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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stat Trick: Pittsburgh 7, Isles 3

The Penguins closed out the regular season history of Mellon Arena by beating the Isles 7-3 on Thursday night.  On to the Trick:

1. After a lengthy pre-game ceremony, the Penguins jumped on the Isles in the opening minute as Brooks Orpik scored just 23 seconds in.  Alex Goligoski doubled the Pens' advantage 5:01 into play on the powerplay.  The teams traded four more goals in the period with Matt Molulson and Kyle Okposo scoring for the Isles and Evgeny Malkin and Sidney Crosby responding for the Pens to give Pittsburgh a 4-2 lead after 20 minutes.

2. Josh Bailey's 16th (and final) goal of the season brought the Isles within 4-3, but ex-Isle captain Bill Guerin deflected in a Crosby shot on the power play and Tyler Kennedy scored two minutes later to blow the game open, at 6-3 after two periods.

3.  Guerin's second goal early in the third gave the Penguins a 7-3 advantage. After the Isles failed to capitalize on a five minute power play when Alex Ponikarovsky was tossed (and later suspended two games) for boarding Josh Bailey, the game (and Mellon Arena's regular season history) was essentially over.

...a few more...

4.  Crosby finished with one goal and three assists.  He was credited during play for a second goal, that would have given him 50th, but a post-game review changed the goal to Guerin. Crosby now has 16 goals and 40 assists in 30 career games against the Isles. He has 12 points in the five games this season.

5. Martin Biron was pulled after allowing four first period goals, and suffered his first loss in a starting assignment since December 27 against Philadelphia.  Biron finished with only six saves.  Dwayne Roloson, making his first appearance in four games, made 22 saves.  Mark-Andre Fleury finished with 32 saves as he improved his career record against the Isles to 11-4-3.

6. The Penguins close Mellon Arena with an all-time record of 857-576-205-28 in 1667 games.  
7. It's the first time all season that the Isles have allowed seven goals in a road game; they have allowed seven goals twice at home this year.

8. John Tavares earned the back assist on Moulson's goal to give him 50 points on the season.  Jeff Tambellini, playing only his 34th game of the season, earned an assist on the Okposo goal.  It was his 14th point of the season, but first in his ten appearances since January 2.  Okposo now has 18 goals, matching last season's total.

9. Greg Mauldin replaced an injured Richard Park in the line-up.  He appeared in his first NHL game since the 2003-04 season when he played six NHL games for Columbus.

10. The Penguins sweep the three games in Pittsburgh for the second straight season.  Pittsburgh leads the series four games to one and eight points to three.  The teams will meet again in the season finale on Sunday at the Coliseum.

Up next:  The Isles play the final road game of the season in New Jersey on Saturday.  The Isles have lost all five games at The Rock over the last two seasons, but have beaten the Devils twice in three meetings at the Coliseum.  The Isles have earned eight more points on the road this season (11-21-7 for 29 points) than they recorded last season.

 Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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