Matt Niskanen

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Kyle Okposo Sets The Tone For The Isles In Game Two

Fighting has been, and will continue to be a controversial topic of discussion for as long as it is in the game of hockey. There are those who are against it, and those who are in support of it (Photo Credit: bridgetds/Flickr).

There are those who enjoy seeing a good'ol scrap just for the fun. You know, the ones who say they went to a fight and suddenly a hockey game broke out.

But there are others who understand the role a fight can play in waking up a team; it's ability to provide a spark on the bench that can contribute to better defense, stronger goaltending and ultimately goals that can win hockey games.

That's exactly what Kyle Okposo provided last night.

Isles Rally In Pittsburgh To Even The Series 1-1

After being dismally shutout 5-0 in Pittsburgh for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals, the Islanders were headed in the same frightening direction last night during the first period of Game 2. The return of Sidney Crosby once again beset the Islanders after he scored his second goal of game to give the Pens a 3-1 lead after a period.

But a rejuvenated Isles team would show up the in the next frame and eventually shock the Penguins, in addition to just about everybody watching. The Islanders outplayed Pittsburgh for the rest of the game and scored three unanswered goals to even the series at 1-1. (Photo Credit: T.J. Corona/Flickr)

Examining The Acquisitions

When a team finds success in the NHL on a consistent basis, it is very difficult for GM’s to tinker with said success in order to find greater success. It is the easiest explanation as to how the NHL has witnessed such playoff parity. In the modern cap era it has become even more difficult to place a team on the ice that has a continued shot at a championship. So with all of this in perspective, is it possible that we see a Stanley Cup champion this season that has also won the cup within the past five seasons?

It is the question that seemingly everyone in the NHL is waiting to see. With Pittsburgh and Chicago pushing the boundaries of greatness, the NHL might finally witness ...

Kennedy's Snipe Ruins Stellar Game By Bryzgalov

For the second straight time the Flyers just couldn't hold a lead against the Penguins.

With 2:27 left in the over time period, Tyler Kennedy buried a wrister passed Ilya Bryzgalov to give the Penguins a 2-1 win. They rallied at the end of regulation to win their 12th straight game, stealing two points and a wash away an incredible effort by Ilya Bryzgalov.

Bryzgalov and Marc-Andre Fleury both put on a clinic, keeping the game scoreless through the first half of the game.

With 7:21 left on the clock in the second period the Flyers finally got their first power play opportunity. And with 5:51 left, Claude Giroux found the net to score the game's first goal.

(Pictured: Tyler Kennedy celebrates with Matt Niskanen after scoring the game-winner. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Vora-Trick: Jakub Voracek's Hat Trick Wins Game for the Flyers

It was Rival Night on NBC, and the Flyers and Penguins delivered.

Jakub Voracek's hat trick goal proved to be the game-winner in a wild 6-5 victory for the Flyers at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The game featured lead changes and blown leads,

The opening 10 minutes of the first period looked to be damning for the Flyers.

Playing completely flat-footed against a faster team almost spelled their early demise. Pittsburgh scored two quick goals, and possibly a third, jumping out to a 2-0 lead and 12-2 shot advantage.

(Pictured: Jakub Voracek celebrates with Braydon Coburn after scoring the winning goal late in the third. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Development of Despres

In 2009, after winning the Stanley Cup, the Pittsburgh Penguins held the 30th pick in the NHL Draft. With said pick the Penguins selected Simon Despres, a big bodied defensive prospect from the QMJHL. Standing at 6’4 and weighing in at 215 pounds, Despres wowed scouts with his excellent skating prowess and his offensive upside. While still very raw in his game, it was clear that Despres possessed the skill set and size to become an all situation defensemen in the NHL.

After being invited to training camp with the Penguins in 2009 and 2010, Despres showed how much his game needed to evolve. He would be sent back to his junior club in both seasons to progress. In the two seasons...

The Penguins odds

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS:  FAVORITES TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP

The Penguins traded Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes for Brandon Sutter, a defensive prospect and a first round pick (with which they drafted another defensive prospect). Shortly after, they shipped defenseman Zbynek Michalek back to the Phoenix Coyotes for a couple of prospects and a third round pick.

Then, during the free agency frenzy, the struck out on their main target former New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise and their assumed secondary targets defenseman Ryan Suter and winger Alexander Semin (the verdict is still out on Shane Doan, though the rumored four year, $30 million asking price and ...

Winning is as Simple as Depth

 

In many ways the Pittsburgh Penguins can be considered a star studded cast.  Teams such as Chicago, Philly, Washington, and Detroit boast a lineup of great talent.  These teams are winners for one reason though, depth.  Depth is what wins championships, depth is what every team needs, and this season the Pens so called depth players are rising into stardom.

  For many years they have been lucky to have a third line center that was offensively respected and defensively feared in Jordan Staal.  His play over the years has earned him a selke nomination, league wide respect for one of the best penalty killers, and mostly a Stanley Cup, but now ...