Penguins at Islanders - 01-16-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins will potentially play their final game in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Islanders are playing their final season in the building and will move to Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

The Penguins could very well meet the Islanders in the postseason and there are discussions of having sporadic regular season games in the Coliseum down the road but this will be the final regular season game for quite some time in that building for the Penguins.

-It's doubtful they'll miss it as evidenced by their 48-55-12 record all-time there. They've had plenty of just flat-out wretched moments there. The most prevalent of those moments would be the brawl game in 2010-11:

-No one involved with that game emerged better off after that display.

-Another ugly display had Matthew Barnaby fighting Islanders defenseman Eric Cairns in the hallway between the dressing rooms:

-One of the most lopsided fights we can recall involved Cairns literally throwing Penguins forward Kelly Buchberger into the Islanders bench:

-Before he was beloved in Pittsburgh, Darius Kasparaitis was public enemy number one in Pittsburgh due in part do his antics which antagonized Mario Lemieux during the Islanders' epic upset of the Penguins in the 1993 Patric Division Final:

-One of the most crushing defeats in Penguins history came in the 1982 preliminary round series. An overachieving Penguins team nearly upset the Islanders, who were in the midst of their dynasty years, to five games in a best-of-five series. The Penguins were up 3-2 in Game 5 with 4:21 remaining in regulation until New York's John Tonelli scored to tie the game:

-Tonelli would win the game in overtime:

-Basically if you're a Penguins fans, you'll be happy to see the Islanders vacate that dump.

-If you're a hockey fan in general, you'll cherish what time the Islanders do have there. Even if the Islanders haven't been all that great in the past 30 years, it's still a very unique building in this day and age. With so many modern arenas, including Consol Energy Center, now becoming bland, cookie-cutter facilities, buildings like Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum or Joe Louis Arena in Detroit are special.

-Nassau and Louis are each dilapidated facilities and they don't nearly meet the needs of an NHL team, particularly in a financial sense. But they have an atmosphere you don't get in a bland, corporate behemoth like Consol Energy Center.

-We will always be grateful for the opportunity to cover the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Penguins and Islanders. New York fans never shut up during that series. And we mean that in a good way. The noise Islanders fans made in that dump was so genuine and not forced. They had different sing-song cheers for their team. Maybe those fans just had some extra energy from a rare postseason appearance for their team. Regardless of the reason, they made those games special.

-Two photos we were able to take during that series will always stand out to us. Walking around the rafters on the very creaky and shaky catwalk of that building was cool:

-And this sign in the stairwell from the press box to the event level made it very apparent why a new building is needed:

-Mark Arcobello will wear No. 26 tonight assuming he makes his Penguins debut. He will be the 27th player to wear that number for the franchise. The previous No. 26s in Penguins history:

Jim Morrison, Dunc McCallum, Mike McMahon, Syl Apps, Jr., Pete Mahovlich, Orest Kindrachuk, Paul Mulvey, Steve Gatzos, Troy Loney, Ted Bulley, Wayne Babych, Mike Blaisdell, Mark Kachowski, Mike Stapleton, Richard Park, Dave McLlwain, Petr Klima, Darius Kasparaitis, Garry Valk, Frantisek Kucera, Kent Manderville, Landon Wilson, Ronald Petrovicky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Eric Tangradi, Steve Sullivan.

-Apps., Jr. is far and away the best of that group.

-According to the team's Web site, these were the Penguins' lines in warmups:

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - David Perron
Nick Spaling - Evgeni Malkin - Beau Bennett
Marcel Goc - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Mark Arcobello - Craig Adams

Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Scott Harrington - Christian Ehrhoff
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

-The use of Goc on the left wing is interesting. He was used on the wing a bit against the Wild Tuesday when Steve Downie left the lineup.

-Arcobello should add some speed to the fourth line.

-We assume speed is the reason Harrington is in the lineup in place of Robert Bortuzzo. Harrington has better foot speed than Bortuzzo and presumably can handle the Islanders fast forwards a little better.

-The Penguins' starters are Steve Downie, Zach Sill, Brandon Sutter, Simon Despres, Rob Scuderi and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo and Andrew Ebbett.

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

-Their scratches are Eric Boulton, Matt Donovan and Mikhail Grabovski.


19:27: Off some strong work down low, Matt Martin gets a chance in tight to the right of the cage. Fleury denies him. Martin falls into Fleury thanks to a hit from Sill.

