Gameday #6 Recap: v. New York Islanders, The Devil in the Details

Again not a full recap, just a few thoughts. Coming later will be my overly simplified explanation of why the Pens are struggling.

The Pens lost 4-1 and they looked bad doing it. There is no doubt in my mind that the Islanders are getting better and as we said in the pregame, strange things always happen when the Pens play the Islanders. Get the low down after the jump

First Period

Simon Despres set an impressive tone with his dominant hit on Mark Streit on the first shift. Overall Despres logged 19:12 and looked, despite everything, like the player we all expect him to become.

DJ rejoined the lineup and took his turn on the second line. He was faster than Big Dawg, more comfortable on the left wing than TK, and he managed to still lay some hits.

As such he earned a second start tonight against the Rangers tonight. Islanders got their first goal late in the first period. Paul-Mart couldn’t get his outlet pass out, some dude got the puck, faked out Fleury goal. First time this year the Pens didn’t score first in a game this year.

Second Period

Pens came out looking better, some really impressive zone time through the first half of the period. But they were getting frustrated by blocked shots and solid goaltending from Evengi Nabokov. The Pens ended up trying one of those stupid across-the-blueline zone entry passes, it got picked off by Michael Grabner, who Steigy and Bob compared to an imaginary speed skater? Anyway, goal city. 2-0 Isles.

 

Pens got back to the offensive zone time but then James Neal took one of his dumb offensive zone penalties. Pens PK was skating in mud, after all the high intensity pressure we’re used to,they just stood around while the Isles passed all over them. 3-0 Isles. John Tavares with the slick wrister.

 

TK took some ticky-tack penalty, exact same thing on the PK. 4-0 Isles. Bad bounce off the rear boards, Fleury turned to look at the puck hit the wall, Matt Moulson killing the Pens as usual.

Period ends with fans booing the Pens off the ice. How long has it been since that happened?

Third Period

Vokoun came in to replace Fleury, actually made some good saves to keep things from getting more enbarrasing.

Pens had some opportunities but couldn’t get it past Naby. He’s definitely not Rick Dipietro.

For the first time the Crosby line worked as a unit and scored a goal. Pascal Dupuis. It was too little too late though. The only nice thing is it kept the Pens from being shutout.

Notes/Thoughts

  • Colin McDonald’s board on Ben Lovejoy got him suspended for 2 games. The Pens managed 1 shot on the 5 minute major he got for the hit in the game.
  • TK has been demoted to the 4th line and we honestly can’t figure out why.
  • Since starting 5 for 10 on the PP, the Pens are now 0 for their last 12.
  • Pens played a super intense intro video for the game. The crowd still didn’t make any noise until they started booing. I’m not saying they didn’t have the right to boo, but they didn’t exactly engage and lift up the team before the booing.
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