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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Islanders @ Penguins Recap by @ryannoble66


Last night the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Islanders 4-3 after Sidney Crosby scored his 250th goal of his career with 1:16 remaining in the third period. Not terrible for a game that going into fans were asking "How will Zatkoff play?" and "Will Malkin finally score?"

Before we jump into the game, BEST IN THE WORLD!


First Period


The first period was close if you just don't pay attention to the score at the end of it. Early in the game the Islanders took some penalties that the Penguins made them regret early. The Penguins got their first attempt on the power play almost 3 minutes into the game when Peter Regin would get called for concealing the puck. Just over a minute into the power play Chris Kunitz "the Islander Slayer" would score on a wrist shot with assists going to Crosby (18th) and Malkin (20th). Unreal passing. The Penguins would take the lead   1-0

A little over 30 seconds later the Islanders would go back to the box again when Thomas Vanek was called for interference on Brandon Sutter. The Penguins would go back on the power play.

They managed to kill off that penalty but a minute after that they would get called again after Travis Hamonic for a 2 minute high sticking major. This time the Penguins would not let them off so easily. 13 seconds into the power play Chris Kunitz would score his second goal on the power play of the night and his 11th of the season after a killer one timer on a pass by James Neal (4th) and the second assist would go to Paul Martin (8th)


There were some more power play chances for both teams but neither team could capitalize. The second period ended with both teams getting 13 shots on goal a piece. Zatkoff looked comfortable this period and with 2 power play goals and dominating most of the play the Penguins were looking pretty unstoppable.

UNTIL.....

Second Period

Well the first period was fun... Though the shots on goal being close would make you think this period was close, in actuality it resembled the first period but reversed..

The Islanders managed to get on the board early in the second period when Thomas Vanek who just returned from injury after missing 2 weeks scored his 6th goal of the season. The Penguins did not look so hot on this play in their end and Zatkoff looked like Zatkoff again. Not into moving or covering the right side of his net. That being said, the Pens didn't do much in their end to help him out on this goal. The Penguins lead was cut in half to 2-1.

About 5 minutes later this happened... 
Incredible play by Neal and Geno. Had this not gone in fans might have been cursing at Neal for not scoring but that was not the case and FINALLY, Geno has scored. Lets hope he has "broken the ice" and will continue scoring goals as well as tallying up assists the way he has been. The goal was Malkin's 4th of the season and put the Pens up 3-1.
Finally the Malk has come back to scoring goals...
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
We have given Consol fans a bit of a hard time, but it was really nice to hear them chanting his name. No doubt the fans wanted this goal to happen almost as bad as Malkin did. 

11:33 seconds into the period the Islanders would start inching their way back into the game after Colin McDonald would put a snap shot behind Zatkoff to make the score 3-2. Again, everyone looked ugly on this goal for the Pens..

Things went from bad to worse a little over a minute later when Thomas Vanek would score again to tie the game at 3-3. 

What seemed like a domination after the first turned around fairly easily in the second.  The Isles out shot the Pens 13 to 12 in the period.

Third Period 

With the score being tied 3-3 both teams seemed to be a little more hesitant to continue the fast paced back and forth action and seemed a little more focused on defense and attempted to be more disciplined. The period would consist of 18 shots that were split evenly by both sides. 

As the clock ran down it was at the 18:44 mark when Sidney Crosby scored his 12th goal of the season and his 250th goal of his career. 
This would be the game winning goal. Though Tanner Glass took a pretty stupid call shortly after, the Isles could not tie the game up. 

Minus a pretty ugly second period, for the most part the Penguins had a good game. Zatkoff wasn't terrible but appeared to have the same issues as he has in other games. We can't expect the Penguins to score 4 goals every time he plays. It was like he was told to work on his movement and decided to move way too much. He was sliding all over the place and didn't seem to take shots away from players by cutting off the angle. Was he terrible? No... He was good enough to help get the team the win. It is nice to have Flower playing as well as he has been but it is looking like he will be getting the majority of the work this season which as we have learned in recent years doesn't help him come playoff time. 

Notes

  • Though he took a stupid penalty at the end of the game, Glass was hitting everything with two legs ending the game with 7 hits.
  • Letang was on the second PP this game as expected and again played under 25 mins. For the most part he had a decent game minus being a -1.
  • Zatkoff made 32 saves on 35 shots.
  • The Pens scored 2 goals on their 4 power play attempts and managed to kill off all 6 penalty kills.
The Penguins next game is tonight in Montreal. The game is set for a 7pm start.

#LetsGoPens

Don't follow Ryan Noble on Twitter... 

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