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Malkin's hat trick, Crosby's 6 points fuel Pens to 6-4 win over NYI

Islanders vs Penguins coverage - Islanders vs Penguins boxscore - Lighthouse Hockey

Wild game tonight at the Igloo.  For Pittsburgh's first game in friendly confines in a while, they showed great focus and energy at first before slipping a little and dropping a three goal lead.  They'd snap out of it in time for two more power play goals to win it 6-4.

  • The power play broke out big time, a 4 goal night, almost unthinkable in previous games and weeks.  Evgeni Malkin scored by wiring a one-timer on a 5 on 3 PP.  Later, Sidney Crosby weaved into the zone and found Bill Guerin for a quick shot for the second.  Malkin scored the eventual game-winner on the PP when he one-timed a Sergei Gonchar (edit: actually Alex Goligoski) pass from a severe angle.  Malkin would cap the game with an empty net PP goal.
  • Crosby picked up a point in every goal the Pens scored (2g, 4a) and was a +1 on the night.  Crosby threw three shots on net (in 7 attempts), registered a hit and won 70% of his 23 faceoffs.
  • Malkin for all the media talk of slumps, broke out with three goals.  He looks infinitely more comfortable (and dangerous) now that he's been moved from the left point down the the right half-wall on the PP.
  • Brent Johnson was a story unto himself.  He made several great stops in the first half of the game, when the team needed him most.  On one series within a few minutes Kyle Okposo got a breakaway and was rejected.  Later he would get another and Johnson was there.  Alex Goligoski hooked Okposo and a penalty shot was awarded.  For the third time Johnny bested Okposo.
  • Speaking of which, Okposo was a beast.  Game high 7 shots, a hit and a takeaway.

Several Penguins didn't finish the game for one reason or another...

  • Tyler Kennedy got caught on a long (1:44) sloppy shift halfway through the 3rd.  The next time out he was on a :27 shift that featured poor puck decisions and ended in Matt Cooke having to take a penalty.  TK only got 1 more shift (for :35 seconds) for the last 8 and a half minutes of the game.
  • Maxime Talbot earned a short-handed chance halfway through the game and went hard at NYI goalie Dwayne Roloson.  Too hard for Roloson's liking, as he slashed/tripped Talbot after the whistle as Talbot was skating away.  It would be the last shift for Talbot who left the game with an "undisclosed injury" (what other kind do the Pens have, huh?).
  • Finally, the scariest incident happened to Pascal Dupuis.  With just 2:55 left in the game, Dupuis went behind the net to play the puck and Andy Sutton smashed him, from behind, into where the boards and glass meet.  Dupuis dropped motionless as blood started pooling from his head.  It was a dangerous and reckless play by Sutton (who's been suspended before in 2005 for a blow to the head).  The NHL ought to take a look at this for further discipline.

Luckily Dupuis was able to skate off the ice with some help.  It really took a damper out of the 5-4 game, Sutton was assessed 15 minutes of penalties (a major for boarding and a 10 minute misconduct).  It pretty much ended all hopes for the Islanders to comeback, but worse it intentionally put another player in a bad, bad position.

For the Penguins, this win ought to be just what the doctor ordered.  With the next two games against arguably the team's two biggest rivals in Washington and Philadelphia, it's great to have Crosby, Malkin and the PP all in good confidence.