18:57: Collecting his own rebound, Anders Lee whacks a backhander from the right of the cage. Fleury hugs the near post and eats it up.

18:14: Nick Leddy corrals a puck at the right poitn and whips it on net. Fleury fights it off.

17:50: Arcobello corrals a puck on the left wing and deals to Sill who whips it on net. Halak steers it away.

17:07: Ehrhoff zips a wrister from the left point through traffic on net. Halak locates the puck and punches it away.

16:57: With Perron battling for position in the crease, a backhander wraparound attempt by Crosby from the left of the net is punched away by Halak.

16:26: Letang floats a backhander from the left wing on net. Halak gloves it.

15:17: After Despres misplays a puck in his own zone, Frans Nielsen has a quality chance in the right circle but flings a wrister wide of the cage.

15:06: Ryan Strome tries to jam in a backhander from the right of the cage. Fleury holds it out.

14:11: Letang strokes a slapper from the right point. Hickey blocks it.

13:48: Beau Bennett flings a wrister from the left wing wide to the far side.

13:01: After Evgeni Malkin turns the puck over in the New York slot, Kyle Okposo tries to play it up ice from his own right point but is hooked up from behind by Nick Spaling. That's two minutes for Spaling. Sutter, Goc, Scuderi and Letang take the ice.

12:45: Johnny Boychuk booms a slapper from the right point point. Goc blocks it with his stick and it breaks. John Tavares tries to shoot the rebound but puts the puck wide.

11:17: Travis Hamonic whips a wrister from the right point. Fleury fights it off as he falls backwards. Ehrhoff chips the puck to the left wing wall. Sutter chases it down and chucks it down ice to kill time.

11:01: The Spaling minor is killed. The Penguins were pretty effective in snuffing out any quality chances.

10:31: Off an offensive zone faceoff win by Nielsen against Crosby in the right circle, Hamonic snaps off a wrister from the right point. Fleury steers it to the near corner.

10:07: A wrister by Harrington from the left point is deflected out of play.

9:32: Harrington tries to lead a rush up from his own zone and is tripped up on a low hit by Michael Grabner. Grabner appeared to go knee on knee there. He will get a tripping minor. Crosby, Malkin, Perron, Kunitz and Letang take the ice.

9:08: The Penguins strike immediately. Nielsen and Strome attempt a short-handed rush but lose the puck when Strome falls in the high slot. He may have been tripped by Perron. Malkin leads the puck back up ice in transition and gains the offensive zone on the left wing. He deals a pass from the half wall to Kunitz in the right circle. As Crosby drives down the slot, Kunitz whips the puck on net. Crosby pulls up in the blue paint and the puck deflects off his leg into the cage. Hamonic shoves Crosby to the ice but it's too late. A brief review confirms the goal. Kunitz and Malkin get assists. Penguins 1-0.

8:09: Another penalty. Clutterbuck is nabbed for high sticking against Letang near the Penguins' cage. Crosby, Malkin, Perron, Letang and Kunitz take the ice.

7:48: Malkin deals a pass from the right circle to Kunitz in the slot. Kunitz deflects the puck on net. Halak save. Crosby jabs at the puck a few times but Halak says no. Hamonic gets in Crosby's grill and out of Halak's.

7:39: The power play has come to life. Off an offensive zone faceoff win, Letang backpedals to the center point and deals a pass to Perron above the left circle. Perron cranks a one-timer by the glove hand of Halak. That looked like it hit something before going into the net. For the time being, it's Perron's goal. Letang and Crosby get assists. Penguins 2-0.

7:22: The islanders try to get one back immediately. Tavares is denied from the slot by Fleury.

6:43: Chasing down a puck on the left half wall, Hamonic whacks a puck on net. Scuderi blocks it.

6:20: Goc lifts a wrister from deep on the left wing off the side of the cage.

5:45: Leddy gets a chance in the left circle but his wrister is blocked.

5:20: Racing for a puck behind the Penguins' net, Harrington hooked up Brock Nelson. That's two minutes for Harrington. Adams, Goc, Letang and Scuderi take the ice.

4:40: A wrister by Boychuk from the right point is blocked by Adams.

4:00: Hamonic whacks a slapper from the right point. It hit something and deflects wide.

3:52: A wrister by Hamonic from the right point is blocked wide.

3:44: Hamonic fires a wrister from center point which Spaling blocks.

3:33: Strome pumps a slapper from the right half wall. Fleury eats it up.

3:27: A slapper by de Haan from the left point is blocked wide.

