This was not as of an impressive game as the score makes it out to be. The Pens were pretty complacent for most of the first two periods after really taking it to the Islanders for the first part of the game. They did however show up in time to finish off the Islanders and take a big two points from them and leave them just 3 points behind the Rangers and Lightning for 7th place with 3 games in hand. The other bright spot in this game was the play of all 4 lines as well as goal scoring from the top 3.
The Penguins started the game flying compared to the Islanders who thought the game started at 7:30 like normal. The Pens were reward for their effort just 2:32 in when Christensen displayed great patience when he faked Dunham out and slid the puck past him just like he was facing him in a shootout. The Pens were then unable to take advantage of a Power Play and when Witt hit Crosby at center ice the game changed. Whitney and Malone took exception, which was great to see, and the Islanders were rewarded with a 4 min Power Play. The Pens were able to kill it off but never able to get the hop back they had early in the game.
The Islander got on the board on a goal by Park which came as the Pens were seeing how many passes they could get on a 5 on 3 instead of trying to get a goal. The only shot recorded during the Pens 5 on 3 was by Park. The Pens did respond when Ouellet found a rebound and put it into an open net to get the Pens their lead back. The Pens were not able to take that lead to the locker room when Asham was able to redirect a pass past Fleury to tie it at 2.
The Pens must have really been given a talking to or really decided they wanted to win and took control in the 3rd. Crosby start off the scoring when he found a rebound on the Power Play and also put it into the open net. The Pens then show some smarts on the next 2 goal when they were able to learn from mistakes earlier in the game. Christensen's mistake came when he was left alone in front of the net and tried to be to perfect with his shot and missed the net. Later Christensen gained the blue line and just threw a quick wrist shot on the net and it found it's way through Dunham for Christensen's second goal of the game. The top line learned that passing in a 2 on 1 is not always a good thing when they had to changes broken up but the third time Recchi decided to take the shot instead of the pass and Crosby found the rebound for his second of the game and gave the Penguins their 5th and final goal.
Things got a little chippy with about 30 second when Blake was supposedly trying to hook Crosby's hands, which is also illegal, and missed and speared Crosby. Crosby fell down in pain. Crosby then got up and started to go after Blake and was given a penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct and Blake staked away. It looks like the Pens are going to send the tape to the league and it is possible that Blake could be suspended and deservedly so.
Next up are the Bruins on Thurs...
Labels: 2006 Game Review