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49-25-8
New York
Islanders
30-39-13

38 SOG
36 SOG
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game recap

Islanders 9, Penguins 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Dyan LeBourdais

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Islanders 9, Penguins 3
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, New York Islanders 9


Inside Nassau Coliseum on Friday night, a crowd of 12,888 fans witnessed passion in one of its purest forms. In a hard-hitting, high-scoring game, fans got to watch one of the most penalized games in recent memory characterized by 15 fighting majors, 11 game misconducts, and 346 penalty minutes. And at the end of 60 minutes, the New York Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 9-3.

“(This) shows – especially in our locker room – what everyone means to each other,” John Tavares said. “We’ll do anything for each other. We made sure – especially going out in the third period – that we were protecting each other. We were talking to each other, we had our heads up, we weren’t putting anyone at risk, and if they had one guy in there we tried to have at least one or two.”

Zenon Konopka #28 of the New York Islanders exchanges words with Maxime Talbot #25 of the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 11, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 9-3. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

The emotions were the result of pent up frustrations from a difficult season, but also because of the last time these two teams met in Pittsburgh (Feb. 2). In that game, Maxime Talbot hit Blake Comeau from behind – causing the Isles forward to be placed on injured reserve due to a concussion. It's also the same game of the now-infamous goalie fight between Rick DiPietro and Brent Johnson, which resulted in DiPietro's facial fractures.

“For us, it’s been really frustrating all season long,” Zenon Konopka said. “There’s been a few things out of our control, and a few things in our control. It wasn’t just a direct hit at Pittsburgh, they just kind of fell in the way. It was a lot emotions built up. It goes to demonstrate how close a bunch we have in here.”

Hence, the game was expected to be chippy.

It started in the first period when Micheal Haley took down Craig Adams. Then Matt Martin got things started 5:21 into the second. In that one stoppage of play, three separate fights broke out and all the players involved were ejected from the game. Martin dropped the gloves on Talbot, but ended up fighting Deryk Engelland. Josh Bailey took down Pascal Dupuis and Isles defenseman Travis Hamonic fought Michael Rupp.

“There was a lot of emotion out there tonight,” Tavares said. “We came out and really dominated early. It set the tone for the rest of the game. It’s nice to get a win against those guys, score some goals. They shut us out the last time. It was pretty entertaining out there for the fans and we’ll take it.”

But Hamonic was just getting started. The Isles rookie started off the team’s scoring when he scored at 8:51 of the first period. The goal, a slap shot from the space between the blueline and the top of the right faceoff circle, traveled through traffic before beating Johnson low glove side. It was his second goal of the season, but he also had an assist on the fourth goal, taking a Gordie Howe hat trick.

While Haley got the fisticuffs started in the first, it wouldn't be all you'd hear of him in his season debut. He scored his first career NHL goal, which was also the Islanders sixth goal of the contest 3:46 into the second period. And Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma responded by pulling the goaltender, replacing him with Marc-Andre Fleury.

But Johnson returned to the game to start the third period and Haley got the crowd to their feet. At 4:47, the Isles call-up started a fight with Talbot and in the same stoppage of play, he took on Johnson when the goaltender left his crease and skated out to the blueline. Eric Godard jumped off the bench to come to Johnson’s aid.

“The kid’s a competitor,” Matt Moulson said. “He’s got some skill, but he’s tough as nails. He’ll do anything for his teammates. I’ve had the chance to be with him the last two seasons and he’s just a phenomenal kid who does what he has to.”

Micheal Haley #59 of the New York Islanders instigates a fight with goaltender Brent Johnson #1 of the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 11, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jesse Joensuu, who the Isles recalled earlier in the day, scored the Isles second goal 12:52 into the opening period. The goal was his fourth NHL goal of the season. PA Parenteau netted a power play goal from the paint at 17:48 as he anxiously awaited a pass from Hamonic to bring the score to 3-0.

Michael Grabner had his nightly breakaway opportunity and was tripped up by Zybnek Michalek, earning a penalty shot at 13:25. While he was unsuccessful, the rookie got his next opportunity to beat Johnson at 19:12 (scoring his 20th goal of the season) to end the first period with a 4-0 lead.

Tavares scored the Islanders fifth goal at 3:16 of the second period (to score his 20th goal of the season) and Haley scored his goal just 30 seconds later to bring the Islanders ahead 6-0.

