Bailey with a 5 point effort as Pens lose to Isles again
By Gary Harding
Whatever Josh Bailey is eating or drinking, I hope he continues to have the same stuff. Keep putting the socks on the same way. Do whatever you have to do.
After getting three helpers in the 5-3 victory on Tuesday, Josh Bailey did his version of “Can you Top This!!!” and got five points tonight, as the Isles won again by a score of 5-3 against the Penguins. With these back-to-back victories, Ranger fans are saying a big “THANK YOU” to the boys from Uniondale, for giving them a much more comfortable lead over Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division standings.
The Pens were 14-1-1 in the last sixteen matches, and had bundles of confidence. However, in these last two games, the Isles were able to solve the mystery of Marc-Andre Fleury. And the first one to solve him tonight was Marty Reasoner who finally gets a goal as an Islander after 56 games, with Bailey getting one of the assists on the play.
The Penguins would even the game at one, when Pascal Dupuis would get a shorthanded goal as Bailey would gave up the puck in his zone. To the folks in section 317, number 12 in blue would be the goat, but it did not last long.
The Isles would take the lead for good, when Kyle Okposo would put a shot in front of the net that a Penguin defensemen would deflect into the net. To the folks in the stands, it was a thought that Nino Niederreiter would have got the goal, but he fanned on it. Bailey would get a helper on that goal too.
Two minutes later, with Matt Martin serving a penalty, Bailey would get the puck in open ice thanks to Jay Pandolfo, and push the puck past Fleury to give the Isles a two goal lead. The Isles would go to the locker room with not only a two goal lead, but getting the scoring from secondary players, despite the top line playing at a maximum effort.
The third period, Okposo would get a slapper past Fleury to give the Isles a three goal lead. For the Minnesota native, he would notch his twentieth goal of the season, a career high. Despite having a long drought in the middle of the year, he has had a fantastic finish, giving the fans a taste of great things to come. Bailey would get an assist on the goal, getting his fourth point of the night.
To most teams, a three goal deficit would deflate an opponent. Not the Penguins. Jordan Staal, a villain to Isles fans from his hit on John Tavares on Tuesday, would inch the visitors closer. The Isles, despite that goal, would play a strong third period, and kept the Pens off the score board, until Fleury was pulled for an extra skater. Evgeni Malkin would get his 47th goal and his league leading 100th point of the season, and got the Penguins to within one. However, with the road team pressing, Bailey would get a Penguin off the puck and shoot the puck into an empty net to close the scoring.
For the Islanders, they would get to NHL 500 at 33-33-11 for 77 points. They have not been over .500 since October 22nd. Saturday, the Bruins are the opponents, and they have a chance to get their first four game win streak of the year. The Islanders are playing strong hockey; more specifically, their best hockey of the season.
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