Empty Netter Assists - 11-23-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. "For half the game, we played well. For the other half, they took it over." - Mike Johnston.

-Newsday's recap. "If they want to take a bad penalty in a 2-1 game and give us a two-goal lead, we'll take that every time." - Islanders forward Matt Martin on Steve Downie taking an interference minor and a 10-minute misconduct in the third period.

-The Associated Press' recap. "They were more intense than we were in the back-to-back." - Sidney Crosby on losing consecutive games against the Islanders.


-Mike Lange's goal calls call.

-Downie versus New York's Travis Hamonic:

-Crosby and New York's Calvin de Haan battled for this puck:

-Beau Bennett and New York's Anders Lee battled for this puck:

-Prior to the game, the Islanders honored hall-of-fame goaltender Billy Smith:

-Johnston speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Welcome back Jayson Megna.

-What do the Penguins do with their roster sans Pascal Dupuis?

-Jeff Zatkoff made 18 games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs.


-Franky Palazzese made 27 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 6-3 loss to the Elmira Jackals.

-Happy 73rd birthday to former Penguins forward Simon Nolet. Acquired midway through 1975-76 along with Ed Gilbert and a draft pick in a deal which sent Steve Durbano, Chuck Arnason and a draft pick to the Kansas City Scouts, Nolet's Penguins career amounted to 39 games and 17 points that season. He appeared in three postseason games that spring but failed to record a point. In the 1976 offseason, the NHL transferred him back to the former Scouts franchise - known at this time as the Colorado Rockies - along with Michel Plasse and Colin Campbell as compensation for the Penguins signing Denis Herron. Nolet currently works as a scout with the Flyers.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins forward Dan Kesa. A free agent signing in the 1998 offseason, Kesa's Penguins career amounted to 67 games and 10 points in 1998-99. Kesa appeared in all 13 of the team's postseason games that spring and scored one goal. In the 1999 offseason, he joined the Lightning as a free agent.

-Happy 32nd birthday to former Penguins forward Colby Armstrong (right). A first-round pick in 2001, "Army" spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2005-06, Armstrong appeared in 47 games, scored a career high 40 points and led the team with a plus-15. In 2006-07, Armstrong played in 80 games and registered 34 points. He saw action in all five of the team's postseason games that spring and scored one goal. After 54 games and 24 points in 2007-08, Armstrong was involved in one of the biggest trades in franchise history. Armstrong was dealt to the Thrashers along with Erik Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito and a draft pick in exchange for Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa. In 181 regular season games with the Penguins, Armstrong scored 98 points, 87th-most in franchise history.

-After the Jump: The Traveling Jagrs return!

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Final thoughts: Pitt 30, Syracuse 7

Written by Sam Werner on .


Pitt broke it's three-game losing streak Saturday with a 30-7 victory against former Big East and current ACC rival Syracuse. This was a game Pitt really should have won (they're just better than Syracuse), but also hardly guaranteed given how the past few have gone for the Panthers. Most importantly, this win keeps Pitt's faint bowl hopes alive as they now have to go down and win the season finale at Miami to make it to the postseason this year. Here's a link to my quick game story on the PG website, and here are a few thoughts to wrap up the night...

1. Chris James could make next year's running back position very interesting
Now, let's first start out with that a healthy James Conner will obviously be the feature back in just about any scenario next year, but James' role in 2015 will be interesting to watch. The freshman finished with 122 yards on 19 carries after Conner left with a hip injury in the second quarter, and generally looked pretty good. The thing with James is that he's really a back that could use more than just four or five carries a game to get in a rhythm. Obviously, he's not a bruiser like Conner, but his big play ability means that sometimes he tries to do a little too much when he's not sure when his next carry is coming. If he's only getting a handful of touches a game, he tries to make every single one count. If he knows he's getting consistent reps, he can be a little more patient and wait for holes to develop, so he can get 8-10 yards rather than dance around trying to hit a big play and ultimately going for a short gain. James even admitted after the game that the coaches call him "Happy Feet" in practice sometimes because of his lack of patience. He was much more patient tonight, and the result was a more consistent performance. Even in the short term, if Conner can't play next week against Miami (and we'll find out more on that this week), it will be interesting to see how James does.

