TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Islanders look to turn tables in Game 6

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun makes a pad save on the Islanders' John Tavares during the first period Thursday, May 9, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.

About Jerry DiPaola
Picture Jerry DiPaola 412-320-7997
Pitt Football Reporter
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Details

Tavares at a glance

Game-by-game statistics for Islanders center John Tavares through five games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series:

Game Site G/A Shots +/- Ice time Result

1 Pittsburgh 0/0 0 -1 17:03 L, 5-0

2 Pittsburgh 0/1 6 0 19:50 W, 4-3

3 New York 1/0 3 0 23:14 L, 5-4 (OT)

4 New York 1/1 3 -1 19:25 W, 6-4

5 Pittsburgh 0/0 6 -1 20:03 L, 0-4


By Jerry DiPaola

Published: Friday, May 10, 2013, 10:02 p.m.

The New York Islanders' locker room was as quiet as a church's confessional after Game 5 at Consol Energy Center. Players knew what they did wrong and weren't afraid to admit their sins.

That attitude — and a bit more aggressive play — could help when the Islanders meet the Penguins in Game 6 on Saturday at Nassau Coliseum. One loss will eliminate the Isles from the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

“We weren't at our best,” said Hart Trophy nominee John Tavares, who recorded his third negative plus/minus (minus-1) of the series.

“We will come back with our best on Saturday,” former Penguins defenseman Brian Strait said. “One hundred percent. We have a resilient squad, and we have done it all season.”

The Islanders' ability to recover from losses — they haven't suffered a more significant setback this season than the 4-0 Penguins victory Thursday — was apparent while they won 12 of 14 games late in the season immediately following a subpar 5-8 stretch.

The problem in Game 5 that must be corrected was their failure to consistently cut off passing and skating lanes for the Penguins, who looked faster than at any time in the series.

“We never really got to our forecheck and pinned them in their zone,” Strait said. “We didn't make them work to get out of their zone.”

On the other end, Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun — bolstered by his diligent defensemen who kept the area in front of the net clean — turned away 31 shots. The shutout was the Penguins' second in the series, the first time that has happened in franchise history.

The Islanders are home for what could be one of the last playoff games at Nassau Coliseum. The team that won four consecutive titles from 1980-83 is set to move to Brooklyn no later than 2015.

But the Islanders need more than fan support. They are the only playoff team with a losing record at home (10-11-3) and one of only two that has allowed more goals at home than they have scored (73-67). For the series, the Penguins have outscored the Islanders, 21-14.

“They got zone time, they protected the puck, they won the territorial battle,” coach Jack Capuano said of the Penguins. “They played similar to a style that we have to play to be successful. They played harder than us. The better team won.”

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Penguins

  1. Five years later, Crosby wants another Cup win
  2. Penguins’ Malkin expects to play in Game 1
  3. Blue Jackets confident as they wade into postseason
  4. Penguins notebook: Vokoun remains behind Zatkoff on goalie depth chart
  5. Penguins notebook: Tomas Vokoun ‘open-minded’ as AHL stint begins
  6. Penguins coach Bylsma’s system will be put to test in Stanley Cup playoffs
  7. Penguins Insider: Depth might be better fit for Stanley Cup playoffs
  8. Penguins need several players to step up during playoffs
  9. Breaking down Penguins’ deep defense prospect pipeline
  10. Starkey: Letang back in form
  11. Penguins notebook: Team calls for playoff `gold-out’ in Game 1
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.