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Insider Only Goligoski’s power play goal in OT lifts Pens’ to 3-2 win

Post Penguins – Islanders Observations
Alex Goligoski (3) scored a power play at 1:51 of overtime and saved the Penguins from what could have been another embarrassing home loss.
Goligoski lifted Pittsburgh to a 3-2 OT win over the New York Islanders on Friday night for the Penguins first win at the new Consol Energy Center.
“It’s just a relief to finally win one, ” Goligoski said about the Penguins earning their first win at the new arena.
Despite the victory, Pittsburgh played a less than stellar game against an inferior opponent that the Penguins were not able to put away after getting goals in the second period by Mike Rupp (1) and Eric Tangradi (1) in a 2:50 span, jumping out to a commanding 2-0 lead.

Power Play Woes

Pittsburgh again struggled mightily on the power power play going 0-for-7 in regulation on the man-advantage but finally delivered in overtime, finishing 1-for-8 on the night.
Goligoski picked up an Evgeni Malkin rebound and fired a wrist shot just under the crossbar from the left circle, beating goaltender Rick DiPietro and giving Pittsburgh its ninth consecutive home win against the Islanders who are 2-14-3 in their past 19 games in Pittsburgh.
Goligoski has a team high 3 goals in 5 games to open the season.
The Penguins struggles on the power power play have been magnified through the early part of the season as the Penguins are now 4-for-28.

Penguins let Islanders hang around

The Islanders who are depleted with injuries were rarely a threat offensively due to arguably missing their three best offensive players in John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit who are sidelined with injuries.
The Penguins though were undisciplined and kept letting the Islanders get opportunities to stay in the game. Matt Cooke alone had three penalties.
Pittsburgh’s defensive unit that was missing Zbynek Michalek and Brooks Orpik played well as a unit and players had to step up when Kris Letang Letang was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for an illegal check to the head on Islanders winger Blake Comeau.
Replays though immediately showed the hit was shoulder-to-shoulder and it was a blown call by the referees.
“The referee made a decision about protecting a player, ” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “He has to make it in a split second.”
Blake Comeau never exited the game and helped the Islanders mount their comeback picking up two second period assists and earning the games No. 3 star.
Following Letang’s crushing hit, Josh Bailey (1) scored a power play goal at the 11:18 mark and Radek Martinek (1) scored a 1:48 later to suddenly tie the game at 2-2.
Martinek’s goal was a blown coverage by the Penguins as Mike Comrie lost his man {Martinek} at the left point and Martinek jumped into the low slot, beating Bren Johnson for the goal.
Deryk Engelland (18:49), Andrew Hutchinson (16:16) and Ben Lovejoy (16:14) all had over 16 minutes of ice time, well over their season average. Alex Goligoski led all players with 28:41 of ice time.

Bylsma mum on starting goaltender for Saturday

Brent Johnson made 22 saves on 24 shots in the game to earn his 2nd victory of the season and improve to 2-0 on the season.
Johnson made a number of key stops in the third period and after the game, Bylsma would not name Marc Andre Fleury his starter for Saturday evening against the Philadelphia Flyers which is a 6:00 p.m. start.
Bylsma praised the Penguins penalty kill unit which killed off 5-of-6 power plays and at times Johnson was the team’s best penalty killer.

Player Notes

*Eric Tangradi scored his 1st career goal at the 6:57 mark of the 2nd period.
*Mark Letestu had two assists in the game and leads all Penguins forwards in points with 4. Letestu set up Tangradi’s goal by getting into the zone on the forecheck and winning a puck battle behind the net.
*Sidney Crosby (3 points in 5 games) and Evgeni Malkin (3 points in 5 games) each had an assist in the game. Both picked up an assist on Goligoski’s over time goal.
*Defensemen Alex Goligoski (3 goals – 2 assists) and Paul Martin (1 goal – 4 assists) are tied for the team lead with 5 points.

Game Notes

*Craig Adams was a healthy scratch, ending his streak of appearing in 86 straight games with the Penguins. Adams was replaced in the lineup by Eric Godard (5 shifts, 2:24, +1) who appeared in his 2nd straight game.
Godard is believed to have dressed because of the presence of Islanders enforcer Trevor Gillies who had just 9 seconds of ice time.
*According to ESPN Stats & Info, Sidney Crosby has 62 points in 32 career games vs. the Islanders, the most points vs. New York by any player since Crosby entered the NHL.
*The Islanders have not won in Pittsburgh since December 21, 2007.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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