2. The defense looked better, with a few caveats
Pitt's defense looked better tonight. That's impossible to deny. But let's get a couple of qualifiers out of the way first. Most significantly, Syracuse is not a very good offense. The Orange are 115th in FBS in scoring offense, and looked like it tonight. To add on to that, even if Syracuse's offense was better, it's still a type of offense that Pitt's defense is better-equipped to defend. The Orange don't really spread things out and generally keep most of their plays inside the tackle box. The offenses the Panthers have struggled the most with (and "struggled" could be an understatement) are offenses that get the ball to athletes in space to make plays (like North Carolina and Duke). Pitt's defense has always been OK with straightforward attacks (think back to Virginia Tech, Akron, etc.) but it really has trouble with the spread. That's not a small issue, with the number of spread teams that populate the ACC, but it wasn't an issue that cropped up tonight.
Now, on to the good things with the defense. They were solid up front, even without Darryl Render for most of the game, and forced three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble). The Panthers' hadn't had an interception since the Virginia game, so it was good for them to get a couple tonight. The first, by Lafayette Pitts, is particularly noteworthy because it was a nice play on the ball in the air, something Pitts has struggled with at times this year. I wouldn't call the defensive problems fixed, by any means, but getting a few turnovers can go a long way in making a day at the office look a lot better.

3. Bowl hopes are still alive...for now.
Two years ago, Pitt went down to Florida needing a win to earn bowl eligibility and pulled it off. Now, these scenarios are obviously wildly different, as that USF team was a hot dumpster fire and this Miami team seems to be rounding into form. But that doesn't mean Pitt can't pull it off. It will likely take a good performance from a healthy James Conner, but Miami has been prone to giving up yards on the ground so far this year. Ray Vinopal was pretty blunt after the game when he admitted that Pitt didn't achieve its goals this year — they talked before the season about winning the division and making the ACC Championship Game — but a bowl appearance would be a nice milestone and indicator that the program hasn't actually gone backwards over the last year. I really do believe Vinopal when he says that this year's team is better than last year's, and for a lot of programs, losing close game after close game is a common stepping stone towards being a consistent winner, but that doesn't make a losing season any more palatable. If Pitt can pull it off next weekend and, heck, maybe even win the bowl game, going into the offseason with a winning record would feel a whole lot different than going in at 5-7.

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Penguins at Islanders - 11-22-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins were not granted a power play last night. Considering their potency with the man advantage, that's a considerable weapon they don't have at their disposal when they don't even get a chance to unholster it. Going back to Tuesday's 4-0 win in Montreal, the Penguins only had one power play in that game.

-Seems peculiar right? Let us point to a game from last Saturday. With just over four minutes remaining in the second period of that crazy xx shootout win against the Rangers at Consol Energy Center, Sidney Crosby tried to gain the offensive zone but took a tumble. Feeling there was a penalty on the play, Crosby slashed the glass in protest at the officials who called nothing:

-In our view, there was nothing that should have been called against the Rangers on that play. If anything, Crosby deserved an unsportsmanlike conduct minor for that display.

-The Penguins did get one power play after that sequence when Rangers defenseman John Moore was nabbed for tripping. But combine that with the power-play the Penguins got in the Montreal game, they've only had two power plays in the roughly 154 minutes of action since Crosby showed up the officials.

-Officials don't like it when they're publicly criticized. That's why players and coaches will bend over backwards to publicly laud them for calling good games. Members of the Islanders and Penguins each said kind words about the officiating last night. Players fear if they say anything bad about even about one specific official, fellow officials league-wide will extract revenge elsewhere. If players feel it's their job to "police" the game through fighting, the officials' way of "policing" things is by keeping those who criticize their colleges in their place. We've heard players off the record describe the brotherhood of officials as "the mafia." And when you hear officials who are wearing microphones for those "reality" shows such as "24/7," scream expletives at players who are offering their own foul-mouthed language, it's not hard to see ample evidence of pettiness from those in the striped shirts.

-We don't know if word has specially gone out from officials in the wake Crosby's slash of the glass, but the Penguins haven't gotten many favors from the officials since that point.

