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Discuss: Islanders win see-saw game vs Penguins, even series

May 7, 2013, 9:45 PM EST

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The Islanders and Penguins battled hard in this one, but John Tavares banked the deciding goal for the Islanders midway through the third period. Then 22-year-old forward Casey Cizikas rounded out the scoring in New York’s 6-4 victory and seemed to demoralize Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the process.

A few things to consider:

  • Pittsburgh did a superb job of responding to the Islanders’ early goals. James Neal found the back of the net just 45 seconds after the Islanders made it 1-0 and Evgeni Malkin responded within a minute of John Tavares’ goal. It kept New York from developing some early momentum, even if it didn’t end up changing the outcome of this game.
  • Pascal Dupuis has an incredible nine goals in nine contests against the New York Islanders in the regular season and playoffs. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and seems likely to get a sizable raise after completing a two-year, $3,000,000 contract.
  • What should become of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury? The Penguins went out and got themselves a viable alternative for the playoffs in Tomas Vokoun. Is it time to give him a shot? How much heat will Dan Bylsma take if he starts Fleury in Game 5?
  • On the subject, Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has a horrendous .846 save percentage in this series. So goaltending hasn’t exactly been either team’s greatest strength in this series.
  • Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald suffered what the Islanders called an upper-body injury. He was limited to 15:36 minutes as a result.
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148 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. gertrudegoat - May 7, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Nabby has not had a good playoffs. But he is unquestionably one of the team leaders and one of the main reasons the Isles are in the playoffs. If he gets hot, it might get the Isles the victory in the series.

  2. jakreidler - May 7, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Shero seems to have forgotten 2 things:

    1: You only have 3 forwards on the ice at a time

    2: Forwards generally do not stop the puck from going into your net

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - May 7, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    I wonder if we can crack 200 comments on this post? Lol

  4. gaborik104life - May 7, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    I have to say honestly watching the islanders play it’s hard not to root for them. Based on predictions by the majority they shouldn’t have even played a game with how badly they were supposed to get manhandled. They have proved that they were greatly underestimated and no matter what happens this has been a hell of a series. Lots of respect and if the rags don’t get out of this round and they doI found my new team to root for. Hell of an effort Isles keep it up.

  5. burgh916 - May 8, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    I’m utterly disgusted at people trying to always blame the D. As I stated before, YES our D did turn it over, so did the Islanders. Turnovers happen, it’s coming up with a KEY SAVE that gets your team a victory, if I recall correctly Nabby had a huge save on Sid in the final minutes of the third when the Isles were still only up by one. To no surprise what happens? They come down and pot shot a goal.
    Do you boneheads not realize that Fleury handcuffs himself? You Fleury fans scratch and claw for an excuse, EVERY TIME. Yet, when we win, it’s all MAF.
    Here’s where the handcuffing himself comes into play:
    We start off playing solid defense, positional defense, and play. What happens? Soft goals happen. When soft goals happen, you have to worry a little less about how positionally sound you are on D, and worry more about CATCHING UP.
    It all goes hand in hand. Whining about playing poor defense when he doesn’t help himself, nor the team, isn’t doing any good.

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 8, 2013 at 12:56 AM

      This is eerily similar to the arguments in the Bryzgalov debate. Defensive zone turnovers vs. Soft goals… and who’s to blame. With the way the Pens dominated the regular season I never would’ve thought that Fleury would have ANOTHER playoff meltdown. He seems to be as mentally fragile as Bryz.

      • burgh916 - May 8, 2013 at 1:01 AM

        Totally agree, and thanks for seeing my side of things, sometimes here it’s literally everyone on Fleury’s side haha.
        Our D does have mistakes, I mean, everyone is only human, I understand that about Fleury as well. However, a HUGE chunk of the goals this series were either put in by Fleury, or just ridiculously soft.
        I think for the teams sake, there needs to be a change, not just because Fleury has been playing horribly, but because how could the team have confidence in their goalie to make a key save for them? I wouldn’t. I’d have that thought in the back of my mind that “if I make a mistake, or don’t take my man, the puck could wind up in the net.”
        It would just seem way harder to play calm, and remain poised if that thought is in your mind every time the puck comes down the ice.

      • drone501 - May 8, 2013 at 7:51 AM

        i agree. it seems you can never count om maf winning a huge game like this. he looked terrible so far this series. once in a while you need a goalie to steal a game to pick up the rest of the team. so this means both of pa hockey teams have a goalie problem. think i would take bryz right now.

