Saturday, November 8, 2008

Live Blog: Penguins 4, Islanders 3, SO

Postgame update: The word after the game on Hunter's shootout attempt was that the refs knew the puck was in but they couldn't see it. They have to see the puck go across the line to call it a goal. And, obviously, the replays gave no cause for overturning the call on the ice. Given the opportunity to criticize the officiating on the play, Scott Gordon paused in thought before taking the high road. He offered only that it's pretty hard to win a shootout when you don't score a goal.

Gordon also said that he felt bad for Gervais for falling victim to the bad bounce that allowed the Penguins to score their second goal.

As I mentioned in the live blog, the Islanders need to find a way to approach a third-period lead as an opportunity to win another period instead of protecting the lead. The strange thing is, for a large portion of the third, they did continue to push forward. But, as Gordon mentioned after the game, they suffered from a lack of attempts to shoot the puck.

Penguins win.

Hunter's shot is under review. If the call stands, the Pens win.

NYI Hunter Save

PIT Satan Save

NYI Guerin Save

PIT Sykora: Goal

NYI Weight: Save


End of Overtime: Things really opened up in the last minute and got sloppy. Guerin had a great opportunity streaking in from the right side but couldn't flip it by Sabourin. We're headed for a shootout.

1:05 Pens don't get a shot on net on a 3-on-1.

1:55 Lots of back and forth but no great chances for either team. It's somewhat of a tentative overtime.

5:00 Isles start with Hunter, Nielsen, Campoli, and Gervais.


End of Regulation: Great chances for both teams in the final minute with Crosby and Nielsen both shooting wide.

2:16 Tambellini with a blocked shot at the blue line and a partial breakaway. His shot is turned aside.

2:24 For about 15 minutes, the Isles were playing up tempo enough to give the Penguins something to think about other than constant pressure in the offensive zone. That changed and the Isles were once again back on their heels, not getting clears, and not getting clears far enough down the ice when they did get them. But keep in mind they are being outshot 17-0 in the third.

3:15 After a several-minute-long stretch of pressure, the Isles finally broke. MacDonald beaten by a long shot. Tied 3-3.

5:34 The Islanders have not registered a shot on goal in the third. That's not to say they're sitting back in a shell.

6:55 Same for the second unit. Power Play over.

8:08 The first unit fails to generate much of anything.

8:56 Nielsen's patience with the puck causes him to lose an opportunity to shoot or make a play, but gains the Isles a power play. Sykora goes off for hooking.

10:28 MacDonald had a little trouble with a sharp-angled shot and the rebound fell in front. No harm done.

12:40 Cooke's wrister rings the post. Might have been deflected on the way in.

14:45 Penguins have surpassed the Isles in shots on goal, 19-17.

16:01 Sabourin misplays the puck behind the net. Okposo takes a feed for another one-timer but doesn't get all of it.

17:15 MacDonald being tested early. He's been there each time.

18:25 Nielsen had a shot at a mostly empty net but his back was to the goal and the shot went just wide. Back at even strength.

19:00 Crosby to Letang for a one-timer, kicked away nicely by MacDonald. Then Mac shuts the door on Fedotenko in close.

20:00 So the goal here is not to protect the lead. It's to win the period.


2nd Intermission: The Isles have 1:23 left to kill off at the beginning of the third period. I would have much preferred seeing them go to the third with the two-goal lead, mostly because I wanted to see them tested with a multi-goal lead again. They might as well be put right back in that fire. At the same time, I'd like to think that the one-goal lead will have them playing with more urgency in the third. They know what their coach wants them to do. It's time to execute. And stay out of the box, even if the PK has been effective so far. By the way, those ice times provided by the NHL for the first period may have been a little off now that I look at them and the current stats again. These stat sheets are published so quickly that they occasionally include errors that are corrected later.

0:37 Now Gervais with a slashing penalty, the Islanders' fourth minor of the period.

1:38 Bergenheim created a shorthanded breakaway for himself but couldn't put it home with a defenseman bothering him the last 15 feet. He and Nielsen hammered at the loose puck in the crease several times before Sabourin finally covered.

3:21 Guerin goes off for slashing. The test is starting early.

3:59 Puck hops over Gervais' stick at his own blue line. Staal beats him to it and puts the moves on MacDonald to cut the lead. Isles lead 3-2.

5:30 Sutton sends it from the blue line down low to Okposo in the corner. Okposo slides it to the top of the crease where Hilbert receives, turns, and puts a backhand by Sabourin. Isles lead 3-1.

6:31 Giveaway to Nielsen in front but Scuderi slides across to block the shot and make up for the error.

7:04 The scoreboard shows the Pens with only six shots on goal. The Isles survived a couple of penalties early in the period, now they need to survive a few icings.

11:09 Weight out of the box takes a pass just inside the blue line from Jackman, holds on Sabourin, fires, and Jackman slams home the rebound into the open side. Sutton with the other assist. Isles lead 2-1.

13:23 Malkin does his best to dance by Weight and causes him to take a slashing penalty. Weight doesn't see it that way.