-That brings us to Johnny Boychuk's low hit on Evgeni Malkin late in regulation last night:

-With Steve Downie on the roster, it's hard to imagine someone not trying to respond to Boychuk for that. And if something stupid happens, the officials inaction last night should be the main culprits.

-On a side note, we don't think Boychuk would be stupid enough to settle a personal score with a tie game late in regulation, but he has a history with Malkin. Late in the 2011-12 season, Malkin shook up Boychuk, then of the Bruins, with a hit into the corner boards of the Boston zone:

-Again, Boychuk probably wasn't trying to settle that score over two year later, but he definitely isn't friends with Malkin.

-The Islanders switched their top three quite a bit from last night:

-New York coach Jack Capuano was pretty rough in assessing how his team played last night, particularly in the second period. Presumably, these changes reflect that lack of satisfaction on his behalf.

-The Penguins' lines are the same according to the team's web site. Simon Despres is in the lineup in place of Robert Bortuzzo.

-Jayson Menga is a scratch. With the Penguins in Boston Monday, we're guessing he was recalled as insurance. And since there probably aren't many direct flights from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport to Logan International Airport, they probably make the recall with the Penguins on Long Island, a fairly easy drive from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-The Penguins' starters are Beau Bennett, Steve Downie, Brandon Sutter, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Thomas Greiss.

-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo and Jayson Megna.

-The Islanders' starters are Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, Thomas Hickey, Lubomir Visnovsky and Jaroslav Halak.

-Their scratches are Cory Conacher, Matt Donovan and former Penguin Brian Strait.


20:00: Off the opening faceoffs, Downie and Matt Martin are already mixing it up.

19:22: Letang shuffles a wrister from the center point. Calvin de Haan blocks it.

18:05: Anders Lee muscles his way by Bennett on the right wing and puts a little wrister on net. Greiss kicks it out.

17:54: From the left wing, Bennett whips a wrister from the left wing. Halak fights it off despite some traffic from Downie.

17:41: As Rob Scudier crashes into the net and dislodges it, Despres and Brock Nelson exchange shoves. Nothing comes of it.

17:11: Matt Martin and Cizikas combine to hit Craig Adams to the ice on the Penguins' left wing boards.

16:55: Blake Comeau pumps a wrister on net from the right half wall. Halak punches it out of play.

16:31: Hamonic jostles Malkin and knocks him down in the right wing corner of the New York zone.

15:52: Kyle Okposo grips and rips a heavy wrister form the right circle. Greiss gets a piece of it with his stick.

15:40: Nick Leddy one-times a loose puck at the left point wide of the cage.

13:01: Leddy challenges Olli Maatta one-on-one in the right circle but can't beat Greiss.

12:50: Thomas Hickey in deep in the left circle and rips a wrister which Greiss fights off. Okposo crashes in on the rebound but can't bury it. Hornqvist clears the puck down ice

12:36: John Tavares dekes his way into the left circle and flings a wrister juuuust wide to the far side.

12:19: A big shot by Visnovsky from the right point is denied by Greiss despite traffic.

11:49: Frans Nielsen chops a puck from the left half wall. It handcuffs Greiss a bit as it hits him in the shoulder.

11:38: Boychuk one-timers a loose puck at the right point. Greiss boots it out.

10:26: Crosby races up the left wing and rips a wrister on net. Halak snags it. Hamonic gives Crosby a solid bump into the left wing corner boards.

10:15: The Penguins are starting to get a few shots of their own. Kunitz chucks a wrister from the left circle. Halak eats it up.

10:12: Paul Martin cranks a one-timer from the center point which gets blocked.

9:26: Cal Clutterbuck cranks a slapper from the right circle wide of the cage.

8:58: Downie fires a slapper from the right point. Halak eats it up despite heavy traffic.

8:35: Despres tries to line up Boychuk for a big hit in the right wing corner of the Penguins zone and takes a spill.

8:18: Nikalay Kulemin chips a wrister from the left circle. Greiss fights it off.

6:23: After a neutral zone steal, Goc deals a pass from the right of the cage to Ehrhoff above the right circle. Ehrhoff cranks a shot which Halak fights off.

