Didn't know Fat Capuano was in "Goodfellas." What an idiot. Nabokov couldn't stand there and face three shots? Smells fishy.
Ah, but maybe Nabokov was under the impression that being in CONSOL meant that you had to leave the game early. A really strange ending to an otherwise solid game. Rick DiPietro had to come in cold off the bench to face the Pens in the shootout. Malkin beat him, and MAF closed the door.
The Pens haven't played into any of the bullshit the Isles started last year, and that has helped them. They were able to rally from trailing in the third period and win for the first time since the spring of 2010 in the playoffs against Ottawa.
It is all about picking up points, and the Pens are doing it at a scary pace. Big-time game in Toronto on Saturday night against a much-improved Leaf team. Read More for the recap...
Pens came out and basically destroyed the Islanders on the first shift. The prettiest part of that was that little redirect pass Malkin had to give Orpik when Neal made that quick drop-pass. That pass should be on Malkin highlight reels for the rest of his career. So pretty. Sucks if you don't know what we're talking about.
Malkin made at least 10 unbelievable passes in the first 10 minutes of the game. That is an average of 1 per minute, which coincidentally was your girlfriend's sex rate in college.
The Pens thought they had something going later when Niskanen kept a puck in the Isles' zone, but it was thwarted by the most delayed offsides call of all time.
For a while there, it looked like the Isles didn't know there was a game going on.
Fifth Avenue Joe buys a power play with a little acting job. He did get slew-footed, though. The Pens had something working early in that PP, then things got really embarrassing. Out of nowhere, Staal scores. But no dice. Cooke interfered with Nabby. Opinions were mixed on this call. Wouldn't want it done to MAF. Lose-lose or win-win situation. No penalty, no goal. Right afterward, Orpik was going off. That's how the NHL operates. Pens kill it.
After some shit, Orpik destroys Comeau on a hit. Comeau reacts strangely to the hit and starts a fight. Then Niskanen starts fighting someone. Pens had a PP from that. They had some great chances. Fun to watch. No dice.
MAF almost gave up his first behind-the-net goal of the year. An Islander takes the puck from MAF. MAF commits one of the most obvious trips since that James Brown interview, doesn't get called, and the Pens are saved. Yeah, it was a veteran move on that trip. But it was a clear trip. Should've been called.
We obviously like Engelland and Orpik. But the two of them on the same pairing is mmmeeeehhhh. Something doesn't sit right. No clue why. We understand they are the same type of player, and they should still be a formidable pairing. They were on the ice when the Isles scored at the end of the first. 1-0.
Pens picked up where they left off. Just peppering the Isles net. Neal had a look, then Jordan Staal hit a post. Later on that shift, Staal trained Tavares and injured himself. He headed to the locker room but returned soon after.
Pens had a mystery power play later. Bettman joined Errey and Steiggy in the booth. That PP looked solid, too. Malkin couldn't hit the net on his one-timers, but there was consistent pressure. Martin was smooth at the point. Killed.
Malkin did some thing where he batted the puck and dropped it back to Sullivan. Sully had an issue with hitting the net in this game. Pens were still completely dictating the play. And the Isles were still a goal away from taking this game to the bank.
Late in the second, Martin trips Martin. The Pens' PP looked great again. But still no goals.
Early in the third, the Islanders get the goal they needed. Matt Martin puts home some trash. 2-0. Engelland/Orpik on the ice again.
After that, the Pens grabbed their sacs. Kunitz made it 2-1 after some one-touch passing between Letang and Dupes.
The crowd came alive enough to help buy a penalty when Okposo put The People's Elbow on MAF. PP city. The power play hasn't looked this good in years. Too many times last year, the power play failed the Penguins. But not tonight. Pens put together an absolute beauty. Malkin to Koon to Neal. Goal. 2-2.
Right after the goal, MAF made three or four huuuuuuuge saves to keep it tied. Last year, the Islanders suck the life out of the building with a quick goal to take the lead again. You almost expected it. MAF hadn't seen this many shots up to the third period. But he was rock-solid.
Pens jumped on the PK later. MAF big save. Martin kicks it away from the crease. MAF big save. MAF big save. MAF BIGGGGG SSSAAAABABABVVEVEEFVE. Great goaltending, and the PK continues on their torrid pace.
Later in the third, Fifth Avenue Joe had a great chance from high in the slot, but it's hard to get a lot of ass behind a fadeaway one-timer like that.
Great action late. Pens were buzzing in the Isles' zone. The puck went the other way, and the Isles managed to get a few fresh bodies on the ice while the Pens were dog-tired. Orpik races to a loose puck and gently taps it onto the glass, over an Islander, and out of the zone. It wasn't far enough for icing, and the Pens could change up. If we had locker-room access, we would ask Orpik how it felt making that play. Huge play.
The game dipped into OT.
Nothing really happened until Malkin went on a coast-to-coast trip that would cost $3,000 on Expedia.com. Nabby made the save. What a performance by Malkin. Had like 26 minutes of ice time.
Pens got like 30 seconds on the PP at the end. Didn't even get a shot off. You figured they had time for at least 2 or 3 Malkin one-timers, but he never settled at the top of the right circle.
The shootout was delayed a bit, as Fat Capuano decided to throw DiPietro in net for the shootout. At the time, we immediately thought of Nabby having a groin injury or maybe Nabby knew Malkin had his number. Either way, TKO took his place in the crease and did some Nintendo "Track & Field" stretches.
-Letang up first. Hair got in the way.
-Franz Nielsen had a chance. Nope.
-Then Malkin jumped onto the ice. DiPietro tried a poke check and a pad stack. But Malkin found that ankle nook in DiPietro's pads and slid it in. 1-0.
Infinite amount of cameras in the background. So, who posted it on the Internet?
Break it down. Guy in 66 pigeon jersey celebrates the goal in the video in front of the videographer. The guy in the collar-up green jacket on the glass is nowhere to be found in the pic. The pigeon jersey in the pic may be the 66 in the video. There's no sign of a "C" on his jersey in the picture, but the jersey may have been purchased during Lemieux's comeback year. And the guy in the video with the Pens hat on has a popped collar. There is a backwards hat in front of the pigeon jersey in the pic. Our conclusion is that the videographer is not in the picture.
-Jokeateau was up next. MAF stones him.
-James Neal was up next. He earned this spot as the closer due to his shootout triumphs last season. No dice.
-John Tavares was the Islanders' last chance. Got to put it home if you're him. MAF ends it.