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The Skinny Playoff Preview

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick The Isles return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday. Here is a preview- Skinny style. UP NEXT TH...

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Skinny: Penguins 4, Isles 0. Pittsburgh leads series 3-2.

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game 5
Pittsburgh 4, Isles 0 [Penguins lead 3 games to 2]

Tyler Kennedy and Douglas Murray scored 82 seconds apart to break open a scoreless game and Penguin captain Sidney Crosby scored one goal and added an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed a 3 game to 2 lead in this Eastern Conference Quarter-Final with a 4-0 win over the Islanders before a sellout crowd of 18,636 at Consol Energy Center.  Game 6 will be played at the Coliseum on Saturday at 7:00pm.

The Scoring:
1st Period
2nd Period
07:25    PIT       T. Kennedy (1) Wrist - ASST: K. Letang (3) AND B. Sutter (1)       1 - 0 PIT
08:47    PIT       D. Murray (2) Wrist - ASST: C. Kunitz (3) AND E. Malkin (7)         2 - 0 PIT
14:00    PIT       S. Crosby (3) Snap - ASST: J. Iginla (7) AND P. Dupuis (2)         3 - 0 PIT
3rd Period
05:43    PIT       PPG - K. Letang (2) Slap - ASST: S. Crosby (5) AND P. Martin (4) 4 - 0 PIT
The Series:
·         GAME 1: Pittsburgh 5, Islanders 0
·         GAME 2: Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3
·         GAME 3: Pittsburgh 5, Islanders 4 (OT)
·         GAME 4: Islanders 6, Pittsburgh 4
·         GAME 5: Pittsburgh 4, Islanders 0
·         GAME 6: at NYI Sat May 11, 7:00 pm
·         GAME 7: at PIT Sun May 12, TBD, if necessary  

The Skinny
The first two Penguin goals came 82 seconds apart; it's the third time in the series that Pittsburgh has scored twice within a two minute span….  Tyler Kennedy scored a goal in his first appearance in the series; he has 9 goals in 31 career regular season games vs. the Isles… The Isles have outscored Pittsburgh 6-2 in the third period in the series… Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, and Pascal Dupuis have points in all five games of the series while Sidney Crosby has a point in each game that he has played…The Penguins have scored three goals in a period four times in this series… Thomas Vokoun has gone 142:42 (regular season/playoffs) without allowing a goal to the Isles… The Penguins have now sold out 281 consecutive regular season/playoff games…The Penguins have led after two periods in all three of their wins; the score was tied after two periods in the two Islander wins…There were 66 penalty minutes assessed; 36 of them to the Islanders.  (42 of the minutes were assessed with 24 seconds to play).

Low Five
The Isles are now 15-19 in game five of playoff series, but they have lost 10 straight game 5's since beating Philadelphia on April 28, 1987.

Too Many Goals Against
Most goals allowed, Isles, first five games of a series
·         22 -- 1990 Rangers (Lost 4-1)
·         21 -- 1984 Oilers (Lost 4-1)
·         21 -- 1980 Flyers (Led 3-2 in Cup Final)
·         21 -- 2013 Penguins (Trail 3-2)
Too Few Goals For
The Penguins shut out the Islanders for the second time in this series, with both Vokoun and Marc-Andre Fleury each earning shutouts.  It's the second time in Islander history that two different goalies have shutout the Isles in the same series; Wayne Stephenson and Bernie Parent did so for Philadelphia in the 1975 Semi-Finals.  It's the first time that it has happened in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for any team since both Billy Smith and Chico Resch shutout Chicago in the 1979 Quarter-Finals.

The Series:
·         #1 Pittsburgh leads #8 Islanders 3-2
·         #7 Ottawa eliminated #2 Montreal 4-1
·         #3 Washington - #6 NY Rangers tied 2-2
·         #4 Boston leads #5 Toronto 3-1
·         #1 Chicago elimiinated #8 Minnesota 4-1.  
·         #2 Anaheim leads #7 Detroit 3-2
·         #6 San Jose eliminated #3 Vancouver 4-0
·         #5 Los Angeles leads #4 St. Louis 3-2
If the Islanders win this series, they will face Washington (if the Caps win) or the winner of the Boston-Toronto series in the second round. If Pittsburgh wins this series, the Penguins will face Ottawa.

The Shots:      
Isles         14-11-6=31
Penguins   7-18-6=31

The Isles have outshot Pittsburgh 159-146 in the series.  In both Pittsburgh shutout wins, the shots have been even (26-26 in game 1).

Home and Road
The Islanders are 136-109 in 245 all-time playoff games.  They are 78-39  at home and 58-70 on the road.
The Penguins are 155-133 in 288 all-time playoff games. They are 84-61 at home and 71-72 on the road.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov allowed all four Penguins goals on 27 shots to drop his career playoff record to 42-41.  Nabokov, who played his 85th game, has played in more games than any goalie participating in this year's playoffs; among active goalies only Martin Brodeur has played in more games (205).
Kevin Poulin faced four shots in the final 14:17.  He has allowed one goal on 14 shots in 52 minutes of play in this series.
Tomas Vokoun made 26 saves in his first playoff appearance since 2007. He is 6-6 in his career in the playoffs and this was his second shutout. Vokoun has now shutout the Islanders six times in his career (five regular season/one playoff).
Vokoun's appearance ends a club-record streak of 79 consecutive playoff starts for Marc-Andre Fleury, which was the third longest streak of its kind in Islander history.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 while the Penguins were 1-5. For the series the Isles are 2-17 (11.8%) while Pittsburgh is 7-20 (35.0%). During the five games of the regular season against each other, the Islanders were 2-18 while the Penguins were 3-14.
Pittsburgh's seven power play goals are three shy of the Isles record for power play goals allowed in a series (10; 1988 by Devils and 1990 by Rangers).

