Endgame: Penguins 3, Islanders 0
Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 9:40 PM ET / Features
By Sam Kasan
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Everything you need to know about the Penguins' 3-0 victory against the NY Islanders:
BIG FAT ZERO
This is starting to sound like a broken record, but you can’t have success in the National Hockey League without great goaltending.
Marc-Andre Fleury put together another masterful 60 minutes of work, another episode in a long string of games for the “Flower.”
Fleury stopped all 33 saves he faced to record his first shutout of the season and 20th of his career.
"It's always good to get the win and nicer to get it with a shutout," Fleury said. "There were a few that came pretty close. My D blocked some shots and rebounds. They helped me out a lot."
"Our goaltender had to be the best player on the ice," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "I thought Marc-Andre Fleury was outstanding. At different points in the game he had to make the big saves to keep them off the board."
In his last four starts Fleury has stopped 119 of 123 shots he’s faced (.968 save percentage).
"Flower played a phenomenal game and kept us in it until we found our game," forward Richard Park said. "Our goaltending has been outstanding. You don't have to look any further than them as the reason for our success right now. Guys here and fans are accustomed to seeing that kind of quality netminding."
Penguins forward Richard Park has played in nearly 700 career games in the NHL, with 316 coming in an Islanders uniform through four seasons.
Park, 35, celebrated his home coming to Long Island by scoring a goal and dominating the faceoff circle (9-of-15, 60 percent). His goal came 20 seconds into the second period and gave the Pens a solid 2-0 lead.
"It was imperative to come out strong in the second," Park said. "It was nice to score there at the beginning of the period."
Park made a beautiful play with the puck on his goal. The veteran stayed patient, forcing a panicked Islander down to the ice. Park then calmly curled the puck around his body and snapped a perfect shot into the top corner over the shoulder of Evgeni Nabokov.
D BECOMES O
The Penguins continue to turn skilled defensive plays into offense. It’s been a staple of the early season for Pittsburgh, generating turnovers and using a quick transition to create scoring chances. Such a play resulted in the Penguins’ first goal.
Pascal Dupuis used a backcheck to strip the puck from an Islander. As the puck found its way around the boards to defenseman Brooks Orpik, Dupuis alertly sped up ice with frantic speed.
Orpik spotted Dupuis and laid up a righteous breakout pass through a few stalled Islanders that ignited Dupuis on a breakaway.
Dupuis, who scored on a similar turnover/breakaway against Minnesota this year, carried the puck and lasered a shot above the blocker of Nabokov and into the goal.
A game-time decision heading into the contest, Evgeni Malkin suited up and played for just the fourth time this season.
Malkin, who had missed seven of the past eight games, made a difference every time he stepped on the ice. The Islanders, respecting Malkin’s talent and skill, backed off mightily, giving him a lot of open ice to work with and create offense.
"I missed seven games, but I didn't just rest," Malkin said. "I worked hard and trained. My knee feels good.
"There might be a little bit (of soreness). I put ice on it after the game. It feels pretty good and I'm ready to play the next game."
Malkin finished the game with 19:19 minutes of ice time, three shots and three takeaways.
"I thought he looked strong in the game," Bylsma said. "Towards the end, his conditioning having not skated a ton lately, wasn't up there. He was fine in the game. He looked strong on the puck. He's a bull on the ice and you could see it at different times defensively and offensively with the puck. Pretty good game for him."
Author: Sam Kasan