Posts Tagged ‘Evgeni Nabokov’

NHL playoffs: Penguins top Islanders in Game 6 OT, advance to second round

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Brooks Orpik

Tyler Kennedy hugs Brooks Orpik after Orpik’s game-winning goal in overtime in Game 6. (Kathy Willins/AP)

By Allan Muir 

The NHL playoffs revolve around the discovery of unlikely heroes. And they don’t come much less likely than Brooks Orpik.

The stay-at-home defender failed to score a single goal during the 48-game regular season. He’d never lit the lamp in 77 postseason contests. But when Tyler Kennedy put one on a tee for him 7:49 into overtime, Orpik blasted a miraculous shot that somehow managed to hit the crossbar and both posts before crossing the goal line to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a series-clinching 4-3 win over the gritty New York Islanders.

Despite being outplayed in every facet of the game by the Isles, the Penguins relied on character and experience to fight back from three deficits before finally ending the season of the gutsy eighth seed.

Fair to say the Isles deserved a better fate. They outshot Pittsburgh 38-21. They outhit the Pens. They crushed them in the face-off circle. But they couldn’t put them away when when they had the chance, and that’s the difference between a team that goes on and a team that goes home.

John Tavares, Colin McDonald and Michael Grabner scored for the Islanders. Jarome Iginla, Pascal Dupuis and Paul Martin also tallied for the Pens, who now move on to face the Ottawa Senators in the second round.

Here are some observations from the game:

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  • Published On May 12, 2013
  • Top Line: Kings advance; Joe Sakic takes over in Colorado; more links

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    Rick Nash

    Rick Nash and the Rangers will have to win a Game 7 on the road for the first time in team history. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • No one ever shoots when the crowds screams for him to … except this once. The decision paid off, as Dustin Penner’s long blast with two-tenths of a click remaining on the clock served as the clincher as the Kings knocked off the Blues.

    • Solid piece from Bernie Miklasz on what went wrong this time for a St. Louis team that always finds a way to break the hearts of its fans.

    • It hasn’t been easy to be an Avs fan lately, but winning the first overall pick in the draft and now getting Joe Sakic in charge of hockey operations in Denver probably makes this the best postseason since they last won the Cup.

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  • Published On May 11, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Penguins rout Islanders 4-0 in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

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    Tomas Vokoun

    Goalie Tomas Vokoun (92) had a solid showing in place of Marc-Andre Fleury. (Justin K. Aller/Gettty Images)

    By Eli Bernstein

    This series was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Penguins. After demolishing the Islanders 5-0 in Game 1, you could almost hear Morgan Freeman narrating their march to the next round. (No? Just me? OK, then.)

    But after that initial pasting, the Islanders decided that they wanted to savor their first playoff appearance since 2007. What resulted were wide-open games that featured overtime heroics, wild momentum swings and delirious, bottle-throwing Long Island crowds as the Isles fought back to tie the series at 2-2. Game 5 in Pittsburgh would be pivotal, and each side had a glaring question mark in net that needed to be addressed. The Penguins got their answer in the form of a 4-0 shutout that put them back in control, 3-2, as they return to New York for a potentially decisive Game 6 on Saturday night. The Islanders, on the other hand, have a tough choice to make.

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  • Published On May 09, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Penguins rally, beat Islanders 5-4 in overtime in Game 3

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    A crucial victory for the Penguins leaves the Islanders rueing a game they could have won. (Seth Wenig/AP)

    By Adrian Dater

    For starters, how great was it to see boisterous Islanders fans twirling orange towels in the air at Nassau Coliseum? For too long, their materials of no choice have been white flags.

    We can also safely assert that it was a fun game to watch between the heavyweight, top-ranked Penguins and the spunky Isles. Does that mean it was a particularly well-played contest? Does that mean there weren’t a few really boneheaded errors by both sides? No and no.

    The Islanders got incredibly sloppy and, well, stupid with their play after taking a quick 2-0 lead. Ditto for the Penguins in the third period after they took a two-goal lead of their own into the final 20 minutes of regulation. Ultimately, the Penguins prevailed in OT to claim Game 3 and a 2-1 lead in this opening-round series.

    Here are a few more observations from Game 3:

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  • Published On May 05, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Sidney Crosby returns, but Islanders even series with Penguins

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    Brian Strait

    Brian Strait and the Islanders improved their physical defensive play on Friday. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Sarah Kwak

    As if anybody didn’t know before Game 2 of Pittsburgh’s series against the New York Islanders, Sidney Crosby made his presence so very known on Friday night. Despite scoring a pair of goals in 23:21 ice time, the captain, playing his first game since breaking his jaw on March 30, couldn’t help his team fend off a furious attack by the Islanders, who erased a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Penguins, 4-3, and even the series at one game apiece.

    Here are some thoughts and observations from a surprising night:

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  • Published On May 03, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Pittsburgh Penguins overwhelm New York Islanders

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    John Tavares (right) was largely ineffective against Pittsburgh’s aggressive marking. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    The New York Islanders outhit the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their first-round series Wednesday night. They controlled the face-off dots. They even fired 26 shots on Marc-Andre Fleury, the same number that the Pens managed to land.

    And yet the Isles were never in a contest that they lost 5-0. Not for a minute.

    Shows how far you can trust the surface numbers, eh?

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  • Published On May 02, 2013