      • jpelle82 - May 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM

        people can blame the defense but the fact is MAF scored both game winners for the isles on himself. he has been terrible. 3 of the 4 goals allowed in game 2 came from behind the net. he’s fighting the puck, out of position, and not the agressive poke checking goalie we know and love. he’s scared and needs benched. i would be shocked if vokoun isnt in for game 5 at home, i will guarantee a win if he is in there instead of MAF.

  6. bobhpine - May 8, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Fleury has to go. 102 shots, 14 goals in the playoffs. It’s the same performance as last years against Philthy. Ostensibly, he sucked in 2012 because he was worn out…well… Voky played 40 percent of the games this year, which was only three months long. Energy isn’t the problem. He is just a head case, plain and simple.

    No more excuses MAF. You’re about to squander an incredible opportunity. Shero was smart enough to get insurance in the form of Vokoun. Time to use it.

    • miketoasty - May 8, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      Fleury has allowed 14 goals and has won 2 games.

      Nabakov has allowed 15 goals and won 2 games.

      Nabakov is being called a hero in Long Island while Fleury is getting ridiculed and torn apart in Pittsburgh.

      Penguins are being outplayed in every game so far this series, badly, to blame it all on MAF is a joke.

    • coopjr - May 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Pens are still overrated.

  7. taintedlombardis - May 8, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    PHT has yet to comment on the referees…

    I wonder why?

    • jpelle82 - May 8, 2013 at 8:09 AM

      because the islanders got all the calls last night? nabokov gets the oscar last night…hands down

      • coopjr - May 8, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        “…and you can’t do anything because I am protected by my impenetrable cereal box fort.”

    • pens5829 - May 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Guys in stripes had the best seat in the house last night. They watched an entertaining game. The “garage league” is back.

  8. chanceoffleury1 - May 8, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Bylsma had Letang, Orpik, and Martin on the ice at the same time for almost an entire shift during even strength play in this game. That pretty much sums up his coaching abilities when it comes to the playoffs the last 4 years. This game was really the lowest of the lows thus far this series.

    Bad Goaltending? CHECK!
    Missed prime powerplay opportunities? CHECK!
    Stars getting injured? CHECK!
    Chippy post-whistle shots? CHECK!
    Crosby, Letang, Martin, Malkin, and Neal playing on a unit together and not being able to create a single scoring chance to tie the game? CHECK!
    Totally falling apart in a must win game? CHECK! CHECK! and CHECK! for each period!

    Not ready to give up hope though. No reason to with this team. A change in net will hopefully light the fire in the heart of this team as it is so obviously needed…………………..like I said, hopefully.

  9. ndrick731 - May 8, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    Watch out Isles. When things go bad Pens go cheap shot. Running isles dman by 2 pens after game was over us just the start. Expect Crosby and Malkin to start with the stick work and Letang, Cooke and especially Neal with the head shots. All while the refs look the other way.

    • coopjr - May 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      Don’t forget the glove kicking. It’s what the best players do.

    • jl9830 - May 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      For everyone downvoting it, it’s very true. And the Islanders (and their fans) are far from the only team who thinks/knows so. The Penguins are notorious for cheap shotting and playing dirty when they’re out of games- just watch last night. Iginla boards Martin like a maniac on the last play. Letang cross-checks an official. Morrow slams Cizikas’s head into the ice 5 times in a row. Those are dirtbag moves, and the Islanders will have to make sure they don’t lose anyone for round 2 if they get out to a lead in Games 5, 6, and potentially 7.

  10. 8man - May 8, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    WHAMMY!

  11. spavs412 - May 8, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    Turnovers and half hearted play concern me the most.. Sit morrow insert tk to get some foot speed and I hate tk

  12. michiganhockey11 - May 8, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    I tell you what. Crosby better watch the cheap stuff or grabbing/draggin guys down. He’s in no position to pull that kind of crap considering 1 shot is all it would take to end his career.

  13. yousuxxors - May 8, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    imagine quick was on the penguins?

    • coopjr - May 8, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Yes, if only they could pad the roster with superstars.

  14. cspuck7 - May 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    As a Wings fan, I know the feeling of being a heavy Stanley Cup favorite only to struggle in the first round. One big difference though, the Wings never lost their composure like this. I mean Malkin seems like he’d rather sit in the sin bin instead of playing, Fleury lets in inexcusable goals every game, and Letang cross-checks a ref at the end of the game? Wow

  15. multiplemiggs - May 8, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    what an awefully Penguins-Biased article

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