - Haley gets a penalty for goaltender interference, but fell awkwardly after a collision along the far-side boards. He went down to the ice and was helped into the Islanders locker room.

2:17 - With the puck pinballing all around the Islanders zone, Roloson comes up with a big split save down low.

:31.9 - A few toe drags by Kyle Okposo garnish another Islanders power play. Dupuis goes to the box for hooking.

0:00 - The Isles will start the third period on the power play with the score still 5-2 in favor of Sidney Crosby and the Pens.

3rd Period

20:00 - Here's hoping Gillies gets in one last fight with the Islanders this year. I wouldn't mind if they bring him back. He's not that talented of a hockey player, but the team clearly plays better with him in the line-up. I'd like the Isles fourth line to be Martin-Nystrom (via UFA)-Gillies next year.

18:40 - Isles PP is just about over. It looked very weak and non-existant.

17:40 - Well Haley is back...he just threw a pretty good chunk of a hit on Bill Guerin on the near side boards.

15:31 - Okposo roofs one over Johnson after a very nice set up play. Tavares dished the puck off to Streit at the blue line as they entered the zone. Instead of shooting, Streit sent a pass over to Okposo who was cruising towards the net on the right wing. The game is now 5-3 for the Pens.

15:07 - Sim scored from Hunter. The Islanders need to stop scoring. In order to stay in the bottom five they have to lose in regulation. No overtime and no win. Please...at this point the Isles are better off losing. Hillen gets the secondary assist.

12:44 - That's 13 goals for Sim this year. Really? Hmm..

12:06 - Roloson is playing like a man possessed, stopping everything that comes his way. The crowd is responding with possibly the loudest Roly chant of the year.

11:28 - Gervais goes to the box for holding. Two minutes of shame for Chef Bruno.

9:20 - The Isles kill the power play (dammit!) and then Tavares wiffs on a shot as the defenseman gets in his way. Then Jack Hillen takes a pummeling and crashs into Johnson and takes the net off it's mourings. Hillen goes to the box for crashing the net just a little too hard.

8:57 - Roly starts off this kill with a flashy glove save after a rocket was fired from the point by Gonchar.

6:54 - And Kyle Okposo breaks yet another stick.

4:20 - Despite the wishes and desires of other fans...Roloson is screaming his head off for this win tonight.

4:13 - And to my dismay he might freakin get it. The Islanders have just tied the game. Meyer takes a shot from the hash mark that gets re-directed top shelf by John Tavares. The Isles have come back from a 4-1 game to make this a 5-5 tie with less than 4-minutes remaining in the third period. ...son of a bitch.

3:44 - If you haven't caught on by now, if the Isles gain a point tonight they will be out of the bottom five, thus almost eliminating themselves from any opportunities to move up via the draft lottery.

2:42 - They gave the goal to Meyer, but after watching that replay it looked to be clearly tipped by Tavares. I expect them to change it.

:33 - The roof could be blown off this place right now with how loud this crowd is...Crosby circled around the net twice, fending off every Islander that came his way and got a few shots on net...Roloson literally just staved off a hat-trick and the league lead in goals for Sid the Kid. Hands down, this is the loudest the Coliseum has been all year.

Overtime

Ladies and gentleman, we are headed to overtime. The shots are 35-34 in favor of the Islanders in a 5-5 hockey game. The Isles are going to end the season the same way that they started it...overtime against the Penguins in front of a rock'n crowd.

4:37 - Roly with a glove save on Malkin's back hand shot in front.

2:41 - Over time has been spent mostly in the Penguins zone. Jack Hillen with a huge defensively play to break up a one-on-one chance with Roloson.

1:55 - Johnson freezes the puck for the first stoppage of play..face-off in the Penguins zone. This place is ROCKIN!

0:34 - After Reese came up for Roloson and made a big save in front, Leopold comes in untouched after a nice pass in the slot and roofs one top-shelf...and that is all she wrote. This game explains the Isles season in one phrase...Never-say-die...they played their hearts out and came back from a 3-goal deficit against a far superior team.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by. This was an excellent year of development for the Isles and the coaching staff, management, players and fans should be excited about what lies ahead.

-Rob McGowan

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