Snap Shots: Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Islanders – 1/23/14


Jan 23, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin (60) defends against Pittsburgh Penguins left wing James Neal (18) during the first period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Snap Shots, our condensed post-game recap of the New York Islanders latest NHL matchup

Pittsburgh Penguins (35-13-2, 72pts) @ New York Islanders (21-24-7, 49pts) 

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

7:30 PM

Penguins (6) – Islanders (4)

SOG: 29-34

Starting Lineup

26 Thomas Vanek – 91 John Tavares –21 Kyle Okposo 12 Josh Bailey – 51 Frans Nielsen – 16 Peter Regin 40 Michael Grabner– 29 Brock Nelson — 15 Cal Clutterbuck 13 Colin McDonald – 53 Casey Cizikas– 17 Matt Martin

37 Brian Strait – 47 Andrew MacDonald 44 Calvin de Haan – 14 Thomas Hickey 46 Matt Donovan – 4 Radek Martinek

60 Kevin Poulin

Notable Scratches: Evgeni Nabokov (IR), Travis Hamonic (Upper Body)

Game Summary

First Period:  Top lines at the puck drop. Isles with some early offensive zone presence, and a Pens defensive miscue and a loose puck in the slot area sets up Michael Grabner for New York’s early lead. Penguins returning the pressure, as Isles looking a bit sloppy on their defensive coverage, but overall both teams skating and checking hard–a great clip through the first 7:00 of the frame. Oddly enough only 2 SOG through those same 7:00+. Michael Grabner capitalizes on a Penguins giveaway inside the NZ, breaking with Brock Nelson, shovels a pass to the streaking rookie and he buries it for New York’s 2nd of the game. Seconds later, Crosby in deep, slings a pass over to an wide-open Kunitz inside the high slot, and rifles one past Poulin to give the Pens their first of the evening. Minutes from their first, Crosby ties it up, as a pass from Kunitz from behind Poulin feeds Crosby in front; he went strong Strait and won the battle.  Isles dig themselves deeper in the hole: Calvin de Haan called for Interference. Isles PK unit with some strong play a man down, successfully stifling any Penguins threat. Isles momentum temporarily on hiatus, as that tying goal has significantly lowered their pace. So at the end of 1: Isles-Pens tied.  SOG  9-9

Point of Interest: Penguins with 14 FO wins to the Isles 7

Second Period: First few minutes of the frame, some good back-and-forth, and an early period Penguins penalty to boot.  Islanders sloppy on the PP, having difficulty setting up inside the Penguins zone–0-1 with the man-up. Olli Matta waltzes into the Isles net area untouched and dekes around Poulin, giving the Pens their first lead of the evening–McDonald misses his mark there. Midway through the period, Isles still find themselves down by 1, and climbing uphill to regain a foothold in the matchup. Penguins with the better play thus far.  Casey Cizikas leaves the game with an apparent lower body injury–leg or ankle, but whatever it is, the man looks hurt. Helped off the ice and into the locker room by trainer. The Islanders’ momentum comes to a screeching halt by the by the 15:00 mark, playing tired, sloppy, uninspired hockey against a much more offensively-minded Penguins team. Mat Martin called for Hooking and the Pens capitalize with a Kris Letang shot into a gapping net.  Good news: Cizikas would return to the game. SOG  9-7 Penguins

Point of Interest:  Isles are losing the FO battles big time: 28-16

Third Period:  Period opens up with a Matt Martin-Tanner Glass scrap, with Martin getting the better of the Penguins winger. Wait for it: JOSH BAILEY SCORED!A feed from Frans Nielsen gives a surging Bailey a partial breakaway. But a defensive gaffe puts the Pens the 2-goal lead again, as de Haan is caught flat-footed in front. Some traffic in front of the Pittsburgh net, and the Isles score? Play reviewed. Result: goal by Okposo. Isles are creeping back into the contest. Momentum through 12:00 shifting toward Isles direction, as the Martin fight was the pebble rolling down a snowy hill. Isles on the PP with 8:16 left. Tavares tripped on a partial breakaway, giving them the 5-on-3 opportunity late in the matchup.  Nothing doing with the 2 man advantage. Isles looking for that tying goal, applying pressure in the meanwhile.  SOG  11-18 Islanders

Point of Interest: Matt Martin fight helped turn the momentum in the Isles favor. 

Box Score


1st Period

  • Michael Grabner (8). Assists: Thomas Hickey. (1:39) 0-1 Islanders
  • Brock Nelson (9). Assists: Michael Grabner. (8:21) 0-2 Islanders
  • Chris Kunitz (25). Assists: Sydney Crosby, Olli Matta (9:32) 1-2 Islanders
  • Sidney Crosby (27). Assists: Chris Kunitz, Matt Niskanen (11:24) 2-2 Tie

2nd Period

  • Olli Matta (5). Assists: Chris Kunitz, Matt Niskanen. (5:35)  3-2 Penguins
  • Kris Letang (10) PPG. Assists: Sidney Crosby, James Neal.  (17:44) 4-2 Penguins

3rd Period

  • Josh Bailey (5). Assists: Frans Nielsen, Thomas Hickey. (3:10) 3-4 Penguins
  • Evgeni Malkin (14). Assists: James Neal. (5:59) 5-3 Penguins
  • Kyle Okposo (21). Assists: John Tavares, Matt Donovan.  (10:55) 5-4 Penguins
  • Brandon Sutter (9) Empty Net. Unassisted. 6-4 Penguins


1st Period

  • Calvin de Haan. Interference. (12:32)

2nd Period

  • Olli Matta. Cross-Checking. (2:33)
  • Matt Martin. Hooking. (16:18)

3rd Period

  • Matt Martin & Tanner Glass. Fighting (Major). (1:54)
  • Kris Letang. Hooking. (11:44)
  • Tanner Glass. Tripping. (12:55)


Turning Point

  • The Evgeni Malkin goal at 5:59

What’s Ahead

  • The St. Louis Blues pay the Isles a visit this Saturday afternoon–1pm puck drop