Islanders Power-play Disappoints in Rematch With Pittsburgh

The New York Islanders’ inability to capitalize with the man advantage proved to be the difference in a disappointing 4 - 2 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Despite an early goal from the Penguins’ James Neal (6), the Islanders had an energetic first period leading to three power-play chances. 

 

The Islanders had been explosive and dangerous on the power-play, that was until super bowl Sunday’s game against the New Jersey Devils where they would not manage a single power-play goal on seven opportunities. (Photo Credit: Kathy Willens)

 

Their man-advantage woes would carry over into last night’s game going 0 - for - 3 in the first period alone. In a period where the Islanders outshot Pittsburgh 12 - 6 their inability to finish hurt them as they would finish the opening period trailing the dangerous Penguins 1 - 0.

 

In the second period the Islanders would once again skate their way to three power-plays by coming out and putting pressure on. These power-plays however would prove to have a negative effect on the momentum for the struggling Islanders’ team. The momentum took a visible swing in the Penguins’ direction after killing Neal’s hooking penalty just passed the midway point of the second period. 

 

About two and a half minutes after killing their sixth penalty of the game Simon Despres (2) would put the Penguins ahead 2 - 0 on a weak shot from the high-slot that most Islander fans feel Nabby should’ve had. 

 

Despite six power-play opportunities the Islander’s would head into the final stanza trailing 2 - 0 where just under two minutes after the puck dropped Brandon Sutter (2) would beat Nabokov with a slapper to put Pittsburgh up by 3. 

 

Then... the fire hit and a minute and a half later Michael Grabner (5) would get the Islanders on the board, followed by a beautiful backhand play in front of the net by Brad Boyes just under a minute later to bring the Islanders within one. (Photo Credit: Kathy Willens)

 

Unfortunately it would not be enough and with 39 seconds left in the game the Penguins’ Pascal Dupuis (3) would seal the deal with an empty netter to make the final score Penguins - 4 Islanders - 2. 

 

The Islanders will look to rebound tomorrow night in their first cross town trip to Madison Square Garden where they will face their struggling rivals the New York Rangers at 7pm. 

 

Game Stats:

Shots: NYI - 34 PIT - 26

Power-plays: NYI - 0 - 7 PIT - 1 - 3

Goals: NYI - Michael Grabner (5), Brad Boyes (3) PIT - PP James Neal (6), Simon Despres (2), Brandon Sutter (2), Pascal Dupuis (3)

Assists: NYI - Kyle Okposo (3), Frans Nielsen (8), Matt Moulson (5), Brian Strait (1) PIT - Sidney Crosby (10), Chris Kunitz (6), Kris Letang (6), Matt Cooke (2), Paul Martin (4)

 

-Shane Blackburn

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