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Pens-Islanders In-Game Blog

Thursday, 03.29.2012 / 6:30 PM / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Pens-Islanders In-Game Blog



ISLANDERS 5, PENGUINS 3





0:00: Horn sounds. Isles take this one 5-3 and sweep the home-and-home series.

0:04: Bailey gobbles up a loose puck at the point, takes it down the ice and stuffs it into the empty net. ISLES 5, PENS 3

0:27: Pens whistled for offsides. Faceoff will go just outside the offensive zone. Bylsma uses his timeout to draw up a play. Fleury still on the bench.

1:31: Pens pull Fleury for the extra attacker, who turns out to be Malkin. He comes onto the ice and slams one home to pull the Pens within one! ISLES 4, PENS 3

4:51: Sullivan, Malkin, Neal line just flew around the ice on their last shift. Looked real fast.

8:00: Isles playing a lot of dump-and-chase hockey right now. All they need to do is protect their lead.

11:40: Staal splits the defenders, goes to his backhand and floats one past Montoya. ISLES 4, PENS 2

11:50: The Pens barrage the net as the power play winds down, but they just can't get the puck to cross the goal line. This just isn't Pittsburgh's night. Isles back to full strength.

13:51: Malkin draws a penalty in the offensive zone and the Pens PP will go to work. Bylsma is sticking with the five-forward model as Sullivan stays on the point, Malkin is on the half wall and Crosby, Kunitz and Neal are down low.

14:08: Kyle Okposo barrels to the net untouched and gets a perfect feed from Frans Nielsen. He slams it past Fleury for his second goal of the night. ISLES 4, PENS 1

14:53: Tangradi on the left wing with Staal at center and Cooke on the right.

17:15: Pens are able to kill it off and go back to full strength.

19:16: And the Pens will be shorthanded early. James Neal gets two for boarding Andrew MacDonald. Pittsburgh heads to the PK 44 seconds in.

     "#Pens come on!! Pull through!"
                                                           @ElliGracie

     "I only got one thing to say...Let's go #pens"

                                                           @tonygrkman

20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Game on!


(Getty Images)





The name of the game this period was special teams. The red-hot Pascal Dupuis evened the score at 1-1 when he forced a turnover in the neutral zone with a hit, allowing Craig Adams to get the puck and give him a return pass. Dupuis wired a shot past Montoya for his third shorthanded goal of the season. The Isles finished the frame with a bang when they scored twice in a two-minute span with under 3 1/2 minutes left to play, one goal coming on the power play (a re-direct that surprised Fleury) and the other coming on a shorthanded breakaway. This isn't the Pens' best hockey, but they have 20 minutes left to turn it around.





0:00: First 40 minutes in the books. Isles lead 3-1. Pens have a slight 14-13 advantage in shots.

1:24: With 34 seconds left on the penalty kill, Josh Bailey finds himself alone behind the Pens' five-forward PP unit and goes in on a breakaway. He beats Fleury to give New York the two-goal lead. ISLES 3, PENS 1

2:45: Now it's the Pens' turn to head on the PP. Matt Martin holds up Strait and he'll head to the box.

3:24: The Isles take the lead on a re-direct goal. With seconds left on the power play, Kyle Okposo throws a puck to the front of the net that deflects off Engelland's skate and squirts through a surprised Fleury. Okposo had been looking for Niederreiter at the backdoor. ISLES 2, PENS 1

     "#pens on the pk let's get another super duper goal"

                                                           @katee_cooper

5:16: Orpik heading back to the sin bin for holding after a battle with Moulson in the corner of the Pens zone. Pittsburgh to the PK.

5:49: The guilty parties are released from the box. We are back to full strength.

7:49: Parenteau and Orpik get matching minors for some behind-the-whistle whacks. We'll go 4-on-4 for the next 2 minutes.

     "The hockey gods decided to be kind. Sid back after taking a puck to the face. #PensMobile #pens"

                                                           @PRKingGarage

10:13: Crosby is back for the Pens. He went to the dressing room at the 1:43 mark after taking a puck in the face.

     "Sick snipe by Dupuis! #Pens really needed that!"

                                                           @fleuryofsaves

     "Super Duper gang. Pascal Dupuis ties it with a shorty. #pens"
                                                           @Chris_Gates

11:23: Adams enters the zone and softly pushes a pass to a breaking Dupuis, who got the play started by forcing a turnover in the neutral zone with a hit. He rings one far side past Montoya to even the score with 3 seconds left on the PK! That extends Dupuis' career-high point streak to 12 games! PENS 1, ISLES 1

13:20: One comes out, another goes in (to the penalty box, that is). The second the Isles get back to full strength, the Pens will be shorthanded as Despres goes off for hooking.

15:20: Pens get their second PP chance of the evening as Okposo goes off for high sticking Asham. Martin will jump on the first PP unit while Crosby is gone.

