Pittsburgh might be a tough city to hate. The U.S. steel industry is dying a slow death, and so is the city itself. But even that is little joy for me. It gets not even a little reprieve from my hatred. Pittsburgh has seemingly time and time again ruined whatever sport I was watching at the time. The little victory joys for me as a fan seem to be far too spread out.
We don't got much. But we got the second round. See ya, brah.
Good news and bad news about the first period. The good news was the Isles were uptight and didn't have the same jump they had in the first periods of Games 3 and 4. The bad news was they still got the first goal and just started waiting for mistakes.
It was bad when the Pens had to call a timeout after icing the puck on the first shift of the game.
The Isles' first goal came on an extended shift for the Pens. They just couldn't get it out of the zone. Everyone watched as Tavares found a sweet spot in the zone and had all day to snipe Vokoun. 1-0.
As they are wont to do, the Pens struck back relatively quickly. Crosby had a burst of speed and caused a ruckus. Iginla cleaned up the trash. 1-1.
Great subtle pass by Martin to spring Crosby.
The pace slowed after the Pens' goal. Isles were still being the more physical team.
Late in the first, Crosby made a sweet move coming from behind the net.
Puck went the other way, and Orpik we don't even know. McDonald all alone in front. 2-1.
Was gonna be a good road period if it wasn't for that final tally.
The Islanders still had loads of more spunk in the second. They were still maintaining ridiculous puck possession. Meanwhile, the Pens strategy in their own zone consisted of saying "fuck it" and throwing it off the boards, usually straight to an Islander.
The first Pens' penalty of the period came when Morrow decked Martinek from behind. That's against the rules. The Islanders had myriad chances on the PP, but they kept fanning on the puck or shooting it wide. Vokoun was still making saves, too. Pens caught break number one on that PK when Murray shoved Moulson onto Vokoun, but the referee whistled it dead probably because Moulson made no attempt to get off of Vokoun, combined with possibly losing sight of the puck. That wasn't a kill as much as it was a survival.
After that PK, something clicked, and the Pens woke up. That "something" was Joe Vitale and Tyler Kennedy putting the team on their backs. First it was TK making moves that eventually led to a Pens PP. Okay, we won't discuss that power play.
After the PP, Joe Vitale came streaking in and found Dupuis going to the net. A sweet redirect.
Pens were being outshot 21-7 before they jumped on that PP.
The Pens' push-back was thwarted when Cooke went off for the Pens' second penalty of the game. PK did a better job on that one. The Pens caught their second break of the period when Martin broke his stick over an Islander's stick with a slash and got away with it.
Everything was fine for like 4 seconds, and then the Pens took their final penalty of the second. This was a too-many-men call that Bylsma was jammed about:
The PK did it again. This time, it was all Vokoun. Orpik saved a sure goal.
Both teams exchanged golden chances late. Kunitz had the Pens' chance after a Crosby-Spezza 2.0, but Nabokov made his biggest save of the series. Isles answered that chance when Visnovsky had a great look at Vokoun with like 10 seconds left. Pens got yet another quick whistle on that play.
When asked after the skate how he felt, he told reporters that he felt good, but that it was up to the doctors and coaches whether or not he'll take the ice on Saturday night. So he is questionable for Game 6. The Islanders could certainly use him in the lineup to force a Game 7.
via Shannon Dillon
-- Underrated effect of Orpik's goal: it saved Mother's Day.
-- Orpik's first goal since 2011. That was also against the Islanders.
-- Series recap later.