15:26 Talbot knocked down a Streit backhanded clearing attempt resulting in a goal-mouth scramble. MacDonald covers up. Isles are flirting with disaster by not clearing the puck multiple times when they had a chance.

15:58 Talbot undressed the Islander defense forcing Skinner to take a hooking penalty.

17:44 4-on-3 rush for the Pens results in an easy backhander for Tyler Kennedy. Tied 1-1.

19:35 Okposo has had two cracks tonight at that one-timer he likes from near the slot, but nothing to show for it so far.


1st Intermission: The Islanders have suffered from two main plagues this season: giving up the early goal and collapsing in the third. They seem to have overcome the first issue and have once again played a solid first period. Nielsen and Tambellini led the Islanders in ice time with over nine minutes each. Andy Sutton was the only other skater who surpassed nine minutes.

0:47 Weight almost creates another problem in front of the Pens' net on the forecheck. Poked the puck away but couldn't gather it in.

3:37 Weight gathers in a blocked shot just inside the left circle and feathers a softie over Sabourin's glove. Assists to Guerin and Hilbert. Isles lead 1-0.

5:09 Jackman finished an open-ice check nicely on Eaton in the neutral zone.

6:35 Consecutive blocked shots by Sutton and Hunter.

8:05 Park, Hilbert, and Jackman now on the ice as a unit.

8:13 Some decent looks on that power play, only a couple of shots made it on net.

9:10 Okposo, Nielsen, and Tambellini out with Campoli and Skinner.

10:40 Comrie, Guerin, and Hunter form the first forward unit with Weight and Streit on the points. Sabourin makes a nice save on a hard, low shot from Weight.

10:40 Talbot to the box for slashing. First PP chance for the Islanders.

11:58 The play has been fairly even so far. A few decent chances for each team, but nothing too scary for either goalie. The Isles are skating well.

13:19 Jackman playing with Comrie and Sim.

15:13 Malkin back, lost the draw.

16:40 MacDonald with a solid save on Crosby from the right circle.

17:26 Malkin skated off wincing. Looked like a lower arm issue.

18:48 Bergenheim is back with Weight and Guerin.

19:56 Satan heard some boos right from the start.

20:00 Your starting lineup: MacDonald, Streit, Sutton, Hilbert, Park, Okposo.


If it's Saturday and I'm live blogging, it must be hockey night at the Coliseum. The Islanders will look to get back to their winning ways from earlier in the week against the 7-4-2 Penguins, who are currently tied for second in the Atlantic Division with the New Jersey Devils, seven points back of the first-place Rangers. I'm told they've scheduled three periods of action tonight. We'll see how it goes.

Here are some personnel updates posted by Tom Liodice at The Tiger Track: Sidney Crosby will be in the lineup tonight despite unspecified soreness over the last few days and Nate Thompson is on the shelf for 2-4 weeks with a groin strain.

Other notes of interest: The Islanders finished 2007-08 with a 3-5-0 record against Pittsburgh. Josef Vasicek led the team in points for the series with Trent Hunter, Mike Comrie, and current Penguin Miro Satan each scoring three goals...Kyle Okposo leads this year's NHL rookie class with 30 shots on goal...The Islanders are averaging 16.5 blocked shots per game, good for fifth in the league. They finished fourth overall last season...This is the Islanders' fifth of 15 games in November. They've split the first four...Tim Jackman is making his season debut tonight.

As the Islanders take the ice for warmups in their fantastic alternate Saturday-special uniforms, I just have to make one comment on them. As much as I like this look, my preference would be for it to remain the alternate uniform while the home and away uniforms return to the style most often associated with the Dynasty era. That being said, if this uniform does go full-time in the future, I'll be far from unhappy about it.

In a poll earlier this week, 80% of respondents indicated they do not want Garth Snow to pursue a deal with Brendan Shanahan now that Mark Parrish is no longer an option.

Almost gametime...once again, timestamps in this live blog refer to time remaining in the period.


Tom Liodice said...

Why thank you...I read your blog too! ;-)

Islanders Outsider said...

I know where to go for the scoops ;-)

IslesFanInCA said...

Nice job with the blogging. I wanted to get your opinion of Richard Park. What is his status regarding his contract?

He's one of the few islanders NOT in the minus with his +/-. Stan Fischler tonight said that Park's PK play is one of the few reasons the Isles were ahead after 2 periods. He seems constantly be drawing praise from the broadcasters.

Just some thoughts. Thanks for your work on the blog.

Islanders Outsider said...

Hey islesfaninca,

Sorry I didn't see your comment earlier in the night, and thanks for the kind words about the blog.

I think Park is a very useful player who is reliable and consistent in particular roles. For the most part, his duties this year have been limited to those roles in which he is most successful, as opposed to last year when he was counted on to do things—like score—that he won't do consistently.

He will go on little runs like the one he was on recently where he put up 6 points in 5 games because he is generally well positioned. But without fantastic finishing skills, his value is as a third or fourth liner and penalty killer who shows up every night. Coaches love him (Nolan maybe a little too much last year), and it's no surprise that with Witt and Sillinger out, Park is wearing an A on his jersey.

As for his contract, he's signed for one more year after this at the same $750,000 he's making this year.

Thanks again for reading.