3:09: The Islanders' best player gets them on the scoreboard. With Harrington's minor expires, Tavares undresses Despres in the left circle and deals a little pass to Okposo to the right of the net. Ehrhoff and Crosby sort of lose track of Okposo who is able to direct the puck into the open cage with his right skate. Fleury flings the puck out of his net in anger while Ehrhoff protests that the puck was kicked in. A brief review shows Okposo angling the puck into the net and not so much kicking it. The goal counts. Tavares simply walked Despres there. Oof. What a play by the Islanders' captain. Tavares and Bailey get assists. Penguins 2-1.

2:57: de Haan backhands a puck from his own zone down the Penguins' slot. Matt Martin chases it down but before he can get a handle on it, Fleury races out of his crease and breaks up the play.

2:51: A one-timer by Hamonic from the right point is blocked.

2:43: Kunitz has a wrister from the left circle blocked out of play by Cizikas.

2:38: Off the ensuing faceoff, Bennett feeds a pass to Malkin the slot. Malkin leans down and booms a one-timer from one knee wide of the cage.

1:12: The Penguins' lines are a bit jumbled. Crosby is out with Sill and Downie.

0:22: A wrister by Hamonic from the right point is blocked by Despres.

0:06: Hamonic fires another wrister from the right point. Clutterbuck inadvertently blocks it.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Islanders 1.


-To put it mildly, special teams were kind of key to that period. The Penguins dominated them.

-Fleury really bailed the Penguins out early. He denied quite a few quality chances early and put his team in a position to take an early lead.

-If not for a special play by Tavares, the Penguins still have a 2-0 lead.

-In his first period with the Penguins, Arcobello had 2:04 of ice time on three shifts and was 0 for 1 on faceoffs.

-Travis Hamonic attempted eight shots. Two got on net while six were blocked. He probably had a few blocked by teammates as well but those don't count as shot attempts.

-The Islanders have an 11-10 lead in shots on net.

-The Islanders dominate attempted shots, 31-16.

-Crosby leads the game with four shots on net.

-Lee leads the Islanders with three shots on net.

-Ehrhoff leads the game with 8:42 of ice time.

-Boychuk leads the Islanders with 7:37 of ice time.

-The Islanders are 8 for 14 in faceoffs (64 percent).

-Cizikas is 6 for 7 (86 percent).

-Malkin is 3 for 4 (75 percent).


18:13: Spaling corrals a puck on the right wing and fires a wrister which is blocked.

17:45: Letang knocks over Okposo on the Penguins' left half wall and takes the puck away.

16:39: Sill is out with Perron and Crosby.

16:17: More penalties. Battling for a puck in the Penguins' left wing corner, Ehrhoff holds Cizikas against the boards with each of his arms. Cizikas tries to break free by throwing a left elbow at Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff gets a holding minor while Cizikas gets an elbowing minor. Four-on-for play for two minutes.

15:35: Hamonic rips another wrister from the left half wall. It hits Tavares.

15:12: Off a stretch pass, a wrister by Okposo from the right wing hits Scuderi stick and jams up Fleury a bit who has to scramble to get his body on it.

14:59: Boychuk tees up a slapper from the right point. Fleury punches it out of play with his blocker.

14:24: Perron pushes the puck up the left wing and cuts to the slot. As Despres drives down the slot, Peron rips a heavy wrister which Halak fights off.

13:31: Paul Martin golfs a slapper from the right point which is wide of the cage.

13:17: In deep, Letang lifts a wrister from the right circle which Halak fends off.

12:54: Malkin and Spaling each get chances in tight but can't beat Spaling.

12:41: Perron has a wrister in the slot blocked by de Haan.

11:31: Brian Strait chucks a wrister from the right point

11:20: A slapper by Strome from the right point is blocked by Downie. The rebound kicks out to the neutral zone where Downie out races Strome for it and attacks the net on a breakaway. He lifts a backhander which hops over the cage.

10:32: Sill picks up a puck in the neutral zone, races into the offensive zone and backhands a puck on net. Halak boots it out.

10:21: Matt Martin snaps off a wrister from the left wing. Fleury fights it off as Clutterbuck crashes into him. Fleury and Sill each give Clutterbuck some grief as play moves back towards the Islanders' zone.

9:57: Fending off a check, Malkin fires a spinning wrister from the left circle wide of the cage.

9:16: A wrister by Josh Bailey from the left circle is fended off by Fleury. Strait has a chance on the rebound but his shot hops over the cage.

