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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dubie, Isles Put the Pens on Ice

Penguins 1: Islanders 4

The Islanders, following Sunday night's loss to the Flyers, have been eliminated from playoff contention. With a game the following night against Pittsburgh- a feisty, talented team that is at the top of the Atlantic Division- they could ill afford to weep over the revelation.

And thankfully for Isles fans, they didn't.

Watching the game last night, I was amazed by the way the Isles came out blazing, while the Penguins were lethargic without Sidney Crosby, despite their record (now 15-8-4 without him). This wasn't the friendliest meeting between teams- Blake Comeau got walloped on a hit by Maxime Talbot, who had caught Comeau with his head down, and that, and the scuffle that ensued, set the tone for the game. A string of penalties also hit the Isles as well as the Pens- and the first penalty, predictably on the Isles' behalf, gave way to the game's first goal, a shorthanded goal by Richard Park on a partial breakaway 3:22 into the first period. Kyle Okposo got the assist (3 points in 4 games- tell me this kid's not going to be something special).

Petr Sykora would score on the same PP 36 seconds later, on a crossbar shot that went under brief review but ultimately counted, and the Pens looked like they had some life. But all that went down the tubes in the second, as penalty after penalty cost them puck possession, and Wade Dubielewicz (28 saves) robbed them of solid opportunities. Then the captain, Bill Guerin, after hitting a crossbar, hit yet another one to put the puck into the net for his 23rd.

Crashing the net was something the Isles also did, as Sean Bergenheim did so on the PP, knocking in a rebound by Guerin at 14:53 of the second period for his first power play goal of the year (10th overall). Ty Conklin, who had made 50 saves in the Pens' last meeting against the Isles, was pretty much helpless in this one (32 saves), although he made some decent saves to keep the game from being a complete blowout. Unfortunately, the D wasn't as apt- and in the third, having almost knocked it into their own net, it was safe at that point to determine exactly what level of confidence they were at. A Trent Hunter goal as insurance made the score 4-1- and broke a 5-game home losing streak for the Isles, and kept Pittsburgh from reaching the top of the conference.

Notes: Mike Comrie missed last night's game (flu)... Tim Jackman was called up from Bridgeport... The Isles outshot the Pens 36-29... Fun Fact: Bill Guerin has now played 1,102 games in his career with last night's match.

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