After coming off a 2-1 shootout victory in their last game against the Ottawa Senators, the Pittsburgh Penguins looked to continue their good play at home against the New York Islanders. Seeking to find a winger to play with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal decided to give Dustin Jeffrey a look. This was Jeffrey’s first action since the first game of the season.
Five minutes into the game the Penguins got their first power play opportunity. After going 0 for 5 against the Senators the Pens were hoping that against the Islanders it would be a different story.
It wasn’t. Just like against the Senators the Penguins had trouble entering the zone and setting the power play up. Then Islanders actually had more shots then the Penguins on the power play.
After killing two penalties, the Islanders struck first to take a 1-0 lead into intermission. Casey Cizikas was the goal scorer, getting not only his first of the season, but his first in the NHL. Cizikas was able to out the Penguins defense on the boards and score on a wraparound, just beating Marc Andre Fleury to the post.
In the second period the Islanders increased their lead to 2-0, when Deryk Engelland misplayed the puck on the blueline allowing one of the fastest players in the league, Michael Grabner, a breakaway chance on Fleury. Fleury was able to get a piece of Grabner’s wrist shot but not enough to stop it from going in the net. The goal was Grabner’s fourth of the season.
The Islanders showed the Penguins how a power play is supposed to look when they scored on their first opportunity. They controlled the puck the entire time, moving the puck high and low and side to side until they had an easy tap in by John Tavares, his second of the season.
If the Penguins weren’t taking notes on the first power play the Islanders showed them how it was done again when Matt Moulson scored his fourth of the season just minutes later, increasing the lead to 4-0.
The Penguins were granted a five-minute power play due to a boarding call, but were unable to score. With nine minutes of power play time in the game, the Penguins could only muster three shots. In the past two games they are 0 for 8 on the advantage.
Fleury, who allowed four goals on 17 shots, was pulled at the start of the third for Tomas Vokoun. The Penguins avoided the shutout when Pascal Dupuis scored his second of the season at the 18:51 mark. The best player on the ice for the Penguins was the rookie Simon Despres. He played a solid game, doing the little things and not trying to press the issue.
The final was 4-1 but the game was never that close. It appeared only one team showed up to play. The Penguins will look to put this one behind them as they hit the road on Thursday against the New York Rangers.