8:49: Nikolay Kulemin has a chance in tight but whacks a backhander wide of the cage.

8:30: A wrister by Nelson from the high slot is wide of the cage.

7:30: Tie game. Coming off the bench, Nielsen one-times a loose puck from the left point which is blocked Sutter. Strome is able to settle the puck above the crease and whips a wrister by Scuderi and behind Fleury. The Islanders paid the price for that goal. Lee and Nielsen get assists. Islanders 2, Penguins 2.

7:05: Islanders fans begin sing-song "Flerrrr....Eeeeeee....." chants.

6:48: Kunitz thumps Nelson to the ice with a neutral zone check.

5:19: Boychuk tries to run over Sill in front of the referees' crease but Sill braces for the hit and sticks Boychuk onto the ice.

4:53: Off some tic-tac-toe passing, Goc feeds a crossing pass from above the left circle to Sutter in the right circle. Sutter lifts a wrister which hits off the side of the cage.

4:22: Spaling and Malkin each have a chance in tight but can't get a clean shot off. Halak smothers the loose puck.

2:44: Perron grips and rips a wrister from the right circle. Halak eats it up. A few of the Islanders take exception to Crosby hovering near Halak after the fact and scrum develops  behind the New York cage. Officials break it up.

2:39: A slapper by Ehrhoff from the right point is wide on the near side.

1:45: Okposo rips a wrister from the right wing. Fleury kicks it out. Tavares has a chance at the rebound but Ehrhoff has him tied up just enough to prevent a shot.

1:35: A wrister by Okposo from the right circle is off the mark.

0:17: Perron tees up a slapper from the right circle wide on the near side.

0:04: The Penguins regain the lead late. On a delayed penalty following a trip by Hamonic on Perron, Letang controls a puck at the right point. He flings a pass to Paul Martin in tight to the left of the cage. Malkin one-touches it to Crosby to the right of the crease. Crosby settles the puck on his backhand then leans down to lift a forehand shot by a scrambling Halak. What a display of passing. It's Crosby's first two-goal game since Oct. 28. Martin and Letang each get assists. Penguins 3-2.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Islanders 2.


-So far, this game has lived up to expectations. These teams are going at it hard. There's tons of skating, plenty of hitting and even more momentum shifts. This has been a great showdown between the division's two best teams.

-The best part of the hitting in this game is that there hasn't been much in the way of cheap stuff after the whistle. Yes, there have been a few shoves and facewashes after the fact but these two teams are just hitting one another.

-In a season which has seen him take a big step forward, this has not been Despres' best game.

-Arcobello has looked okay on the fourth line between Sill and Adams. He has 4:52 of ice time on seven shifts and is 0 for 2 on faceoffs.

-We're still a little mixed on seeing Marcel Goc on the left wing.

-Each goaltender has been sharp.

-Shots on net are tied, 19-19.

-The Islanders lead in attempted shots, 48-31.

-Crosby leads the game with five shots.

-Okposo and Lee each lead the Islanders with three shots.

-Paul Martin leads the game with 16:03 of ice time.

-Hamonic leads the Islanders with 14:48 of ice time.

-The Islanders have a 22-16 lead in faceoffs (58 percent).

-Cizikas is 9 for 12 (75 percent).

-Malkin is 6 for 9 (67 percent).

-Scuderi and Paul Martin each lead the game with three blocked shots.

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


18:31: Hamonic rattles Crosby with a hit into the end boards behind the Islanders' net.

17:15: Goc is out with Arcobello and Adams.

17:05: After Goc forces Okposo into a turnover on the Islanders' left half wall, Arcobello wires it on net. Halak fends it off.

16:38: Settling a puck at the right point, Paul Martin fires a slapper. Halak snags it.

16:07: Digging a puck out from behind the New York net, Perron veers to the right circle and flings a backhander which Halak fights off.

15:42: Bennett deals a pass from the Islanders' right wing corner to Malkin in the right circle. Malkin directs a shot on net which Halak fights off.

15:34: Ehrhoff booms a slapper from the right point. Hamonic blocks it with his stick.

14:50: Lee races up the left wing and snaps off a wrister which Fleury fights off. Lee recovers his own rebound and flings a backhander wide tot he far side.

14:42: A spinning slapper by Boychuk from the right point is off the mark.

14:38: A one-timer by Nielsen from the center point is blocked by Sill.

14:17: Perron lifts a wrister from in tight to the right of the cage. Halak fights it off. Boychuk slams him into the end boards.

