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Penguins vs. Islanders Game Recap: Pittsburgh tripped up in 3-2 shootout loss

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Foiled in the shootout. Check out the game highlights here from Pens/NYI.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Lineups

Welcome back Kris Letang, please never leave us again!

1st period

The Penguins get the game’s first power play and also the game’s first goal. Jake Guentzel goes to the net but fumbles the puck. Luckily Dominik Simon (who can seemingly do no wrong these days) is right behind him to find the loose puck and chip it top shelf past Thomas Greiss. 1-0 Pittsburgh early.

The Islanders later get their first power play with Jack Johnson going to the box but the Pittsburgh PK stands tall.

Shots end up 10-9 NYI in the period.

2nd period

First half of this period not much went on. Phil Kessel got a partial breakaway but was denied by the glove of Greiss.

Just under 8 minutes left Brian Dumoulin has to take a penalty to prevent a 2-on-1 against when the puck popped past him. Probably not the worst idea in the world in a 1-0 game. Luckily the Pens catch a break just 13 seconds into NYI’s power play with a guy going off for a pretty weak hook on Carl Hagelin, but one Pittsburgh will take.

On the 4v4, someone messed with Evgeni Malkin but he’s strong enough to push past and get the puck to Jamie Oleksiak for a breakaway. Oleksiak doesn’t score so the Pens get a 4v3 power play for 38 seconds. Pittsburgh uses their time out at this key juncture in order to give their star players (namely Malkin and Kessel who just played the shift prior) a breather to get some wind for a crucial stretch.

It does not go ideally. In the shuffle the Pens get a short 5v3 power play with zone time, but then it becomes 5v4. Josh Bailey sneaks behind the defense and Casey Cizikias makes a really nice indirect pass off the wall to get the puck by Kris Letang and up to Bailey. Shorthanded breakaway and Bailey buries it. 1-1.

Shots are 13-8 Pens in the period.

3rd period

Pittsburgh dominates the first half of the period but it’s New York that scores the tiebreaking goal. Thomas Hickey fires a centering pass through Johnson that deflects off the skate of Anders Lee in front and it directs in past Matt Murray. 2-1 NYI for their first lead of the game.

The Pens get their 4th power play of the night soon after and the big boys come through with a tying goal. Letang feeds Malkin for a one-time slapper that clicks off an NYI defenseman’s stick and past Greiss. 2-2. for Malkin’s 7th goal of the season and to extend his scoring streak to nine games.

Just under the surface the battle between coaches keeps raging.

Shots end up 6 a piece in the 3rd period and 28-24 Pittsburgh through regulation. But the score is tied after 60.

Overtime

Crosby wins the all-important opening faceoff and the Pens get the first extended possession and a shot.

The Malkin shift comes on and he centers a pass for Johnson who pickle-stabs a tricky little shot on net that Greiss has to make a good save on.

No whistles, Crosby gets a clear breakaway but Greiss lays out huge to make a poke-check on him. Just plain rude.

With 4.5 seconds left Crosby sets up Phil Kessel for an open look and Kessel hits the glove of Greiss again. Finally for the first time in OT there is a whistle. Holy cow.

Shots in OT are only 3-2 Pens but it felt much more than that.

Shootout

Jordan Eberle up first...Murray save.

Malkin up for the Pens, misses the net on a long shot

Brock Nelson gets to go next, looks 5-hole but Murray stops it.

Crosby goes 2nd for the Pens, dekes to the backhand but his shot goes wide.

Josh Bailey up, he swoops in from left to his backhand and shoots past Murray. 1-0 SO.

Letang, do or die, puts on the breaks and tries to shoot 5-hole but Greiss is able to keep it out. Islanders win.

Some Thoughts

  • Not sure if this stat is tracked but something amusing probably to me and me only: Derek Grant was having a whale of a time with the linsemen early in this one. Got kicked out of two faceoffs in the first period.
  • Between a secondary assist on the power play and some strong positional play in his own end on the penalty kill, it was a a strong first period on special teams for Olli Maatta.
  • Even though Simon scored a goal, with 5 minutes to go in the 3rd in the 2-2 tie game it was Bryan Rust moved up to the Guentzel-Crosby line.
  • First game back from a knee injury, Letang plays a team-high 26:01. 8 shot attempts. Power play assist. 3 hits. 2 blocked shots. Just a force of nature.
  • The Islanders have just enough decent players and a good coach. They’ll be annoying this year, especially as long as they keep getting .935% goaltending. If that runs dry, they’re in trouble but what we learned in the past three nights is NYI is going to be better than most projected this summer. I’m not saying book them for the playoffs just yet, but I do think they’ll finish a bit higher in the division than most anticipated.
  • A lot of this game was pretty boring. 3-on-3 overtime most assuredly was not.
  • Greiss was on fire especially in the second half of the game. The Pens making backup goalies look like Dominik Hasek is back, baby!
  • Don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pittsburgh OT in 3v3 go the first 4:55 with no whistles. That was a lot of fun.