Penguins 4, Islanders 2

Travis Betts | Friday, 03.22.2013 / 10:37 PM

The New York Islanders led twice and outshot the opposition 35-25, but the Pittsburgh Penguins broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of third-period goals to earn a 4-2 win Friday at Nassau Coliseum. The loss dropped the Islanders to 13-15-3 this season.

Brandon Sutter’s ninth goal of the season put Pittsburgh ahead 3-2 in the final period of a game in which the Islanders dictated much of the play. Despite two late man advantages, the Islanders were unable to find the equalizer before an empty net goal sealed the result in the final second.

“You only ask for the best of what they have and I thought our guys gave it all they had tonight,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “We sacrificed. We had the will. That’s three games in a row we out-chanced our opponent and lost. We’ve had opportunities to score goals. But we didn’t capitalize. Everything gets magnified when you make one mistake and it’s in the back of your net. It’s not good enough and we’ve got to find ways to win games and get opportunities.”

Islanders Captain Mark Streit’s one-timer found the back of the net at 7:46 of the opening frame to open the scoring. Frans Nielsen won an offensive-zone faceoff to Matt Carkner, who slid the puck along the blue line to Streit for high blast past Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun.

The Islanders outshot the Penguins 14-3 in the first period and Evgeni Nabokov didn’t face a shot until the 12:53 mark, but the home team only took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Joe Vitale scored eight minutes into the second period to tie the game at one. An Islanders turnover at the blue line made its way to Craig Adams, who fed Vitale. The centerman picked a spot just inside the elbow of the goal post on Nabokov’s glove side.

Josh Bailey re-established the Islanders lead later in the period after a prolonged attack. Travis Hamonic’s shot from the point hit traffic in front before John Tavares sent the puck on net. Vokoun made the original save, but the rebound landed on Bailey’s stick for his fourth of the season at 17:18.

With time winding down in the middle frame, Chris Kunitz evened the score at two with his 19th goal of the season. Pascal Dupuis, Sidney Crosby and Kunitz attacked the zone in transition and Kunitz fired a shot from the high slot that banked off Nabokov’s pads with 14 seconds remaining.

The Penguins took their first lead 1:46 into the third on a Brandon Sutter tally. Matt Cooke initiated a 2-on-1 rush and made a sharp pass to Sutter for a close-range tip past Nabokov.

The Islanders had two power play opportunities in the third and pulled Nabokov for the extra skater with one minute remaining, but were unable to find the equalizer. Dupuis found the empty net with less than a second remaining to cap the scoring at 4-2.

Following the game, Nabokov offered his thoughts on turning around the team’s three-game losing skid.

“I think it’s all about confidence right now,” Nabokov said. “It comes downs to us believing in ourselves to be confident. We have to find it, and quickly. We’ll be fine. I have to find a way to cut it down to one or two goals and do my best, regardless of whether it’s a screen shot, or rebound, or deflection. I have to find a way to make a save for the boys.”

The Islanders wrap up a four-game home stand this Sunday, March 24, when the Florida Panthers make their first trip of the season to Nassau Coliseum. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.

Notes: Matt Martin and Craig Adams were assessed fighting majors at 3:31 of the first period … Matt Carkner’s assist was his first point as an Islander … Both teams went 0-for 2 on the power play … Andrew MacDonald led all players with 23:53 of ice time and six blocked shots … Matt Martin had a game-high seven hits … Josh Bailey led the team with five shots on goal … The Islanders won 23-of-53 faceoffs (43%), despite a 6-of-9 (67%) effort from Kyle Okposo.

New York Islanders


26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 24 Brad Boyes

12 Josh Bailey - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo

10 Keith Aucoin - 53 Casey Cizikas - 13 Colin McDonald

40 Michael Grabner - 16 Marty Reasoner - 17 Matt Martin


47 Andrew MacDonald – 3 Travis Hamonic

11 Lubomir Visnovsky - 52 Joe Finley

2 Mark Streit - 7 Matt Carkner


20 Evgeni Nabokov

60 Kevin Poulin

Pittsburgh Penguins


14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 9 Pascal Dupuis

19 Beau Bennett - 15 Dustin Jeffrey - 18 James Neal

24 Matt Cooke - 16 Brandon Sutter - 48 Tyler Kennedy

10 Tanner Glass - 46 Joe Vitale - 27 Craig Adams


44 Brooks Orpik - 7 Paul Martin

4 Mark Eaton - 2 Matt Niskanen

47 Simon Despres - 5 Deryk Engelland


92 Tomas Vokoun

29 Marc-Andre Fleury

Scoring Summary
1st Period
07:46NYI Mark Streit (5) ASST: Matt Carkner (1), Frans Nielsen (13) 1 - 0 NYI
2nd Period
08:11PIT Joe Vitale (2) ASST: Craig Adams (3), Simon Despres (5) 1 - 1 Tie
17:18NYI Josh Bailey (4) ASST: John Tavares (15), Travis Hamonic (7) 2 - 1 NYI
19:46PIT Chris Kunitz (19) ASST: Sidney Crosby (38), Pascal Dupuis (8) 2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
01:46PIT Brandon Sutter (9) ASST: Matt Cooke (10), James Neal (13) 3 - 2 PIT
19:59PIT EN - Pascal Dupuis (15) ASST: Sidney Crosby (39), Tomas Vokoun (1) 4 - 2 PIT
Three Stars of the Game
Chris Kunitz
Chris Kunitz
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 18:43
Brandon Sutter
Brandon Sutter
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 17:55
Josh Bailey
Josh Bailey
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 16:35
Penalty Summary
1st Period
03:31NYI Matt Martin  Fighting (maj) against  Craig Adams
03:31PIT Craig Adams  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Martin
19:04NYI Matt Martin  Holding against  Craig Adams
2nd Period
3rd Period
12:27PIT Pascal Dupuis  Hooking against  Andrew MacDonald
14:08NYI Josh Bailey  Interference against  Mark Eaton
16:39PIT Brooks Orpik  Hooking against  John Tavares
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/20/2
Faceoff Wins3023
Blocked Shots2120
Penalty Minutes99
2M. NiskanenD0005023:17
4M. EatonD00-11017:59
5D. EngellandD00-11014:56
7P. MartinD0020025:40
9P. DupuisR1114217:44
10T. GlassL000109:25
14C. KunitzL1002018:43
15D. JeffreyL00-11011:49
16B. SutterC1013017:55
18J. NealR0113018:34
19B. BennettR00-10010:49
23T. SmithC0000010:24
24M. CookeL0120018:05
27C. AdamsR0110511:58
44B. OrpikD0032221:32
46J. VitaleC101109:40
47S. DespresD0110016:49
87S. CrosbyC0211021:04
92T. Vokoun3335.94359:37
2M. StreitD1001023:32
3T. HamonicD01-22021:56
7M. CarknerD0103018:26
10K. AucoinC00-10012:23
11L. VisnovskyD00-13019:11
12J. BaileyR1025216:35
13C. McDonaldR00-13012:31
16M. ReasonerC0004011:55
17M. MartinL0001710:41
21K. OkposoR0011017:05
24B. BoyesR00-32017:18
26M. MoulsonL00-31016:49
40M. GrabnerR00-12014:07
47A. MacDonaldD00-11023:53
51F. NielsenC0111017:17
52J. FinleyD0000013:02
53C. CizikasC0003011:35
91J. TavaresC01-22018:51
20E. Nabokov2124.87558:53