6:09: Maatta cranks a slapper from the left point. It hits off the end boards.

5:02: Letang cranks a slapper from the right

4:53: Tavares pushes the puck up the right wing, cross overs the slot and rips a wrister from the left circle. Greiss fights it off.

4:36: After Sutter deals a pass to Bennett in tight and Bennett fires a shot wide from the right of the cage, old firends Steve Downie and Travis Hamonic get into a fight in the New York slot. They got at it immediately. They didn't hesitate. Downie appeared to land the bulk of the punches and ends up throwing Hamonic to the ice. Downie now has penalties in 14 of 19 games this season. According to broadcaster Bob Errey, Bennett went to the Penguins' dressing room.

3:43: On a rush into the Penguins' zone, Clutterbuck crashes into the Penguins' net and dislodges it.

3:31: Off a feed by Okposo, Leddy rips a wrister from above the right circle over the cage.

3:11: The Penguins strike first. Malkin dekes by Leddy in the Islanders' left circle and rips a shot on net. Halak makes the save initially but allows the puck to leak threw as Spaling crashes in. It's not pretty but the Penguins will take it. Hornqvist and Spaling get assists. Penguins 1-0.

1:41: Mikhail Grabovski rips a wrister from the left circle. Paul Martin gets a stick on the shot and deflects it out of play.

1:10: A power play for the Penguins Maatta hooked up Okposo behind the Penguins' net. Maatta protests as it appears Okposo grabbed his stick. Goc, Paul Martin, Adams and Letang take the ice.

0:26: Boychuk booms a one-timer from the right point. Greiss fights it off and it juuuust trickles wide of the left post.

0:19: Boychuk tees up a slapper from the right point. Greiss fights that off too.

0:04: Okposo rips a wrister from the right wing wide of the cage.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Islanders 0.


-That was a pretty physical period and a lot of it was initiated by the Islanders. As Rob Scuderi would say, they took a piece of the Penguins' skin every time they threw a hit.

-Without dismissing the significance of the lead, the Penguins were outplayed for most of that period. If not for Thomas Greiss being really tuned in, the Penguins might be down a goal or two.

-Evgeni Malkin is playing with a little extra oomph tonight.

-Shots on net are tied, 9-9.

-The Islanders lead in attempted shots, 24-15.

-Bennett and Letang each lead the game with two shots.

-Letang leads the game with 9:21 of ice time.

-Okposo leads the Islanders with 8:20 of ice time.

-The Islanders have a 13-9 lead in faceoffs (59 percent).

-Tavares is 5 for 7 (71 percent).

-Crosby is 4 for 7 (57 percent).

-Paul Martin already has five blocked shots. Yeesh.

-None of the Islanders has more than one blocked shot.


20:00: According to the team's Web site, Beau Bennett is back on the bench to star the period. There is still 50 seconds remaining on Maatta's penalty. Goc, Adams, Paul Martin and Letang take the ice.

19:46: Boychuk rips a wrister from the right circle wide of the cage.

19:10: Maatta's minor is killed.

18:48: A wrister by Matt Martin from the right wing is high over the cage.

16:51: Bennett gets thumped behind the New York net by Hickey.

15:46: Despres is in deep on the right wing and attacks the net. His wrister is denied by Despres.

16:03: Deep on the right wing, Letang corrals a puck and snaps off a wrister which Halak smothers.

15:58: Crosby whips a one-timer from the right point. Halak holds it out.

14:47: Hornqvist drops Clutterbuck into the New York's end boards with a nice hit.

14:38: Cizikas rips a wrister from the left wing. Greiss eats it up.

14:24: Weaving his way into the offensive zone, Visnovsky cranks a slapper from the right point. Greiss fights it off.

14:01: Adams chips a little wrister from the left wing. Halak fights it off and smothers the rebound as Despres crashes in. A few Islanders take exception and give Despres the business. Despres gives it back and officials break up the scrum. Somehow, Bennett and Ryan Strome each get roughing minors. We'll see four on four play for two minutes.

13:35: de Haan booms a slapper from the left point. Greiss fights it off.

