PITTSBURGH, PA – Incredibly poor team play and equally dreadful goaltending set the stage for the first blowout of the 2013 postseason, as the New York Islanders lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0.
Pascal Dupuis (who is to the Isles what Chipper Jones is to the Mets) scores two goals, and an overall relentless forecheck by the Penguins helped in this rout of the Isles, who simply didn’t show up this evening, their first playoff appearance in over 7 years.
Evgeni Nabokov showed little poise after a heavy-handed Jarome Iginla slapshot clanked off his helmet, and shortly thereafter let in the first goal of the game; Nabby would eventually allow three more unanswered notches before being chased early in the second.
Pittsburgh showed dominance on the backcheck, attacking, swarming rather, on any and all Islanders handling the puck: clogging up scoring and shooting lanes, and preventing any consistent puck cycling on either side of the ice.
Overall, there isn’t much to salvage here other than Poulin seemed to gain some composure after the soft goal that gave the Pens their 5th tally. John Tavares had no assistance to his forechecking duties, and Matt Martin‘s physical play was all but absent. Look to see Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton return to the lineup, and somehow, I hope, an appearance by Jesse Joensuu
No skating, no identity on 5 on 5, some bad PK shifts, give the Islanders their first loss of this series and the second worst loss in 2012-2013 (this game coming close to the 7-0 Flyers debacle.)
NEW YORK ISLANDERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
7:30 PM ET, May 1, 2013
CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Weak call on Brian Strait (hit on Matt Cooke) gives Pittsburgh an early PP opportunity and early lead
- Second goal by the Pens is due in large part to a Matt Martin turnover, and an Isles backcheck that didn’t clear/pick up the loose puck; Nabokov was caught out of position as he overcompensated for a big rebound in front of him
- Isles start second period attempting to kill a previous penalty, only to have Marty Reasoner called for tripping, forcing Isles into a 5 on 3. Pens capitalize
- No help by Isles defense leads to another quick goal in the second, the Pens 4th. Nabokov chased; Poulin is in.
- Dupuis scores two goals on the Isles
- Penguins forecheck showed the Isles defense just how slow they can be. Late in the second Thomas Hickey is beat to an iced puck; earlier in the first Brandon Sutter beat Mark Streit to a loose puck in the Isles zone, and the Penguins forward draws a Holding penalty
- Tanner Glass scores the 5th goal of the game, on a shot that should’ve been stopped by Kevin Poulin
- Marty Reasoner gets a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for his hit on Evgeni Malkin; appeared that Reasoner went knee to knee with the Pens forward, but upon a closer inspection it was a trip on a failed body check
- Islanders opened the game with plenty of energy and physical play; much dump and chase sparked by aggressive forecheck; Isles had 19 hits in the first period; but said energy was short-lived
- Isles first postseason PP produced quality opportunities but no goals; puck cycling showed confidence but short on shot precision
- Poulin made same better saves as the game progressed, not allowing another goal for the rest of his appearance in tonight’s matchup
- There are six games in which to improve: DON’T LOSE HEART. DON’T LOSE HOPE, ISLANDER COUNTRY! DON’T.