The Pens win. It wasn't pretty, but at the end of the day it's an important 2 points.
The Penguins pin in the "best 4th line in recorded history" and go to work on the cycle. Sidney Crosby finds Brian Dumoulin on the point who smartly sends a puck on net. Chris Kunitz tips it for his 14th goal of the season and for the only goal of the first period.
After a Nick Bonino slashing penalty, the Isles would get on the board pretty late in the 3rd period with a nice job by Kyle Okposo to collect a puck and beat Marc-Andre Fleury.
Crosby tries to go glove, no dice.
Frans Nielson doesn't go back-hand for like the first time ever, and it does not pay off.
Letang does go back-hand and it works.
Okposo tries to shoot early for the 5-hole, "no sir" says Fleury.
Phil Kessel comes in with speed and shoots low, denied.
John Tavares comes in slow and tries to out-weight Fleury. Fails.
- After a mostly boring 2nd period, the Pens brought the puck into the NYI zone with 9:12 left, and kept it in until the goalie could finally get a whistle at 7:50. 1:22 of straight pressure, passing, cycles and tired Islanders dogging around the ice while the Pens were able to change a man at a time. Didn't get a goal but was quite the site to see.
- Nice of Kunitz to celebrate career game #800 with a typical goal of his career, going to the front of the net, tipping the puck and getting knocked on his butt as the goal goes in.
- Crosby sneakily up to a 9 game point streak with his assist tonight.
- The Penguins made an interesting change early, switching Matt Cullen up to the Carl Hagelin - Phil Kessel line and dropping Nick Bonino to the 3rd line. Didn't result in any goals but nice to see the 2nd most skilled center play on the 2nd line for the first part of the game.
- Another interesting lineup wrinke: putting Crosby/Hagelin and the Olli Maatta - Kris Letang pair out there for a 4v4 in the 3rd period. Lotta speed and skill on the ice right there.
- Pittsburgh also got the lucky break that Brock Nelson (who had played 202 games before tonight) couldn't answer the bell and missed the game with injury. Nelson was second on the Isles in goals this season.
- Some ugly looking power play time for the Penguins, who had trouble just getting through the zone and setting up and only 1 SOG in 3 full chances. The coaches responded too, putting the 4th line out for the last 15 seconds of the final PP, in a pretty clear message of disgust.
- The PK managed to do just as well as the PP did poorly, up until the end. Tough to blame them, especially with regular unit member Bonino in the box at the time of the goal.
- Pens with a ton of great opportunities in OT but credit too the Islanders 3rd string goalie for playing well. Like seriously, how can you come so close with so many chances and NOT score? My heavens.
- Also, little to no Carl Hagelin in OT? What gives?
- Pittsburgh pushes their only league perfect record when leading after 2 periods to 30-0-0 now. No sweat.
In the end, the only thing that matters is the Pens win their 3rd game in a row (and 4th in the last 5)