After the goaltending change, the Isles took a few penalties. When they were shorthanded, Kris Letang scored a power play goal at 6:08 and then Jordan Staal closed the gap 6-2 at 9:04, while the Isles were down 5-on-3. Tyler Kennedy scored Pittsburgh’s final goal 7:46 in the third period, while on the power play.

Moulson netted back-to-back goals to close out the second stanza and give the Isles a 8-2 advantage. The first was an even strength goal at 13:31 and the second was a power play goal scored at 17:50. The goals were his 20th and 21st of the season.

Grabner completed the Islanders scoring when he scored his second goal of the contest (and 21st goal of the season), with an unassisted breakaway goal at 17:51, bringing the final score 9-3.

“He’s playing to his strength,” Capuano said. “We talked about how good defense leads to good offense. He’s using his speed. He has tremendous speed and acceleration. He’s finding ways.  It’s tough for a D to hold their gap against a guy that quick.”

Tavares, Grabner and Moulson have now all surpassed the 20 goal mark.

“Those are good personal goals to reach I think,” Moulson said. “But it is about getting wins. If we get guys scoring as much as we can, it’s going to get a lot of wins for us. I was happy to see Johnny and Grabs get it. Grabby’s been playing phenomenal. He’s been a freak of nature lately. It’s really special to watch him on this tear he’s had.”

Lost amongst the fists and fury was an outstanding performance by rookie goaltender Mikko Koskinen who made 35 saves against the talented Penguins offense to record back-to-back wins.

“He made some big stops,” Moulson said. “Seems like he just gets more and more confident with each period. We kind of threw him in the fire the first game he had to play. After about his first five minutes when he had his nerves going, he’s been playing great.”

The Isles look to extend their record to a three-game win streak when they take on the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday afternoon at HSBC Arena.

Islanders lineups
Forwards

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 15 PA Parenteau
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
17 Matt Martin - 12 Josh Bailey - 58 Jesse Joensuu
59 Micheal Haley - 28 Zenon Konopka - 14 Trevor Gillies

Defensemen
47 Andrew MacDonald - 36 Travis Hamonic
27 Milan Jurcina - 38 Jack Hillen
8 Bruno Gervais - 24 Radek Martinek

