Isles Dominate Penguins in 4-1 Victory
Looking to rebound from two consecutive road losses to the Bruins and the Jets, the Islanders came into Pittsburgh on Tuesday night to break the streak. The Isles, who haven't had much luck in Steel City, had been defeated in 13 of their last 14 games in Pittsburgh. (Photo Credit: AxsDeny/Flickr)
Early in the first period, the Penguins went to the power play twice where they were incredibly ineffective. The Islanders penalty killers held the Pens out of their zone and off the scoreboard.
With under five minutes left in the opening period, the Isles put up their first of the night.
Casey Cizikas stripped Paul Martin deep in Pittsburgh territory and wrapped around the net, beating Marc Andre Fleury for his first NHL goal. The first period ended with a 1-0 Isles' lead.
In the second, the Pens seemed to sustain some pressure in the Islanders' zone. However, Marty Reasoner chipped the puck up to Michael Grabner, who fired one off of Fleury's glove that dribbled in for a 2-0 Isles lead.
It was Grabner's fourth goal of the season and Reasoner's first assist in 41 games.
The Penguins, who took their timeout midway through the second period, seemed to have lost any momentum they had coming into the game. Things only got worse for them as the game continued.
With around five minutes remaining in the second, James Neal was called for hooking. The Islanders took advantage, where John Tavares ripped one past Fleury with some stellar passing help from Frans Nielsen and Matt Moulson for a 3-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, the Islanders were back on the man advantage, when Tyler Kennedy was called for cross-checking. This time, Nielsen shot the puck off the end-boards where Brad Boyes picked it up and fed Matt Moulson for a 4-0 Islander's lead.
The Penguins had a chance late in the second to get on the board when Colin McDonald was given a five minute major for a hit from behind on Ben Lovejoy. McDonald, who had five hits in the game, was also given a game misconduct and did not return in the third period.
The major penalty carried over into the third, where the Penguins replaced goaltender Fleury with Thomas Vokoun. The Penguins still could not convert on the man-advantage, only registering three power play shots in total for the night.
After heavily outshooting the Isles in the third, the Pens finally got one past Nabakov late in the period. Pascal Dupuis caught a big rebound that he backhanded into the net, ruining the shutout and ending the game at a score of 4-1.
The Islanders now sit at 2nd place under the New Jersey Devils in the Atlantic Division with a record of 3-2-1. They have also scored 22 goals this season, making them the best of that category in the Atlantic.
The Islanders will face the New Jersey Devils in back-to-back games, before playing the Penguins again at home on 2/5.
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