12:52: Off some strong work down low by Tavares (as well as some sloppy puck management by the Penguins), Nelson has a chance in tight but can't beat Greiss.

12:01: Bennett and Strome return to play.

10:29: Ehrhoff corrals a puck at the right point, spins and whacks a slapper which deflects out of play.

9:01: In tight, Crosby deals a little feed from the right of the cage to Comeau above the blue paint. Comeau jabs at the puck but puts it wide.

8:22: Using Scuderi as a screen, Nelson rips a wrister from the right circle over the cage.

7:24: Boychuk snaps off a wrister from the right point. It deflects wide.

6:55: Boychuk slams Adams to the ice in front of the Penguins' penalty box.

6:07: Grabovski rips a wrister from the slot. It gets blocked.

5:15: Crosby deals a pass from the left wing corner of the New York zone. Kunitz is in the slot but Hickey reaches in with a stick and deflects it out of play.

3:48: Nielsen chucks a wrister from the left wing. Greiss smothers it.

3:32: Kunitz rips a wrister from the left wing. It glances off the glove of Halak and bounces wide.

2:47: A backhanded wraparound attempt by Nelson from the left of the cage is smothered by Greiss.

1:59: Tie game. Cizikas wins a faceoff in the left circle of the Penguins' zone. Leddy corrals it at the left point and chucks int on net. It his a body or two. Ciziaks jabs it to get a shot on net. Greiss fights it off. There's a crazy battle for the rebound and Matt Martin is able to punch it in. That was a nice garbage goal. Clutterbuck and Cizikas get assists. Islanders 1, Penguins 1.

0:54: Kunitz chips a bouncing feed off the left wing to Comeau in the slot. COmeau jabs it on net and Halak kicks it out.

0:29: After Maatta has a puck sotlen behidn the Penguins net, de Haan booms a slapper from the left point. It gets blocked.

0:00: End of period. Islanders 1, Penguins 1.


-Things really settled down that period. It wasn't nearly as run and gun as it was in the first period. There were several quality scoring chance but they were more of the "garbage" variety.

-The Penguins' first line has a few chances but something still seems off without Pascal Dupuis.

-Greiss and Halak have each been tuned in.

-The Penguins are still looking for a power play to work with.

-The Islanders have a 22-16 lead in shots on net.

-The Islanders have a 46-27 lead in attempted shots.

-Anders Lee leads the game with four shots.

-Letang and Kunitz each lead the Penguins with two shots.

-The Islanders have a 23-15 lead in faceoffs (61 percent).

-Nielsen and Tavares are each 6 for 10 (60 percent).

-Crosby is 6 for 11 (55 percent).

-Letang leads the game with 17:20 of ice time.

-Boychuk leads the Islanders with 16:06 of ice time .

-Paul Martin leads the game with six blocked shots.

-None of the Islanders has more than one blocked shot.


19:41: Play is halted after a scrum develops in front of the benches.

18:30: Grabovski grips and rips a wrister from the slot wide of the cage.

17:55: Spaling slams Boychuk to the ice in the left wing corne.

17:36: A wrister by Malkin from above the left circle is wide of the cage.

17:22: The Islanders take a lead. Taking a feed at the right point, Visnovsky cranks a one-timer from the right point. Lee is in the slot and gets a stick on the shot re-directing it by Greiss. Visnovsky and Hickey get assists. Islanders 2-1.

16:39: Matt Martin has a wrister from the left wing deflected out of play. A scrum develops in the Penguins' crease but nothing comes of it.

14:43: Malkin drives the puck up the right wing one-on-one against Hickey and is hauled down by Hickey. That's two minutes for holding. Malkin, Crosby, Hornqvist, Ehrhoff and Kunitz take the ice. No Letang.

13:30: Letang takes the ice with the J.V. power play.

13:17: Letang grips and rips a wrister from above the right circle. Halak deflects it out of play.

13:08: Malkin rips a wrister from the left circle. Halak fights it off. Hamonic throws Hornqvist out of the crease after Hornqvist jabbed at Halak.

12:43: The power play ends. There was little going on there for the Penguins.

12:12: Off a feed from Tavares, Boychuk chops a one-timer from above the left circle. Greiss gets a piece of it.