18:17: The teams line up for a faceoff in the Isles D zone. New York wins it back to D-man and Upper St. Clair native Dylan Reese, who flips it up and hits Crosby under the visor with his shot. The Pens captain goes down instantly. After a few moments he gets up and goes to the locker room to get taken care of. Play is delayed as the blood is cleaned off the ice.

19:01: Staal goes the other way after one of his teammates produces a huge effort on the backcheck and creates a lane to the net. But he's a little too unselfish and tries passing to Sullivan when he would have had an open look at the cage.

20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on!


(Getty Images)





The Pens said following Tuesday's game against the Isles that they had to clamp down defensively and play a lot tighter in their own zone. They haven't quite gotten there yet, as they got caught running around a bit while the Isles cycled the puck on an extended shift in the offensive zone – and New York scored as a result. Head coach Dan Bylsma has shaken up his lines (see the 6:45 p.m. entry for the combos) and while it took them a while to get going, they did generate some chances – including a Jordan Staal shot off the post.





0:00: That'll do it for the first. Isles have a 1-0 lead on a goal from Reasoner. Pens mustered 6 shots to the Isles' 4.

0:33: Tangradi, Kunitz and Crosby end up being on the ice together and have an extended shift in the Isles zone. They went to the net a lot out of the corners and created chances.

3:33: Pens unable to get anything going on the man-advantage. Isles back to full strength.

5:40: Bailey goes to the penalty box. Pens with a big PP here. Sullivan assuming the role of point man. Malkin on the half wall. Crosby, Neal and Kunitz working down low. A five forward power play.

6:05: Pens have been credited with just one shot so far. Yikes.

8:53: The Pens were scrambling around in their zone a bit just now and the Isles made them pay. Mobile D-man Mark Streit carries around the net and wires a pass to center Marty Reasoner in the slot. He has a wide-open look at the net and threads a shot through Fleury for the goal. iSLES 1, PENS 0

9:30: Now the Isles get an equally good chance. Fleury is out of position after making a save and Okposo somehow misses the wide-open cage!

     "How did that not go in #Pens"
                                                           @myra7

10:58: Wow. Jordan Staal just came within centimeters of a goal. TK drops him a pass in the slot and he deftly steps around Tavares to get a shot on net. It rings off the post and Staal nearly gets his own rebound as his stick is on the ice, but the puck knuckles away!

12:45: The Isles have a pretty lethal power play and they generated some scary chances with the man-advantage. But the Pens are able to hold them off until Cooke is released.

14:49: Isles are heading to the power play as Cooke goes off for holding. Pens to the PK.

17:13: I really like the Pens' fourth line of Asham, Adams and Tangradi. Asham and Adams are two veterans that just seem to jell really well, while Tangradi is embracing being that physical, energetic young presence.

19:34: Malkin's line started the game and stayed on the ice for a quick shift, less than 30 seconds. They entered the zone well with a few quick passes and managed the puck nicely.

     "Let's go #pens! Let's prove last game was the fluke!"

                                                           @SeanCWS

20:00: Puck drops to start the first at Nassau Coliseum. Game on!


(Getty Images)



6:45 PM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma has shaken up his lines. He has reunited Crosby with Kunitz and Dupuis and moved Sullivan back with Malkin and Neal, a line that shined during the first half of the season. Pens scratch Niskanen, Letang, Lovejoy, Park, Jeffrey and Vitale. Here are the combos...

Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
Sullivan-Malkin-Neal
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Tangradi-Adams-Asham

Orpik-Michalek
Strait-Martin
Despres-Engelland

Fleury between the pipes.



6:30 PM:
Hello everyone! The Pens are in Long Island preparing to complete a home-and-home series with the Islanders. Pittsburgh will get a rematch with New York after falling to the Islanders 5-3 on Tuesday at CONSOL Energy Center. A win tonight is absolutely critical if the Pens want to stay in the race for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who got pulled after the second period in Tuesday's loss, is getting the start in goal tonight. He has a history of bouncing back well from tough defeats, and is looking forward to doing that tonight...


If Fleury gets the win, the 27-year-old will equal Tom Barrasso's franchise record of 226 career wins. Brent Johnson, who has missed the last 17 games with an undisclosed injury, is back and will serve as Fleury's backup tonight. With Johnson healthy, the Pens re-assigned Brad Thiessen to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this afternoon. For the rest of the game day coverage, check out the Pens Report.

Though Tuesday was just the second regulation loss for Pittsburgh in a 17-game span (14-2-1), the Pens haven't been happy with their play over the last few games. The loss to the Islanders served as a wakeup call for this team, and they're ready to get back on track starting tonight. With that being said, I'm going to kick off the blog with one of my favorite pump-up songs of all time. I think it's rather appropriate. Enjoy.




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