TK Gets 2 Goals as Pens Win Shootout on the Island

The Pittsburgh Penguins won their 3rd straight game on Saturday night by coming from behind and beating the New York Islanders 4-3 in a shootout on the island.  After a largely flat 1st period, the Penguins picked it up to score 2-goals in the 2nd and poured it on in the 3rd to tie the game and send it into overtime.  The Penguins got contributions from their lower lines as their offense was powered by the 3rd and 4th lines in regulation.  After a scoreless sudden death, Petr Sykora notched the only goal in the shootout to snatch the victory for the Penguins and improve their record to 8-4-2.  The win puts them in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division behind the New York Rangers.

The Penguins gave up the first goal of the game to the Islanders as Doug Weight picked up his 3rd of the season at 16:23 of the 1st period, an even strength goal from Bill Guerin and Andy Hilbert.  The goal beat backup tender Dany Sabourin, playing in just his 3rd game of the season.  The Penguins were outshot 5-3 in the lackluster opening frame, with the Islanders getting the only powerplay opportunity as Max Talbot sat for slashing at 9:20.  The Weight goal gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead going into the 2nd period. 

In the 2nd period, the Penguins offense started to click.  Tyler Kennedy picked up his 4th goal of the season at 2:16 on a beautiful give-and-go passing play with Mike Zigomanis that tied up the Islanders defense and caught goaltender Joey MacDonald out of position to give TK an open side to shoot at.  He didn’t miss on the golden opportunity.  Matt Cooke picked up the other assist on the game-tying goal.  At 8:15, the Islanders regained the lead as Tim Jackman collected a rebound after a 2-on-1 break and beat Sabourin.  Doug Weight and Andy Sutton picked up the assists.  Then at 14:30, the Islanders added another goal as Andy Hilbert was left all alone in front of the net and collected a pass into the crease and backhanded it in past Sabourin to make it 3-1.  Kyle Okposo and Andy Sutton got the assists on the play.    But a minute and a half later, Jordan Staal exorcised some hockey demons as he used his long stride to gain the breakaway and powered to the front of the net where he backhanded a goal between the pads of MacDonald to make it 3-2.  Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were each credited with an assist.  The Penguins were given 4 powerplay opportunities in the 2nd, but failed to convert on any of them.  They managed to stay out of the box themselves, but were still outshot 12-8.

In the 3rd period, the Penguins finally took control of the game and dominated the Islanders by outshotting them 18-1.  At 16:45 it paid off as Tyler Kennedy beautifully redirected an Alex Goligoski slapshot for his 2nd goal of the night and 5th of the season.  The goal tied the game at 3-3 and ultimately sent it into overtime.  The Penguins had the only penalty of the period as Petr Sykora sat 2 minutes for hooking.  New York squandered a lead in the third period for the fourth time in five games.

After a scoreless overtime period in which the Islanders outshot the Penguins 4-3, it went to the shootout.  The Islanders opted to shoot first and sent out Doug Weight who put a backhander on net that Sabourin stopped.  Petr Sykora came out first for the Penguins and beat MacDonald with a backhander high on the glove side.  Bill Guerin’s wrister was then stopped by Sabourin, giving Miroslav Satan the opportunity to end the game.  Satan attempted to beat MacDonald with a quick snap shot, but failed.  Finally Trent Hunter had to score to keep the Islanders alive, but Sabourin appeared to stop the wrist shot as he slid most of the way into his own net.  The puck had lodged itself into his pads at the knee.  The referee immediately called it no goal, but they then went upstairs and to Toronto for an extended video review.  In the end, there was no way to tell by the video review whether the goal (hidden inside of Sabourin’s equipment) had actually crossed the line, although it was likely very close.  In accordance with NHL rules, no clear evidence showing that the puck had crossed the goal line, the ruling by the on-ice official stood and the game was ended.  “It was a tough call,” Sabourin said. “It was pretty close. The puck was in my pad where my knee was. There’s no way (referees) could see the puck.”

NOTES:  Tyler Kennedy led the team with 6-shots on net, and scored a pair of goals.  Miroslav Satan had 4-shots on net and a shootout attempt but came up empty against his former team.  Jordan Staal had 3-shots and connected on his first.  In the faceoff circle, Maxime Talbot (2/2), Matt Cooke (1/1) and Ruslan Fedotenko (1/1) were all perfect in their limited faceoffs.  Evgeni Malkin (3/4) was 75% , Mike Zigomanis (7/11) was 64% and Jordan Staal (11/21) was 52%.  Sidney Crosby (9/25) was only 36% on the faceoff.  Kris Letang led the team in ice time with an impressive 31 shifts and 29:49 on ice, and was even on plus/minus.  Sidney Crosby (26 shifts) and Evgeni Malkin (24 shifts) led all forwards with 24:14 of ice time each.  Matt Cooke and Mike Zigomanis led the team in plus/minus with a +2 rating each.  Mark Eaton and Sidney Crosby trailed the team with each registering a -2 rating in the game.  Dany Sabourin stopped 19 of 22 shots and was perfect in the shootout.  Hal Gill passed a milestone by skating in his 800th NHL game.

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