11:59: Okposo cuts off the left wing and rips a wrister from the left circle. Greiss fights it off.

11:10: Strome rips a wrister from in tight. Greiss fights it off.

10:59: Steve Downie strikes and this time it hurts his team. After Hickey sort of interferes with Downie at the New York blue line and knocks the stick out of his hands, Downie retaliates with a bad shoulder check away from the puck. A crowd gathers and shoves are exchanged. Downie gets an interference minor and a 10-minute misconduct. Sill will serve the minor. Sutter, Goc, Paul Martin and Letang take the ice.

10:20: Okposo drives a slapper from above the right circle It hits something and bounces wide.

10:13: The Islanders cash in immediately. Tavares hits a cross-ice pass from the left half wall to Okposo in the right circle. Okposo taps it to Nelson all alone above the blue paint and Nelson pokes it in for an easy goal. Okposo and Tavares get assists. Islanders 3-1.

8:34: Off a drop pass from Bennett, Letang swipes a one-timer from the right circle. Halak fights it off.

6:35: Bennett and Despres each have chances in tight but can't beat Halak.

5:38: Comeau chops a slapper from the right point. Halak kicks it out.

5:13: Despres is in deep and deals a pass to Hornqvist to the left of the cage. Hornqvist jabs at the puck but can't beat Halak.

4:14: Game. Set. Match. Boychuk booms a slapper from the right point. Greiss fights it off. Tavares is right there to clean up the rebound and punches it by Greiss' stick and into the cage. Ugh. Boychuk and Kulemin get assists. Islanders, 4-1.

1:55: Strome backhands a puck from the left wing on net. Greiss smothers it.

0:29: Play is halted as Hamonic and Sill exchange shoves in the Islanders' left circle. Officials break them up and send them to the dressing rooms early.

0:15: A wrister by Clutterbuck from the slot is blocked by Paul Martin.

0:00: End of game. Islanders 4, Penguins 1.


-The Islanders were just better. They played a much better games from the start. If it wasn't for Thomas Greiss withstanding a barrage, this could have bee much worse.

-As we said in last night's blog, forget Penguins-Flyers or Penguins-Capitals. The Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division's most important rivalry right now is Penguins-Islanders.

-Mike Johnson's buzz phrase has been "volume of shots." He wants the Penguins to dominate the puck and fire it at will in order to keep the other team on edge. Tonight, the Islanders did just that. It was the Penguins who were chasing the puck.

-Once again, the Penguins needed more from Sidney Crosby. Something just seemed off with him. Maybe it's Blake Comeau. We don't know. Regardless, Crosby and Chris Kunitz needed to be better.

-We noted the lack of power-play chances in our pregame comments. Regardless of why they're not getting power play chances, the Penguins need to find a way to function without the man advantage. They can't just rely on getting power-play goals, especially as they get closer to the postseason.

-Steve Downie's antics hurt his team. He was suckered into a taking a selfish penalty against Thomas Hickey and the Islanders cashed in a back-breaking goal almost immediately afterwards. Downie has now taken penalties in 14 of 19 games this season.

-Supposedly, part of Rick Tocchet's job description is to keep Downie in check. We're not sure Tocchet has done that very effectively as of late.

-Greiss was very good under the circumstances. He kept the Penguins in this game until the dam broke late.

-How good was the Islanders' fourth line? Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck were very involved in this game. They contributed some scoring chances and even scored a goal. And they were very physical. Imagine if the Penguins' fourth line had contributed half that much?

-What was scary about the Islanders performance was that John Tavares was held in check most of the night. Imagine if he was going at full speed?

-The Islanders led in shots on net, 35-28.

-The Islanders led in attempted shots, 69-44.

-Anders Lee led the game with five shots.

-Kris Letang led the Penguins with four shots.

-Letang led the game with 24:58 of ice time.

-Johnny Boychuk led the Islanders with 23:20 of ice time.

-The Islanders were 36-23 in faceoffs (61 percent).

-Kyle Okposo was 6 for 7 (86 percent).

-Brandon Sutter was 9 for 16 (56 percent).

-Paul Martin led the game with seven shots.

