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Penguins win thriller against Islanders

Jan 23, 2014, 10:36 PM EST

pensislesgetty Getty Images

It’s anyone’s guess if the New York Islanders can surge to a playoff spot this season – don’t look at Sports Club Stats, Isles fans – but Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins evoked the two teams’ high-flying 2013 playoff series. Unfortunately for John Tavares & Co, that also meant they lost, as Pittsburgh prevailed 6-4.

The Islanders charged out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Michael Grabner and Brock Nelson, but that margin lasted just a little more than three minutes, as Sidney Crosby assisted on a Chris Kunitz goal and scored one of his own. Crosby collected three points overall, expanding his league-leading total to a whopping 72 points.

Ultimately, the Penguins out-gunned the Isles in a thriller of a game, as Pittsburgh’s top guys came through. The larger stats really highlight the Penguins’ dominance (via Liam McHugh during the NBCSN telecast):

  • The Penguins have taken seven straight regular season series against the Isles.
  • The Pens are 28-8-2 against the Isles in the two teams’ last 38 contests.
  • Pittsburgh’s been strong lately, too, with wins in four of five games.

As fun as this contest was to watch, the Islanders have a long way to  make it to the playoffs once again. The Penguins highlighted that difference on Thursday.

  1. penguins87and71 - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    I can’t really blame the defense or the goaltending tonight for the Penguins whenever the Penguins and the Islanders meet up the games are always high scoring affairs. I’m not so sure I want to the Islanders to get that final spot as a wild card. They always play the Penguins tough.

  2. lowenni - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    The isles can really score, and…yeah that’s about it.

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Can someone tell me where the penalty was on Tavares to draw the 5 on 3? Didn’t look like a trip to me. Crosby just can’t hit the empty. If Sid could actually hit the empty nets that he has missed this season he’d probably have maybe say 3-5 extra points already …just sayin. I’m ok with these high scoring games in the Regular season but just not the playoffs. LETS GO PENS!!

    • killerpgh - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      Was that the call on Glass? I think it was. Pretty simple and correct call if we are talking about the same play. Kind of like growing up when you put a stick in your buddy spokes of his bike while he is riding. The stick is going to hit the forks and cause him to flip. Just like Glass putting his stick between a striding Tavares. 10 years ago you would have to slice a guys head off to get another penalty while already shorthanded. Now that isn’t the case.

      • miketoasty - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        It’s terrible quality but you can kind of tell: http://goo.gl/1gmo37

        I completely agree with pitpenguinsrulez, that should not have been a penalty. Glass pushes Tavares over, his stick isn’t even on the ice. Not that it matters at all, we got the W just wish the calls would have been a little better.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      the glass call was correct, the call on letang that got it to 5 on 4 before that was pretty mysterious though. he took a swipe at the puck and missed, his follow through tapped tavares on the side and they called him for a hook. glad the game wasnt decided on it

  4. c9castine - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    game wasn’t even that close really. not like they usually play us. zatkoff let some bad ones in and also made some great saves. sid played maybe his best game of the year. 1st goal especially was all him. face off win, carry it out of the zone, dump it, go get it, set up a one time in the slot goal. all in about 15 seconds.

  5. 19inarow - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    The Penguins. Such a good regular season team.

  6. canadiansportsfan77 - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:58 AM

    The Isles defense has been a mess this yr, but one young player who looked like he belonged on the Isles side is Calvin DeHann. He really impressed me with how well he played against the Malkin Neal I think Kobasew line.

    Donovan still looks nervous out there and is trying to hard to make a play. Hopefully he calms his play down and begins showing signs of being more effective.

    Props to the Pens, they played a good game

  7. s2mikey - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:21 AM

    The pens are looking very 2009 ish.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Agree completely – including the need for a gritty Bill Guerin style winger :).

  8. penguins87and71 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    John Tavares was a beast last night.

    • theageofquarrel - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      Yeah,that 1 assist,-1 +/-,and 29% on faceoffs was beastly

      • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        Drew two penalties in third to give the Isles their best chance at tying the game… obviously they couldn’t convert, but it would be wise to look beyond the stat sheet before dismissing things completely.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 24, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      did you even watch the game?

    • jpelle82 - Jan 24, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      in all seriousness though i can see why the tavares line has been so good lately, they just couldnt finish last night. if i were capuano i wouldnt have put them out against crosby line, there was a lot of wasted shifts chasing sid around the zone when they couldve gotten better matchups with the home ice advantage

  9. jpelle82 - Jan 24, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    cant believe they kept putting tavares out there against him, he might as well have just stood there on the faceoffs with crosby because i dont think he won a single one.

    • theageofquarrel - Jan 24, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      Capuano should have matched him against the Malkin line.
      I think they put him out against Sid to try to prove he is as good as Sid and it never works. He just embarrasses him time and time again.

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