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Penguins at Islanders - 12-10-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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-No Sidney Crosby.

-No Jordan Staal.

-No Kris Letang

-No Zbynek Michalek.

-No Richard Park.

-No Ben Lovejoy.

-No Brian Strait.

-No Robert Bortuzzo.

-No problem right?

-Longtime EN reader shared this sobering photo of what the Civic Arena's roof looks like as of this morning:

-According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, the Penguins' lines tonight will be:

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Tyler Kennedy - Pascal Dupuis
Steve Sullivan - Joe Vitale - Arron Asham
Steve MacIntyre - Craig Adams - Jason Williams

Paul Martin - Deryk Engelland
Brooks Orpik - Matt Niskanen
Alexandre Picard - Simon Despres

-The Penguins' starters are Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Deryk Engelland, Paul Martin and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal.

-The Islanders' starters are Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Travis Hamonic, Mark Streit and Al Montoya.

-Their scratches are Rick DiPietro, Micheal Haley and Nino Niederreiter.

-Jason Williams becomes the 17th player in franchise history to wear No. 19. His predecessors:

Bob Rivard 1968-1968
Jean Pronovost 1969-1978
Gregg Sheppard 1979-1982
Rick MacLeish 1983-1983
Grant Sasser 1984-1984
Arto Javanainen 1985-1985
Willy Lindstrom 1986-1987
Dave McLlwain 1988-1989
Randy Gilhen 1990-1990
Bryan Trottier 1991-1994
Rico Fata 2003-2003
Vladimir Vujtek 2003-2003
Ramzi Abid 2004-2004
Ryan Whitney 2006-2009
Colby Armstrong 2008-2008
Mike Comrie 2011-2011

Arron Asham is a former Islander:

x1.

-Also, the Islander are wearing these ugly uniforms tonight:

18:44: Parenteau chucks a heavy wrister from above the right circle. Fleury makes the save. As Moulson battles for the rebound, Dupuis dumps Tavares into the net. That's two minutes for interference.  Adams, the great Joe Vitale, Orpik and Niskanen take the ice.

18:10: Staal's injury and Dupuis' penalty are forcing the Penguins to use Kunitz on the penalty kill.

17:04: Hamonic chops a slapper from the left point. Fleury boots it away.

16:44: Dupuis' minor is killed. The Islanders did little with that chance.

15:56: Reese taps a pass from center ice to Ullstrom on the left wing. Picard is there to defend him but Ullstrom just blows by him off the boards. Ullstrom approaches the net and snaps off  a wrister which toasts Fleury's glove hand to the far side. Oof. That came out of no where. Picard just played Ullstrom completely wrong there and Fleury was out of position. Reese and Baily get assists. Islanders 1-0.

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13:45: Grabner races up the left wing and snaps off a wrister. Fleury fends it off.

13:05: Malkin forces a turnover in the neutral zone and roars into the offensive zone. He whips a backhander on net form the right circle which Montoya fights it off.

12:08: Hamonic races up the left wing with space and booms a slapper on net. Fleury kicks it out with a "thud."

11:57: Paul Martin sneaks up the right wing and from along the goal line, he flips a backhander into the crease. Montoya covers it as the world comes crashing down around him.

10:16: After Asham forces Streit into a turnover from behind the Islanders' net, Paul Martin smacks a slapper from the left point. Montoya eats it up.

9:30: More penalties for the Penguins. This time it's Malkin for hooking Mottau. It's a ticky tack call. Replays showed Mottau holding Malkin's stick against his hip. Cooke, Orpik, Paul Martin and the great Joe Vitale take the ice.

8:47: Rolston whips a wrister from the left circle. The great Joe Vitale slides down to block it.

7:44: Streit controls the puck at the left point and taps a pass to Jurcina on the right point. Jurcina winds up an cranks a slapper through traffic which beats Fleury over his left shoulder on the near side. Another poor goal for Fleury to allow. He's not having his best night. Streit and Okposo get assists. Islanders 2-0.

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5:59: The great Joe Vitale whips a wrister on net from the left wing. Montoya eats it up.