13:47: A backhander by Kunitz from deep on the right wing is fended off by Halak.

13:23: Okposo whacks a one-timer from the right point over the cage.

13:18: Tie game once again. Bailey lifts a wrister from the left point on net. Fleury makes the stop with his right point. Okposo beats Harrington to the rebound and backhand chops it over Fleury's right shoulder and into the cage. What a heads-up play by Okposo. Buckle up. Tavares and Bailey get assists. Islanders 3, Penguins 3.

12:10: Nielsen lifts a backhander from the right circle. Fleury fights it off. Leddy is in deep and jabs at the rebound. Fleury boots it out.

10:39: Kunitz deals a pass from the right wing corner of the New York zone to Perron in the left circle. Perron fires a one-timer which is blocked wide of the cage.

8:50: Strome deals a pass from the left circle to Lee in the slot. Lee flings a backhander wide of the cage.

8:43: de Haan booms a slapper from the left point. Fleury snags it.

8:09: Defense leads to offense. From the right wing of the offensive zone, Perron forces a centering pass to Letang in the left circle. Hamonic intercepts the pass in the slot Hamonic deals the pass to Bailey on the left wing. Bailey pushes the puck up the ice, gains the offensive zone and deals a pass to Okposo in the high slot. Okposo rips a wrister by the blocker of Fleury to give the Islanders their first lead of the game. It's Okposo's first career hat trick. Hats litter the ice. Bailey and Hamonic get assists. Hamonic created all of that. Islanders 4-3

7:01: Hamonic flings a wrister from the right point. It hits a stick and hops up. Fleury reaches up to deflect it.

6:46: A writer by Strome in the left circle is blocked.

5:40: Ehrhoff booms a slapper from the right point which misses the net and cracks off the glass on the end boards.

5:28: Letang chops  slapper from the right point. Okposo deflects it out of play.

4:17: Matt Martin shoves Despres to the ice near the Penguins left wing corner.

3:59: Despres whacks a slapper from the right point. de Haan leans down to block it.

3:08: After Malkin steals a puck behind the New York net, Downie has a chance in tight denied by by Halak who closed the five hole at the last second. Downie protests that his stick was broken on a slash and even holds up his damaged stick as evidence. Officials aren't buying it.

2:41: Downie all but ends his team's hopes of coming back. Nelson fishes a clean hit on DOwn int he Penguins' left wing corner. Downie responds by slashing Nelson on the left leg. Nelson goes down and Downie follows up by breaking his stick over Nelson's left arm. Downie gets a slashing minor. He's lucky he didn't get a second minor for cross checking. This is a big two minutes. Goc, Adams, Scuderi and Letang take the ice.

2:31: The Islanders cash in immediately. Boychuk booms a one-timer from the left point. Fleury makes the initial save. Tavares jabs at the rebound Fleury denies. Okposo is in the slot and whacks the rebound out of midair by the glove hand of Fleury. Put that on Downie. Tavares and Boychuk get assists. Islanders 5-3.

2:00: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.

1:22: Perron races in off the left wing and lifts a wrister over the net.

1:30: Kulemin air mails a wrister from the neutral zone wide oft he open cage.

1:13: Michael Grabner races for a puck in the neutral zone, beats Letang to it and chips it down ice for one of us:

The goal is unassisted. Islanders 6-3.

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


-Where do you begin with this? The Penguins had this game. They had a two-goal lead at one point. They scraped out a one-goal lead late in the second period. They were in total control at times yet they saw the Islanders take advantage of a few opportunities and claimed an impressive comeback win which put them in the drivers' seat for the Patrick Metropolitan Division.

-Is it too late/early to start printing these?

-In all seriousness, with the Flyers out of the playoff picture and the Capitals only recently getting things figured out, the Islanders have become the Penguins' chief rival in this division. Tonight was vivid evidence of that.

-Live by the sword. Die by the sword. The Penguins have mostly benefited from the rambunctious nature of Steve Downie this season. He has given them an element which can instill a little fear in the opposition and at times, he has contributed some offense. But at times, he has hurt them. That's exactly what he did tonight by taking a selfish slash on Brock Nelson. That put the the Islanders on the power play and allowed them to secure the win with their fifth goal.

-The Penguins' puck management, particularly late, was poor. They gave up the puck a little too easily at times and really gave the Islanders far too many easy scoring chances as a result.

-Even though the Penguins led the game for most of the first two periods, the Islanders dominated puck possession, at least in terms of shot attempts, the entire game.