Goaltenders
1 Mikko Koskinen
35 Al Montoya

Scratches
44 Rob Schremp
6 Ty Wishart
scoring summary
1st Period
08:51
NYI
Travis Hamonic (2) ASST: Michael Grabner (9), Frans Nielsen (20)
1 - 0 NYI
12:52
NYI
Jesse Joensuu (4) ASST: Josh Bailey (10), Matt Martin (5)
2 - 0 NYI
17:48
NYI
PPG - Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (14) ASST: Travis Hamonic (11), John Tavares (23)
3 - 0 NYI
19:12
NYI
Michael Grabner (20) ASST: Bruno Gervais (5), Radek Martinek (7)
4 - 0 NYI
2nd Period
03:16
NYI
John Tavares (20) ASST: Travis Hamonic (12), Matt Moulson (13)
5 - 0 NYI
03:46
NYI
Micheal Haley (1) ASST: Jack Hillen (8)
6 - 0 NYI
06:08
PIT
PPG - Kris Letang (8) ASST: Alex Goligoski (20), Brett Sterling (1)
6 - 1 NYI
09:04
PIT
PPG - Jordan Staal (5) ASST: Tyler Kennedy (16)
6 - 2 NYI
13:31
NYI
Matt Moulson (20) ASST: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (21), John Tavares (24)
7 - 2 NYI
17:50
NYI
PPG - Matt Moulson (21) ASST: John Tavares (25), Milan Jurcina (8)
8 - 2 NYI
3rd Period
07:46
PIT
PPG - Tyler Kennedy (11) ASST: Kris Letang (35), Joe Vitale (1)
8 - 3 NYI
17:51
NYI
SHG - Michael Grabner (21) ASST: NONE
9 - 3 NYI
penalty summary
1st Period
02:37
NYI
Micheal Haley  Roughing against  Zbynek Michalek
10:22
NYI
Micheal Haley  Fighting against  Craig Adams
10:22
PIT
Craig Adams  Fighting against  Micheal Haley
14:33
NYI
Travis Hamonic  Hooking against  Mike Rupp
15:51
PIT
Eric Tangradi  Too many men on the ice
17:56
PIT
Eric Godard  Fighting against  Trevor Gillies
17:56
NYI
Trevor Gillies  Fighting against  Eric Godard
20:00
NYI
John Tavares  Slashing against  Kris Letang
2nd Period
05:21
NYI
Matt Martin  Game misconduct
05:21
NYI
Matt Martin  Misconduct
05:21
NYI
Matt Martin  Fighting against  Maxime Talbot
05:21
PIT
Mike Rupp  Game misconduct
05:21
PIT
Pascal Dupuis  Game misconduct
05:21
NYI
Josh Bailey  Game misconduct
05:21
PIT
Deryk Engelland  Roughing against  Matt Martin
05:21
NYI
Travis Hamonic  Fighting against  Mike Rupp
05:21
NYI
Matt Martin  Instigator against  Deryk Engelland
05:21
NYI
Travis Hamonic  Game misconduct
05:21
PIT
Deryk Engelland  Game misconduct against  Matt Martin
05:21
PIT
Mike Rupp  Fighting against  Travis Hamonic
05:21
NYI
Josh Bailey  Fighting against  Pascal Dupuis
05:21
PIT
Pascal Dupuis  Fighting against  Josh Bailey
07:51
NYI
Frans Nielsen  Slashing against  Alex Goligoski
17:20
PIT
Eric Godard  Roughing against  Jack Hillen
17:30
PIT
Zbynek Michalek  Slashing against  Michael Grabner
3rd Period
01:19
PIT
Brooks Orpik  Charging against  Kyle Okposo
01:19
NYI
Kyle Okposo  Roughing against  Brooks Orpik
04:47
NYI
Trevor Gillies  Roughing against  Eric Tangradi
04:47
NYI
Trevor Gillies  Roughing against  Eric Tangradi
04:47
NYI
Trevor Gillies  Misconduct
04:47
PIT
Brent Johnson  Fighting against  Micheal Haley
04:47
NYI
Trevor Gillies  Game misconduct
04:47
NYI
Micheal Haley  Fighting against  Brent Johnson
04:47
NYI
Micheal Haley  Fighting against  Brent Johnson
04:47
NYI
Micheal Haley  Game misconduct
04:47
NYI
Trevor Gillies  Elbowing against  Eric Tangradi
04:47
NYI
Micheal Haley  Misconduct
04:47
PIT
Craig Adams  Roughing against  Trevor Gillies
04:47
PIT
Craig Adams  Game misconduct
04:47
PIT
Eric Godard  Roughing against  Micheal Haley
04:47
PIT
Eric Godard  Roughing against  Micheal Haley
04:47
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Fighting against  Micheal Haley
04:47
NYI
Micheal Haley  Instigator against  Eric Godard
04:47
PIT
Eric Godard  Game misconduct
04:47
PIT
Eric Godard  Game misconduct
12:12
NYI
Kyle Okposo  Interference - Goalkeeper against  Brent Johnson
12:12
PIT
Brett Sterling  Roughing against  Kyle Okposo
12:40
PIT
Tyler Kennedy  Holding against  Frans Nielsen
16:04
PIT
Kris Letang  Roughing against  Kyle Okposo
16:04
PIT
Kris Letang  Misconduct
16:04
NYI
Kyle Okposo  Misconduct
16:04
NYI
Zenon Konopka  Misconduct
16:04
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Misconduct
16:04
NYI
Zenon Konopka  Roughing against  Maxime Talbot
16:04
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Roughing against  Zenon Konopka
16:04
NYI
Kyle Okposo  Roughing against  Kris Letang
16:04
NYI
Jesse Joensuu  Too many men on the ice
16:12
NYI
Jack Hillen  Misconduct against  Brett Sterling
16:12
PIT
Brett Sterling  Misconduct against  Jack Hillen
17:43
PIT
Joe Vitale  Cross checking against  Andrew MacDonald
17:43
NYI
Andrew MacDonald  Cross checking against  Joe Vitale
17:43
NYI
Andrew MacDonald  Fighting against  Joe Vitale
17:43
PIT
Joe Vitale  Fighting against  Andrew MacDonald
17:58
PIT
Ryan Craig  Misconduct
17:58
PIT
Ryan Craig  Cross checking against  Frans Nielsen
goalie stats
Brent Johnson
Brent Johnson
9-5-2
SA: 27TOI: 43:46
Saves: 20EV: 11 - 16
PIM: 5PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .741SH: 3 - 4
Marc-Andre Fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 9TOI: 16:14
Saves: 7EV: 3 - 4
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .778SH: 1 - 1
Mikko Koskinen
SA: 38TOI: 60:00
Saves: 35EV: 16 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 19 - 22
SV%: .921SH: 0 - 0
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