The Islanders and Penguins battled hard in this one, but John Tavares banked the deciding goal for the Islanders midway through the third period. Then 22-year-old forward Casey Cizikas rounded out the scoring in New York’s 6-4 victory and seemed to demoralize Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the process.
A few things to consider:
- Pittsburgh did a superb job of responding to the Islanders’ early goals. James Neal found the back of the net just 45 seconds after the Islanders made it 1-0 and Evgeni Malkin responded within a minute of John Tavares’ goal. It kept New York from developing some early momentum, even if it didn’t end up changing the outcome of this game.
- Pascal Dupuis has an incredible nine goals in nine contests against the New York Islanders in the regular season and playoffs. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and seems likely to get a sizable raise after completing a two-year, $3,000,000 contract.
- What should become of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury? The Penguins went out and got themselves a viable alternative for the playoffs in Tomas Vokoun. Is it time to give him a shot? How much heat will Dan Bylsma take if he starts Fleury in Game 5?
- On the subject, Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has a horrendous .846 save percentage in this series. So goaltending hasn’t exactly been either team’s greatest strength in this series.
- Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald suffered what the Islanders called an upper-body injury. He was limited to 15:36 minutes as a result.