-Kyle Okposo had four goals. FOUR. How does that happen? And he found a way to cash in against all three of the Penguins' defensive pairings.

-We have a hard time blaming Marc-Andre Fleury for this but at the same time, it's fair to expect him to steal a goal. The Islanders didn't score any soft goals but Fleury didn't rob them too often.

-We're not sure if Robert Bortuzzo is talented enough to have that much of an impact in this game, but we have a feeling he could have helped in terms of the battles near the Penguins' net. At the very least, he could have used his long reach to made a play on the rebound which led to the Islanders' third goal by Okposo.

-The Penguins did get a few positive accomplishments out of this game. As foreign as it might feel to say, but the Penguins' power play was the only reason the Penguins really had a chance in this game. After weeks of struggling with the man advantage, the power play gave the Penguins' a 2-0 lead.

-Sidney Crosby scored two goals for the first time since October. He looked pretty connected with Chris Kunitz and David Perron.

-Beyond that, the Penguins got little in the way of contributions in five-on-five play. The second line of Beau Bennett, Evgeni Malkin and Nick Spaling just didn't seem all that comfortable. It generated some chances but relatively few of them were high quality.

-Whatever the Penguins were hoping to accomplish with Marcel Goc on the left wing of the third line, it didn't seem to take place. He just didn't look comfortable as a wing.

-The fourth line was pretty inert once again. In contrast, the Islanders' fourth line created some things with some hits and net crashes.

-Mark Arcobello didn't look all that out of place in his first game with the Penguins. He had 8:43 of ice time on 12 shifts, one shot and was 0 for 2 in faceoffs.

-Travis Hamonic was a difference maker in this game. With his team trailing, he kept firing the puck from the point. And as he usually does, he wasn't afraid to mix it up with the Penguins' better players. His steal of a Perron pass led to the game-winning goal.

-We're not sure Jaroslav Halak was tested all that much late but he did steal a few goals throughout the course of he game.

-There were plenty of times the Penguins were simply flat-out beaten one-on-one in puck battles. That was inexcusable.

-The Islanders led in shots on net, 35-24.

-The Islanders dominated attempted shots, 73-49.

-Okposo led the game with six shots.

-Crosby led the Penguins with five shots.

-Johnny Boychuk led the game with 23:31 of ice time.

-Letang led the Penguins with 22:59 of ice time.

-Faceoffs were even, 30-30 (50 percent).

-Casey Cizikas was 12 for 20 (60 percent).

-Malkin and Brandon Sutter were 10 for 15 (67 percent).

-Paul Martin led the game with four blocked shots.

-Nikolay Kulemin, Nick Leddy and Okposo each led the Islanders with two blocked shots.

-The last player to score four goals against the Penguins was Canucks forward Markus Naslund, a former Penguin, in a 4-3 overtime home win, Dec. 9, 2003. Fleury was in net for that game as well.

-Fire Craig Patrick.

-The only other Islanders player to score four goals in a game against the Penguins was forward Mike Bossy in a 6-3 home win, Jan. 13, 1981.

-If this was indeed the Penguins' final regular season game in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, they will end up with a 48-56-12 record in that building.

-Chris Kunitz (307 points) passed up Lowell MacDonald (306 points) for 21st place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

-Paul Martin (99 points) passed Colby Armstrong and German Titov (98 each) for 87th place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.


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About the Islanders - 01-16-15

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, TVA.

Record: 29-13-1, 59 points. The Islanders are in first place in the Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division.

Leading Scorer: Center John Tavares, 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists).

Last Game: 3-0 road win against the Rangers Tuesday. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves for the Islanders.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-1 home win Nov 22. Tavares had a goal and an an assist.

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

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

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

Useless Islanders Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: The first shutout of the Islanders in that franchise's history was a 5-0 win by the Penguins in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Goaltender Denis Herron made 24 saves for the Penguins to record his first career shutout.