Playoff Experience
Jack Capuano is only the sixth coach to lead the Islanders into the playoffs.

Most playoff wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 123
2.     Terry Simpson 9
3.     Peter Laviolette 4
4.     Jack Capuano 2
5.     Ted Nolan 1
6.     Steve Stirling 1

Most playoff games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 209
2.     Terry Simpson 20
3.     Peter Laviolette 12
4.     Jack Capuano 5
5.     Steve Stirling 5
6.     Ted Nolan 5

They Said It
Mark Streit:  "We have enough confidence in our group to respond …we didn't play the way we wanted to today…big home game coming up."

They Tweeted It
@emptynetters  Tyler Kennedy is sixth all-time in franchise history with five game-winning postseason goal. #JustSaying  (He now has 6)

The Coach
"Our forwards didn't generate much. They didn't get in on the forecheck.  We didn't play hard enough to be successful in this building.
"They played harder than us. They deserved to win.

Leading Ice Men
Brian Strait played 21:29 to lead the Isles.  Kris Letang led Pittsburgh with 24:21.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 21 of 58 draws and have won 137 of 304 (45%) draws in the series.  Keith Aucoin won 5 of 9 for the Isles. Joe Vitale won 9 of 10 for Pittsburgh.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders were out-hit 33-27.  Matt Martin led the Isles with eight hits; Matt Cooke had six hits for Pittsburgh.  There were no fights, leaving the series total at two.

Giving Up the Body
Playing without Andrew MacDonald, the Isles were credited with nine blocked shots, including four for Thomas Hickey.

Missing Men
With Bridgeport's season over, the Isles have 35 players on the roster. 
Thomas Hickey, Jesse Joensuu and Radek Martinek replaced Matt Carkner, David Ullstrom and the injured Andrew Mac Donald in the line-up. Marty Reasoner, Eric Boulton, Anders Lee, and Joe Finley were scratched as were "black aces" Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom, Brock Nelson, Calvin DeHaan, Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness, John Persson and Anders Nilsson.

All-time Playoff Series
·         1975: Islanders won the series 4 games to 3.
·         1982: Islanders won the series 3 games to 2.
·         1993: Islanders won the series 4 games to 3.
·         2013: Pittsburgh leads the series 3 games to 2.

Looking back to 1993
This series marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 series between the teams.  With the series tied 2 games to 2 (sound familiar), the teams met in Pittsburgh on May 10th for game 5.  The Penguins jumped on the Isles early, and grabbed a 3-0 lead en route to a 6-3 win.  It was the final win of the series, and the season, for the two-time Champion Penguins.

Happy Anniversary
This was the first May 9th game in Islander history.  Other that Christmas Eve/Day, the Isles have played a regular season game on every date from October 2 to May 22.
All-time, the Isles are 0-1 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date.

Up Next
[MSG+ (pre-game at 6:30), WRHU (88.7FM]
Each of the previous Islander-Penguin series has required the maximum number of games to decide and the Islanders will look to keep that streak going when they host Pittsburgh in game six on Saturday.  All remaining games in the series will be seen exclusively in the New York area on MSG+.
The Isles are 6-3 in game six of series that they trailed 3 games to 2. They have managed to win three of the nine series that they trailed 3 games to 2 (Pittsburgh 1975, Washington 1987, Pittsburgh 1993).

The Islanders have successfully staved off elimination 25 times in 42 tries. Of course the other seventeen times they've ended up on the wrong side of a handshake.
Four times in their history, the "Never-Say-Dielanders" have managed to stave off elimination at least three times in a single playoff year.

In 1975, the Isles beat the Rangers in the decisive Game 3, and then found themselves down 3-0 to both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Isles won eight of the nine elimination games they played, setting an NHL-record for avoiding elimination.

In 1985, their first playoff after losing the Cup, the Isles lost three of their first four playoff games, and looked like they were headed to an early spring, before rallying to beat the Caps three times, to stave off elimination each time. The Isles trailed the Flyers 3-0 in the second round and won game four before losing the series in five. Four successful staves.

Two years later the Caps and Flyers again became Islander victims. The Isles trailed both series 3-1; yet beat the Capitals on Easter morning, before losing to Philadelphia in seven. Five more successful staves.

 Finally in 1993, the Isles trailed Pittsburgh 3-2 before winning in 7 on David Volek's overtime goal. After Montreal led the Conference Finals 3 games to 0, the Isles staved off elimination with a home-ice win in game four, only to fall to the eventual champs in Game five. Three more staves.

Five other seasons featured one successful stave.
·         In 1976 and 1977, the Isles forced the eventual champion Canadiens an extra game each year with their backs against the wall.
·         In 1982 and 1984, with their dynasty on the line, the Isles used overtime goals to beat Pittsburgh and the Rangers to stave off elimination and increase the legacy that guides this franchise today.
·         Finally, in 2002, the Isles overcame the loss of Michael Peca and Kenny Jonsson in game 5 in Toronto to win an emotional game six at home.
In game when the Isles face elimination they are 15-4 at home and 10-13 on the road.  The 1994 Rangers were the last team to win the final game of a playoff series at the Coliseum.

In seven of the 17 seasons the Isles have been eliminated in the playoffs, the team that beat the Isles won the Stanley Cup [75-76-77-84-93-94-04] while in three other years, the team that beat the Isles lost in the Finals [79-85-87].

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources.  Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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