Brent Johnson and the Penguins Shut Out the Isles in Pittsburgh

By John Panarese

This time it was Brent Johnson who kept the Islanders off the scoreboard.  And, in this case, it was a 3-0 win for the Pens at home over the visiting Islanders.  Once again, without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Pens still managed to get the job done.

Compared to the previous night in Atlanta, this was, to me, a rather lackluster effort.  With only 20 shots on net and going 0 for 5 on the power play, there just wasn’t enough offense to be found.  The closest they got was a post by PA Parenteau in the second period.  Other than that, perhaps a nice cycle and series of plays by the Nielsen, Grabner and Okposo line later in the third period was about the only real “life” the boys had in the offensive zone.

It didn’t help that the Pens jumped out to a 2-0 lead.  Additionally, Rick DiPietro probably would like the second goal back, which was scored by Chris Kunitz.  Once again, the opposing team got the first goal of the game, but unlike the game in Atlanta, the Isles could not get any goals to climb back into the contest.  An empty netter in the third basically sealed the deal in the end.

Beyond that, in my opinion, the officiating was surely questionable.  So why wasn’t Maxime Talbot tossed from the game for his hit on Blake Comeau in the first period?  Hey, I am “old school” and don’t mind a physical game, but with all this talk about “dangerous” hits, the officials have to be consistent and get it right.  I do think the Isles got pushed around a bit too much at times as well, but the tone of the game was a rather physical one.  The fight between DP and Brent Johnson in the end simply typified a night of frustrations for the Islanders.  At that point, I would have dropped the gloves myself and gone after any number of Penguins.

The Isles don’t play again until Saturday.  The Senators come a calling, and, hopefully, the boys can just put this one behind them.  It will be interesting to see if DP gets the nod again in net or Kevin Poulin is between the pipes.