-Nick Leddy and Lubomir Visnovsky each led the Islanders with two shots.

-Craig Adams appeared in his 900th career game.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.


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About the Islanders - 11-22-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


A preview of the Islanders.

When and where: 7 p.m., EST, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

TV: Root Sports, MSG Plus, City.

Record: 13-6-0, 26 points. The Islanders are in second place in the Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division.

Leading Scorer: Center Brock Nelson, 18 points (9 goals, 9 assists).

Last Game: 5-4 road shootout win, last night. Center Ryan Strome (right) had a goal and two assists for the Islanders.

Last Game against the Penguins: Ditto.

Islanders Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Strome. He now has four points in two career games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Islanders: Eric Cairns, director of player development; Matt Carkner, D (Carkner played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins but not the NHL team); Chad Johnson, G (Johnson is a former Penguins prospect but never played for the organization); Brian Strait, D; Garth Snow, G.

Ex-Islanders on the Penguins: Blake Comeau, LW; Tom Fitzgerald, assistant general manager; Bill Guerin, assistant general manager.

Useless Islanders Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Center Cory Conacher is one of two players to wear No. 89 for the Islanders. The other is former Penguins center Mike Comrie.

The last time the Penguins played the Islanders, this happened:

Probable goaltenders: Thomas Greiss (2-0-1, 1.96 GAA, .938 SV%) for the Penguins. Jaroslav Halak (8-4-0, 2.54 GAA, .914 SV%) for the Islanders.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right winger Pascal Dupuis (blood clot) is on injured reserve. For the Islanders, left winger Eric Boulton ("lower body"), defenseman Matt Carkner (back) and right winger Michael Grabner ("lower body") are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins did not hold a morning skate today. Their primary lines and defensive pairings last night were:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 13 Blake Comeau
13 Nick Spaling  -  - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 72 Patric Hornqvist
19 Beau Bennett - 16 Brandon Sutter - 23 Steve Downie
  38 Zach Sill - 57 Marcel Goc - 27 Craig Adams

58 Kris Letang - 7 Paul Martin
  10 Christian Ehrhoff - 3 Olli Maatta
41 Robert Bortuzzo - 4 Rob Scuderi

-The Islanders are expected to have the same lines and defensive pairings tonight as they had last night:

86 Nikolay Kulemin 91 John Tavares 29 Brock Nelson
84 Mikhail Grabovski51 Frans Nielsen21 Kyle Okposo
27 Anders Lee
18 Ryan Strome
12 Josh Bailey
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas 15 Cal Clutterbuck

2 Nick Leddy 55 Johnny Boychuk
44 Calvin de Haan
3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey 11 Lubomir Visnovsky


-The Penguins recalled center Jayson Megna from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton today. In 17 AHL games this season, he has 12 points (9 goals, 3 assists).

-Adams has 899 career games and 99 career assists.

-Crosby has 795 career points.

-Comeau has 97 career assists.

-Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has 299 career wins.

-Martin has 299 career games.

-The referees are Dean Morton (No. 36) and Justin St. Pierre (No. 12). The linesmen are Shane Heyer (No. 55) and Mark Schewchyk (No. 92).

-Our live blog begins at approximately 6:45 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


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GAME DAY: Pitt vs. Syracuse

Written by Sam Werner on .


We're just under an hour away from Pitt's final home game of the season against Syracuse. The Panthers need a win today to keep any hope of bowl eligibility alive. This is a game they probably should win but, then again, there have been a lot of those that Pitt has lost this year. Here are a few pregame notes to get your day started...

- Receiver Manasseh Garner and defensive tackle Tyrique Jarrett are both dressed and should play today. It'll be interesting to see how much usage Adonis Jennings gets with Garner back in the lineup.

- On the other hand, left tackle Adam Bisnowaty and tight end Scott Orndoff won't play today. Both were hurt against North Carolina, but Paul Chryst sounded optimistic that one or both could return for the Miami game next week.

- Here's a link to my preview story from today's PG about Pitt's seniors playing their final home game this afternoon. It's a small senior group, but these 11 players have gone through a lot at Pitt and feel confident the program is in a better place than it was five years ago.

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