The New York Islanders in the playoff hunt near the end of the November? That hasn’t been the case too often for the struggling franchise this decade but the Islanders continue to be a tough out and improved their record to 10-9-7, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Friday afternoon.
New York overcame a 2-1 third period deficit, as Sean Bergenheim tied the game, a 1:24 into the period and rookie sensation John Tavares scored on a rebound with 6:12 left in the third period to lift the Islanders to a 3-2 win.
Although the Penguins held a 2-1 lead after the second period, the Islanders controlled the play, out-shooting the Penguins 37-21.
Pittsburgh was flat for most of the afternoon but managed to jump out to a 2-1 lead going into the third period after two blunders from Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson (19 saves) who gave up suspect goals to Evgeni Malkin (7) in the first period and Matt Cooke (5) in the second period.
Pittsburgh was 0-for-5 on the power play. Brent Johnson made 34 saves in the loss.
Post-Game Wrap up
That’s exactly what happened this afternoon as the Islanders outshot the Penguins 18-5 in the third period.
*Special Teams woes continue for Pittsburgh
What the Penguins power play has lacked this season is a killer instinct. Pittsburgh had a prime opportunity to put the game away in late in the second period when Andy Sutton was called for a double minor high sticking penalty at 14:24 of the second period.
The Islanders killed off a 55-second, 5-on-3 chance after Sutton’s four minute minor and held the Penguins to only 3 shots in 5 minutes of total power play time.
The Penguins power play has become a momentum killer. I don’t see the power play improving until the players realize there is a problem.
*Deryk Engelland time in the Penguins top 6 will be coming to an end very soon with the Penguins getting healthier.
For Engelland’s part, he is doing what he can to show he is a versatile defender who can add some toughness. Engelland’s first period fight to open the game with Tim Jackman is a prime example of that.
He’s not only auditioning for the Penguins but for other teams around the league.