5:32: The great Joe Vitale to the rescue. Streit fumpbsla dumpin at this blue line. Vitale jumps on the puck, fends off Streit then deals a pass to Sullivan trailing in the slot. The pass is perfect for Sullivan who whips the puck by the blocker of a falling Montoya. What a pass by Vitale. He gets the only assist. Islanders 2-1.

3:00ish: Tim Wallace is a former Penguin:

x1.

2:16: Parenteau floats a wrister from the left circle. As Fleury punches it away, Orpik

1:49: Okoposo flicks a backhander from teh slot. Fleury eats it up. Grabner hovers around looking for a rebound. Engelland takes exception and shoves him out of the way.

0:54: Rolston has a nice chance from the slot but a backcheck by Asham breaks it up.

0:28: Tie game. From the neutral zone Kunitz dump the puck in behind the Islanders net. Hamonic and Kunitz race for it. Kunitz forces a turnover. Malkin picks it up below the goal line and taps a little pass to Neal in the slot. Neal buries it by the left leg a helpless Montoya. What an effort by Kunitz. Malkin and Kunitz get assists. Islanders 2, Penguins 2.

0:04: Paul Martin is called for hooking Jurcina. Engelland, Orpik, Adams and Dupuis take the ice and:

x2.

0:00: End of period. Islanders 2, Penguins 2.

FIRST INTERMISSION

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-That was a pretty rotten period for the Penguins for the first 10 minutes or so. The final eight minutes were outstanding though.

-The great Joe Vitale is the new Mark Letestu. He gets plugged into whatever hole the team has in terms of centers and just finds ways to contribute.

-Fleury wasnt' very sharp to start things off but seemed to settle as the period wore on.

-Jason Williams was hard to notice.

-The Islanders have a 13-11 lead in shots.

-Neal and Grabner each lead the game with three shots.

-Paul Martin leads the game with 10:17 of ice time.

-Streit leads the Islanders with 8:17.

-The Islanders have a 13-10 lead in faceoffs (57 percent).

-Marty Reasoner is 4 for 6 (67 percent).

-The great Joe Vitale is 5 for 9 (54 percent).

-The great Joe Vitale leads the game with two blocked shots.

SECOND PERIOD

20:00: The Islanders will have 1:57 of power-play time on fresh ice. Adams, Cooke, Orpik and Engelland take the ice.

18:16: Dupuis controls the puck at center ice and distributes a pass to Despres chugging up the left wing. Despres snaps off a wrister to the far side. Montoya fights it off with his glove hand.

18:07: Tavares snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Fleury eats it up.

18:04: Martin's penalty is killed.

17:07: Fleury's struggles continue. Okposo pushes the puck up the left wing one-on-one against Orpik. Orpik doesn't really pressure him much. Okposo takes the space he's afforded and rips off a wrister from the right circle which toasts Fleury's glove hand. Fleury can't allow that goal. We'd pull him. He's just not sharp tonight. Grabner and Hamonic get assists. Islanders 3-2.

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15:45: Asham has a chance in tight denied by Montoya.

14:00: Hamonic chops a slapper from right point. Fleury kicks it out.

13:51: Okposo tees up a slapper from the top of the slot. Fleury punches it out with a "thud."

13:34: After the Islanders control play for nearly a minute in the Penguins' zone, Fleury is called for tripping against Grabner. Williams will serve the minor. Vitale, Orpik, Paul Martin and Dupuis take the ice.

12:55: Tavares taps a pass to Jurcina at the left point. Jurcina booms a one-timer which Fleury punches away.

12:40: The great Joe Vitale comes through again. Dupuis forces a turnover at the right point. Vitale races after the puck and his held up by Jurcina. That's two minutes. Four on four for 1:06.

12:25: Orpik is mashed against the boards by Hamonic at the left point of the Islanders zone. Orpik takes a tumble and play is held up. Replays show Hamonic kind of hitting Orpik's stick and forcing it into his face. Orpik heads off the ice. Officials give Hamonic a five minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct. What a horrible call. A complete gift for the Penguins. They'll have a four on three power play for 51 seconds. Sullivan, Malkin, Neal and Kunitz take the ice.

