Islanders' speed decisive in victory over Penguins
UNIONDALE, N.Y.—Speed kills.
Just ask the Penguins.
One of the reasons that the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series is tied at two games apiece is the Penguins' inability to neutralize the Islanders' speed, which was key in New York's 6-4 Game 4 win Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum.
“We have to play with a good pace,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.
This is exactly what the Islanders have accomplished for the 188:44 of game action spanning Games 2-4.
The Islanders have been able to routinely skate through the neutral zone to start their forecheck in the three games, which has clearly bothered the Penguins. It boiled over with a post-game fracas in which the 10 skaters on the ice wrestled and grabbed at each other.
“You have to ask them,” Travis Hamonic said when asked if he thought the Islanders' speed and physicality had irritated the Eastern Conference's top seed.
New York outhit the Pens, 33-26, last night. Many of the hits occurred behind the net, allowing the Islanders to cycle the puck and maintain offensive zone possession. That was highlighted by Kyle Okposo's second goal of the series, which tied the game at 3-3.
Casey Cizikas was able to corral a loose puck behind the net and found Kyle Okposo, who backhanded a shot that bounced off Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
“I'm just trying to work my hardest out there,” said Cizikas, whose goal with 1:16 left in regulation ended the scoring. “I'm going to do whatever it takes to outwork the opposition.”
New York's speed forced the Penguins to commit 12 turnovers, none more blatant than the offensive zone giveaway that led to John Tavares's goal.
Brad Boyes forced Malkin to turn the puck over in the offensive zone by cutting off his angle. Boyes corralled the loose puck and carried the puck along the boards before backhanding a pass to Tavares in the slot for his second goal of the series.
“Our forwards are cutting back and cycling the puck, it causes a lot of problems for them,” Mark Streit said. “Our forwards are doing an outstanding job. They have so much speed and they work really, really hard. They're forechecking hard, they're physical.”
Denis Gorman is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Kessel ‘thrilled’ with chance to play with Crosby, Malkin
- Hurricanes owner rips Rutherford, Penguins
- Penguins sign defensive prospect
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- Penguins notebook: Rutherford proves savvy in deal
- Starkey: Rutherford hits jackpot with Kessel
- Examining the draft trends of the last 3 Penguins GMs
- Penguins may opt to beef up blue line with their 1st pick in draft
- No team did less than Penguins at NHL Draft
- Starkey: Kessel worth Penguins’ inquiry
- Scouts think Penguins could regain luster with minor tinkering