Penguins Fall 4-2 in Weak Outing

The Pittsburgh Penguins lost to the New York Islanders on Saturday night at Mellon Arena by a score of 4-2 after giving up 2-goals midway through the 3rd period in a sloppy game.  In a bit of irony, the tie-breaking goal was scored by rookie Blake Comeau who was called up when Islanders’ forward Chris Simon was suspended 30-games for stomping on the leg of Penguins’ forward Jarrko Ruutu with his skate blade last Saturday.  Comeau, playing in just his 2nd game this season and the 5th of his career, beat Dany Sabourin inside the far post to give the Islanders the lead at 3-2.

For the Penguins, the schedule may have played a factor with the game coming on the heels of Thursday night’s win in Boston.  The team traveled back to Pittsburgh overnight and played their second game in as many nights, and 3rd game in just 4-nights.  When the Islanders scored the tie-breaking goal midway through the 3rd, the Penguins just didn’t have enough gas left in the tank to mount a viable comeback.  The Penguins were sloppy in their own end, had difficulty dealing with the bad ice surface and didn’t capitalize on their chances. 

In the 1st period, the Islanders scored quickly off from a goal by Miroslav Satan at 0:44, with assists by Josef Vasicek and Brendan Witt.  The Penguins bounced back late in the first when Erik Christensen found the back of the net at 18:50 to tie it 1-1.  Working the boards behind the Islanders’ net, Georges Laraque backhanded the puck along the boards to Gary Roberts who attempted a quick wraparound on goaltender Rick DiPietro.  Roberts’ attempt was stopped, but the rebound popped out to Christensen who drove it into the empty side of the net to beat DiPietro.  With the assist, Gary Roberts was credited with his 900th career point. 

In the 2nd period, the Penguins scored first at 4:20 on the power play as the Islanders netminder mishandled the play, leaving the net wide open for Jordan Staal who scored just his 3rd goal of the season.  Sidney Crosby and Sergei Gonchar were credited with the assists.  It was Pittsburgh’s only goal in 6-power play chances, including a four-minute power play in the second.  They are just 2-for-25 with the man advantage in the last 5-games.  The Islanders managed to tie the game at 8:42 from Andy Hilbert.  Tim Jackman and rookie Blake Comeau were credited with the assists.

In the 3rd, the Islanders scored twice to beat the Penguins 4-2.  The tie-breaker came from the stick of Blake Comeau at 10:28 with an assist by Andy Hilbert.  The insurance goal came less than a minute later at 11:05 from Trent Hunter with assists by Mike Sillinger and Ruslan Fedetenko. 

Dany Sabourin stopped 20 of 24 shots and lost his 4th game in 5-starts.  “We expect him to be better,” said coach Michel Therrien, who may opt to use Ty Conklin against Boston again on Sunday.  

Around the Atlantic, the Flyers and Rangers both lost on Friday night, enabling the Penguins to maintain 3rd place.  The Devils won to add another 2-points of separation from the rest of the tightly packed Atlantic Division, with just 4-points separating the 2nd and 5th place teams. 

The Penguins The Penguins play again on Sunday afternoon when they host the Boston Bruins at 3PM. 

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