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

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (22-7-4, 2.16 GAA, .926 SV%) for the Penguins. Jaroslav Halak (23-8-0, 2.22 GAA, .917 SV%) for the Islanders.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right wingers Pascal Dupuis (blood clot), Patric Hornqvist ("lower body") defensemen Olli Maatta (shoulder) and left winger Blake Comeau (wrist) are on injured reserve. For the Islanders, center Mikhail Grabovkski ("lower body") is doubtful. Defensemen Matt Carkner (back) and Lubomir Visnovsky ("upper body") are on injured reserve

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins lines and pairings at today's morning skate were:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 39 David Perron
13 Nick Spaling - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 19 Beau Bennett
57 Marcel Goc - 16 Brandon Sutter - 23 Steve Downie
38 Zach Sill - 26 Mark Arcobello - 27 Craig Adams

7 Paul Martin - 58 Kris Letang
6 Scott Harrington - 10 Christian Ehrhoff
4 Rob Scuderi - 47 Simon Despres

-The Islanders had an optional morning skate. Their expected lines and defensive pairings are:

12 Josh Bailey 91 John Tavares 21 Kyle Okposo
27 Anders Lee51 Frans Nielsen18 Ryan Strome
40 Michael Grabner
29 Brock Nelson
86 Nikolay Kulemin
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 37 Brian Strait


-The Penguins are potentially playing their final regular season game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. They have an all-time regular season record of 48-55-12 in the facility.

-Center Andrew Ebbett cleared waivers.

-Defenseman Scott Harrington was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-The Penguins activated center Scott Wilson (leg) from injured reserve and assigned him to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-Left winger Chris Kunitz has 498 career points.

-Center Mark Arcobello is expected to make his debut with the Penguins. He will wear No. 26.

-Tavares has 198 career assists.

-The referees are (No. 9) Dan O'Rourke and (No. 15) Jean Hebert. The linesmen are (No. 83) Matt MacPherson and (No. 70) Derek Nansen.

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

(Photo: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

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Penguins playing final game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum - 01-16-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins will play their final scheduled regular game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum tonight.

The Islanders are playing their final season at the only building they've ever called home throughout their 43-year history. While there are discussions of playing sporadic home games in the building in the future, they will be moving to Brooklyn's Barclays Center next season.

The Penguins (or many other people for that matter) won't miss going to to the Coliseum. In addition to losing three out of four postseason seasons against the Islanders, the Penguins have an all-time regular season record of 48-55-12 in the building.

The Penguins' first game in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum was a 5-0 win against the Islanders Oct. 17, 1972. This was the Pittsburgh Press' game story from that game. (The Post-Gazette had an Associated Press story.)

Pens Enjoy Lofty Perch

By Dan Donovan
Press Sports Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Seven minutes were left in the game and suddenly Penguin Coach Red Kelly wasn't his somber, involved self. He forgot about the hockey game.

“This must be how a coach for Montreal or Boston feels,” Kelly thought as combinations of the old, Ken Schinkel, and the new, Denis Herron, flooded Long Island, 5-0.

Kelly is not used to coaching a team that controls the tempo of four out of its first five games. Usually his teams have scrambled through games and he sees a long list of mistakes made by rookies and castoff veterans.

Before the Penguins tied Chicago for first place in the National Hockey League Western Division last night, Kelly could subscribe to the cliché that he was down so long, it looked like up. Now he has started up and the ground is already 10 feet below his ankles.

“There's a world of difference,” Kelly said. “It is not as hard to coach. You don't have to think so hard.”

Deep thought wasn't responsible for the decision that has been the main reason for the Penguins' upward thurst. On the eve of the season, Kelly threw together the Sh-line, the Schinkel-Shack-Schock shift, and it gave the Penguins balance never approached in the team's history.

The Sh-Line and the Apps line have each scores seven goals while the Hextall line has six.

“Chicago is the only team in the division that has lines as good as ours,” said Schinkel, who scored two goals last night.”

Linemate Eddie Shack also scored as did Syl Apps and Jean Pronovost.

Kelly was around last year when the Penguins rocketed to wins in five of their first six games, only to plummet earth-ward during November.

“I know it is still early,” Kelly said. “but we are playing a lot better than last year. We've got more sound scoring.”

Part of the sound scoring is the Sh-line, with Schinkel ranked amoung the top goal-scorers in the league with five.

“It's a good feeling,” Schinkel said about all those goal, but suggesting that the plus and minus standing might be a better indication of the line's worth.

You get a plus point if you are on the ice when a goal is scored and a minus point when one is scored against you.

“We're plus seven,” Schinkel said. “except for Ron Schock. He's plus eight.”

Plus eight agree that the goals mean little.”

The three of us have to work hard to stop the other team from scoring,” said Schock, who has eight assists.” We are just getting the chance to score.”

And goaltending like Herron's doesn't give the opposition much chances to score.

I didn't expect a shutout so early,” said the 20-year-old who had the audacity to score a shutout in his second NHL game. “But my teammates, they help me so much.”



