The players who are injured are coming in and out of the lineup and most of the time you have no idea who is going to play because a handful of guys are game time decisions. What hasn’t changed this entire season is the result. Another huge game from Marc Andre Fleury and a gritty effort by the offense and defense leads to a 3-0 win over the Islanders in Long Island.
The Penguins actually got off to a really bad start as the Islanders were getting great opportunities and the Penguins were getting shots blocked like the Berlin Wall was in front of Evgeni Nabokov. It took about a half period of play before the wall fell and another few minutes before the Penguins scored the only goal they would need in the game.
To be honest it looked like the Penguins were going to be lucky to get out of the first period in a 0-0 tie. They were turning the puck over like it was their job and just weren’t in any kind of rhythm. The Penguins finally broke through with about three minutes left in the period when Brooks Orpik got the puck at his own blue line and found a streaking Pascal Dupuis who went down on a breakaway and beat Nabokov on a slick slot. 1-0. Boom.
Dupuis has been pretty money all season. Kills penalties like a boss and brings unreal energy. Complete package.
If it wasn’t bad enough for the Islanders they then gave up a goal to ex-Islander Richard Park 21 seconds into the second period. Arron Asham picked the pocket of some joke Islander and fed the puck to park who faked the forehand shock and held the puck just long enough and beat Nabokov top shelf. That was pretty much it for the Islanders.
The Islanders were pretty done after that as the Pens were able to pretty much handle play from then on out. Add in a Jordan Staal empty netter and you complete the game. The sixth goal of the season for Staal. What a player.
MAF was cash money tonight for his first shutout of the season. He has only given up two goals in his last 10 periods (maybe 11, no idea, not looking it up) and he once again was making huge save after huge save in the first period to keep the Penguins tied and giving them a chance to score that first goal. The only difference tonight was that he didn’t give up that patent goal with less than three minutes left that usually happens when he is going for a shutout.
The Pens PK killed the two Islander opportunities. Outside of the Capitals start is there really anything better right now than the Penguins penalty kill? Unreal work.
There are a lot of people who don’t think Paul Martin is worth the money he is paid. 27:18 of ice time tonight and made Tavares pretty much invisible tonight. Great game from PaulMart and he has quietly had a really nice season.
Evidently during the first intermission the MSG did a nice little montage of the brawl that took place last season and interviewed a bunch of the goons, err, players that took part in it. To be honest I couldn’t give a shit less about that. It is in the past and getting upset over it isn’t worth it. The Islanders are choosing to key on that and if that is what they want to do that is fine. Whatever. I found it actually funny that Trevor Gillies said that it was a sort of team bonding experience. Awesome. You know what helps bond a team? Winning. Try it sometime.
Islanders come to Pittsburgh in like six seconds.