The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders each coughed up two goals leads as the momentum shifted wildly throughout this contest. At the end of the day, the Pittsburgh Penguins gained the series lead on the strength of a pair of Chris Kunitz’s power-play goals assisted by Sidney Crosby.
Here are some talking points for the Penguins’ 5-4 overtime win:
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- The New York Islanders were a below average penalty killing team in the regular season and they’ve shown an inability to contain the Penguins when they’re down a man in this series. Pittsburgh has converted on six of their 13 power-play opportunities in the first round, but to be fair to the Islanders, Kyle Okposo did score a shorthanded goal in the third period.
- The Penguins acquisitions near the trade deadline played a big role in this game. Jarome Iginla cut the Islanders’ early lead in half and Douglas Murray netted what proved to be a key goal late in the second period.
- John Tavares was limited to just one assist in his first two playoff games, but he forced this match to overtime. It wasn’t enough for the Islanders today, but it probably won’t be the last we see of him in this series.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins showed some faith in Marc-Andre Fleury by keeping him in the game after allowing two early goals. Tomas Vokoun gives them a viable alternative, but it doesn’t look like Fleury is on a short leash.
- The Islanders were 10-11-3 at home during the regular season. Is playing at Nassau Coliseum much of an advantage for the Islanders?
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi ranks among the NHL’s most outspoken executives. Even so, his discussion of what he calls Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.” (Bold claim: the production part was probably the bigger sticking point.)
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the Lombardi and the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?
Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.
Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.
Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).
A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:
Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.
It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.
After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.
Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.