(Photo: Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press)

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Carmody a freshman of influence ..... Pitt to look at DiNucci

Written by Mike White on .

Rob Carmody was a pretty fair basketball player during his day. He scored more than 1,200 career points at North Catholic, averaged 17 a game as a senior (1989-90) and was the MVP of his section before going on to play at Westminster.

The son might rise higher.

Rob Carmody is only a freshman guard for the Mars Planets. But his future is extremely bright.

The younger Carmody is actually a fourth generation Rob Carmody. With his talent and size, he could very easily be a future Division I college player.

Rob Carmody juniorCarmody (pictured) is 6 feet 3 and plays guard. Look at his body and the way he is built, he could very easily add 2 or 3 more inches. Then you are looking at a 6-5 or 6-6 guard who has talent. Carmody handles the ball well, shoots it fairly well, moves well and has a great court presence and toughness about him. And he is only going to get better.

Carmody plays a lot of AAU basketball with other top freshmen in the area and some colleges already have him on their radar.


"We had to go to the doctor and they looked at an X-ray and said his growth plates are wide open, and that he should grow even more," said the elder Carmody.

If he works on his game, gets stronger and grows a few more inches, Carmody could be a standout player, one that will certainly interest Division I colleges. What level Division I? That remains to be seen.


Already, the younger Carmody is pretty good. He averages 14 points a game for a Mars team that has only one loss. You'll probably be hearing much from the kid in the future - in two sports.

Pitt interested in DiNucci

Pine-Richland star quarterback Ben DiNucci already has made a verbal commitment to Pennsylvania of the Ivy League. But Pitt is now showing interest in DiNucci.

New Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi is searching for quarterback help now that recruit Alex Hornibrook backed out of his verbal commitment to Pitt and flipped to Wisconsin to follow Paul Chryst. Pitt's coaches will come to Pine-Richland Monday to watch DiNucci work out.

Twice in two days

Over the next eight days, Canon-McMillan is playing sort of an NBA schedule. They will have a home-and-home series with two different teams on consecutive weekends. 

Canon-McMillan will play at Upper St. Clair tonight and then play host to Upper St. Clair tomorrow night.

Next Friday, Canon-McMillan will play at Moon, and then play host to Moon the following day.

The reason? Well, the games were scheduled for earlier this season, but Canon-McMillan postponed the games to play in a tournament in Orlando, Fla., before Christmas. The Big Macs, Moon and Upper St. Clair all agreed to play on consecutive days.

"You always like to have two days to prepare for a section game. That's why we did this," said Upper St. Clair coach Danny Holzer. "I don't think it's a big deal because both teams are in the same boat, playing on consecutive days. No one has an advantage." 

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Empty Netter Assists - 01-16-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Marc-Andre Fleury was selected as an injury replacement for the All-Star Lame Game.

-Ironically, injuries have become the reason Beau Bennett is getting a chance in the top-six forwards.

-What are the differences between 'Gino and Suttsy?'

-Andrew Ebbett was placed on waivers.

-Happy 77th birthday to former Penguins forward, coach and scout Lou Angotti (right). Acquired in the 1968 offseason in a deal which sent Ab McDonald to the Blues, Angotti's playing career with the Penguins amounted to 71 games and 37 points in 1968-69. During the 1969 offseason, Angotti was traded back to the Blues along with a draft pick in exchange for Ron Schock, Craig Cameron and a draft pick. After serving as head coach of the Baltimore Skipjacks, the Penguins' AHL affiliate, Angotti became the Penguins' head coach in 1983-84. In his only season as the Penguins' coach, the team had a dreadful 16-58-6 record for 38 points, a mark which remains a franchise low. He was replaced following the season and served as a scout until 1986. Angotti is one of five men who have played for and coached the franchise. The others are Ken Schinkel, Gene Ubriaco, Rick Kehoe, and Ed Olczyk.

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins forward Brenden Morrow. Acquired in a trade last season which sent Joe Morrow to the Stars, Brenden Morrow appeared in 15 regular season games for the Penguins in 2012-13 and scored 14 points. He saw action in 14 postseason games and scored four points. During the 2013 offseason, he joined the Blues as a free agent. He is currently a member of the Lightning.

-Happy 21st birthday to current Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot. A first-round pick in 2012, Pouliot made his NHL debut this season. He has played in seven games and has three points. He is currently assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-After the Jump: A new goaltender gets the Wild a win.

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