12:13: Malkin booms a one-timer from the top of the slot. Montoya fights it off. The rebound is played right to Malkin at the top of the slot again. Malkin booms another slapper. Montoya makes the save despite being on his side.

11:34: The minor to Fleury expires. The Penguins will have a five on three for five seconds.

11:16: The Penguins scored a five on three! Cats and dogs living together! Sullivan booms a one-timer from the left circle. Montoya makes the save but allows a rebound. Kunitz digs the rebound free. Neal is to the right of the cage and taps it home for an easy goal. The Penguisn will still have a five on four power play for 3:51. Kunitz and Sullivan get assists. Islanders 3, Penguins 1.

11:01: Kennedy controls the puck on the left wing and deals a center pass above the crease. Niskanen streaks in and taps it over the cage.

9:27: Kunitz fumbles the puck at the left point. Bailey picks it up and leads a rush up the right point. He feeds a pass to Reese trailing. Reese chops a one-timer on net. Fleury kicks it out.

8:35: Williams gets some power-play time as he plays the right point.

8:12: Williams flings a wrister from the top of the slot which hits a body in front.

7:21: As Hamonic's major expires, Malkin has a chance in tight but can't punch it by Montoya. Staios tries to mix it up with Malkin hoping to goad him into a penalty. Malkin doesn't bit. That's a refreshing change in discipline from Malkin.

6:45: Broadcaster Bob Errey reports Orpik and Cooke are in the locker room.

6:09: Adams works his way up the left wing against Streit and flings a backhander on net. Montoya eats it up.

6:08: Per Errey, Cooke returns to the bench.

4:33: Okposo has a chance in the right circle but a stick on puck by Engelland denies him a shot.

4:19: As the Penguins call a timeout following an icing call, Orpik returns to the bench with a face only a mother could love:

4:02: Pascal Dupuis. Scoring winger. Kennedy caries the puck up ice from his own zone. He gains the Islanders' blue line, slows down and centers a pass to Dupuis. Dupuis takes the pass and chops a half slapper from the top of the slot off the right post and into the cage. What a shot. Kennedy and Picard get assists. Penguins 4-3.

3:33: Wallace slams Paul martin into the boards behind the cage:

x3.

0:55: Off a feed from Neal, Kunitz chops a half slapper from the left circle. Montoya kicks it out.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Islanders 3.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-What a rebound by the Penguins after a lousy start. They got a pretty big gift from the officials and fed off that.

-That five on three goal was huge in so many ways. First, it tied the game. Second, you have to imagine it gave the Penguins' power play a little confidence after it has struggled the past few games with a two-man advantage.

-Fleury continued to look shaky that period.

-Deryk Engelland makes a huge difference when he's in the lineup. The Penguins look a lot more organized with him in there.

-The Penguins have a 26-23 lead in shots.

-Neal leads the game with six shots.

-Okposo and Wallace each lead the Islanders with four.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Paul Martin leads the game with 18:01 of ice time.

-Streit leads the Islanders with 17:27.

-The Islanders have a 23-17 lead in faceoffs (58 percent).

-Reasoner is 5 for 8 (63 percent).

-The great Joe Vitale is 8 for 13 (62 percent).

-The great Joe Vitale and Streit each led the game with two blocked shots.

THIRD PERIOD

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18:56: Matt Cooke with a garbage goal. After Niskanen forces a turnover in the defensive zone, Cooke leads a rush up the right wing and taps a pass to Kennedy in the slot. Kennedy chops a slapper which is interupted partly by an Islanders stick. The puck trickles in on net. Montoya kicks it out to his left. Cooke is right there to sweept it into the cage. A bad goal for Montoya to allow. Kennedy and Niskanen get assists. Penguins 5-3.

18:29: Cooke is called for slashing Streit. That is his 1,000th career penalty minute. You get a plaque for that right? 

16:57: Rolston booms a slapper from the right point. Fleury fends it off. The great Joe Vitale, Adams, Orpik and Paul Martin take the ice.

16:29: Cooke's minor is killed. The Islanders did nothing with that chance.

15:15: Jurcina chops a slapper from the right point. Sullivan challenges and blocks it out of play.

