The New York Islanders were hosting a playoff game on Nassau Coliseum ice for the first time in six years in front of a sold out crowd that was salivating for the puck to finally drop. Unfortunately for the Isles, they fell to the Penguins in overtime by a score of 5-4 on a power play goal that came from forward Chris Kunitz just 8:44 into the extra frame.
Special teams would ultimately play the deciding factor in the game, as the Islanders penalty kill only went 2-5, surrendering two additional power play goals in the first period that allowed the Penguins to get into the hockey game.
The Isles came out of the gates with energy and intensity, racking up hits, shots and goals immediately. Within the first two minutes of the game, Matt Moulson would slam home a rebound after Kyle Okposo would get the first few initial chances. Lubomir Visnovsky would be credited with the second assist.
The Pittsburgh Penguins played like a top seed in this opening game of the Stanley Cup playoff series between Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders tonight in Pittsburgh.
The Pens scored five goals, including two on the power play, to blow by an Islander squad that showed little jump all evening. All of this was done without the Pens having their best player as Sidney Crosby is still recovering from the broken jaw he got on March 30th in a game against the Isles.
The Isles took a big step towards the playoffs yesterday afternoon with another road victory in Winnipeg. Brian Strait was back in the line up, so Matt Carkner sat yesterday.
This was one of the most exciting games this season, with so much on the line for both teams. In the beginning of the first, the Isles looked a little tired. That would not last long though, as Frans Nielsen scored his 6th of the season just 4:21 into the game on a nice play from Okposo and Bailey. (Photo: MVerminski/flickr)
The New York Islanders visited their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers, last night for the first time this season. Despite out shooting the Rangers 28-25, the Isles came up short for their third loss in a row and were defeated 4-1 at Madison Square Garden. (Photo Credit: JR_in_NYC/flickr)
The New York Islanders were looking to continue their winning ways against the New Jersey Devils today in a Super Bowl Sunday matinee but came up short, surrendering three late goals in the third period for a final score of 3-0.
Special teams would be a key factor in this game, as the Islanders had a handful of power play chances in the first period that they were unable to connect on. In the end, a charging penalty on Isles defenseman, Brian Strait would ultimately lead to all three goals scored by the Devils. Steven Bernier received a bouncing puck off an Adam Henrique shot and was easily able to roof it over a sprawled Evgeni Nabokov, who had 24 saves on the night. Adam Greene had the secondary assist.
Just over a minute later, Bernier would strike again, this time at even-strength with the assists coming from Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta.
David Clarkson would add an empty netter, which also gave Greene another helper for the night.
With seven games in the books, Islander fans are left feeling oddly confident and pleasantly surprised with the team's success to begin their season. With a tough road trip that traveled through the cities of Toronto, Boston, Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, the Islanders return home accomplishing what they had intended to do.
One of the most refreshing commentary about this team is that they are in every game. Yes, it is still early but they have not looked over matched and they had opportunities to win every game they've played in this year.