14:47: Asham whips a wrister from the left wing on net. Montoya knocks it down.

12:32: Sulivan races int on net down the slot with a clean look at the net. Instead of shooting, he forces a pass to Vitale trailing on the left wing. Vitale isn't ready for the pass and loses the puck. Sullivan has to shoot that.

10:42: Orpik booms a slapper from the left point. Williams is in front and re-directs it wide.

9:50: Occupy Paul Martin. Martin sneaks up the left wing and chips the puck off the backside of Reese in the slot. It hits off Reese and hops over the left skate of Montoya. What a lucky goal. But Martin will take it. It's his first in 79 games. Malkin and Kunitz each get assists. Penguins 6-3.

7:53: Despres appears to trip up Wallace near the Penguins' net. No call.

6:08: Grabner challenges Engelland one-on-one off the left wing. Engelland knocks the puck away with a stick on puck.

4:53: Parenteau is alone in the left circle with an hour to shoot. Fleury hops out of his crease and challenges heavily. Parenteau shoots. Fleury stops him with his lef skate.

4:15: The Islanders still have a heartbeat as Orpik is called for holding Parenteau. He also gets an additional minor for mouthing off to the official. Adams, Vitale, Martin and Engelland take the ice.

1:38: Bailey moves in off the right wing and cuts to the slot. he snaps off a wrister which Fleury boots to the right corner.

0:15: Orpik's second minor is killed.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 6, Islanders 3.

POSTGAME

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-What a weird game. The Penguins came out of the gates very sluggish. Fleury was very shaky to start as well. And even after they tied the game, the Islanders regained the lead. That bogus elbowing major to Travis Hamonic really seemed to spark the Penguins and allowed them to dominate the second half of the game.

-James Neal stepped up in a big way. His production had been lean in the past week or so. Tonight, with some of the Penguins better forwards sidelined, he came through with a two-goal effort.

-Deryk Engelland's return made a world of difference. His presence allowed the Penguins to spread the ice time a little bit more evenly and not tax Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik or Matt Niskanen too much. And on top of that, Engelland just played a good game. He was a big presence in the defensive zone. And he also joined in offensively from time to time.

-The great Joe Vitale was another difference maker. With Jordan Staal absent, he had to play an elevated role five on five and also had to pick up some minutes on the penalty kill. He was strong in the faceoff circle and help create a few offensive chances.

-Pascal Dupuis stepped up also. He manned Staal's position on the third line and helped that line limit what the Islanders' best forwards could do offensively. And scoring the game-winning goal is always a good thing.

-Martin had another strong game. He has stepped up his play ever since Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek left the lineup.

-Fleury didn't have a strong game by his standards, but he settled things down as the game wore on.

-We've been kind of suggesting this for the past few games, but breaking up the Neal-Evgeni Malkin-Steve Sullivan line did some good for all three players. All three players recorded two points.

-Jason Williams was almost invisible.

-Mark Streit was just brutal tonight. He made far too many mistakes for a veteran who plays that many minutes.

-The Penguins had a 31-27 lead in shots.

-Neal led the game with six shots.

-Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo each led the Islanders with five.

-Streit led the game in ice time with 27:20.

-Martin led the Penguins with 25:33.

-The Islanders had a 31-22 lead in faceoffs (58 percent).

-Marty Reasoner was 7 for 10 (70 percent).

-The great Joe Vitale was 10 for 17 (59 percent).

-Engelland, Niskanen, Simon Despres, the great Joe Vitale, Streit, Steve Staios and former Penguin Matt Moulson each led the game with two blocked shots.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Matt Cooke recorded his 1,000th career penalty minute. He is the 357th player in NHL history to reach that plateau.

-Dupuis moved past Stu Barnes for for 57th place on the franchise's all-time scoring list. Dupuis has 137 points to Barnes' 136.

-Tyler Kennedy (136 points) moved past Zarley Zalapski (135) for 59th place.

-Chris Kunitz (115 points) moved past Pete Mahovlich (114) and Terry Ruskowski (114) for 68th place.

-Cooke (47) moved past Duane Rupp for 78th place.

-Neal is now among the franchise's top 200 career scorers with 34 points.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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